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12-13-2013, 10:01 AM - 1 Like   #1
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DA 20-40 Limited (w/ comparison images)

Hi Guys,

Got my DA 20-40 a couple of days ago. First impressions, although slightly bigger than the FA31, the lens feels very light. It does not seem to have that cold metallic feel of the other limiteds.
Haven't got a chance to really take it out for a spin. Took some initial pictures. The color, contrast and rendering seem like my other limiteds.




Took some backyard pictures to measure sharpness against my other lenses. Tested against the DA21, FA31, FA43 and the DA* 16-50. Shot on tripod. My copy seems to have focus issues at 20mm.
Reproducing here in case someone finds this useful. I intend to do some more real world testing this weekend.

Scene:


100% center crops.

~21mm@f/4
DA21


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


Edit.
Here is a different one at f/4 from a second set of tests I did. This one seems slightly better. Not directly comparable against this set since they were not taken at the same time.


~21mm@f/5.6
DA21


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40 @f/5.6


~21mm@f/8
DA21


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~30mm@f/3.5
FA31


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~31mm@f/4
FA31


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~31mm@f/5.6
FA31


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


@f/8
FA31


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~40mm@f/4
FA43


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~40mm@f/5.6
FA43


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40


~40mm@f/8
FA43


DA* 16-50


DA 20-40



Last edited by sanjeevdas; 12-13-2013 at 10:50 AM.
12-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
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Yikes, see what you mean at 20mm. How curious that it's otherwise a competitive lens. Thanks for the comparison!
12-13-2013, 10:23 AM   #3
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I'm no pro and although I like the images produced with the new DA 20-40, I "see" more softness when compared to all of the other lenses you have used here.
Is this typical of this new lens?

Thanks for sharing.

JP
12-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I'm no pro and although I like the images produced with the new DA 20-40, I "see" more softness when compared to all of the other lenses you have used here.
Is this typical of this new lens?

Thanks for sharing.

JP
I suspect this is back focusing on my body (I did some initial tests with beer bottles), but I haven't been able to use an AF adjust that works well across the focal length. These are all with no AF adjust. I haven't much time to play with this yet. More tests coming weekend.

12-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sanjeevdas Quote
I suspect this is back focusing on my body (I did some initial tests with beer bottles), but I haven't been able to use an AF adjust that works well across the focal length.
You can sidestep that issue by using CDAF from live view.

That's how my Tamron 17-50/2.8 has become a sharp lens
(currently sitting happily on a K-01).

On the other hand, I won't discourage you from doing tests with beer bottles,
especially if the test involves draining the contents first!
12-13-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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I agree that you need a focus adjustment. My 20-40 is producing great IQ for a zoom lens and Is a great walkabout. If you are expecting it to be the equal of the FA31 or 43, you are being unrealistic. Great primes will win every time, especially the FA Limiteds. However, the 20-40 is the best zoom in it's range that I have owned and is well balanced and light.
12-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
You can sidestep that issue by using CDAF from live view.
On the other hand, I won't discourage you from doing tests with beer bottles,
especially if the test involves draining the contents first!
I don't actually shoot using live view much, which is why I didn't do it. I do understand what you mean though. I'll try a CDAF/PDAF test to see if this is a focus issue.
About the beer, I actually intend to enjoy them afterwards as I browse through the images
12-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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Interesting. It's not a DA 21 or FA 43 killer that's for sure. Feeling better now Boy that FA 31 looks nice though.

12-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
I agree that you need a focus adjustment. My 20-40 is producing great IQ for a zoom lens and Is a great walkabout. If you are expecting it to be the equal of the FA31 or 43, you are being unrealistic. Great primes will win every time, especially the FA Limiteds. However, the 20-40 is the best zoom in it's range that I have owned and is well balanced and light.
The 20-40 costs more than the DA21 and DA40 combined and is not as bright in the long end. At this price I'd expect it to match at least the DA primes in quality (if not the FAs).
12-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for conducting this test. It is curious to see how it compares to some of Pentax' premiere primes. From what you've displayed it appears to generate comparable images at the apertures I plan to use it. I'm looking forward to using mine this weekend.
12-13-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Beautiful shot of your family (assuming here). You've captured them well; and the lens did a great job, too.

My main conclusion from your test shots: I'm leaning to the 20-40 over the 16-50 even more now.
12-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sanjeevdas Quote
The 20-40 costs more than the DA21 and DA40 combined and is not as bright in the long end. At this price I'd expect it to match at least the DA primes in quality (if not the FAs).
Regardless of cost, no zoom lens is going to equal quality primes, zooms are a compromise. And in my opinion, the prices of the Limiteds are reasonable. Ask any Canon and Nikon user what they have to pay for highest quality glass.
12-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
Regardless of cost, no zoom lens is going to equal quality primes, zooms are a compromise. And in my opinion, the prices of the Limiteds are reasonable. Ask any Canon and Nikon user what they have to pay for highest quality glass.
50 bucks?
12-13-2013, 10:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sanjeevdas Quote
I don't actually shoot using live view much, which is why I didn't do it. I do understand what you mean though. I'll try a CDAF/PDAF test to see if this is a focus issue.
How about trying manually focusing via live view + magnification? This way, you would be able to tell whether it is a focus issue or a sharpness issue.
12-14-2013, 09:17 AM   #15
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How is the 20-40 in the corners? I am particularly interested in 21 vs. 20-40 at f/8 in the corners.
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