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12-12-2015, 11:01 PM   #1
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HD DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited ; Neither Fish nor Fowl ?

How are you using this lens ?
Do you like it ?
I find it an awkward focal length , (not to mention it's distortion)
Not wide enough and not normal enough .
I can see using it for environmental portraits .

12-12-2015, 11:18 PM   #2
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my favourite street lens.

12-12-2015, 11:23 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxway Quote
not normal enough
...normality is grossly overrated.
12-12-2015, 11:26 PM   #4
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meant normal as in 35mm focal length

12-12-2015, 11:38 PM   #5
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My HD copy was plenty sharp, and had good colors, but I was surprised by how much distortion it generated. I used it as a narrow landscape lens, and for general shots. I used it primarily on a KS-1, and it was a great small size combo. Hang in there with it
12-12-2015, 11:39 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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I like it whole lot. For me the FOV seems a pretty good match for what I see, when I'm not looking at a specific object. For my usage, I would classify it as an "intimate landscape" lens - not so wide as to catch an expanse, but not so long as to pick out a singular feature.



---------- Post added 12-13-15 at 01:43 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxway Quote
meant normal as in 35mm focal length
Well, on a Pentax camera the DA21 gives a FOV pretty similar to 35mm on film/full frame.
12-12-2015, 11:51 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Like any wide angle lens, it helps to have a story to tell, and an anchor in the foreground.



Shouldn't really post again after already chipping in, but the 21mm is one of my favourite focal lengths. I have made many images with my copy.
12-13-2015, 12:06 AM   #8
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thanks for the replies Mattt
luftfluss , beautiful photo ; and I like the term "intimate" to describe the lens .
esrandell , thanks for the encouragement .

I'd love to shoot this lens in Japan , in black and white .
There's something Zen about it .

12-13-2015, 01:52 AM   #9
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I find the 21mm's wide-but-not-too-wide focal length to be near perfect for a lot of purposes, for example parties, street shots and landscape (too many landscape shots are taken with super-wide lenses). It's wide but not too wide that you don't have to think how to fit in everything you want in the photo.

The IQ is another matter, and the distortion and green-blob flare can cause problems, plus it's not that sharp until around f/4.5 or f/5. Still, I do like it, though less than my other limiteds.
12-13-2015, 02:10 AM - 6 Likes   #10
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It may take some time to get used to this lens, but it is just great for traveling!

Venice


Venice


Bilbao


Shanghai
12-13-2015, 02:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxway Quote
HD DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited ; Neither Fish nor Fowl ? How are you using this lens ? Do you like it ? I find it an awkward focal length , (not to mention it's distortion) Not wide enough and not normal enough . I can see using it for environmental portraits .
I don't use it much because I carry a zoom that include that focal length. The 21 has a surprisingly high distortion, but overall, when I compared the same shots with the 21 ltd and zoom at the same focal length, the 21 ltd renders better results. Regarding the 21mm FL on APSC, it is what it is... it is slightly wide angle, free of perspective distortion, not much visual effect, good for reportage. I liked it a lot when I got it , but as soon as I got the 15 ltd, I did not use the 21 anymore. When I wanted a light weight camera, I used the 40 ltd and stitched several vertical shots when I wanted a wider field of view, I wouldn't use the 21 ltd as both normal and stitching for wide. Now when I go prime, I use a three lenses kit: the 15ltd, the 35 ltd and either the 70 ltd or the DFA100. For landscape, I use a 17-50 f2.8 zoom as default setup and add the DFA100 as option for long shots, that combo cover almost everything for landscape and macro.
12-13-2015, 02:17 AM   #12
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i find it to be a very useful focal length for many subjects and the distortion is only bothersome if i am stitching a pano. Otherwise, similar sharpness to the DA15 and the flare resistance and light star potential is every bit as good as the 15
12-13-2015, 02:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
It may take some time to get used to this lens, but it is just great for traveling!
That's a good short summary about the 21ltd.
12-13-2015, 02:26 AM   #14
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... obviously the size is great for travel , but the postcard field of view seems quaint ,as in attractively unusual or old-fashioned .
12-13-2015, 02:35 AM   #15
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(SMC) I quite like it. Have used it a lot for buildings and urban spaces as well as groups of people doing things. (vertical verticals type of stuff) I generally prefer my lens not to show, ie have a natural look which I think the 21 just about can do. Recently I've also used the 21 a bit more dramatically using the distortion by going close whilst allowing context for action photos of my kids. Distorts their features a bit but this is sometimes fine with children.

I find that on my K-5 it matches my experienced field of view very well.

I use it mainly at F8 and sometimes F5.6 rarely more open.

The lens is my most used for the last couple of years. It's really as wide as I'd like to go but I sometimes *need* wider for interiors so I've recently bought the 15 can't see myself using it that much tough.

edit:
Forgot to mention the distortion which I find very annoying whilst photographing. I always have the correction on in camera and when I develop RAWs so the results are fine. The problem is that it makes it very difficult to compose accurately. There's no other lens I have to fix horisons/verticals with so often as the 21 and the horisong fix feature of my K-5 is not accurate enough.

Last edited by house; 12-13-2015 at 02:42 AM. Reason: forgot to mention
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