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08-25-2019, 05:46 PM   #16
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I dissembled my (now gone) 15 to remove its hood and learn that if I screw in the lens group at a wrong angle I get a lot of blurry on the edges of the image. They also have 2 tin-silver rings inside, if they are not install the right way or mis-align, it will give blurry edges image too. Try opening it up and loosen or tighten the lens group and see if that make a difference? It is not as hard as it sounds. The tricky part is to remove the front cover metal part. (do it fron the front part of the lens only!)

If you have to get a new one:
IMHO as many said, get another 15. I like the SMC version for wide-angle lenses because of its starburst rendering. [I like urban night photography, so I vaule starburst more than bokeh for wide-angle lenses] or… get a 21?


Why 21? I used to have both SMC 15 and 21. I let the 15 go (get 10-17), keep the 21 and whenever I need something similar to 15’s rendering, I do multiple photos using the 21 then stitch them in CameraRaw which is very easy to do.


As for the 10-17, it can be de-fished and if we do it the right way, the “edges” somewhat looks sharper than the 15 on K3. (At 10mm it cover 180degrees field of view, at 17 mm, it wider than 15 fields of view.) Anyway, 15 have its own rendering which is unbeatable, very compact in size and the starburst effect is also a lightyear better than 10-17. [That’s why I do multiple shots with 21 when I want 15 looks. ]

08-25-2019, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
I dissembled my (now gone) 15 to remove its hood
Why on earth did you remove the hood? As a lover of well-designed built-in hoods I genuinely want to know....
08-25-2019, 07:58 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Why on earth did you remove the hood? As a lover of well-designed built-in hoods I genuinely want to know....

DA15 hood is retracted itself while I am walking all the time. Very annoying... I would rather get a permanent hood design like FA31 or even better, just a normal removable hood. So I get rid of it and put a screw in metal hood which uglier but it is less annoying.
If they want to make a retractable hood, they should make it lockable too (A twist to lock it). I actually didn't think of removing it at first. But one day, 2 internal screws that hold the lens group to the barrel which connect to its autofocus part were loosened makes autofocus impossible, so I open it up trying to fix it then the A-HA moment come when I have to remove the hood's part first.

I don't even like DA21 hood. it cute but my fingers can poke in and touching the glass really easy. Thankfully it is a removable design. Now I have an off-brand rectangle hood on it. It looks good and works really well at keeping my fingers away from the glass.
08-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
The widest I have now is the 16-85 at 16mm, I purchased this lens not long ago, and I'm not able to tell how big is the gap in IQ between these 2 lenses.Should I also look at the wide zoom, for more flexibility but also more bulky? The Pentax 12-24 is quite expensive (11-18 is out of question), and the Sigma have at least 2 10-20 and a 8-16 versions. Which one is the best one?
To my way of thinking, you have to ask yourself what kind of pictures do you want to take that you can't take with the 16-85. For me, the difference between 18mm (the wide end of the walk-around zoom I always start with) and 15mm is significant, but if you are just concerned with field of view, the difference between 16mm and 15mm isn't enough to make it worthwhile to switch lenses on your camera. On the other hand, if shooting into the sun with an ultra-wide angle is important, I think the DA 15 is your best option, regardless of the field of view..

if flare resistance isn't that important, than it is worth considering the Sigma zooms, from what I can tell the 8-16 is the best of the bunch, but used copies are priced accordingly, slightly more expensive than a new DA 15. Second choice would be the newer 10-20mm f3.5, it seems to have better flare resistance than the older variable aperture version. Others have mentioned the DA 10-17 fisheye zoom; if you want a fisheye and an ultra-wide in one, it fits the bill, but I'm not impressed with its image quality. Rokinon makes a rectilinear manual-focus 10mm prime that is probably in your price range, but you don't get a lot of flexibility with it.

08-26-2019, 05:58 AM   #20
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Hello, yes in fact a very obvious solution would be purchasing another 15mm. However, the decision is a little bit more complicated because:

- During the time I have acquired the 16-85 -> I have a backup wide option for when I need it. Before the 15mm was the only wide angle lens I have.
- (Also in relevant with point 1), now I have a chance to buy a new lens, I'm thinking, why not trying something new, as I already know the 15mm, something that can offer even wider view, for example, the Sigma 10-20, or Pentax 12-24, etc. But yeah obvious downside is the bulkiness. I don't take wide photos that frequently to be able to dedicate a room for such big lens in my bag everytime.
08-26-2019, 06:13 AM   #21
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what the bottom line is this -

what you want to do with it and your ability to afford the item

whether you are looking to replace your 15mm limited or get another lens - wider or not

or

I am looking at the 20-40m limited zoom while having

the 15mm limited, the 20mm limited, 35mm limited and the 40mm limited along with the 16-85mm zoom already

the " convenience " of the zoom vs. the quality of the other limiteds but the need to switch them out

it is only a decision that you or I can make


the " poll " results we gain by asking for advice is just " back up "
08-26-2019, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Hello, yes in fact a very obvious solution would be purchasing another 15mm. However, the decision is a little bit more complicated because:

- During the time I have acquired the 16-85 -> I have a backup wide option for when I need it. Before the 15mm was the only wide angle lens I have.
- (Also in relevant with point 1), now I have a chance to buy a new lens, I'm thinking, why not trying something new, as I already know the 15mm, something that can offer even wider view, for example, the Sigma 10-20, or Pentax 12-24, etc. But yeah obvious downside is the bulkiness. I don't take wide photos that frequently to be able to dedicate a room for such big lens in my bag everytime.
As you state, the most remarkable thing about the DA 15mm LTD is you get an extra-wide angle lens having exceptional performance in an amazingly small body, yet of top-notch build quality. So its smallness is perhaps its most amazing and attractive attribute.

Performance-wise, your DA 16-85mm lens, while great for an all-around zoom lens, is large, and bulky. Distortion at 16mm cannot even approach the very good performance of the tiny 15mm LTD. The LTD does have some noticeable vignetting wide open, however the DA 16-85mm has yet more at the wide end. But to get low distortion at such a wide angle in such a tiny lens is amazing. Now, the matter of linear distortion might be moot if you do nature landscapes. Not likely to be visible. For cityscapes. architecture, or other linear objects, then it matters.

But the best in that regard is the really excellent DA 12-24mm f/4, which also easily beats out the DA 15mm LTD in edge-of-frame performance up to f/8. Even at 12mm distortion is not bad. Filter size is 77mm, conveniently the same size as numerous fast f/2.8 lenses. (thinking of polarizing and ND grad filters) Its weakness is in having high CA's

A very strong contender is the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC super WA lens. It also offers silent DC AF, where the Pentax 12-24mm uses the old (but reliable) screw-driven AF. Linear distortion is higher at its wide end than the Pentax 12-24mm, but still not too bad, and now we are talking 10mm, while at 12mm it would be similar, and again at 15mm is virtually gone completely, very comparable. Then it really makes sense to own both lenses because while the DA 15mm f/4 LTD is the compact alternative, the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 can go a LOT wider, but is a LOT bigger. It is heavier than the Pentax zoom lens, due to being a bit faster- f/3.5 vs f/4, and wider- 10mm vs. 12mm. No unusual CA problems. At 10mm only, corner of frame performance is soft, but edge performance is very good to excellent. But how important are corners compared to edges? How often is there something of importance in a corner? And with the Pentax, 10mm does not exist. Filter size is also larger at 82mm. But step-down rings could be used for other lenses of 77mm filter size. Right now, B&H is running a fantastic price on this lens. So fantastic I just ordered one, thanking this thread for my discovering the deal!

The Pentax zoom offers more at the long end, while the Sigma has more at the wide end.

Last edited by mikesbike; 08-27-2019 at 11:48 AM.
09-24-2019, 06:14 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
The Irix 15mm F2.4 is beautifully crafted. Very sharp. FF.
I agree. And half the price of an equivalent Pentax lens - though it's manual focus only (not that it matters much in a lens of that focal length, since you can practically set it to "infinity" and most everything will be in focus). Note that there are two versions - the cheaper one is plastic and not sealed, the more expensive one is metal and weather-sealed.

09-24-2019, 06:50 AM   #24
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So I have been looking at various options, and I have to say, at the end of the day, you were right, another 15mm Ltd is still my most wanted option. The issue with it is the price. An used SMC version costs around 250 to 300 euros, and that's is too much to pay for me right now. I also found an offer for a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 for under 200 euros, was considering it, not really really ready to pull the trigger. The Sigma 8-16 or Irix 15 are very nice, but a bit pricey and on the heavy side. Same for the 12-24, I want it but maybe later when I have the money.

Then I stumbled on a Pentax 14mm offer, also for under 200, from what I understood it's a good price. As compared to the Sigma 10-20, it has the advantage of being a prime, being a Pentax lens, 2.8. On the other hand, it's bigger and heavier than the 15mm, I think flare resistance will not be comparable either, plus it has some bad reviews, but I guess at least I can give it a try, and have a super wide angle in my hand for my coming trips, then sell it later without loss if I don't like it.

What do you think? Is the 14mm a good choice coming from a 15mm limited?
09-24-2019, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #25
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I absolutely love my DA 14!!!

I'm on my mobile at the moment, but my flickr album for the DA14 will show you why...
09-24-2019, 07:51 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
So I have been looking at various options, and I have to say, at the end of the day, you were right, another 15mm Ltd is still my most wanted option. The issue with it is the price. An used SMC version costs around 250 to 300 euros, and that's is too much to pay for me right now. I also found an offer for a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 for under 200 euros, was considering it, not really really ready to pull the trigger. The Sigma 8-16 or Irix 15 are very nice, but a bit pricey and on the heavy side. Same for the 12-24, I want it but maybe later when I have the money.

Then I stumbled on a Pentax 14mm offer, also for under 200, from what I understood it's a good price. As compared to the Sigma 10-20, it has the advantage of being a prime, being a Pentax lens, 2.8. On the other hand, it's bigger and heavier than the 15mm, I think flare resistance will not be comparable either, plus it has some bad reviews, but I guess at least I can give it a try, and have a super wide angle in my hand for my coming trips, then sell it later without loss if I don't like it.

What do you think? Is the 14mm a good choice coming from a 15mm limited?
Considering you already have the 16-85, I think you should not purchase anything and save up until you can afford the lens you really want.
09-27-2019, 04:10 AM - 1 Like   #27
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Well, you're right. if only LBA hasn't bitten me the 16-85 is a fantastic lens, perfect for family outing and hiking. However, sometimes I still find that 16mm is not wide enough, and wish for something slightly wider, in the territory of 14-15mm. Also, when travelling abroad, I tend to prefer the DA 20-40. While being slightly less sharp, that lens has some subtle quality to its images that I like, thought I can't explain. A wide-angle lens is then needed to complement it. I now I'm trying to find all excuses possible. That 14mm, barring any delay from the transporter, should be in my hand tonight, it will get a first outing with our hiking this weekend. Hope I can make some great photos as pepperberry farm did.
09-27-2019, 05:59 AM   #28
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Late to the show, but here goes:

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
I sent the lens to a a camera repair shop in Paris, they in turn sent it to Pentax. 2 weeks ago, in came back to me, with a letter saying it they could not fix it since it was too old (???)
Maybe send a message to Eric in the US?

It's possible that an optical element inside broke, and since that lens has been replaced with the HD DA 15, maybe they don'T stock parts anymore. The lenses are vastly similar, but there might be just enough difference to make repairs difficult.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
when I do, it's really needed.
Amen.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
I like the lens because of it's color and exceptional flare resistance,
How about its ability to create wonderful starbursts? To me it's one of its perks.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
The widest I have now is the 16-85 at 16mm, I purchased this lens not long ago, and I'm not able to tell how big is the gap in IQ between these 2 lenses.
Regarding sharpness, they're probably close. The 16-85 is a fnastic all-around. It simply doesn't have the "character" of the 15, so if you often wish for that, you'll miss it. If you don't notice that character, then you'll be fie with the 16-85.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Should I also look at the wide zoom, for more flexibility but also more bulky? The Pentax 12-24 is quite expensive (11-18 is out of question), and the Sigma have at least 2 10-20 and a 8-16 versions. Which one is the best one?
That's your call. The 11-18 which launched recently is also a fantastic performer.
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