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07-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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SMC A24/2.8 Vs. DA 21 limited

I have been trying to decide on a wider angle lens to complement my 35 mm and 77 mm set. I have always thought on getting the 21 mm but have been wondering if the A 24 might be a good choice. Anyone have any experience with both or any thoughts?
Obviously, different FOV, slight speed difference and the A lacks autofocus. Manual focus doesn't both me although autofocus is nice. I hear the distortion is less with the A24. I have a 28 mm/3.5 Tak but sometimes it would be nice to skip the adapter and use the A setting on the aperture ring. I have never used or even seen an A series. Is the build quality as nice as say the Tak's ? I have heard issues with the rubber focusing rings on some of the lenses.
My main need is just something wider to get small group shots, street shots, beach scenes.

Thanks for your thoughts

07-06-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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With exception of possibly cost difference, I'd go with the 21mm ltd. Taken a little before dusk.

07-06-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Let's make the title "A24 vs DA21 vs FA*24"
07-06-2009, 09:59 PM   #4
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Just a note, there's a DA 21mm in LN condition for $399 on KEH at the moment.

07-06-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Just a note, there's a DA 21mm in LN condition for $399 on KEH at the moment.
and an FA 35mm for $275.
07-06-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
and an FA 35mm for $275.
True, true.

I'd be all over that if I didn't already have the DA.
07-06-2009, 10:16 PM   #7
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I have had the DA21 about a year and half. Generally quite happy with it except in a recent occasion I wished I could open it wider, so I'm thinking of trading it up to a Sigma 20/1.8

So MSM you might want to consider this option too.

Btw, would it be a wise move?
07-06-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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My story on why I have the DA 21mm is because I had a Sigma 20-40mm f2.8 EX DG. However, due to its size, I usually didn't take it with me on trips where air travel was involved due to space constraints. After getting the 21mm, I traded my 20-40mm for its sibling the 15mm-30mm. It is about the same size but when I travel, I take the DA 21, DA 35, FA 50, Sigma 105 and 55-300 and call it good. Or put it another way, I can minimally travel with 5 lenses instead of 2 and 4 of them are primes.

07-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
True, true.

I'd be all over that if I didn't already have the DA.
Actually, it is now gone but they have a DA 40mm for that price.
07-06-2009, 11:53 PM   #10
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They're both very good

I owned the A 24mm 2.8 for many years, but sold it after acquiring the DA 12-24mm, which is another outstanding lens. I also own the DA 21mm Limited. All of these lenses are just fine. The 21mm stellar point is the size--it's almost tiny and very convenient. Fits in a pocket. But the optics are very good too.
The 24mm optics are equally good, and the lens is on the small size. I prefer 24mm to 28mm significantly, but this stuff is subjective.
When I don't want to carry the bulky DA 12-24, I take the 21mm. But when I'm on a long trip, or shooting interiors the 12-24mm is highly valuable. I also have the DA 35mm Ltd which raises the bar. If you have the money I'd recommend the 12-24mm as the image quality is just as good as the A 24mm. It's big though.
So my best recommendation is to dig deep about your requirements beyond focal length: size, weight, convenience, budget. Because the optics on all of these are better than acceptable.
Or just get all of them!

M
07-07-2009, 05:01 AM   #11
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FA*24/2


You'll find more about FA*24 on my sites.
07-07-2009, 12:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I knew I could count on you all.

QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Just a note, there's a DA 21mm in LN condition for $399 on KEH at the moment.
I saw that online. I wonder though as I can get a new 21 mm for $429 with warranty

QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
True, true.

I'd be all over that if I didn't already have the DA.
Agreed. I keep telling myself that wanting a FA 35 mm while having a DA 35 mm macro is just a sick affliction of LBA

QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
I owned the A 24mm 2.8 for many years, but sold it after acquiring the DA 12-24mm, which is another outstanding lens. I also own the DA 21mm Limited. All of these lenses are just fine. The 21mm stellar point is the size--it's almost tiny and very convenient. Fits in a pocket. But the optics are very good too.
The 24mm optics are equally good, and the lens is on the small size. I prefer 24mm to 28mm significantly, but this stuff is subjective.
When I don't want to carry the bulky DA 12-24, I take the 21mm. But when I'm on a long trip, or shooting interiors the 12-24mm is highly valuable. I also have the DA 35mm Ltd which raises the bar. If you have the money I'd recommend the 12-24mm as the image quality is just as good as the A 24mm. It's big though.
So my best recommendation is to dig deep about your requirements beyond focal length: size, weight, convenience, budget. Because the optics on all of these are better than acceptable.
Or just get all of them!

M
Thank you for your insight. It is quite helpful. I too have the DA 35 mm. Along with the 77 mm, I love the weight and balance and size. I have used the 21 in the past briefly and was concerned that it might be too small. That is why I started considering the A 24. I also thought about the 15 mm Ltd. to complete my limited series. However, it maybe too wide and it is quite a bit more expensive at ~$600. And while I believe that I can budget for the 21 mm, my wife disagrees. We all know how that is going to play out. That 's how the 24 mm got into the picture (so to speak). If the optics are all 'better than acceptable,' then that would suggest I look at the A 24. I would also say that for my needs any lens I choose would likely be used less than either the 35 mm or 77 mm.

Just to try it out, I rented a 15 mm, 21 mm and I purchased an A24 mm from KEH to try.

QuoteOriginally posted by springtian Quote
FA*24/2


You'll find more about FA*24 on my sites.
I will check it out. Though I believe the FA* 24 is way out of my league.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
With exception of possibly cost difference, I'd go with the 21mm ltd. Taken a little before dusk.

Nice shot. The 21 mm continues to enter my mind (or refuses to leave). Perhaps, it is an inherent need to have things in sets of 3. My limited collection needs a 3rd member.
Does the hood both you? I have heard complaints that it falls off and gets lost. I would like to believe that wouldn't happen to me. But, after my DA35 fell out of my bag, all bets are off.
07-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #13
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I haven't had any problems with the hood on the 21mm. There is another wide limited option . . . the DA 15mm ltd. I know you wanted to here that. It is increasing in money though. It wasn't out when I got the 21 or I would have considered it. But I wouldn't run both since I have the 15-30mm zoom.
07-07-2009, 04:49 PM   #14
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My DA21 Experience

QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Does the hood both you? I have heard complaints that it falls off and gets lost. I would like to believe that wouldn't happen to me. But, after my DA35 fell out of my bag, all bets are off.
I really like the DA21. It is good wide open and I also have not had any problem with the hood falling off. It is a bayonet mount with a solid lock.
Here is a recent shot wide open. Not the best for looking at corner sharpness but it does show the depth of field at f3.2.

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