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06-18-2022, 03:39 PM   #1
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smc 2.8/24 vs super-multi-coated Takumar 3.5/24 vs Sigma 2.8/24 Super wide II

I already own the Sigma 24 SuperWide II, but I noticed the SMC 2.8/24 and the Takumar 3.5/24 at a local photography store. I have read conflicting opinions on all of these lenses, so I guess that I might have to try them out if the store will let me. My question to this forum would be, is it worth the time? I have used the Sigma on my K-1 a few times. The color looks good to me and the contrast is fine unless there is too much light, but there is a gradual loss of sharpness as you move away from the center.

I really do like the compactness of these lenses, so I am not considering the modern wide zooms.

06-18-2022, 10:28 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The Pentax SMC lenses will have inherently higher contrast than the sigma, but that is also a bit of a curse as this can make fringing more prominent, and bokeh can become very busy. The SMCP-K 24mm f/2.8 does have a drop off in sharpness in the corners, vignetting can be problematic with thick polarising filters.

Last edited by Digitalis; 06-19-2022 at 06:35 PM.
06-19-2022, 09:07 AM - 1 Like   #3
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/117190/1_testsigma24.jpg

I do not own the Sigma but it seemed to be a decent lens. I do own the A24, that one shares the optics of the K24. The K24 in fact is a M-era lens, compact build, the corners suffer a bit for that. The Takumar 3.5/24 might have a bit better corner performance, because of the bigger size with larger elements in in it. The Takumar scores a bit higher user reviews also, so that may be an indication.

For build quality I think the Pentax lenses are better than the Sigma.
06-19-2022, 06:24 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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I have had a Cosina 24/2.8 that was nice, but a bit of a coolish tint in the colors. which was why I sold it.

I am left with the K24/2.8 and I don't see much reason to change or look for something else.
Its good enough for my needs.
Sharp enough in most cases and stop down f11, off center isn't as sharp, but really good enough.
Most importantly, its small and SMC (flare tolerant w/ good contrast).
There can be better 24mm lenses out there, but off center sharpness will come at the cost of lens size.


With the K24/2.8 on various cameras.







06-19-2022, 08:37 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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If you need a 24mm lens on the K-1 with corner to corner sharpness, there aren't many cheap options out there.
06-21-2022, 07:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
If you need a 24mm lens on the K-1 with corner to corner sharpness, there aren't many cheap options out there.
It does come down to cost. I have not read anything that makes me think the smc 2.8/24 or super-multi-coated Takumar 3.5/24 would be significantly better than the Sigma 2.8/24 Super wide II for landscape photos. And then I need to find a decent subject and decide how much edge sharpness I really need to make a 16x24" enlargement. The Sigma might work better than what I thought.

If I got out more I could probably justify $300 or more for the FA 24/2, which has shown in several photos online to sharp even wide open.

---------- Post added 06-21-2022 at 07:52 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I have had a Cosina 24/2.8 that was nice, but a bit of a coolish tint in the colors. which was why I sold it.

I am left with the K24/2.8 and I don't see much reason to change or look for something else.
Its good enough for my needs.
Sharp enough in most cases and stop down f11, off center isn't as sharp, but really good enough.
Most importantly, its small and SMC (flare tolerant w/ good contrast).
There can be better 24mm lenses out there, but off center sharpness will come at the cost of lens size.


With the K24/2.8 on various cameras.





Thanks for posting the nice photos!
06-21-2022, 08:32 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
If I got out more I could probably justify $300 or more for the FA 24/2, which has shown in several photos online to sharp even wide open.
The FA*24mm f/2 is very sharp in the center..



100% crops from Pentax K-1 @ f/11

But toward the edges:


100% right edge crops from Pentax K-1 @ f/11 FYI: the extreme corners are even worse than this on the FA*24mm f/2.


The DFA21 isn't exactly the most compact lens either:


But if $300 is stretching your budget, the 1K+ price tag of the DFA21 is probably unjustifiable. I'd stick with the Sigma and improve sharpening technique and perhaps trawl the secondhand market for a better lens, or spring for the IRIX 21mm which is heavier,faster and cheaper than the DFA21. But the IRIX lens is a bit of an unknown quantity regarding Image quality and lens sample variation: reports have been less than stellar so far.


Pentax K-1 SMCP D-FA21mm f/2.4 ED ASPH Limited ISO 100 f/11 1/30th


Last edited by Digitalis; 06-22-2022 at 04:21 AM.
06-21-2022, 10:08 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think contemporary reviews of the Sigma 24mm EX DG f1.8 had it ahead of the FA*24 in image quality. I like mine although I haven't pixel peeped with it. They're around $300 on the used market if you take your time looking.

The Super-Wide II was supposed to be a pretty good lens when it was new as well. I agree with the above on learning good post processing procedures and keep using the lens you already have.
06-21-2022, 04:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The FA*24mm f/2 is very sharp in the center..



100% crops from Pentax K-1 @ f/11

But toward the edges:


100% right edge crops from Pentax K-1 @ f/11 FYI: the extreme corners are even worse than this.


The DFA21 isn't exactly the most compact lens either:


But if $300 is stretching your budget, the 1K+ price tag of the DFA21 is probably unjustifiable. I'd stick with the Sigma and improve sharpening technique and perhaps trawl the secondhand market for a better lens, or spring for the IRIX 21mm which is heavier,faster and cheaper than the DFA21. But the IRIX lens is a bit of an unknown quantity regarding Image quality and lens sample variation: reports have been less than stellar so far.


Pentax K-1 SMCP D-FA21mm f/2.4 ED ASPH Limited ISO 100 f/11 1/30th
The examples I saw of the FA *2.8 were not at 100%, but at full screen on my laptop they looked good from edge to edge. The DFA21 definitely is better there.

On the technique, could you advise me on how to sharpen the leaves and branches on the trees on the edges of the frame when they look almost like they are moving? That is the main thing that annoys me in landscape images with wide-angle lenses.
06-22-2022, 04:26 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
On the technique, could you advise me on how to sharpen the leaves and branches on the trees on the edges of the frame when they look almost like they are moving? That is the main thing that annoys me in landscape images with wide-angle lenses.
Either wait until the foliage in question is no longer moving, or better yet simply accept it and take good photos anyway. In my photos is everything stationary? No. That is an unnatural condition: there is always some small area of motion blur somewhere in an image, that is what gives it life.


Pentax K-1 SMCP-DFA21mm f/2.4 @ f/11 ISO 100 1/250th - every blade of grass was moving in the wind so there was no way in hell I could prevent motion blur in it.
06-26-2022, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Back to the OP’s question, I find the sigma mini wide II series lenses to be prone to lateral CA that leads to off center loss of sharpness. I got a 28/2.8 for about $10, with stuck aperture blades and thought to try it out because it was in KA mount.

Was thoroughly disappointed until I got a photoshop add in that corrected lateral CA by scaling the color layers

What a difference
06-28-2022, 12:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Back to the OPís question, I find the sigma mini wide II series lenses to be prone to lateral CA that leads to off center loss of sharpness. I got a 28/2.8 for about $10, with stuck aperture blades and thought to try it out because it was in KA mount.

Was thoroughly disappointed until I got a photoshop add in that corrected lateral CA by scaling the color layers

What a difference
Thanks for the tip. I do not have photoshop. I will look to see if that correction could be made in Affinity Photo.
06-28-2022, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
Thanks for the tip. I do not have photoshop. I will look to see if that correction could be made in Affinity Photo.
I donít know that program, the question is the way CA is dealt with. If it is a fringe removal tool, like the base one in Corel PSP it wonít help edge sharpness, but if it is a tool that rescales the 3 color layers independently then it will work very well on the edge sharpness
06-28-2022, 06:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Either wait until the foliage in question is no longer moving, or better yet simply accept it and take good photos anyway. In my photos is everything stationary? No. That is an unnatural condition: there is always some small area of motion blur somewhere in an image, that is what gives it life.


Pentax K-1 SMCP-DFA21mm f/2.4 @ f/11 ISO 100 1/250th - every blade of grass was moving in the wind so there was no way in hell I could prevent motion blur in it.
The problem I was referring to was not motion blur. It was the distortion near the corners mostly in the upper areas, where the leaves appear to be moving.

I was asking about your comment earlier. Your advise was:
"I'd stick with the Sigma and improve sharpening technique"

Since reading this and other comments I have experimented in Affinity Photo with the built in lens corrections. There is even a profile for the Sigma 24/2.8 super wide II. I am getting more and more confident to use this lens stopped down to f16. I usually avoid this with wide angle lenses, but I think the diffraction can be overcome easier than the curvature of field at the edges. And AF seems to be fairly useful for sharpening.

This forum has been a great place for support and encouragement. Thanks everyone.
06-29-2022, 01:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSLRnovice Quote
The problem I was referring to was not motion blur. It was the distortion near the corners mostly in the upper areas, where the leaves appear to be moving.
FYI there are terms for what you are referring to: Astigmatism and field curvature. It is very common in super wide and almost completely unavoidable with ultra wide lenses. Stopping down does reduce its impact but in many situations the best way to mitigate it is through using hyper-focal focusing technique.
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