Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-27-2021, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #76
amateur dirt farmer
Loyal Site Supporter
pepperberry farm's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,908
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Yep, there is. As I stated earlier: It takes some time to really get the feel for it and what it does best, but what it does best is be a lovely little walk-around wide-angle capable of excellent images.

On paper it offers very little over a kit zoom. People expect to be dazzled at the outset and it doesn't do that, so many get sold off quickly, but it's worth the time and effort needed to learn what it can do.
∆∆∆∆... this....

as I've learned and gathered experience from the people here on PF, one of the gems of experience I've been given is that the further outside your experience the lens is , the more difficult it is to come to grips with it...

Single with the 21, you'll get it...

02-27-2021, 08:49 AM - 2 Likes   #77
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
@cambro @Jonathan Mac @pepperberry farm

Thanks for this latest input...

I think I'm starting to see where the DA 21 excels.

If you have something in the foreground - a building, a person/group of people, or just details like in that wonderful table shot that Cameron took - it brings out the colors, the details, the depth, the sharpness. I was going through that DA 21 club thread again and even @northcoastgreg's beautiful scenes with the HD, usually have something of interest at the front of the image. No wonder it's described as the perfect travel lens - when you're traveling, you're always taking a picture of something, not just some scenery far away.

And that is where I probably failed to 'get' the 21 - I was mostly interested in scenery and the details that are far away. That is where the lens does not excel, IMHO. It's a bit like the Pentax 24mm f/2.8 designs that I have had, in that way. They were great at close and medium distances, so-so at longer distances and infinity.

I already have a lens that - IMHO - is very good at infinity and far away scenes, which is the DA*16-50. So the 21 might be a good companion to that.

To y'all's point, I guess I really owe it to myself to get a 21 and really stick with it for a while. Especially when traveling.
02-28-2021, 08:56 AM - 3 Likes   #78
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,655
The HD DA 21 is my favorite APS-C lens, and not merely for the images it produces. I really like the idea of a compact lens --- and if that compact lens performs really well, all the better. This, unfortunately, isn't always the case. Compact lenses are often of the cheap consumer variety, and there are compromises in their optical performance. I was a little intrigued when Pentax released an HD version of their 18-50 kit lens. I was hoping perhaps that lens would be like a standard zoom companion to the wonderful DA 55-300 PLM. Unfortunately, from what I can gather from reports of the lens' build quality and optical performance, that isn't quite true. In build quality and optical performance, it's mostly inferior to the PLM telephoto zoom.

I can't really comment on SMC vs HD in the DA 21 Ltd. The general tendency is for HD coatings to make the biggest difference in lenses with lots of glass, particularly zooms like the Tamron "rebadges" and DA 16-85. How much it helps with a lens that features only 8 elements in five groups is open to question. It provides maybe a little more clarity and a little better saturation for colors in the middle of the spectrum. But I've generally been impressed with the color and contrast I see from images taken with the SMC version. I bought the HD version largely because I wanted to buy from reputable seller (B & H) so if there was something wrong with it, I could return it without hassle. If I could have bought the SMC version new, I might have considered buying that instead (for the starbursts).

I still regard the SMC version of the DA 15 as the one to get, mainly for those astonishing starbursts, which are more important in an ultra-wise angle lens. As for the 35, 40, and 70, I would lean strongly toward the HD version on all of those lenses, as I find starbursts less useful at longer focal lengths but I do appreciate the added clarity, contrast, and richer color of the HD coatings. With the DA 21, I'm more neutral. I can see arguments for either one depending on one's personal preferences.
02-28-2021, 03:38 PM - 4 Likes   #79
Pentaxian
Cambo's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 984
Nope...

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
At some point, I think I'll have to try both the HD 18-50 and the 21 - preferrably the HD version.

Like you I could not get rid of my 18-55 fast enough. I wouldn't consider the SMC 18-50 either - too similar to the 18-55 in sharpness and rendering.

I'm not in a hurry, in the meantime I'll make myself carry the DA*16-50 in all its weighty glory. I know that lens is also one that some people like and some people much prefer the Sigma and Tamron alternatives. I personally think that if you just look at images as a whole, it's clearly capable of more pleasing colors and rendering - for my own personal taste - than any alternative - including the 21 and 18-50, and also the 16-85, 18-135... those of course are for people who want or need the extra range. I'll just carry my little DA 70 with me or perhaps the SMC-M 100 2.8 or Takumar Bayonet 135 2.8 (great lens, or perhaps I have a very good copy).

But at some point this year, I think I'll be getting the HD 18-50 and then at a later time the HD 21. I think I'll skip the SMC 21, as attractive as it is for the low prices that I keep seeing, sometimes well under 200 dollars... there's a reason why there's always so many being sold, and why it's being sold for such low prices...
The SMC 21 is a magnificent lens. I have no idea why people sell them. Crazy.

If you can pick one up for 200, go for it! Basically the same great optics, and better starbursts than HD! And if you put one on, and lose the battery pack, you look like an old guy with a film camera, so no hassles.



Cheers,
Cameron

---------- Post added 02-28-2021 at 02:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
@cambro @Jonathan Mac @pepperberry farm

Thanks for this latest input...

I think I'm starting to see where the DA 21 excels.

If you have something in the foreground - a building, a person/group of people, or just details like in that wonderful table shot that Cameron took - it brings out the colors, the details, the depth, the sharpness. I was going through that DA 21 club thread again and even @northcoastgreg's beautiful scenes with the HD, usually have something of interest at the front of the image. No wonder it's described as the perfect travel lens - when you're traveling, you're always taking a picture of something, not just some scenery far away.

And that is where I probably failed to 'get' the 21 - I was mostly interested in scenery and the details that are far away. That is where the lens does not excel, IMHO. It's a bit like the Pentax 24mm f/2.8 designs that I have had, in that way. They were great at close and medium distances, so-so at longer distances and infinity.

I already have a lens that - IMHO - is very good at infinity and far away scenes, which is the DA*16-50. So the 21 might be a good companion to that.

To y'all's point, I guess I really owe it to myself to get a 21 and really stick with it for a while. Especially when traveling.

Yup. It is a truly GREAT but highly underappreciated lens. Don't forget it is SOMEWHAT wide, like a 30, so it takes a bit of getting used to. Here's two vastly different images, that shows it's strengths, which are many:

Wide angle for landscapes:





When you see this one full size, and the original format on a really good 4K Mac monitor, it is almost 3d!

Closeups for macro (focuses to just under 6"):





Contrast, sharpness, saturation off the charts. It DEFINITELY has the Limited 'magic'. But it takes some work, you have to know wide angle, to really get this thing. I've had some great lenses in my day, but this is possibly the greatest.

Don't miss my massive old FA*28-70 or my FA* 24 F2 one little bit.

Zoom with your feet! F5.6 to 8 and you don't even have to focus!

Cheers,
Cameron


Last edited by Cambo; 02-28-2021 at 03:54 PM.
03-01-2021, 08:19 AM - 2 Likes   #80
Pentaxian
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 7,353
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
@cambro @Jonathan Mac @pepperberry farm

Thanks for this latest input...

I think I'm starting to see where the DA 21 excels.

If you have something in the foreground - a building, a person/group of people, or just details like in that wonderful table shot that Cameron took - it brings out the colors, the details, the depth, the sharpness. I was going through that DA 21 club thread again and even @northcoastgreg's beautiful scenes with the HD, usually have something of interest at the front of the image. No wonder it's described as the perfect travel lens - when you're traveling, you're always taking a picture of something, not just some scenery far away.

And that is where I probably failed to 'get' the 21 - I was mostly interested in scenery and the details that are far away. That is where the lens does not excel, IMHO. It's a bit like the Pentax 24mm f/2.8 designs that I have had, in that way. They were great at close and medium distances, so-so at longer distances and infinity.

I already have a lens that - IMHO - is very good at infinity and far away scenes, which is the DA*16-50. So the 21 might be a good companion to that.

To y'all's point, I guess I really owe it to myself to get a 21 and really stick with it for a while. Especially when traveling.
I have had no problems with the 21mm at infinity. I find it gives the same performance at any distance.
03-05-2021, 02:33 PM - 4 Likes   #81
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
So I guess it's time for the "Have I learned anything?" portion of this thread....

So here's what I learned.

1. The HD 21mm is the one I want. Even if I buy the SMC version I won't be happy and I'll continue to pin for the HD. This is due to:
a. (+) I don't care for starbursts, really. Starbursts Schmarburxst. Now bokeh I do care about, and the bokeh of the HD should be improved when the lens is stopped down a bit.
b. (neutral) There's a visible difference in the rendering - to my eyes - between the HD and the SMC versions. The SMC is a bit more "natural" and the HD is typical HD - colors are a bit more saturated. I'm fine with either rendering, really.
c. (+) Possibly the most important point - the HD version seems to correct the "color bleed" that I have mentioned earlier in this thread. Norm calls it "smoothness". I think it's mostly increased micro-contrast, really, and I do think the clarity has improved as well.
d. (+) Not a huge difference in aberration correction in the corners, but I see a very slight improvement in very strong contrast situations. The HD still isn't great there but it's a little bit better.
e. (+) It's common for the extreme corners of the frame to be blurry with the SMC version, even at like f/5.6. f8 seems to resolve it. With the HD version, the corners seem to sharpen a bit earlier. In a lens like this, where I will want to shoot scenery and landscapes, I think that's a good improvement. It makes "f5.6 and be there" (referencing Norm again...) a bit easier.

So one of the differences is neutral to me, and everything else goes in the HD version's favor.

2. The Tokina 24 2.8 might do well for me now. Yesterday I realized I hadn't used it with the K-3 yet, so I wanted to see how it fared with the 24MP sensor. And I was very pleasantly surprised - the lens is not outperformed by the sensor. The amount of details is amazing.

3. The HD 18-50mm is still a lens I might get at some point - like if I see it for 100 dollars or less I'll probably jump on it. Small, light, great colors, sharp wide open, good walkaround range, silent and WR on top of it. It would be more pocketable than my Tokina 24 2.8 with its generic petal hood. The only point I'm not too excited about is that I started noticing that at medium distances, bokeh can be harsh. But that's a common thing with lenses that have aspherical elements, my DA 35 2.4 can do that too.

So, the conclusion for me is... I'll just wait a bit and save up for the HD 21mm Limited.
03-05-2021, 04:27 PM - 2 Likes   #82
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 3,062
I have to admit I don't use my old (non-HD) DA 21mm Ltd as often after acquiring the HD 20-40mm zoom lens. But the 21mm is still great, and so compact!
03-12-2021, 09:00 PM   #83
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
In regards to the 21, I think part of the issues that I'm seeing I'm seeing might be incorrect focus to infinity. Apparently it was common build issue with the SMC version: Problems about DA 21mm focusing at infinity - PentaxForums.com

Was this fixed in the HD version?

03-12-2021, 09:05 PM   #84
Pentaxian
bertwert's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Golden, BC
Posts: 13,777
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
In regards to the 21, I think part of the issues that I'm seeing I'm seeing might be incorrect focus to infinity. Apparently it was common build issue with the SMC version: Problems about DA 21mm focusing at infinity - PentaxForums.com

Was this fixed in the HD version?
Anecdotally, I can't say I've ever had any issues.
03-14-2021, 08:28 PM   #85
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
GAS is very impatient..

Yes I still want the HD 21mm Limited...

But a like new HD DA 18-50mm showed up for a very good price and I couldn't resist...

Bike riding and hiking weather is here... a small light WR lens will be useful I think.

There's some great photos taken with it on Flickr and on Italian and Japanese sites that confirmed to me that while it's not the HD 21mm, it can give some pretty good results.
03-15-2021, 07:13 AM   #86
Pentaxian
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 7,353
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
In regards to the 21, I think part of the issues that I'm seeing I'm seeing might be incorrect focus to infinity. Apparently it was common build issue with the SMC version: Problems about DA 21mm focusing at infinity - PentaxForums.com

Was this fixed in the HD version?
I know this happens/happened with some copies of the 35mm Limited. People who complain it's soft at infinity either have a poor copy (but then it would be poor at any focus distance) or, more likely, it needs a tad of focus fine-tuning. It can happen with any lens but the 35mm with it's very small amount of turn in the non-macro focus range is particularly susceptible.
03-15-2021, 08:44 AM   #87
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I know this happens/happened with some copies of the 35mm Limited. People who complain it's soft at infinity either have a poor copy (but then it would be poor at any focus distance) or, more likely, it needs a tad of focus fine-tuning. It can happen with any lens but the 35mm with it's very small amount of turn in the non-macro focus range is particularly susceptible.
I read through the DA 21mm issues thread... It doesn't seem like a fine tuning issue... apparently some screws get loose easily, and it won't focus to infinity any longer. Shorter distances are fine.
03-17-2021, 10:20 AM - 2 Likes   #88
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
...and it's here...



Great colors, sharpness in the center is great even wide open, and extends to the edges, except the extreme corners (so there's some field curvature - which I don't mind...)

The first two images had film profiles applied in RawTherapee which is how I usually process my images nowadays. The last one is just a straight conversion to JPG without any changes in PP.

With K- S1


With K200D



Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-17-2021 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Typo
03-17-2021, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #89
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,858
Original Poster
One more thing... the retracting mechanism in the DA 18-50 is not as bad as the reviews suggest. It's not refined, but it works well.
The build quality is consumer, but it feels better built with tighter tolerances in general, than my DA 16-45mm.
03-18-2021, 08:32 AM   #90
Pentaxian
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 7,353
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
...and it's here...



Great colors, sharpness in the center is great even wide open, and extends to the edges, except the extreme corners (so there's some field curvature - which I don't mind...)

The first two images had film profiles applied in RawTherapee which is how I usually process my images nowadays. The last one is just a straight conversion to JPG without any changes in PP.

With K- S1


With K200D

These look pretty good. I wonder how the cheaper SMC version compares.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
18-50mm, 21mm, bit, cameron, da, days, details, flickr, hd, images, infinity, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, people, search, sharpness, slr lens, smc
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA 21 or HD DA 21 What's the right price? brightseal Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 08-13-2019 05:58 AM
For Sale - Sold: DA and HD DA Primes: DA 50 1.8, DA XS 40mm, HD DA 35mm, DA 21mm, HD DA 15mm Amarony Sold Items 8 02-20-2019 06:21 AM
For Sale - Expired: Xmas in July! - DA L 18-50 WR RE, SMC DA 21, Tamron 18-200, SMC DA 15, DA 18-250 EarlVonTapia Sold Items 9 12-13-2017 08:07 PM
K-5 vs MZ-S vs LX vs PZ-1p vs ist*D vs K10D vs K20D vs K-7 vs....... Steelski Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 2 06-28-2017 04:59 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:27 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top