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04-14-2016, 05:35 AM   #16
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I'd like to see some comparison images taken with a 21ltd. or even an 18-135 or 16-85. The posted images have some really tough lighting conditions, the kind I generally try to avoid, but it would be interesting to see how other lenses handle them.

04-14-2016, 07:03 AM - 4 Likes   #17
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It's a tool

Looked at your photostream. It's a tool not a miracle worker. If you want to get the best from it learn how to use the tool. The couple of images you have it is hard to understand what you were expecting to see. Smooth bokeh at f5.6 at 2' behind your subject....when the background is mess of sticks, leaves, tan bark and stuff? A wide angle shot wide open in full light shutter speed 1/4000? And another at 1/2000? And you are concerned about the specular highlights?

What I see is what you could expect from any good/bad lens under those conditions and with those settings. Please find me a lens that would turn those shots into amazing, and I'll plunk down my money.

Bottom line. I don't think you have a bad lens, I think you are using a tool not to it's strengths.
04-14-2016, 07:23 AM - 4 Likes   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Looked at your photostream. It's a tool not a miracle worker. If you want to get the best from it learn how to use the tool. The couple of images you have it is hard to understand what you were expecting to see. Smooth bokeh at f5.6 at 2' behind your subject....when the background is mess of sticks, leaves, tan bark and stuff? A wide angle shot wide open in full light shutter speed 1/4000? And another at 1/2000? And you are concerned about the specular highlights?

What I see is what you could expect from any good/bad lens under those conditions and with those settings. Please find me a lens that would turn those shots into amazing, and I'll plunk down my money.

Bottom line. I don't think you have a bad lens, I think you are using a tool not to it's strengths.
Which inspires me to finish my thought, good photographs need good light, much more than they need good lenses. Lens quality becomes a factor, only when all else is perfect. It's when you have above average light, great composition and everything else in the image clicks, that you can start to discuss the merits of one lens over another, and at that point, the lens might make a difference. But honestly, if you have great light and a compelling subject, a "bad" lens may add some "character" to the composition that a "better lens" doesn't.

A great lens won't cover for bad technique.
A great lens, may accentuate good technique, but the same image taken with a "bad" lens may be more appealing.

Last edited by normhead; 04-14-2016 at 04:59 PM.
04-14-2016, 07:33 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
Oh, here you go. You can get all the EXIF data off my photostream.
Every time I felt like "oh, this is special!" and I went looking at the data, it was either the 31 or the 77
You have some nice stuff there!

04-14-2016, 07:55 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Looked at your photostream. It's a tool not a miracle worker. If you want to get the best from it learn how to use the tool. The couple of images you have it is hard to understand what you were expecting to see. Smooth bokeh at f5.6 at 2' behind your subject....when the background is mess of sticks, leaves, tan bark and stuff? A wide angle shot wide open in full light shutter speed 1/4000? And another at 1/2000? And you are concerned about the specular highlights?

What I see is what you could expect from any good/bad lens under those conditions and with those settings. Please find me a lens that would turn those shots into amazing, and I'll plunk down my money.

Bottom line. I don't think you have a bad lens, I think you are using a tool not to it's strengths.
exactly my thought. the street shot at f2.8 and 1/4000 looks actually really good. I dont understand your complaint about the branches in the most farthest upper right hand corner. The level of sharpness there at 2.8 and probably infinity focus is nothing short of stunning. Im pretty sure that this rivals (apsc) primes, let alone my Da*16-50..
04-14-2016, 07:57 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Every time I felt like "oh, this is special!" and I went looking at the data, it was either the 31 or the 77
You have some nice stuff there!
I did too. But the shots that are like....nice image....look at the settings, the conditions, that subject etc. To Norm's point the lens is not the determining factor it is light, composition, etc. I see many images from his 77 or 31 where I go meh. He is taking 3 images taken at probably the worst conditions possible and expecting pop, magic, whatever.

I may not go as far as Norm did with respect to a great lens cover bad technique...I would frame it bad technique can color a great/good lens as bad.

Last edited by Dice; 04-14-2016 at 08:00 AM. Reason: one additional thought to add
04-14-2016, 05:01 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
I may not go as far as Norm did with respect to a great lens cover bad technique...I would frame it bad technique can color a great/good lens as bad.
I left out a critical word.

It should have read " a great lens won't cover bad technique".

Last edited by normhead; 04-15-2016 at 05:59 AM.
04-14-2016, 05:59 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote

For bokeh, there's these. Background blur is busy and ugly
Wow, you're tough, Outis. I'd say your background was busy and ugly!

The bokeh off in the distance in the other shots looks fine for a slowish zoom.

Perhaps what you really want is the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 for its IQ?

Even if the AF on the Sigma copy you bought was erratic, the shots displayed here are all MF candidates anyway, easy peasy for someone of your skill.

04-15-2016, 04:31 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
But it seems like everyone loves it. I'm really puzzled. What happened?
A couple of times I'd nearly clicked to get this lens. However after some Flickr pixel-peeping I always decide that it isn't for me - it does not offer anything that I can't do with my cheapo DA16-45, although the size and WR are tempting. I suspect that it is one of 'those' lenses - people who have it will defend it to death and will not admit that it may have certain flaws. A bit like the DA15 Ltd .
04-15-2016, 05:52 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
I suspect that it is one of 'those' lenses - people who have it will defend it to death and will not admit that it may have certain flaws. A bit like the DA15 Ltd .
Not this "people". I had the DA15 ltd, DA21, DA35 Ltd, DA40 and they all have weaknesses and strengths....like the 20-40. I've had my copy for a long time and know how to bring out the best. If the OP's style of photography is for smooth bokeh at f5.6 and 3d images wide open on bright contrasty days, this lens is not for him....which is why I suggested he send his copy back. But to suggest that the lens is bad because it doesn't shine in those moments;...well that's a stretch.

I just picked up a Zeiss 35/2 from a forum member yesterday. Last night I did a quick and dirty side by side comparison on my K5 and other than the very edges of the frame you had to look pretty close at 100X on my 27" Imac to see the difference. At f8 where I normally shoot my landscapes it was nearly a tie.

It is such a polarizing lens for reasons that made sense at the beginning....people wanted a faster lens...a constant aperture lens...it was too expensive....etc. But now at the price point it is a great deal. And comparatively, you won't find a better WR wide zoom that is better (imho).
04-15-2016, 07:29 AM   #26
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I love the lens because it's WR, small, got the range I need for walking around, and pretty sharp in the center for my use. It's slow though, and not the best indoors, and a bit weak in the corners at 20-30mm, and I hate the stupid cap.

But it is a good lens.
04-15-2016, 01:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I love the lens because it's WR, small, got the range I need for walking around, and pretty sharp in the center for my use. It's slow though, and not the best indoors, and a bit weak in the corners at 20-30mm, and I hate the stupid cap.

But it is a good lens.
Exactly. I have my copy as a WR wide zoom for when I am travelling. Optically better than the 18-55WR and half the weight and size of the 16-50 (I have previously had both). I like the size and weight. The cap is problematic.

Travel is always a set of compromises, and the DA20-40 works well for me in that role. Around home I am always going to grab one of my primes for image quality.
04-15-2016, 02:19 PM - 3 Likes   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Looked at your photostream. It's a tool not a miracle worker. If you want to get the best from it learn how to use the tool. The couple of images you have it is hard to understand what you were expecting to see. Smooth bokeh at f5.6 at 2' behind your subject....when the background is mess of sticks, leaves, tan bark and stuff? A wide angle shot wide open in full light shutter speed 1/4000? And another at 1/2000? And you are concerned about the specular highlights?

What I see is what you could expect from any good/bad lens under those conditions and with those settings. Please find me a lens that would turn those shots into amazing, and I'll plunk down my money.

Bottom line. I don't think you have a bad lens, I think you are using a tool not to it's strengths.
I read this last night and thought, "I'm right! He's wrong!" and set out this morning to prove myself against Some Guy On The Internet.

I gathered up my 21mm Limited, 31mm Limited, 40mm Limited, 18-55, and 20-40 and pitted them against each other on (1) That Very Same Tulip Where The Background Is A Mess Of Sticks, Leaves, Tan Bark, And Stuff, and (2) A Wide Angle Shot Wide Open In Full Light (And Other Apertures Too). And...here's what I found.

-- Dice is right; everything makes an ugly mess of bokeh on (1) That Very Same Tulip Where The Background Is A Mess Of Sticks, Leaves, Tan Bark, And Stuff. The 31mm Limited generally produces noticeably smoother bokeh than any of the other options, but it's not like it's a miracle worker at f/5.6.

-- Dice is also right; nothing looks good wide open at on (2) A Wide Angle Shot Wide Open In Full Light (And Other Apertures Too). Different lenses do better or worse, but none produce results that are awe-inspiring.

-- In terms of how the different lenses compare, the 18-55 is noticeably worse than anything else. The 31mm is the best, with somewhat better bokeh and better contrast near the edges of the frame. The 20-40 is better than the 21mm at every aperture, though the 21mm has less distortion. I forgot to include the 20-40 at 40mm in (2) A Wide Angle Shot Wide Open In Full Light (And Other Apertures Too), so I'm just going to call it a draw.

Anyway, I'm glad Dice was right. I'm keeping the 20-40, and it looks like it's going to be exactly what I wanted it to be. Yay! Ignorance fought
04-15-2016, 02:36 PM   #29
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Wow I was not expecting that. Nothing personal but that's very admirable of you. It takes a real man to throw their hands up and admit they may have gotten it wrong.

Welcome to the club
04-15-2016, 02:37 PM - 3 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I'd like to see some comparison images taken with a 21ltd. or even an 18-135 or 16-85. The posted images have some really tough lighting conditions, the kind I generally try to avoid, but it would be interesting to see how other lenses handle them.
Your wish is my command! I posted an ugly bokeh comparison test between the 21mm, 31mm, 40mm, 18-55, and 20-40. Enjoy!

---------- Post added 04-15-16 at 05:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by a5m Quote
Wow I was not expecting that. Nothing personal but that's very admirable of you. It takes a real man to throw their hands up and admit they may have gotten it wrong.

Welcome to the club
I'm..................................a girl.

Maybe that's why?
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