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12-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I have the 14mm Samyang, but I can't really help with any of those questions, because I don't have any of those other lenses. Samyang is pretty sharp, has decent bokeh and performance. But it has it has many downsides.
a) Fixed lens hood. And its for full frame.
b) Not possible to use screw-on filters
c) Distance scales miscalibrated. Some say that all Samyang 14mm for Pentax have the distance scales of Canon. Not sure, but I know its hard to find the true infinity on my Samyang, and 1m is not actually 1m. Some also say the lens focuses differently depending on whether you start from infinity or from near.
d) No AF. MF is actually pretty hard with this lens because it is an UWA and everything "appears" in focus until you view the file at 100% when you notice you completely missed. Zone focusing might work, but you need reliable, calibrated distance scales for that. Basically, I would recommend you use a camera with big viewfinder with this lens. Maybe even use a special focus sceen. I often have a hard time with it on my K-01 (and focus peaking is useless with it)
e) Poor QC. You might get a bad copy with misaligned elements, and then you need to return it, get another one or get it repaired.. when you buy it, make sure it is equally sharp on all sides and has consistent CA.

On the other hand, it seems to be a tough lens, with good IQ once you get the hang of it and start using a tripod with high post-processing added sharpness. Here are some photos I took with the Samyang 14mm. They are pretty distinctive. And I pp them a lot, they are not out-of-camera jpegs. But they give you a taste of what is possible.
500px / 14mm Cathedral by Stolpulus II
500px / Golden path by Stolpulus II
500px / Snow prints by Stolpulus II


If I had the money laying around, I would probably go for the Pentax, either the 12-24mm or the well-liked 15mm. But at the price, the Samyang is a valid choice, too.

Hmmm, interesting. I must have been lucky, then. My first Rokinon 14mm copy was perfect: sharp corner to corner even at f2.8, and no mechanical defect whatsoever. I find it easy to use, too. (I rarely use it @ f2.8, though.)

I've taken tons of pics with it, which can be found on my blog--I PP them, but not extensively...


Last edited by causey; 12-05-2013 at 10:12 AM.
12-05-2013, 10:06 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by someguy42 Quote
Okay, thanks for the input. I was looking at the Samyang because it has great specs on paper, but it sounds like it can be a pain to use in the field, so that narrows my possibilities down a little further to the 12-24 or the DA 50. What to choose, what to choose...


The Samyang (like any other ultra wide lens) is very easy to use in the field. Once you figure its infinity focus point (mine has it at the 2m mark on the distance scale), just set it there and close it to F5.6 or F8. Everything from a couple meters to infinity will be in focus. For typical landscapes no need to focus ever. For anything closer and critical, you can use Live view which is the only way to really nail focus on most lenses.


The easiest way to find the infinity point is to set the camera on a tripod, use 2sec delay, SR off, keep the lens wide open at F2.8 and take a series of shots of a stationary object in far distance (e.g. mountain top, buildings, etc.) at various points on the distance scale (end of infinity marker, start of infinity marker, 3m, 2m, 1.5m, etc.) and examine which is the sharpest. That is your infinity point.


This lens is very sharp corner to corner, something that very few wide angle lenses can claim. It is even usable wide open, but it is superb at 5.6 or 8.
12-05-2013, 10:12 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The DA 15 seems to have more field curvature.
Careful, someone gave me the "what for" in another thread for saying thatÖ I had to quote statistics to prove my point and save my reputation
12-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
There doesn't seem to be any real consensus on which lens is "sharper," the DA 15 or the DA 12-24.
When I take shots of museum signs and similar items, the 15 is more legible than the 12-24. Perhaps that is resolution, not sharpness.

12-05-2013, 01:14 PM   #20
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I know this wasn't part of the question, but the reason I shoot a lot more with my 15 than with my 10-20 is simply size. I bring the Sigma only when I know I will need it. The 15 is always in the bag.

In my mind, 12-24 vs 15 pretty much boils down to flexibility vs size.

As for sharpness I believe the Sigma 8-16 is sharper than the 10-20. Just to complicate things further
12-05-2013, 01:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
As for sharpness I believe the Sigma 8-16 is sharper than the 10-20. Just to complicate things further
To complicate things even further there's two versions of the Sigma 10-20, one which is faster, and there's a Tamron 10-24 with a wider range. And don't forget the Pentax DA ~12-28 scheduled to come out in the next year or so, as well as a Samyang 10mm f2.8.

While the Sigma 8-16 has a reputation for being as sharp, if not sharper, than the other zooms, I'm skeptical whether anyone would notice the difference on screen or in prints at normal viewing sizes. All these lenses are plenty sharp enough. So there's no compelling reason to pick one or the other because it's "sharper." Pick the lens that fits one needs, shooting style, aesthetic goals, etc. rather than which one is the "sharpest." For example, if you already have 16 and above covered and you don't mind have a lens without filter threads, the 8-16 is a great option. But if you need the 16 to 24 area covered or want to use threaded filters, it's not a great option, irregardless of how sharp it may be.

I suspect in terms of sheer visible IQ (i.e., what you see on screen or in prints) the DA 15 is the best of the bunch. But the differences are slight and I don't think you could go wrong with any of the options.
12-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
But the differences are slight and I don't think you could go wrong with any of the options.
Couldn't agree more. But the OP started out with not being happy with the sharpness of the 10-20. Thus all the talk about sharpness.

Of course, with lenses this wide each pixel on the sensor covers a larger area of "reality" than on longer lenses, and that can be perceived as being less sharp, I suppose. Just a thought.
12-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #23
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I really liked my copy of the Sigma 15 fisheye - but of course you have to approve of fisheyes first! It was very sharp, little flare or contrast loss & great for closeups.



12-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #24
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I have the Pentax 12-24. It's very sharp. It has great reviews ...ie: Popular Photography.

It's pricey. I've used mine for many thousands of pictures and I consider it one of my sharpest lenses. I generally use it for vintage car photography.
12-06-2013, 08:01 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
The problem with the Samyang 16mm is that it is very prone to flare. It's not very good at maximum aperture, and becomes much worse when stopped down. There are problems even when the sun is well outside the frame. Check out the images and discussion here:

Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS review - Ghosting and flares - Lenstip.com

Here's a quote:

"Work against bright light is not a strong point of the tested lens. Near the maximum relative aperture you can get flares even if the sun is far away from the frame; still it isnít a tragedy. Much more problems occur on stopping down - in that situation there are a lot of artifacts, no matter whether you put the sun inside the frame, in its corner or even more than a dozen degrees outside it."

These problems with flare caused me to pass on the Samyang. I don't have much use for a wide angle lens that has such poor resistance to flare. The DA 15mm, on the other hand, has superb flare resistance. This is one of the things that makes it a delight to use.

Dan
True that flare is a weakness, but in the conclusion it says that if you use the included hood, that this should be less of an issue (suggesting they didn't use the hood in testing??). The review then goes on to fully recommend the lens with clear conscience to all owners of APS-C ILCs. So I don't think this issue is as bad as it may seem. Still, I appreciate your perspective - we all have our own priorities.

BTW, I think the new 10mm Samyang has a different coating, perhaps they've found a way to improve upon this issue?

Cheers!
12-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
BTW, I think the new 10mm Samyang has a different coating, perhaps they've found a way to improve upon this issue?
I'm not sure about the flare issues (the lens, after all, features 14 elements of glass), but from images taken with the 10mm posted on the Samyang website, I'm seeing a brilliancy of color and microcontrast I've not before detected in images I've seen from Samyang glass. It's possible that these new coatings could make a real difference in perceptual IQ, particularly in landscape photography. In any case, this new Samyang is worth keeping an eye on. It could prove to be a credible alternative to the Sigma ultra-wide zooms, particularly for those of us who already own the DA 15.
12-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #27
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Thread OP here. I appreciate all of the input. I ended up finding a DA 15 on the marketplace here for a pretty good deal and scooped it up. I often take shots which involve the sun, so flare resistance was very important to me. I recently went to Zion national park and climbed Angel's Landing for some sunset pics of the valley, and quite a few were washed out due to flare. I had to greatly increase contrast and blacks to compensate, but they'll never be as good as they could have been. Before that trip, I'd never considered flare, but that was definitely a lesson learned. When I'm out hiking, I usually carry my ultrawide and a 35mm prime. I've discovered that I really enjoy shooting with the prime, and I hope that enjoyment carries over to the 15. I also picked up a DA 70 Ltd and an F50 1.7, so it seems I have the focal range pretty well covered with primes now. For a hiker, I'm thinking a few primes might be the best way to go. Anyways, thanks again.
12-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #28
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You gonna love the 15ltd, it`s a gem and allmost bombproof when it comes to flares.
12-06-2013, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by someguy42 Quote
...For a hiker, I'm thinking a few primes might be the best way to go...
Your 15 plus 70 make a great prime combo. You can probably leave the 35 and 50 at home if you want to travel lightly and minimize lens changes. I personally prefer one prime plus a versatile zoom for hiking (plus a rocket blower for the inevitable dust on the sensor). I use the zoom for most photos, switching to the prime if needed to cover a weak spot in the zoom.

DA 55-300 if expecting much wildlife, plus Samyang 14mm for wider landscapes and nighttime Milky Way.
Tamron 10-24 for landscapes, plus the FA 43 if I need something longer, sharper, and with bokeh.
16-50 for unpredictable weather. Leave the prime and rocket blower home.
12-06-2013, 09:43 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by someguy42 Quote
Thread OP here. I appreciate all of the input. I ended up finding a DA 15 on the marketplace here for a pretty good deal and scooped it up. I often take shots which involve the sun, so flare resistance was very important to me. I recently went to Zion national park and climbed Angel's Landing for some sunset pics of the valley, and quite a few were washed out due to flare. I had to greatly increase contrast and blacks to compensate, but they'll never be as good as they could have been. Before that trip, I'd never considered flare, but that was definitely a lesson learned. When I'm out hiking, I usually carry my ultrawide and a 35mm prime. I've discovered that I really enjoy shooting with the prime, and I hope that enjoyment carries over to the 15. I also picked up a DA 70 Ltd and an F50 1.7, so it seems I have the focal range pretty well covered with primes now. For a hiker, I'm thinking a few primes might be the best way to go. Anyways, thanks again.
For Zion Natl Park a zoom is better, IMO. There will be lots of dust.
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