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12-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
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DA 12-24 vs DA 15 vs Samyang 14?

I'm not satisfied with the sharpness of my Sigma 10-20, so I'm looking for something else. I seem to have narrowed the field down to these three lenses, and I wanted to get the forum's input here. I primarily do landscapes, and I'm mostly concerned with sharpness and contrast, and because I sometimes shoot into the sun, flare resistance is also important.

How would you rank these three lenses in terms of sharpness and overall image quality?

12-05-2013, 12:48 AM   #2
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Very intresting question indeed. I not have any of thoselenses but if u look IQ only then quality fixed focal lenses are better than zooms. But winner will be da15
12-05-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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I don't know about the Pentax 12-24mm, except that it's highly recommended by reviewers... This being said, I tried two copies of the Sigma, and both showed unevenly soft borders at various focal lengths. I bought the Samyang, for two reasons: (a) sharp corner to corner at any aperture, (b) cheaper than the Pentax DA 15mm. However, the Samyang is heavy (500 grams), and I'm careful to take it only when I think I'll need it. Problem is, sometimes I need it without having expected to need it. Now, if I didn't have the Samyang, I'd go for the Pentax. I'm actually considering selling the Samyang and getting the DA 15mm, if the DA 15mm gets discounted for Christmas. The Samyang has very good flare resistance, but from what I've seen, the SMC DA 15mm beats it in this department, and the HD 15mm has even better flare resistance than the SMC version. (The DA 15mm is supported by DxO, a program I use a lot, which takes care of the relative side softness at higher apertures.)

Last edited by causey; 12-05-2013 at 01:20 AM.
12-05-2013, 02:07 AM   #4
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I have a 12-24 and I rate it very highly, Im always impressed with the sharpness wide open @F4. I also like the versatility it gives me. I will probably buy the 15ltd one day as it is an excellent lens and so tiny, but the 12-24 has satisfied my 15mm LBA for now which is high praise indeed

12-05-2013, 02:34 AM   #5
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I'm interested to hear any thoughts on the Samyang 14 or Sigma 10-20, as I'm thinking about getting an UWA lens, and not sure which would be best. If the Samyang is sharper, then I'd probably go that way. How does it compare for colour rendition, contrast and flare control though?

Regards
12-05-2013, 04:18 AM   #6
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I have the 12-24 and I use it more than any lens except the 31 limited. It's a very good landscape lens, but will flare when pointed at the sun. The other lens I have, which I'm pulling out more again, is the sigma 8-16. It's sharp, renders colors nicely, good contrast, and I think it's more flare-resistant than the 12-24, though I don't have solid data to back that up, just a gut feel (and it's really wide if you like that perspective).
12-05-2013, 06:42 AM   #7
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I had the Sigma 10-20 and switched to the Pentax 12-24. It is sharper, esp. below 20mm, but it does have more chromatic aberration. But that can be removed in post-processing.

From what I've read, the 15mm Ltd is somewhere between the two in terms of sharpness. Its strength is its small size.

Last edited by starbase218; 12-05-2013 at 07:03 AM.
12-05-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by someguy42 Quote
I'm not satisfied with the sharpness of my Sigma 10-20, so I'm looking for something else. I seem to have narrowed the field down to these three lenses, and I wanted to get the forum's input here. I primarily do landscapes, and I'm mostly concerned with sharpness and contrast, and because I sometimes shoot into the sun, flare resistance is also important.

How would you rank these three lenses in terms of sharpness and overall image quality?
The 15 is sharper at 100%. At small sizes, and for landscapes, the difference is negligible. The 12-24 is more flexible.You should look at the lens image sample threads which should be more useful than our words :-)

Lens Sample Photo Archive - PentaxForums.com

12-05-2013, 07:40 AM   #9
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I would seriously suggest you look at the new Samyang 16mm/2. It's reasonably priced, and doesn't have the distortion of the 14mm, plus a stop faster. For APS-C cameras, that would be my first pick.
12-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
I would seriously suggest you look at the new Samyang 16mm/2. It's reasonably priced, and doesn't have the distortion of the 14mm, plus a stop faster. For APS-C cameras, that would be my first pick.
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
12-05-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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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.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-05-2013 at 08:16 AM.
12-05-2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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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...
12-05-2013, 08:18 AM   #13
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I sold of my Sigma 10-20 to primary use the DA15


The DA15 is a hard lens to compare any dslr lens against.
Its smaller than any other, so how does one value portability? (its subjective).
Its also very flare resistant and produces nice starburst from light sources (again attributes not seen with test charts on lens reviews)

I find that my DA15 is sharper than the Sigma 10-20.
Edges can be better though (but not so bad that its a deal ender imo)
Did not even 'trust' the 10-20 much either.
It seemed to have a different infinity marking that was dependent on focal length.


With the DA15ltd


12-05-2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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If sharpness is your biggest concern, the 12-24 beats the 15. The 15 has a more interesting character to the images, though. Also, the 15 is always in my pocket, so it sees a lot of use just by virtue of being there with me. I sometimes leave heavier lenses home just so I don't have to lug them around.

The IQ of the 15 that is actually with me is much better than the 12-24 which I left at home.
12-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The 15 is sharper at 100%. At small sizes, and for landscapes, the difference is negligible. The 12-24 is more flexible.
QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
If sharpness is your biggest concern, the 12-24 beats the 15.
There doesn't seem to be any real consensus on which lens is "sharper," the DA 15 or the DA 12-24. At pixel level, I find the DA 15 a tad sharper in the center, about even toward the corners (at f8). The DA 15 seems to have more field curvature. But in terms practical output, what you see at screen resolution and in prints, I have yet to notice a percepitble difference in sharpness between these two lenses. There both plenty sharp. What ever perceptible differences may exist between the lenses (and the differences are subtle) come down to microcontrast, rendering, color rendition. And in those terms the DA 15, perhaps due to its superior flare resistence, enjoys a slight edge.
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