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10-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
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DFA 24-70 versus primes

No need to enter into size discussions, coz I know this lens is large ...

I use K-3 and primes and I'm one of the few, it seems, that also like the DA*16-50, especially in poor (usual UK) weather.
Recently I've added a K-1 and DFA 24-70 to my collection and am trying to adapt, and like the DFA 24-70.

I only pay scant attention to test reviews, believing that they are often not particularly field relevant, plus there's lens to lens variations etc. If I was to compare test results of the 31/43/77 primes against the 24-70 using these reviews, I'd see the 24-70 being even across the frame, but the primes better in the centre and tailing off at the edges. The 24-70 is weather resistant, and does behave well into strong light (advantage of the HD coatings ?), but I'm really not seeing the same results across the frame from the zoom, as the reviews suggest. The edges are not especially good and the distortion at 24mm is significant (Ok I understand this is normal, but it was a shock !)

As I said I have got used to the DA*16-50 which I've learnt to manage its significant variations across the frame and per aperture - I've probably sold more shots from this lens than anything else, but with many misses. The 24-70 was not supposed to be like this.

Two main questions from this ramble ...

i) How are folk finding the DFA 24-70 on the K-1. Is your experience similar to mine, especially if you moved from the K-3.
ii) I hate changing lenses in poor conditions, so I have been using two K-3s with a prime on each as my preferred set-up. This is not going to happen with FF. So I'd like to get a few opinions on how the 24-70 compares against the 31/43/77s. Obviously, it can't compare well at wide apertures and the bokeh will likely be inferior, but at say f5.6 to f11 how do they compare ? I know this is subjective, but it all helps.

I suspect, I will have to learn to like the 24-70 as I did the 16-50, rather than it being a consistent lens that I did not have think too much about ...

Thanks

10-03-2016, 01:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
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DFA24-70/2.8 is direct copy of Tamron 24-70 VC only with disabled VC.
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD SP (Model A007) Review

and try to compare with some proper 24-70/2.8 lens..
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR AF-S Nikkor Review

Both on same body. Tamron 24-70 has significant field curvature and edges are weak. In tamron world this is affordable lens. Nothing stellar. But Ricoh at least here decided to overprice it at 150% price of the source Tamron. I think this is disgusting. And we have no other options as Sigma stopped the 24-70/2.8 production with K mount.



---------- Post added 03-10-16 at 10:26 PM ----------

10-03-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Amen to that.
10-03-2016, 01:40 PM   #4
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My quick-n-dirty conclusion is that the DFA 24-70mm is "prime-like" but definitely not a prime.

The center can be very sharp but a prime will be slightly sharper - just slightly. Performance at the edges on the DFA 24-70 will fade noticeably faster at the same apertures compared to a prime. Edges and corners don't usually concern too much since >80% my subject is in the center-ish area of the frame. With 36MP on the K-1 you can frame your shot as APS and crop those soft edges away. You'll still have plenty of megapixels left over.

Rendering is crisp without being vivid or saturated. The color balance is just right. Images don't feel feel flat or neutral. The 43mm and 77mm will definitely stand out from the DFA 24-70mm but that doesn't mean the DFA 24-70mm is somehow inferior. I've always considered the 43mm to have a pastel-like rendering with deeper colors and the 77mm adds a warmth and glow unique to its own optical formula.

I haven't had too many issues with distortion that I couldn't easily fix in post processing.

The DFA 24-70mm is definitely a lens worth investing the time to learn.

I have received excellent results with DFA 24-70mm on my K-1 but if I need superlative results then I will switch to a prime.

10-03-2016, 02:02 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Im not the one dont like pentax dfa 23-70. I just returned my 24-70 couple days ago. I thought it was a bad copy or something like that.because for me if I invested almost 1.300,00$ it should be worthy..
10-03-2016, 02:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
My quick-n-dirty conclusion is that the DFA 24-70mm is "prime-like" but definitely not a prime.

I have received excellent results with DFA 24-70mm on my K-1 but if I need superlative results then I will switch to a prime.


You compare the lens a lot with a prime.. but which prime? 20 years old limiteds? It is 2016 today.. world has changed a lot. Try the Sigma 35/1.4 Art.. that is a modern prime lens. FA43/1.9 seems to lack on FF digital sensor, FA31/1.8 seems to be better, but nothing stunning.

Not to mention glass like new Zeiss lenses, that unfortunatelly are and probably won't be ever available for K mount. We have nice sensor, but no proper lenses.
10-03-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by xmeda Quote
DFA24-70/2.8 is direct copy of Tamron 24-70 VC only with disabled VC.
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD SP (Model A007) Review

and try to compare with some proper 24-70/2.8 lens..
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR AF-S Nikkor Review

Both on same body. Tamron 24-70 has significant field curvature and edges are weak. In tamron world this is affordable lens. Nothing stellar. But Ricoh at least here decided to overprice it at 150% price of the source Tamron. I think this is disgusting. And we have no other options as Sigma stopped the 24-70/2.8 production with K mount.



---------- Post added 03-10-16 at 10:26 PM ----------

Pretty well what i'm seeing at f2.8, but then i'm used to the 16-50 so I understand these problems. At f5.6 to f11 it's a lot better - much closer to the nikon. My thoughts are ricoh introduced an excellent body relatively cheaply, knowing that they'd pick up lens sales and enable old glass. Probably an acceptable compromise, for me, if I'm honest.

As a system it's probably not going to compare with top nikon gear, but at it's price point it's a good deal and I have a lot of Pentax accessories. I guess I'm going to have to work to its limitations. At f2.8, work in the centre. At f8, few worries. If I want wide apertures and across frame sharpness, well probably not much on offer. But that's not what I do.

It's still in the back of my mind that the K-3 based kit was giving me the results I needed, except for high res 1:1 crops and high DR scenarios, which is what I went for the K-1 for. Much work to be done, to better the K-3 based kit, especially at low ISO, I fear. I wonder if I'll get there ...?
10-03-2016, 02:39 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Pretty well what i'm seeing at f2.8, but then i'm used to the 16-50 so I understand these problems. At f5.6 to f11 it's a lot better - much closer to the nikon. My thoughts are ricoh introduced an excellent body relatively cheaply, knowing that they'd pick up lens sales and enable old glass. Probably an acceptable compromise, for me, if I'm honest.

As a system it's probably not going to compare with top nikon gear, but at it's price point it's a good deal and I have a lot of Pentax accessories. I guess I'm going to have to work to its limitations. At f2.8, work in the centre. At f8, few worries. If I want wide apertures and across frame sharpness, well probably not much on offer. But that's not what I do.

It's still in the back of my mind that the K-3 based kit was giving me the results I needed, except for high res 1:1 crops and high DR scenarios, which is what I went for the K-1 for. Much work to be done, to better the K-3 based kit, especially at low ISO, I fear. I wonder if I'll get there ...?


F2.8 lens on the DFA24-70/2.8 price range MUST be usable at F2.8 across the frame. Also pentax user has NO OTHER CHOICE. Only this lens is currently in production as 24-70/2.8 for K mount. Nothing else. If it is weak at F2.8 (which it undoubtedly is) it is just overpriced 24-70/4 or even 24-70/5.6 lens and you can buy several other older lenses, that will match this image quality at F4 or F5.6..

For example I bought used Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX DG Macro for around $200 few weeks ago.. if you set it to F4, it delivers very good sharp and detailed image across the frame. No need to spend significantly more money for modern F2.8 lens that has to be used at F4 or F5.6 to deliver acceptable image if $200 lens can do it also.


Nikon users have choice. Own expensive Nikkor 24-70/2.8 or cheaper Sigma 24-70/2.8 or Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC. The same for Canon users. But we? We only can buy rebadged Tamron or collect old used lenses.

10-03-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
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The complete test shows that af f/8 at different FL both lenses perform quite the same. so...before spending any money it's better to think carefully about the use of the lens. As a landscape lens, it doesn't matter if corners are soft at f/2,8 , for sure the most used aperture will be f/8 or narrower. but as a wedding lens...I don't know if it's whorth the money... . For sure the price of the nikon, here in Europe, is 2/3 more than the Tamron....so there's evidence that the price is different for some reasons...

---------- Post added 10-03-16 at 11:48 PM ----------

in few words I would not define that lens as "a bag of primes" but a more than useful tool if you're a landscape ph.
10-03-2016, 03:11 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I don't know what to say. The DFA 24-70 is a standard zoom. It has decent center sharpness at f2.8 and sharpens up nicely by f4 on the borders. I don't honestly shoot much at 24mm and f2.8, so not sure what the performance would be like there.

If you are stopped down, for landscapes, then it is a very nice lens with decent flare resistance (not prime quality) and distortion is pretty easily fixed in Lightroom if it bothers you.





10-03-2016, 03:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
No need to enter into size discussions, coz I know this lens is large ...

I use K-3 and primes and I'm one of the few, it seems, that also like the DA*16-50, especially in poor (usual UK) weather.
Recently I've added a K-1 and DFA 24-70 to my collection and am trying to adapt, and like the DFA 24-70.

I only pay scant attention to test reviews, believing that they are often not particularly field relevant, plus there's lens to lens variations etc. If I was to compare test results of the 31/43/77 primes against the 24-70 using these reviews, I'd see the 24-70 being even across the frame, but the primes better in the centre and tailing off at the edges. The 24-70 is weather resistant, and does behave well into strong light (advantage of the HD coatings ?), but I'm really not seeing the same results across the frame from the zoom, as the reviews suggest. The edges are not especially good and the distortion at 24mm is significant (Ok I understand this is normal, but it was a shock !)

As I said I have got used to the DA*16-50 which I've learnt to manage its significant variations across the frame and per aperture - I've probably sold more shots from this lens than anything else, but with many misses. The 24-70 was not supposed to be like this.

Two main questions from this ramble ...

i) How are folk finding the DFA 24-70 on the K-1. Is your experience similar to mine, especially if you moved from the K-3.
ii) I hate changing lenses in poor conditions, so I have been using two K-3s with a prime on each as my preferred set-up. This is not going to happen with FF. So I'd like to get a few opinions on how the 24-70 compares against the 31/43/77s. Obviously, it can't compare well at wide apertures and the bokeh will likely be inferior, but at say f5.6 to f11 how do they compare ? I know this is subjective, but it all helps.

I suspect, I will have to learn to like the 24-70 as I did the 16-50, rather than it being a consistent lens that I did not have think too much about ...

Thanks
Good to see so many user feedback from the other forum members. I am glad you brought this up. The 24-70 is on my short list of the next lens to get. I have the 31/43/77 and use them for most of my work. I am missing wider than 31mm focal length. I purchased a Samyang 14 f2.8 (which is fantastic) but it is is too wide. I will wait to see more comments on the lens.

BTW, I did own the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 in my Canon days and used it on the full frame 6D with fantastic results. I shot an assignment that required wide open apertures to blur out the distracting background. I was hesitant to use the lens wide open knowing that it was the worst spot of the lens. But to my surprise the images were sharp and contrasty. Again, this was not a scientific test but an actual client put-on-the-spot situation. From what I experienced, the lens was worth every penny. I did pay $1,299 which was full price at the time. A few months later Tamron discounted the lens by almost $300! Well I had no choice when I got it but at least it paid for itself many times over.

I would like to see some samples of the Pentax 24-70 at various focal lengths and apertures if anyone cares to share. Thank you all.

---------- Post added 10-03-16 at 03:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I don't know what to say. The DFA 24-70 is a standard zoom. It has decent center sharpness at f2.8 and sharpens up nicely by f4 on the borders. I don't honestly shoot much at 24mm and f2.8, so not sure what the performance would be like there.

If you are stopped down, for landscapes, then it is a very nice lens with decent flare resistance (not prime quality) and distortion is pretty easily fixed in Lightroom if it bothers you.





Nice samples. Thanks for sharing.
10-03-2016, 03:28 PM   #12
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I am not a Pixel Peeper measuring the sharpness of every picture - I am more into the feel and overall look of the photograph. I prefer to shoot primes and use the 31/55/77/100 combination but I am sure the 24-70 is a fabulous lens and zoom users will be more than thrilled with it's performance. From everything that I have seen, it sure seems like a winner but just does not fit my style of more deliberate shooting
10-03-2016, 04:12 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by xmeda Quote
You compare the lens a lot with a prime.. but which prime? 20 years old limiteds? It is 2016 today.. world has changed a lot. Try the Sigma 35/1.4 Art.. that is a modern prime lens. FA43/1.9 seems to lack on FF digital sensor, FA31/1.8 seems to be better, but nothing stunning.

Not to mention glass like new Zeiss lenses, that unfortunatelly are and probably won't be ever available for K mount. We have nice sensor, but no proper lenses.
Yes, I am referring to the wonderful 20+ year old FA Limited lenses that are still in production today. The world has changed plenty but thankfully these lenses have not. I think their rendering and performance is legendary and I am very happy to own them. They satisfy my pixel peeping curiosities and they are more than enough for my 24" x 36" prints. These lenses "out perform" the DFA 24-70mm in my book at the same aperture, from the center to the edges to the corners. Ricoh would have to release something spectacular beyond all measure to make me upgrade from these lenses.

What does the 43mm lack on a FF sensor? It worked wonders on my K-3's APS sensor which is far more exacting than my K-1's FF sensor.

I would almost agree with you that the 31mm is not stunning when compared to the 43mm and 77mm ... but I'm a telephoto shooter. Wider angle lenses are hard for me to play with. The 31mm is not stunning but that's my fault - not the lens' fault.

I think Pentax has many "proper" lenses. All you really need is one. After all, how many can you shoot with at once?
10-03-2016, 06:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Yes, I am referring to the wonderful 20+ year old FA Limited lenses that are still in production today. The world has changed plenty but thankfully these lenses have not. I think their rendering and performance is legendary and I am very happy to own them. They satisfy my pixel peeping curiosities and they are more than enough for my 24" x 36" prints. These lenses "out perform" the DFA 24-70mm in my book at the same aperture, from the center to the edges to the corners. Ricoh would have to release something spectacular beyond all measure to make me upgrade from these lenses.

What does the 43mm lack on a FF sensor? It worked wonders on my K-3's APS sensor which is far more exacting than my K-1's FF sensor.

I would almost agree with you that the 31mm is not stunning when compared to the 43mm and 77mm ... but I'm a telephoto shooter. Wider angle lenses are hard for me to play with. The 31mm is not stunning but that's my fault - not the lens' fault.

I think Pentax has many "proper" lenses. All you really need is one. After all, how many can you shoot with at once?
I agree with you Boris. The FA limiteds are absolutely spectacular. The only shortcoming is heavy CA at wide apertures. Luckily that is an easy fix in post. I was not much of a fan when it came to the 31. However, after using it with K1 I am sold on it. The Three Amigos are truly legends in performance, build and size. I keep referring to them as my Leica lenses! And you know how much Leica lenses cost.
10-03-2016, 06:04 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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There's nothing wrong with the 24-70 on the K-1 in my book. It is what it is. I came from using the FA ltds and 16-50 on the k-3 as well, and was very happy with the 16-50. The K-1 + 24-70 is a bit better I think, with the new bigger sensor and HD coating. That said there likely is also a bigger expectation with this new ff combo to be "amazing" which it mostly is, but then...... given the same working parameters, the FA ltds on the k-1 make better images for whatever reason, imho.
The pixie dust is real. For instance, with the 31, I just use whatever aperture I need artistically, with no thought whatsoever for sharpness, color or flare resistance since I know it will be perfect no matter what. Only problem is it doesn't go to 24 or 70mm so this weekend I'll be using the 24-70 to shoot an event.
I haven't done a controlled test yet at 5.6-11 but I bet the 24-70 would hold it's own quite well against any prime, flare resistance being the exception. And pixie dust.
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