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02-13-2017, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #1
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DA15 Limited vs DA21 Limited - more versatile "walkaround" lens debate continues

OK, I have seen a few threads about this but always interested in new advice as well as reruns.

After taking way too many lenses on my Western trip and finding I only used the 10-17 and the 18-135, I have decided to wise up and only bring what I *think* I'll need for an upcoming trip to Kentucky, and although I'll be driving and having a home base at the same hotel for a week (therefore can bring everyone anyway) I have decided to focus on mostly using the primes that resulted from my massive LBA this year.

I will have photo opportunities of:
Racetrack stuff
Horse farm stuff
Outdoor attraction stuff

I rarely take pictures indoors, and am unlikely to take portraits of anyone.

So, even though I'll still probably carry a small lens bag with me, it'll be dusty at some of these places so changing lenses is a last resort. I want to put one on in the morning and go about my day.

15 or 21? (And yes, I know I can use the 18-135 but I've done that).

Cheers!

02-13-2017, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I have the DA21 Limited and it is special - but I'll throw another lens into the mix, just because I recently purchased one and I'm finding it a fun lens to keep on my K-3:


DA 14mm f2.8 ED (IF)
02-13-2017, 09:43 AM   #3
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Gah!! One silly millimeter difference...

No more LBA this year.
02-13-2017, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Gah!! One silly millimeter difference...

No more LBA this year.

yes - one mm difference in width, but the DA 14 is f2.8, where the 15 is f4....


take a look at samples shot with both...

02-13-2017, 09:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
yes - one mm difference in width, but the DA 14 is f2.8, where the 15 is f4....


take a look at samples shot with both...
I understand, but I am limited by funding and a wish to not get one MORE lens this year. The 14 will be on my to-do wish list, though. Thanks!
02-13-2017, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Are you wanting a three lens kit on this trip or just two? If two, why not just run the 10-17 and 18-135? If three, I guess the 21, as it occupies a spot longer than the 10-17 and the 18-135 doesn't really come into its own until around 24mm. The 10-17 seems to remove need to carry a 15.
02-13-2017, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
I understand, but I am limited by funding and a wish to not get one MORE lens this year. The 14 will be on my to-do wish list, though. Thanks!

I'm sorry - I did not make myself clear:


the DA 14 instead of the DA 15...
02-13-2017, 10:23 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The more-useful-walkaround-lens debate could be continued endlessly, I suppose. At face value, the DA21 (which I don't have the privilege to own) would seem more versatile, since less extreme and a bit faster, than the DA15. But then again, in capable hands, the latter lends more drama to wideangle scenes, which I happen to like. In fact, I have gone through whole day trips with the DA15 glued to the camera and never really wanting another lens.

Before you make your pick, however, you might want to go through the image files from your last trip and check to which end of the DA10-17 you gravitated. If you largely avoided the longer end and preferred the shorter end, the odds are that you'd be better served by the shorter FL and vice versa.

At any rate, taking any of the two wideangle Limiteds and using it exclusively will help you "learn" that particular lens and what it can do for you. The next time around, you can take the other amigo, and thus form a reasonable opinion of how the two lenses differ. I trust that both have their particular charms.

02-13-2017, 10:38 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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I used to go with 21/40 as travel combo, later switched to 20-40 zoom for better sealing and no need to switch lenses.
The 21 should be fine for general purpose, the 15 will not be wrong.
Today, the 24-70 suits me fine.
02-13-2017, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I say bring both lenses as the DA15 and DA21 are each incredibly small. Pick one lens for a day's outing, then try
the other the next day.

Carry something longish with you as well. At the racetrack for example, you can survey the grounds with your short
lens for a couple hours, then change to the longer lens if/when you've scoped out suitable subject areas where
a little reach might benefit. Who knows, you may get in the zone with your DA15/21 and never feel need for another
focal length.

My go to triad is the DA15, DA35 Macro(*) and FA77. I'll begin the day with one of the lenses depending on mood
and locale and swap out when/if need.

(*) The middle lens varies the most. Often I'll take the K28/3.5 or a fast 50 instead of the DA35. The DA15 and FA77
are almost always in my bag.
02-13-2017, 11:19 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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The old-school standard three-lens bag was 28/50/100.

Equivalent for Pentax APSc is x * .67
28 = 18.75 (either DA14/15 or DA21)
50 = 33.5 (DA35)
100 = 67 (DA70)

I intentionally assembled my small second-hand DA travel kit as K-01 and Hoodman Viewing Loupe (not the permanent video Loupe); DA21; DA35/2.8; DA70. If I want all pancakes I substitute the DA40 for the 35.

I sometimes also take the original DA55~300 in a separate place and carry it when a specific need is known in advance.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-13-2017 at 11:47 AM.
02-13-2017, 11:26 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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I'd go for the 21mm if I could only bring one. It's the classic FF 28mm (ish!) field of view. I have the 15, and it is slightly too wide, or not wide enough if you're really in a close setting. Either will be quite good.
02-13-2017, 01:30 PM - 1 Like   #13
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IIRC the Staff review was hot and cold on the DA14, and it left me with the impression that the third-party competition it was tested against was (potentially) optically better.

IMO the DA21 is the true wide-angle; the DA15 is more of a sweeping-vistas lens.

The DA21's cap is pull-off, push-on; the DA15's is screw-on, so if you take the DA15, either be prepared to take your time OR leave the lens cap off OR take a cheap pinch cap with you for when you actually go about your photographic business and need to bring it into action quickly. This fact leads me to believe that the DA15 is for the photographer who is both willing and able* to take time over deciding exactly how the shot is to be taken, and of what. Let this philosophising inform you as it may.


* = as dictated by circumstances rather than personal character.
02-13-2017, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I think it's eccentric to have an UWA as your walkaround.

It pushes everything at a medium distance far away, and is unsuitable for portraits.

I guess if you only shot landscape vistas, fine.

DA21 or DA35 correspond with the classic single photojournalist PoVs.
02-13-2017, 02:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I'm sorry - I did not make myself clear:


the DA 14 instead of the DA 15...
Yes, but i OWN the 15, I don't want to sell it and start over with the 14.

---------- Post added 02-13-17 at 15:38 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Before you make your pick, however, you might want to go through the image files from your last trip and check to which end of the DA10-17 you gravitated.
Seems like I gravitated to the 18 end of the 18-135 and the 15ish portion of the 10-17 unless I really wanted a curve.

---------- Post added 02-13-17 at 15:48 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I say bring both lenses as the DA15 and DA21 are each incredibly small. Pick one lens for a day's outing, then try the other the next day.
Oh, I'll have the whole bag, but the big event is the 100th Birthday party for Man O' War and that will be his statue, the museum (maybe a bit indoors, who knows) and whatever else is going on at the Kentucky Horse Park that day. If I need the light the answer is the 21 @ 3.2 (but then again I also have the 50 @ 1.8 and the flattie 40XS @ 2.8). Heck, I have a Sony Cybershot that will fit in my pocket, and an iPhone.

Honestly, if I hadn't got the LBA bug I'd still own just the trusty 18-55 DAL kit lens that is fine as long as it is racked out to more than 25 or so and that would have been fine.
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