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02-04-2014, 05:51 PM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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QuoteOriginally posted by adell Quote
Hi guys,

I'm shopping for a wide angle lens with great image quality for urban streets and landscapes and I'm trying to decide between pentax's (now older generation) smc 15 and 21 mm limiteds. I don't mind buying used, as that keeps things more within my budget ($400-500) and I'd like to have my lenses by the end of this month (can't wait forever for a sale). After some searching I've found a used 15mm limited for $518 (amazon) and a used 21mm limited for $360 (ebay). I like the generally slightly more favorable review of the 15mm, its extra field of view, and its potentially stronger resale value (people prefer the SMC 15mm limited over the HD 15mm limited). Do you think those factors are worth the extra $160, or about 30% price difference?

Separately, if I'm missing some marketplaces for cheaper lens prices or strong alternative lens competitors that have the IQ (specifically for me low distortion, high contrast, and sharpness) and form factor (actually I don't care that much about form factor) of the pentax limiteds, please let me know your opinion on those.
I have both and really like both of them. Both are solid high quality lenses that feel like they will outlive me. I bought the 15mm SMC limited new about 2 years ago. It is a great lens outdoors when you want to get everything in. Living in the NYC metro area, I recently visited the World Trade Center site and got some great pictures of the new buildings under construction with the 15 mm. I got the kind of pictures close up that I could never get with a focal length of 18 mm or higher. It is also a great choice if you are taking candid pictures indoors with larger groups of people. Outdoors I have gotten good landscape shots with it, but in general I sometimes find it a little too too wide. Just a few months ago I bought a 21 mm used from at a good price. I bought it in their grading of LN- and the lens could easily pass for a brand new lens. This lens I find is a little better for landscapes and close ups as well as a good street lens. It is also my go to lens for indoors with smaller groups of people. I also like the compact size of both, especially the 21mm. Both also have convenient built in hoods, the one on the 21mm is removable. The one very minor problem with the 15 mm in a small group is that is so wide you are practically in your subjects face. If it is a small group of people or just one person I go with the 21mm. Bottom line, I really like both and both get good usage. Good Luck. Some choices if you are looking for a good used copy of either: 1. Marketplace here, 2., 3. and 4. B& Have fun looking, I am sure between these you will find what you are looking for.

Last edited by jddwoods; 02-04-2014 at 05:59 PM.
02-04-2014, 06:11 PM   #17
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For photographing people, the 15 isn't my first choice. If you can keep people away from the edges of the frame you're alright. There is noticeable perspective distortion that isn't pleasing and you can't always rely on being able to fix it in PP. I have used it for group shots in tight places and it doesn't look right. To be honest, I will rather use the 18-55 kit at the wider end for those. I don't have the DA 21 to comment on it. Most of my DA 15 shots are from car shows and landscapes where it does a great job. It does work pretty well with people if you take a couple of steps back and crop the shot but why buy a more expensive lens if you are going to crop most of your shots?
02-04-2014, 11:28 PM   #18
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Interesting insights, I have the 21 and a 16-45 and am tempted to get the 15 because I don't really like the output of the zoom at the 16 mm end but I am having some second thoughts.
02-05-2014, 01:19 AM   #19
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Mikemike, I have both the 16-45 and the 15, and since I got the 15, I use it for EVERY landscape shot where I would have used the 16-45 at the wide end before. But not all agree - ymmv as always.

02-05-2014, 05:55 AM   #20
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I am not saying I am totally uninterested, just that it has moved down on the priority list.
02-05-2014, 10:31 AM   #21

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bangalore
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QuoteOriginally posted by adell Quote
Hi guys,

I'm shopping for a wide angle lens with great image quality for urban streets and landscapes ...
DA21 would be more suitable for streets and pretty good for landscape too. Btw, I don't have DA21 but my experience is based on Sigma 19mm for nex and I like this focal length for streets.

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