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09-03-2008, 08:43 AM   #1
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da 21mm limited

Hello,

First time poster - long time reader here... I currently use the 18-55mm as my wide angle lens, but enjoy using my FA 50mm f1.4 more because of the much improved image quality. I would like to replace the kit lens with either the DA21, the DA16-45, DA*16-50 or maybe a 3rd party wide-normal lens.

I am leaning towards the DA21 because I like the idea of primes over zooms, the small size, and great sharpness, colors, etc. I could later add the DA70 or DA*50-135 to cover the medium/long end and maybe a DA35 or DA40 to fill in the gap between 21mm and 50mm. Also, maybe add the DA15 for super-wide when/if it comes out?

I'd just like to hear what you guys have to say... Thanks!

09-03-2008, 09:08 AM   #2
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I also enjoy the quality of pictures shot with prime lenses. Personally, the convenience factor is my main reason for wanting a zoom. I sold my kit lens and now I miss having a decent walkaround zoom lens. Instead I either have to reposition for a shot or switch lens, which can get quite annoying. At first I didn't think it would be much of a problem, but now I am in the market for an everyday zoom. Consider different situations and what you want to pack along with you.

From what I've read, the DA21 is a very good lens that many will say is underrated. I have never used one. The DA21 may be a little wide, though. The 16-45 is supposed to be very nice, but you lose a little length and speed but save a good amount vs the DA* 16-50. Also the QC issues with the DA* as I'm sure you've read about everywhere.

Just my two cents. Good luck!
09-03-2008, 09:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by loganthecyclist Quote
Hello,

First time poster - long time reader here... I currently use the 18-55mm as my wide angle lens, but enjoy using my FA 50mm f1.4 more because of the much improved image quality. I would like to replace the kit lens with either the DA21, the DA16-45, DA*16-50 or maybe a 3rd party wide-normal lens.

I am leaning towards the DA21 because I like the idea of primes over zooms, the small size, and great sharpness, colors, etc. I could later add the DA70 or DA*50-135 to cover the medium/long end and maybe a DA35 or DA40 to fill in the gap between 21mm and 50mm. Also, maybe add the DA15 for super-wide when/if it comes out?

I'd just like to hear what you guys have to say... Thanks!
I went that route myself. I'm currently using the DA21, DA35 and DA70 for about 99% of my photography, and I'm extremely satisfied. High-quality modern zooms can pretty much match the quality of primes, so it's really more of a matter of process than image quality as to the choice of using primes instead of zooms. But I like that process, at least right now, so that's where I'm at. I'm also looking to add the DA15 when it comes out, so it seems we're on the same wave length. Good luck with your decision, and let us know how it works out for you.
09-03-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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the DA21 is a pretty useful lens. i don't shoot wide any more but when i do it's quite handy to have. and a good lens for social occasions because of the small size and width. and also it is oine of the few wide lenses that won't interfere with the pop-up flash.

someone here (i think duplo) calls the DA21 the finest landscape rendering lens or something to that extent. i don't think i'd agree, but when called upon, it does the job for me, be careful with barrel distortion for architecture. wide open performance is iffy :/





09-03-2008, 09:51 AM   #5
RaduA
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Hi,

First of all it would be needed for a corect evaluation to tell us what camera(s) you have. If you got a K20D I suggest to invest in the best glass you can afford both in primes and/or the *s zooms. If you have other camera than K20D maybe 16-45 would be a better deal for you. You could also weight in the weather sealing factor if you use your gear outdoor a lot. If you have a K10D, K200D, K20D then for a full ws system you'll need *s zooms.

Hope it helps!
Radu
09-03-2008, 10:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Hi,

First of all it would be needed for a corect evaluation to tell us what camera(s) you have. If you got a K20D I suggest to invest in the best glass you can afford both in primes and/or the *s zooms. If you have other camera than K20D maybe 16-45 would be a better deal for you. You could also weight in the weather sealing factor if you use your gear outdoor a lot. If you have a K10D, K200D, K20D then for a full ws system you'll need *s zooms.

Hope it helps!
Radu
I have the K10d, which I love! The weather sealing of the 16-50 does appeal to me, as I shoot outdoors a lot, but I hear so many mixed opinions about that lens. I'm sure it would be great if I got a good copy. I hear a lot of good things about the 16-45, especially the price/performance ratio. I guess the build quality and small size is what really draws me most to the DA21. Like k100d said, it would be good for social occasions.
09-03-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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the DA21 was the first lens i ever bought

i also use it the least, esp after obtaining a sigma 10-20

while it is small in size, unless you are going commando, it wont bother you. I have my sling-bag and i only ever bring with me 2-3 lenses, so whether its a pancake or something larger hardly ever bothers me.

as for landscape shots... these tests show that the Sigma actualy exhibites less barrel distortion than the DA21 !!!

check out some of my own work regarding this issue, my DA is now for sale...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31453-some-wide-angle-tests.html
09-03-2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loganthecyclist Quote
I currently use the 18-55mm as my wide angle lens, but enjoy using my FA 50mm f1.4 more because of the much improved image quality. I would like to replace the kit lens with either the DA21, the DA16-45, DA*16-50 or maybe a 3rd party wide-normal lens.
I replaced the kit lens with the 16-45mm, and I absolutely love it. I looked at the 21mm, but the distortion is excessive IMO, and it's not much faster than the 16-45. Plus I knew that I'd have to get a wider prime to go with the 21, so the cost was radically different. OTOH distortion can be ameliorated in post-processing, and the 21 does have lovely image quality.

I also looked at the 16-50 but it has heavier distortion than the 16-45 at the wide end, and it has a sketchy reputation. The copy I tried underexposed noticeably and the sharpness didn't compare well to the primes. For the price of the 16-50 one could get a 16-45 and a faster, sharper prime.

Going with all primes is hard to criticize, but the 16-45mm is a real alternative IMO. The convenience of a zoom, extra wide angle, low distortion, sharp even wide open, great colour rendition. I honestly wouldn't trade mine for a 16-50mm. OK, maybe I would, but I'd sell it and buy another 16-45mm and pocket the difference.


Last edited by audiobomber; 09-03-2008 at 11:42 AM.
09-03-2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
someone here (i think duplo) calls the DA21 the finest landscape rendering lens or something to that extent. i don't think i'd agree, but when called upon, it does the job for me, be careful with barrel distortion for architecture. wide open performance is iffy :/
Yep, that definitely sounds like a quote from one of my previous posts and I stand by that. I simply adore its renderings for landscape photography.

Take a little while to get used to wide open and like all wide angles you have to be real careful about how you use AF, as the AF sensor covers quite a large area.

regardless it is one of my two reasons to still shoot pentax.

I am currently going over the more than 2000 frames from a loong trip involving shooting calving glaciers, Ice cap hiking, icebergs and whales (sometimes I really do love my job ), but here is one of my favourites from the archives:
09-03-2008, 03:53 PM   #10
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loganthecyclist, the DA 21 is a great lens even though it doesn't have a fast maximum aperture and it does exhibit a little barrel distortion. The small size make it really useful when you want to go with a small setup.

However if you're using the K10D, I would caution you against using this combination as it has been shown to demonstrate quite noticeable back focusing. Of course one can use the Quick Shift to fine tune but this is a body related issue. Switch to the K20D and you'll get perfect results with the DA 21.
09-03-2008, 10:29 PM   #11
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Very nice shot Duplo! Thank you all for your opinions!
09-04-2008, 05:52 AM   #12
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I originally bought this lens because I couldn't find an FA*24. I have been completely won over by its image rendering, colour and contrast. It is now one of my most oft-used lenses. Dave
09-04-2008, 06:16 AM   #13
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i sure can't wait to be able to afford the 21. but i'd be pretty torn to decide which to get first, the 70 or the 21, or even the rumored 15 pancake.

sigh. one by one and i'm starting with the 40
09-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #14
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Using primes is different. Unlike zooms, you don't try to fill every gap with primes. You just pick a few useful focal lengths and work around them.
09-04-2008, 02:54 PM   #15
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Da 21mm ltd is a light and small, convinient for a long distance trip or hike. The image quality are great as you would have expected from any other current consumer lens available in the market.

To me, the weakness lies in the maximum aperture rather slow making it obsolete to get it first place (I place emphasis on bokeh quality in a lens). To people who want something light and small to carry, this is a good buy simply for its build.
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