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09-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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Pentax A 28 2.8 VS DA 21mm

Can anyone explain why my DA 21 ($650 retail price) lens and my A 28 2.8 ($77 Ebay price) lens IQ are nearly identical? Honestly, what's the extra $573 for other than AF ?

Both shot on Aperture priority F6.7 1/750. PP added to both lenses via iphoto.





09-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Can anyone explain why my DA 21 ($650 retail price) lens and my A 28 2.8 ($77 Ebay price) lens IQ are nearly identical?
Not really. Why would you expect them to be different? They are both excellent prime lenses in approximately the same focal length. You got a very deal on your Pentax A, I paid more than twice that amount. On the other hand, I paid only about half of what you did for my DA 21mm Ltd.

So for me the difference was only $175. Which is well worth it for the AF, for me. It would not be at the difference you have.

On the DA 21mm you get AF, better coatings, really nifty lens hood, lighter weight, and the comfortable knowledge that you are shooting with a Limited Lens. Only you can decide if that is worth the difference.
09-30-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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AF, quickshift, better flare resistance, also smaller.

IQ isn't everything.
09-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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It would be more fair to compare it to the A series 20mm as they are much clorer in focal length (28 is 35% more than 21)... Besides that, Try shooting into the sun or induce some flare, specular highlights, etc...

09-30-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
On the other hand, I paid only about half of what you did for my DA 21mm Ltd.
I paid $325. I only quoted the MSRP. So not a bad price at all for this lens
09-30-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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I guess I was just surprised at or maybe not so surprising IQ similarities between these two particular lenses. Now when I shoot my FA 43 or DA*50-135 lens I can really tell the difference between them and an average lens. I'm looking forward to seeing those star bursts with the DA 21.
09-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
It would be more fair to compare it to the A series 20mm as they are much clorer in focal length (28 is 35% more than 21)... Besides that, Try shooting into the sun or induce some flare, specular highlights, etc...
Can you post some of pictures of your new DA 21 lens? Have you received it yet?
09-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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The posted pics are too small to really judge, but I can see that the 1st one has better contrast and saturation. And of course it's much wider It's harder to make a good wide lens, so I guess that's another big part of what you're paying for.

09-30-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by prime.partisan Quote
The posted pics are too small to really judge, but I can see that the 1st one has better contrast and saturation. And of course it's much wider It's harder to make a good wide lens, so I guess that's another big part of what you're paying for.
Perhaps I was expecting too much.
09-30-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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At f/6.7 I would expect the older lenses to do just fine; nearly any lens around f/8 is a good lens. I've an SMC-A 24mm that keeps the DA21 at bay, but the 16-45 is as good to my eyes at that range - and the modern coatings are so valuable when shooting into the sun, or even toward a bright window indoors.

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 09-30-2013 at 05:29 PM.
10-01-2013, 01:19 AM   #11
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Some time ago, when K10D was a King, used to be some discussions, is the DA 21mm worth over DA 16 - 45 or 18 - 55mm; resolution wise they were close on 10Mpx. For me DA 21mm excels in contrast, microcontrast/clarity over the other (comparable FL) lenses. 16 - 50 might be even better, but here comes size/weight difference. It is a unique lens, but not because of superb resolution (while centre is very fine).

A.

Last edited by arv; 10-01-2013 at 02:36 AM.
10-01-2013, 05:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
IQ are nearly identical? Honestly, what's the extra $573 for other than AF ?
You posted another thread prior to purchasing the DA21 where many people explained that while the DA21 is very sharp, its main optical perks are more related to saturation, contrast, and a surprisingly textured bokeh. Oh, and starbursts, as you mentioned.
10-01-2013, 07:20 AM   #13
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The DA21 is smaller and lighter, has AF of course and while the current list price is quite high, what do you think the A 28/2.8 would sell for new in today's market? The prices for new Samyang MF lenses are ranging from $300-$500, depending on the lens. A series lenses are between 20 and 30 years old so it's unfair to compare the prices of current lenses to these older lenses, even if they are very, very good. One of the reasons I haven't bought the 21 is my Takumar 28/3.5 does a super job and I don't have much difficulty focusing since I usually use it stopped down and the DOF is enough to compensate for my questionable eyesight.
10-01-2013, 03:37 PM   #14
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I'm starting to get some cool pictures with this lens. It has a learning curve like the FA 43.

10-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #15
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Just remembered one thing about my A 28/2.8 - purple fringing. In high contrast situations, tree branches against sky etc., it's really obvious, and stopping down doesn't make it go away. Much more CA than my M, K, or Tak 28's.
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