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02-23-2021, 03:38 PM   #31
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Another vote here for the 20-40; itís one reason why I wouldnít shift from APS-c.

02-23-2021, 03:40 PM - 3 Likes   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
But the thing is, I'm not overly excited about the images from the SMC 21. The HD version, I think has subtle but noticeable improvements in contrast and micro-contrast in particular, and balancing of colors in general, which make the images as a whole more appealing. I should probably mention that I had the DA 21 before, for a couple of weeks. I got it on a trade back in my K20D days and when the other person suggested after a few days that we should revert the trade because they were not overly excited with the DA 16-45mm f4 either, I jumped on it because I was less excited with the 21 (my first Limited!!) that I thought I would be. And I also missed having a general walk-around zoom and the 16-45 was perfect for that (if the "wobble" of the internal lens barrel hadn't gotten worse I wouldn't even have bought the 16-50, I'd be happily shooting the 16-45 still).

So to make a long story short, I'm seeing a nicer look to the images in the HD DA 18-50mm f4-5.6, than I see in the SMC 21mm. I've been looking over the internet everywhere for pictures of both lenses and while the 21mm is probably much better than my initial experience would suggest, it's not on the same level as the HD 21mm or the HD 18-50mm. (the SMC 18-50mm, on the other hand, seems to be a bit disappointing in terms of micro-contrast, colors and sharpness - on the same level as the 18-55mm old kit lens).
I really think that you answered this yourself in your opening post. I know the 21 is seen as "cooler" than the 18-50, but who cares. I like to shoot with a Sigma macro lens that I had to cut the focus ring off because the zen coating fused it to the barrel. You are a good photographer, this is just a tool. It's like using an open end wrench instead of a socket wrench. Use what you prefer. And like most of us, at some point you may have both and enjoy them both.
02-23-2021, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
With either one, I'd carry the SMC DA 70mm on a pocket somewhere, in case I need something longer.
As Uncle V says, and I've been doing this combo- DA HD 70mm Ltd. pocketed, along with the DA 20-40mm Ltd on camera, AND the DA HD 15mm Ltd in the front accessory pocket of my belt/shoulder holster camera case. Works great for efficient light carrying with quality.
02-23-2021, 08:59 PM - 1 Like   #34
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I currently have the DAL 18-50, 20-40, 16-50, 16-85, 21ltd.

For a general purpose walk-around lens taking into account size, weight, handling, image quality I would pick them in this order:

1. 20-40 (has it all: IQ, handling, size/weight, WR,f2.8-f4, joy to use)

2. 21 (the pancake form factor)

3. 16-50 (has it's issues, but stopped down a bit has lovely rendering)

4. 16-85 (better edge performance than the 16-50 at the wide end, but weaker overall mid to long.)

5. 18-50


The 18-50 has a lot going for it, the collapsible form factor, lightweight, WR, quiet / quick AF. The IQ is nothing special to my eyes. It can get the job done for general purposes but it won't blow you away.
I don't know if the HD version would be dramatically different to the DAL version either unless it has different glass.

Good luck!

02-23-2021, 09:17 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by caliscouser Quote
IThe 18-50 has a lot going for it, the collapsible form factor, lightweight, WR, quiet / quick AF. The IQ is nothing special to my eyes. It can get the job done for general purposes but it won't blow you away.
I don't know if the HD version would be dramatically different to the DAL version either unless it has different glass.

Good luck!
The HD version could have different grade glass, but that's not something we would know. What we do know is that it has HD coatings.
When bdery did the comparison here for PentaxForums, he was surprised at how much sharper and better the HD version was...
The PCMag review stated that with the HD version the sharpness was basically unchanged from wide open - I think everyone who has the SMC DAL version agrees this is not the case with that lens.
Not saying it's as good as a 35 Limited or FA 31mm... but the 21mm isn't either, is it?
02-24-2021, 03:42 AM   #36
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Why not 15mm Ltd? Other then price, as 21 is cheaper, at least where I live.
02-24-2021, 04:37 AM   #37
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You made your own decision by price and performance. Why should anyone be able to change your opinion just by writing.
02-24-2021, 05:00 AM - 1 Like   #38
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I had the 18-50 RE, and couldn't offload it quickly enough.

The DA21 is a forever lens. Look HERE and HERE for some unfiltered ideas of what it can do.

02-24-2021, 05:06 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I had the 18-50 RE, and couldn't offload it quickly enough.

The DA21 is a forever lens. Look HERE and HERE for some unfiltered ideas of what it can do.


I told him that he was crazy on the first page.....
02-24-2021, 05:27 AM   #40
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The DA 21 is one of the few DA Ltdís I donít own at this point, but only because I own the 20-40. Iíve yet to be depressed with them and prefer their rendering to a more traditional zoom look, not that either is wrong. Iím entirely sympathetic to the bike compact kit situation. In bad weather I cram my KP with 20-40 into my bike bag, but normally I just toss it in with the ltd 35, then I can both shoot general landscape and people shots as well as the odd flower I see on my ride.
02-24-2021, 06:04 AM   #41
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I also have the 16-50 f/2.8; the majority of my photos are taken with it. I've tried going out with a 24mm Adaptall 2 lens on the Pentax and it's certainly more a compact setup than with the zoom, but it still needs looking after when I'm not actually using it. For going out not just to take photos, I ended up getting a used Sony A6000 with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6. It's much smaller than the K3 and zoom, so I can carry it around (sometimes on the bicycle) and pretty much ignore it until I want to take a photo, but I can't do that with the K3 no matter what lens is on it.

The sensors are the same, but the Pentax is a better camera. One aspect is that the K3 will keep focusing in much lower light than the Sony, and this presents a problem. I want to be able to take photos in a crowded pub (I'm planning ahead here) and I've done this before. But the Pentax with the 16-50 f/2.8 is just too big and bulky; it's a nightmare getting through the crowd. What I really want is a nice, compact, 18mm f/2.4 or 2.8, but this lens doesn't exist in any SLR mount, so I need to compromise. I reckon the nearest I can get is a late version of the 18-55 kit lens. Absolute image sharpness isn't a great priority, as I'll be working at around ISO 6400. Also, I don't really care about absolute sharpness, so long as it's sharp enough. My brother has an 18-55, so I can borrow it and see how it behaves, then if all is well I'll pick up a used one for not very much money. For those who are shouting at the screen, "what about the 15mm f/4?", that's be nice, but I don't have the money right now. On the other hand the 21mm isn't wide enough.
02-24-2021, 06:30 AM   #42
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There was the Zeiss Distagon 18 f3.5 in Nikon F mount. More obtainable and useful to a Pentax owner would probably be the FA 20 f2.8 which is pretty close to your ask of an 18 f2.4. Another option would be the not at all small Sigma 20mm f1.8 EX DG.

If you really want a good fast 18mm on a crop body (understandable ask, honestly) the Fuji 18mm f2 WR and one of their bodies to match might be right up your street. But obviously that's a bunch of money.

The other option, obviously, is a Ricoh GR III.

Almost all of my shooting in bars was with 28's and 50's where you'd have many more options to pick from but if those aren't focal lengths you want, they're not what you want.
02-24-2021, 07:06 AM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jersey Quote
Why not 15mm Ltd? Other then price, as 21 is cheaper, at least where I live.
Price is an issue, and I wouldn't call the 15mm a walkaround lens. Too wide.

QuoteOriginally posted by Robot camera Quote
I also have the 16-50 f/2.8; the majority of my photos are taken with it. I've tried going out with a 24mm Adaptall 2 lens on the Pentax and it's certainly more a compact setup than with the zoom, but it still needs looking after when I'm not actually using it. For going out not just to take photos, I ended up getting a used Sony A6000 with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6. It's much smaller than the K3 and zoom, so I can carry it around (sometimes on the bicycle) and pretty much ignore it until I want to take a photo, but I can't do that with the K3 no matter what lens is on it.
I think my K-S1 is compact enough for what the intended purpose is... with a small light lens it's not heavy at all, despite the full-size (for APS-C) pentaprism. Not looking for mirrorless or a different system, I'd rather stick with Pentax and the OVF.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
You made your own decision by price and performance. Why should anyone be able to change your opinion just by writing.
It doesn't work like that... in my last two "indecision" threads I'm pretty sure I was talked out of doing what I had originally planned.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I had the 18-50 RE, and couldn't offload it quickly enough.

The DA21 is a forever lens. Look HERE and HERE for some unfiltered ideas of what it can do.
Well but which 18-50 did you have... SMC or HD? I think it's established (and confirmed by the in depth-review) that they're very different in performance.

QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I told him that he was crazy on the first page.....
Well that's regardless of the lens I end up getting isn't it
02-24-2021, 07:11 AM - 2 Likes   #44
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For me, having tested all the lenses you mention, I'd say:

1-the SMC 18-50 is a good lens

2-The HD 18-50 is a very good lens

3-The HD 21 is an excellent lens

4-The SMC 21 is a fantastic lens

Yep, in that order. The HD 21 looses the 21's ability to create beautiful starbursts. Colours are not all that different. To me that's the main difference. Some of my favourite images ever were shot with the 21, and I've never found an equivalent lens on full frame.

The 18-50 is a very convenient lens, in good light it will serve you well. It's when light gets low, or when you want something more artistic, that a lens like the 21 shines. If you don't need those artistic qualities, then the 18-50 makes perfect sense.
02-24-2021, 07:44 AM   #45
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bdery, is the guidance on good light with the 18-50 due to the slow-ish max aperture, a need to stop down for improved performance, both, or something else?
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