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10-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Da 21 help needed

hey guys hope all is well.
i have recently acquired a da 21 and was pretty excited... until i started shooting it.
i am using a k-5 IIs. no lenses i have ever used with it needed any af adjustment. the thing shoots great as is.
so basically i went out and did a walk around with my new lens.
i didn't like the images on the rear lcd and i still don't like them now that i have uploaded them onto my computer.
i am using an ips monitor so everything is cool here.
the reason to be unhappy - the quality of the shots is just not there.
no matter what f stop i used the images are soft as hell. i went up to f 11 and still no luck.
tried focus adjustments. nothing. shot af, mf, live view - still the same.

here are a few shots straight out of the camera. it's just i'm looking at the sample shots from other people and mine are nowhere near.
so i would greatly appreciate anyone with a good da 21 copy to please have a look and let me know if yours is similar or different.
thanks guys.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-4.DNG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-5.DNG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-6.DNG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-8.DNG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-21.DNG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32746869/photo-22.DNG

10-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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I dont own a DA 21 but those files look OK. Wide angle images wont look as sharp as normal/tele lenses. Looking at Photozine pictures they look similar.

The DA 21 is not one of the sharpest lenses but acceptable sharp. Photos on the internet are usually resized thats why they look sharper.
10-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by striker_ Quote
I dont own a DA 21 but those files look OK. Wide angle images wont look as sharp as normal/tele lenses. Looking at Photozine pictures they look similar.

The DA 21 is not one of the sharpest lenses but acceptable sharp. Photos on the internet are usually resized thats why they look sharper.
the kit lens produced better images i recon.
will try and pp them in LR.
10-13-2013, 11:44 AM   #4
dms
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I also don't have the DA 21mm (I have an old Vivitar T4 21mm) and I am using it as a benchmark:
-- BTW I assume you used manual focus--if not then its tougher to say if it's lens or not.
-- They look OK as regards resolution--maybe somewhat low, but the contrast seems quite low. Perceived resolution is also about contrast
- Were you using a hood? They look like shots on a sunny day w/o hood.
- Also the lighting is generally very poor.
- Except for 1 (last shot) they are all 1-1.5 stops underexposed, which makes them look worse.
- If you mean to test lens you should cover the range of f stops--it may be better at f11-16. All the shots are about f5.6 (5.6-6.3)
except one at f3.2--and it is not a good shot for evaluating lens. A more gray scale wall w/ horizontal lines would be nice.
-- Excepting the exposure adjustment, not sure what pp you mean. Should not need/should not use (IMO) sharpening to evaluate the lens.

10-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Can you put your photos up in some other format?
10-13-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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here's what i have come up with after some playing in pp.







10-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
I also don't have the DA 21mm (I have an old Vivitar T4 21mm) and I am using it as a benchmark:
-- BTW I assume you used manual focus--if not then its tougher to say if it's lens or not.
-- They look OK as regards resolution--maybe somewhat low, but the contrast seems quite low. Perceived resolution is also about contrast
- Were you using a hood? They look like shots on a sunny day w/o hood.
- Also the lighting is generally very poor.
- Except for 1 (last shot) they are all 1-1.5 stops underexposed, which makes them look worse.
- If you mean to test lens you should cover the range of f stops--it may be better at f11-16. All the shots are about f5.6 (5.6-6.3)
except one at f3.2--and it is not a good shot for evaluating lens. A more gray scale wall w/ horizontal lines would be nice.
-- Excepting the exposure adjustment, not sure what pp you mean. Should not need/should not use (IMO) sharpening to evaluate the lens.
i have tried every sort of focusing types - af, mf, live view, hyperfocal.
i do tend to underexpose most of the time as i can always recover detail in PP.
the hood was on at all times (comes preinstalled with the lens)
not too keen to shoot walls to be honest as i try to test my lenses on what i actually shoot the most if you know what i mean.
i guess they have turned ok in the end after PP.i did bring the contrast up to 25 which makes the images pop a little more.
10-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Can you put your photos up in some other format?
do you mean like jpegs?

10-13-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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That is about as good as the DA21 gets - I use it a lot. A quick look in SilkyPix Pro 5 with the sort of settings I would normally use (on a K-7). Make sure that you remove the CA - this tends to sharpen things in the corners.

BTW, the K-5iis does not like distant little waves, does it ? Lack of AA filter maybe ?

Centre 1:1 crop and bottom left 1:1 crop of photo-21 and a centre 1:1 crop of photo-4.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 

Last edited by kh1234567890; 10-13-2013 at 03:34 PM.
10-14-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
That is about as good as the DA21 gets - I use it a lot. A quick look in SilkyPix Pro 5 with the sort of settings I would normally use (on a K-7). Make sure that you remove the CA - this tends to sharpen things in the corners.

BTW, the K-5iis does not like distant little waves, does it ? Lack of AA filter maybe ?

Centre 1:1 crop and bottom left 1:1 crop of photo-21 and a centre 1:1 crop of photo-4.
Well it was rough seas on the pond)))
Real windy day.
Not sure if it likes the waves or not. Will have to run it a bit more.
10-14-2013, 03:31 AM   #11
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I use the 21mm quiet a bit and after doing some comparisons with similar photos of mine, I too do not think yours is odd in any way.
10-15-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by racingsnake Quote
the reason to be unhappy - the quality of the shots is just not there.
no matter what f stop i used the images are soft as hell. i went up to f 11 and still no luck.
tried focus adjustments. nothing. shot af, mf, live view - still the same.
Well I agree with you. Your photo's look way too blurry for a DA 21. When I first got mine the photo's were always blurry at 3.2 but at 5.6 and above looked decent. After I set the AF to +10 on my K5 the 3.2 is better. I always shoot that lens at 5.6 and above to obtain sharp photo's.

I am surprised however after PP that you were able to achieve those sharp great looking shots.

Here's one at 6.7 with PP. It was sharp to begin with and super sharp after PP I think...


Last edited by Driline; 10-15-2013 at 05:54 PM.
10-15-2013, 11:34 PM   #13
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I am going to try +10 adjustment for a few shots and see how i go.
In regards to PP i recon that playing around with contrast and clarity sliders helps a lot. I usually use around 75 for sharpness in regards to landscape shots.
Hope that helps.
10-16-2013, 12:32 AM   #14
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Focus adjustments won't be the culprit, given that you already said you shot live view. Live view doesn't rely on PDAF focus.

I think there are two culprits here:
1. Expecting the depth of field to be much deeper with a wide angle lens, when it's not. Looking at the first image, you can see a few ducks are in perfect focus and the rest of the image isn't.
2. Looks like a loss of contrast. Setting colour mode to Bright seemed to make a difference to contrast, but I expect there may have been a bit of haze in the air. A circular polariser would have helped too. Shooting landscape with that much 'air' between you and the subject means there effect of the air movement and haze will affect sharpness of the photo. So not a fair test. Shoot again in the early morning before the air heats up.
10-16-2013, 03:01 AM   #15
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I just sold a '21 and the buyer is also having the same problem with his 'IIs.
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