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11-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #1
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DA 20-40mm or DA 21mm Limited

I'm considering these lenses and wonder if there is a consensus as to which is better. I've read the reviews on both, but I'd like to hear from people who own and use one or both of these lenses.

Thank you!

11-06-2015, 08:54 AM   #2
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Best? Depends on what you want.

For what? DA21 is one of the smallest lenses out there, most likely slightly sharper at the borders and is great against flare. DA20-40 is more versatile, slightly faster at the wide end, got weather sealing and quiet focusing.
11-06-2015, 09:03 AM   #3
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I have both. The 20-40 has better IQ at the 20/21 zoom setting, and is both faster and a wee bit wider there also. Weather sealed as well. I see no contest here but for size differences.
11-06-2015, 09:05 AM   #4
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I would choose the 20-40, only downsides are size and price.

11-06-2015, 09:10 AM   #5
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I've owned both and never found the love for the DA21 - it's a good lens don't get me wrong - but I just found it always the odd many out in my ultra wide array of lenses. The DA 20-40 is a excellent lens too but much larger than you might think. Personally I'd be thinking either the DA21 + the DA 40 or DA 35 versus the DA 20-40. IIRC the DA 21 as a bit more barrel distortion than the DA 20-40, that was never a problem for me but it might be for you. That said, I'm sticking with my DA 20-40 because I like the WR feature and the range for a one lens solution.

However, also IIRC, I think the DA 21 might provide slightly better image quality over the DA 20-40.
11-06-2015, 09:34 AM   #6
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I love the sharpness of primes, but the versitility of zooms. The only problem is, most zooms are bigger and weight more. The 20-40 offers wonderful range, sharpness, light weight, and weather sealing. It really is a wonderful all in one package.

in my opinion, since you have narrowed it down to these two, I would probably push you towards the 20-40. I think you will get more life out of this lens and truly enjoy the weather sealing and quality.
11-06-2015, 09:43 AM   #7
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Not to forget, the 20-40 both feels and looks so good.
11-06-2015, 09:49 AM   #8
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It depends if you want a zoom or if you are prepared to step a bit closer when needed with the DA21 ...

Flickriver: kh1234567890's photos tagged with da21

11-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #9
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I switched from DA21 & DA40 to 20-40 zoom. Both combos fit on a K3 in a Tamrac 514 bag. 20-40 is weather sealed and at some point I started to dislike the continuous switching of lenses - although i really appreciate small, fast primes. I used both combos for travelling. Image quality is fine either way. the 20-40 has an odd filter size of 58 mm.
Today I am quite happy with the 20-40 on the K3.
11-06-2015, 10:43 AM   #10
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Thank you all for this information!

I currently use the 15mm and 43mm Limited lenses. The 43 is my favorite, but sometimes it's too long (narrow field of view) and the 15 too wide. I was thinking the 21mm might work well, since it's like a 32mm on full frame. I normally like the sharpness, speed and simplicity of primes, but the 20-40mm appeals to me for its versatility.

Thanks again for your help.
11-06-2015, 11:06 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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21mm is the lens I always have in my camera bag. I use it very often and it just hurts my heart that after a couple of years of use, a couple of scratches appeared on that absolutely beautiful black finish.

It is absolutely perfect for traveling, street photography. It is small, light and not intimidating anybody.

At f/5.6 it gets super sharp, field of view is extremely versatile, color rendition is amazing, focuses very fast, can be had quite cheap used/on sale.

In all honesty, one of my most favorite lenses.

I highly recommend it.
11-06-2015, 11:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
I switched from DA21 & DA40 to 20-40 zoom. Both combos fit on a K3 in a Tamrac 514 bag. 20-40 is weather sealed and at some point I started to dislike the continuous switching of lenses - although i really appreciate small, fast primes. I used both combos for travelling. Image quality is fine either way. the 20-40 has an odd filter size of 58 mm.
Today I am quite happy with the 20-40 on the K3.
Actually the filter size is 55mm IIRC. It's an odd size for Pentax but not if you have any old Minolta gear.
11-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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I have the 20-40, 15, 21 and 40. Since getting the 20-40 it has lived on my K3 as my walk around lens. It is light enough, good image quality and the WR is a real advantage.

I am keeping the 21, even though I will not be using it nearly as much now I have the 20-40 - for this reason: the 21mm has a particular colour signature and rendering that works extremely well when taking photos of water bodies - big rivers, lakes, sea. It is my favourite lens for those types of images because of how it renders them, particularly blue colours.

In terms of all around versatility and use the DA 20-40 is an extremely good lens, and I am very happy with it.
11-06-2015, 02:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
21mm is the lens I always have in my camera bag. I use it very often and it just hurts my heart that after a couple of years of use, a couple of scratches appeared on that absolutely beautiful black finish.

It is absolutely perfect for traveling, street photography. It is small, light and not intimidating anybody.

At f/5.6 it gets super sharp, field of view is extremely versatile, color rendition is amazing, focuses very fast, can be had quite cheap used/on sale.

In all honesty, one of my most favorite lenses.

I highly recommend it.
Thank you, Apapukas. I really like this lens, especially the small size. Is yours the older, green-ringed SMC version, or the newer HD?

I noticed B&H has this lens for around $379 US in the silver color. It is almost $500 for the black version.

Thank you!

---------- Post added 11-06-2015 at 03:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
I have the 20-40, 15, 21 and 40. Since getting the 20-40 it has lived on my K3 as my walk around lens. It is light enough, good image quality and the WR is a real advantage.

I am keeping the 21, even though I will not be using it nearly as much now I have the 20-40 - for this reason: the 21mm has a particular colour signature and rendering that works extremely well when taking photos of water bodies - big rivers, lakes, sea. It is my favourite lens for those types of images because of how it renders them, particularly blue colours.

In terms of all around versatility and use the DA 20-40 is an extremely good lens, and I am very happy with it.
NZ_Ross, is your 21 the SMC or the newer HD version? Thank you!

Blackcloud, if it were only 52. I have this from some old Nikon gear.

Thank you.
11-06-2015, 03:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
the 20-40 has an odd filter size of 58 mm.
The 55-300 takes the same size filter size - and that would pair quite well with the 20-40.

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Actually the filter size is 55mm IIRC. It's an odd size for Pentax but not if you have any old Minolta gear.
Oops, I should have read on. But you could use a step-up ring to use the filters from the 55-300.
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