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06-15-2016, 05:07 AM   #1
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DFA 15-30 A Couple Suprises

So I bought the DFA 15-30 awhile ago but haven't had a real good chance yet to put it through it's paces. Was out last night taking wildlife pics and stopped for a couple sunset pictures. I was a little surprised to see the 15-30 is a bit susceptible to flare. I guess I've been spoiled by my 15mm HD Ltd in that respect where I don't have to worry about flare at all. A second surprise was the starbursts I noticed in the pictures. A little give and take for me on the lens, but I thought I'd point it out for those contemplating a purchase. Slight PP to these pics but no attempt to fix the flare yet.

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06-15-2016, 05:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amarony Quote
I was a little surprised to see the 15-30 is a bit susceptible to flare. I guess I've been spoiled by my 15mm HD Ltd in that respect where I don't have to worry about flare at all.
18 elements vs eight, that's a lot more surfaces for the glare, Amarony!

Love your shots, BTW.
06-15-2016, 05:43 AM   #3
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Can confirm, flares easily and the hood is pretty short. I found centering the sun horizontally in the frame vs shooting off-center helps a lot (probably obvious). Flare is not as bad as on my Sigma 18-35 F1.8 which flares horribly in direct light. Produces a pretty nice starburst pattern though.
06-15-2016, 05:52 AM   #4
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I would suggest that is pretty impressive for an ultra-wide zoom. Much better than the Sigma 8-16 on crop.

Comparing to the DA15, which is a much simpler optical formula, and nowhere near as wide, is a little unfair. I won't be selling my DA15 no matter how much I like my DFA15-30.

06-15-2016, 05:59 AM   #5
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Ah, there is some flare. But it is not very terrible, and apparently the lens produces nice starbursts. Sure, its no DA 15mm limited, but that is why the DA 15mm is so legendary.
The DFA 15-30mm still tempts me. Good zoom range, and good image quality
06-15-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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It's certainly there, but it can be manipulated to effect - if anything, I think at least the first picture is enhanced by it, and the rest are down to individual taste.
06-15-2016, 06:07 AM   #7
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I do love the 15-30, don't get me wrong. No intention of getting rid of either lens. I'm still a bit of a newbie to the finer point of photography. Like I said it was just a bit of an "aha" about the flare even with the HD coating. Still learning about lenses, the impact of lens design etc...

06-15-2016, 06:10 AM   #8
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I presume [given the design of the 15-30] that there was no filter in front of the lens ... Filters and flare often tend to go together.
06-15-2016, 06:12 AM   #9
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I've induced blow-out flare in an SMC-M Pentax lens (the 40/2.8), so they're not immune by any means. Granted, I didn't have any pre-SMC lenses with me to compare, but this was pretty horrible.
06-15-2016, 06:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I presume [given the design of the 15-30] that there was no filter in front of the lens ... Filters and flare often tend to go together.
Correct, no filter.
06-15-2016, 01:30 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amarony Quote
Still learning about lenses, the impact of lens design etc...
Ah yeah, thats definitely important. You can even find lenses of the exact same focal length or zoom range, but with different optical properties. Pentax DA primes really spoil us in terms of flare and ghosting resistances. DA limiteds are formidable lenses and hold their own even against modern big, expensive monster zoom lenses.
This is also why I say that sharpness is not nearly as important as many people say. Overall optical rendering can be more important, things like colours, contrasts, CA, flare
06-16-2016, 12:57 PM   #12
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Personally, I'm not seeing any flare that is objectionable in those photos. Sure, the little pink blob in the first photo doesn't is not desirable, but I didn't even notice it until the 2nd time I looked at the picture. But in the other two pictures I think the flare actually adds to the overall composition.

It's the green flare blobs (which I believe are induced by artificial lighting) that can really detract from a photo. I usually clone those out when I see them. Have you gotten any photos in those kind of conditions?
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