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02-17-2014, 02:52 PM   #1
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Experience with Pentax 15mm LTD vs Samyang 14mm 2.8?

Does anyone have direct experience with the two of these - the DA 15mm f4 Limited and the Samyang (or equivalent) 14mm f2.8?
I'm wanting a good wide and I'm curious about some direct comparisons between these two.

02-17-2014, 03:02 PM   #2
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Not on the Samyang but I do have both the DA15 and the DA14 and they`re completely different lenses. The 14mm is faster and therefore more suited for indoor and lowlight situations while I tend to use the 15 (allmost exclusively) for landscapes and long exposures. The 14mm has much more distortion.
02-17-2014, 03:03 PM   #3
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I think it would make more sense to compare the Samyang 14mm to the Pentax DA 14mm, no?
Comparing it to the DA 15mm: The Samyang is much larger, slightly brighter, Samyang has no AF.. Samyang might have miscalibrated distance scales.. The DA 15mm wins when it comes to starbursts, though.
I don't have the DA 15mm to compare the image quality, but the Samyang has pretty great image quality.
02-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think it would make more sense to compare the Samyang 14mm to the Pentax DA 14mm, no?
Comparing it to the DA 15mm: The Samyang is much larger, slightly brighter, Samyang has no AF.. Samyang might have miscalibrated distance scales.. The DA 15mm wins when it comes to starbursts, though.
I don't have the DA 15mm to compare the image quality, but the Samyang has pretty great image quality.
It would in many ways, yes... I guess I'm trying to gauge the extremes. The 15ltd is what I'd like, but a recent bought of LBA leaves me wanting cut cost. I know the Samyang is larger (how much larger?) and manual, both of which I'm mostly fine with... largely curious about the image comparisons. (Basicaly if I'm going to spend enough for the DA14mm, I would just go ahead with the DA15mm instead)

02-17-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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Samyang also have a 16mm f2 available just to confuse you more =)
02-17-2014, 03:49 PM   #6
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As far as lenses go, the Samyang 14mm is like a granade or something. It is FF compatible and ultra wide, so that is to be expected, but the DA 15mm is very compact.
Oh, and just one more thing to keep in mind. There are now two versions of the DA 15mm ltd. The old SMC version (which has starbursts) and the newer HD version (which has more modern coatings and rounded aperture blades, but doesn't produce the same fancy starbursts on point light sources). The SMC is now only available used.
02-17-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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The Samyang is much larger and won't take filters. No AF of course. You may have to work to get a good copy. If you do, it is just as sharp or sharper than the 15, and has less field curvature. However, the overall barrel distortion is quite significant to the point of being unacceptable if left uncorrected (and apparently turns into complex mustache distortion on a full-frame). However, once corrected in Lightroom or similar, it looks great. So harder to use that the 15mm and polarizers or filters not a possibility, but if you are willing to manually focus and do a little extra post-production work to apply corrections, I think the images are stellar...
02-17-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
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I have the Bower 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC manual focus lens and the Pentax SMC-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited lens. The Bower is the same as the Samyang 14mm lens. I first got the Bower because I could not yet afford the Pentax lens,. My first copy of the Bower had to be returned because the lens was de-centered, but the second copy is good. The Pentax is of course much smaller and has auto-focus. But the Bower 14mm has such a wide depth of focus for landscape it is easy to use.
Here are some posts I did on these lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/247240-wide...omparison.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/238153-bower-14mm-f-2-8-a.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/237072-bowe...ngle-lens.html

Zenfolio | Will Edwards | Wide Angle Lens Comparison

02-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
The Samyang is much larger and won't take filters. You may have to work to get a good copy. If you do, it is just as sharp or sharper than the 15, and has less field curvature. However, the overall barrel distortion is quite significant to the point of being unacceptable if left uncorrected.
Bear in mind, too, that distortion correction mushes the sharpness.
It's like the pixels object to being pushed around!
02-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #10
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Wonderful responses you guys - just what I was looking for. Manual focus bothers me not at all, particularly for the type of shots I would choose this for. I was very curious if the Samyang was FF compatible and it sounds like it is though the distortion is an even larger problem, which is a mixed bag. Looking at the test shots it looks better than I think I'd have expected to be honest. Can the Samyang/Bower/etc render the lovely starbursts stopped down that the 15ltd does?
02-17-2014, 05:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Bear in mind, too, that distortion correction mushes the sharpness.
It's like the pixels object to being pushed around!
I'm not sure why people say that, it has no effect on the sharpness although of course certain features look different from being stretched, etc. (And you do lose a bit on the edges from the correction.) The corrected images from the Samyang are on par with the 15 ltd or even better. Certainly there is less field curvature so it is much nicer for close-up subjects where the 15 ltd gives you soft edges. But it is more work.

Last edited by vonBaloney; 02-18-2014 at 09:27 AM.
02-17-2014, 11:38 PM   #12
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I have both but 15 is relatively new so can't compare images yet. My biggest problem with 14 was size, meaning I rarely had it with me unless I knew I would want it. The 15 is nice and small so I can always have it with me.
02-18-2014, 09:23 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I have owned both. I bought 15mm limited first and it was quite good. Size, filter use, starburst and center sharpness were the positive things for me. The biggest negative thing was sharpness in edges and corners (i think some were due to field curvature), why I sold it and bought Samyang 14mm.

Samyang (first copy) was not sharp on the left side, so I got new one. This one is way better than first one. I calibrated the focus ring and now focusing is easy. I think that Samyang is sharper and have same contrast and color than da15 limited. Only the extreme corner and extreme edge is soft in certain circumstance. Only negative thing is lack of filter use (there is way to do it, but it's not easy or cheap).

If you want to see samples with Samyang 14mm + K5 (there are also other photos taken with another lens but you'll notice it):
Hikes and trips - Vaellukset ja reissut - samsshots

It worked well with K5, now i have K3 and still good. Great lens.

Sami
02-18-2014, 06:21 PM   #14
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Wow... thanks Sami - those shots have me nearly convinced to just forgo the 15 and pick up the Samyang. Too bad nearly everyone chiming in has had to get more than one copy to land a "good" one.

---------- Post added 02-18-14 at 05:25 PM ----------

Answering my own question... I'm seeing some pretty lovely starburst from the Samyang with a good flickr search... it's definitely a softer variety but I quite like the quality of it... Flickr Search: samyang 14mm night

---------- Post added 02-18-14 at 05:27 PM ----------

Of course then I tried this as well:
Flickr Search: pentax 15mm night

That settles it... I'll just have to get both! :-D (actually I'm definitely leaning toward the Samyang)

Last edited by chickentender; 02-18-2014 at 06:27 PM.
02-18-2014, 07:38 PM   #15
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Just one thing to keep in mind with those Samyang photos is that they are often heavily processed! You won't usually get out-of-camera jpegs like that.
But if you decide to get one, and I do recommend it, make sure its a good copy. Take photos and compare the different edges. Decentering, where one side of the frame is unsharp/blurred, seems to be the most common problem with these lenses. Other than that, Im sure you will enjoy it
(and yes, lots of us have come to the conclusion that.. got to have them all.. *sigh*)
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