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04-20-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
Looking to get one of the above for the car show season. I thought about a 15mm but really would almost never use it to warrant the cost as I really do not shoot landscapes all that often. The 10-20 is wide without being fisheye and a little more flexible in tight spots around display cars. 21 would be a great walk around lens for city strolls as well as being wide enough for displays.

I have looked through the samples and club sections and at roughly the same price, I am at a loss as to which to go with.
I've had a sigma 10-20 and replaced it with a DA15..... mostly because of the smaller size and I needed to try one for myself given how strong a following it seems to have on this forum. I actually now preffer to use my DA21 as a walk around lens etc. My celebral cortex needs to be fully engaged to make the most of the 15.

My advise is to go with your original thoughts on either the 10-20 or 21....... both can easily be resold to get the other. Personaly, I'd buy a SMC 21 second hand......try it......and if you need wider then sell it and get the 10-20. You'll not lose much and then know if the compact size, slight faster and pentax rendering of the DA21 works for you or is worth trading for a wider and more flexable lens.

04-20-2014, 11:24 PM   #17
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I second Tibbits in recommending the DA 16-45mm. That would probably be the cheapest and most flexible option. 16mm is plenty wide and f/4 is pretty bright on modern dSLR's.
04-21-2014, 04:51 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Agreed, I have only the f4 version, which is definitely slow at 20mm.

Considering that the OP already has the 28-75, it would be worth considering the Tamron 10-24, since it would avoid the painful gap from 20 to 28.
See, the thing is that for what I am used to, a gap between 20 and 28 is not that painful really. I have the 28- 75 not as a show lens but a 'family' style lens. Something that my wife can use (strong AF, good range, etc...) without any issues as we are walking around. I normally carry the 50, 35, and 28 at shows. Lately, the 35 has been my go to. I am really, really impressed with it, especially at 2.4. I spend a lot of time around there to a couple stops down.

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I do a lot of vintage car shows. As you say it's tight between cars.

I use my Pentax 12-24 mostly...it's a wonderful lens. Almost like 3D sometimes. I like the zoom...I can stand there , not move...just flick in between 12-24 and all stops between to get the look I want.

I also use my Pentax 10-17...but at 17mm and I shift around to get the right angle. If I get it right and by now...I've got the knack...the photo's really have added punch with this Pentax FE.
I wonder what the difference in wide open performance is between the 10-20 and the 12-24? I very rarely go around f/8 due to the tightness. Being able to bring focus on one thing and have everything else 'fade' into the bokeh is what I like to see. Greenwich Concours in a few weeks might be a little different though. I normally walk around with my 35 on the camera. If I cannot get what I want with it, then I swap to something else. Lower 20 range might be what I am looking for. I just cannot justify the cost of a 15mm for how little it will get use really. I know that the 15mm is sharper at 15 than the 10- 20 but the 10-20 will have the advantage in not needing the 'zoom with your feet' thing.

How fishy is the 10-17? Fishy at 10 and not so much at 17? Any examples? It is an appealing idea of a lens, depending upon how much it is.

Last edited by derelict; 04-21-2014 at 07:36 AM.
04-22-2014, 02:14 AM   #19
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I have both lenses so here's my 2 cents.

They are both great optically. Wide-open IQ is more than good enough. So the important discussion is the (obvious) functional differences and your personal preferences.

21Ltd is a miniature wide-angle pancake with a relatively fast maximum aperture. 10-20 is an ultra-wide zoom.
If you're not interested in ultra-wide then it's a no-brainer - get the 21, which is lovely.

I can personally say that for me an ultra-wide zoom was a game-changer (first one was an Olympus 9-18 m43, then the Sigma 10-20 which I love dearly), a whole new dimension literally. I would think that an ultra-wide lens should be very relvant to your application - car shows, close-ups, cramped spaces, etc., almost mandatory! But to each his own I guess. Still, if you haven't yet experienced an ultra-wide, I strongly recommend that you rent, loan, or buy one to try. It's important to at least be familiar with this. I'm betting you'll get hooked.

I also join recommendations on a standard zoom that starts wide. I have the 16-45 and I love it. Its great IQ and convenient range has made it my workhorse to-go lens. I think it would fit your application great for cheap, as long as you're not interested in going wider (which seems to be the case). Ditto for any of the 16-50, 17-50, 17-70 varieties.

Finally, fish-eye is magical and fun, but consider it an extra. It will never replace a rectilinear ultra-wide, which I find a lot more useful overall.

04-22-2014, 04:18 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Noam Quote
I have both lenses so here's my 2 cents.

They are both great optically. Wide-open IQ is more than good enough. So the important discussion is the (obvious) functional differences and your personal preferences.

21Ltd is a miniature wide-angle pancake with a relatively fast maximum aperture. 10-20 is an ultra-wide zoom.
If you're not interested in ultra-wide then it's a no-brainer - get the 21, which is lovely.

I can personally say that for me an ultra-wide zoom was a game-changer (first one was an Olympus 9-18 m43, then the Sigma 10-20 which I love dearly), a whole new dimension literally. I would think that an ultra-wide lens should be very relvant to your application - car shows, close-ups, cramped spaces, etc., almost mandatory!
My one reservation about the 10-20 is based on the 'lens club' samples. They really are not all that sharp to be honest. They look pretty soft. The reason that the 21 is being used as an option is I really do not take whole car photos all that much. I am more of a details person. For me, that is where all the interest lies. The 10-20 or 21 would be used to take a whole car photo from a few different angles and then get swapped for the 35 or 50. Maybe the 85/ 1.4 depending upon whether the car is roped off or not and extra reach is needed.
04-22-2014, 05:30 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
My one reservation about the 10-20 is based on the 'lens club' samples. They really are not all that sharp to be honest. They look pretty soft. The reason that the 21 is being used as an option is I really do not take whole car photos all that much. I am more of a details person. For me, that is where all the interest lies. The 10-20 or 21 would be used to take a whole car photo from a few different angles and then get swapped for the 35 or 50. Maybe the 85/ 1.4 depending upon whether the car is roped off or not and extra reach is needed.
YMMV and maybe there's sample variation, but my 10-20 is plenty sharp and essentially similar to my 21. I bought the 10-20 used in this forum. I really like its IQ.

I'm also very much a detail person. When used properly and creatively, ultra-wides are actually ideal "detail" lenses, emphasizing and enlarging the close subject (mechanical part, ornament), while keeping a lot of the environment (car) around it, i.e. giving it more context.
I'm not a car-show fan, but an ultra-wide zoom would actually be my first choice for this.
04-22-2014, 09:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Noam Quote
YMMV and maybe there's sample variation, but my 10-20 is plenty sharp and essentially similar to my 21. I bought the 10-20 used in this forum. I really like its IQ.
They just seem very hit or miss. It is odd how different they are.
04-22-2014, 10:32 AM   #23
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the 10-20 suffers from distortion softness at the edges as you get to around 15mm or less. the center stays pretty sharp but the edges get stretched. its a great effect is used properly. I have both the 10-20 and da15. I actually shifted the da15 to my primary kit and the 10-20 is in my backup (aka gf's bag).

I found the 15 to have much less distortion than the 20 and for half the size at least. from what I see, there's only a 50 dollar diff or so on the marketplace between the two lenses.

I have no experience with the da21, but based on galleries, I find it not wide enough for perspective induced magic, and not flat enough for useful landscapes, it's kind of a tweener lens. I have an fa28 and a 20-40 for those. and from what I can tell, the da21 is more expensive than the 15.

if you want flexibility I'd recommend the 10-20, if you want a lens that challenges you and provides special images when you use it well, go for the da15. definitely skip the 16-45, it's not in the same league.

04-22-2014, 10:54 AM   #24
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I went to a car show recently and all I had on me was my DA 35 2.4 and my K 55 f/2 (for details). Personally, I didn't feel the need for anything wider. I'd just take a couple steps back, and I think the perspective looked a bit more natural than a wider angle lens would. Only a couple times I had to go away from a car to return later, because there were people in front of me.
04-22-2014, 04:30 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
I found the 15 to have much less distortion than the 20 and for half the size at least. from what I see, there's only a 50 dollar diff or so on the marketplace between the two lenses.

I have no experience with the da21, but based on galleries, I find it not wide enough for perspective induced magic, and not flat enough for useful landscapes, it's kind of a tweener lens. I have an fa28 and a 20-40 for those. and from what I can tell, the da21 is more expensive than the 15.

if you want flexibility I'd recommend the 10-20, if you want a lens that challenges you and provides special images when you use it well, go for the da15. definitely skip the 16-45, it's not in the same league.
The 16-45 is definitely not on my list. I know that it is a good lens but I really do not want one. The 21 is definitely cheaper. Quite a bit cheaper. I am looking at used gear and the 10-20 is about the same as the 21.
04-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by derelict Quote
They just seem very hit or miss. It is odd how different they are.
It's no different with any brand of lens you buy, Pentax included: it's just really disappointing how much performance varies between copies of the same lens model. You have to really discard statements about one model being better than another; all you can do is to say that one particular copy of one model is better than one particular copy of another model. You can say the theoretical performance of one model or another is better, due to properties of the lens elements, etc. ,but whether you'll experience that with the lens you buy is another story.
04-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #27
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The DA15 seems to go all right at photographing cars. It would be my choice and I do own the 10-20mm.
04-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
The DA15 seems to go all right at photographing cars. It would be my choice and I do own the 10-20mm.
Derelict is going to be missing some pizzazz, sparkle, and drama -- missing the story, really, in favor of straight reportage and documentation -- if he passes on anything wider than the DA 21.
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