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05-26-2007, 04:08 PM   #1
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Flare & 21mm DA

Enclosed are two images, one with the 21mm DA on my K10D, the other shot with my Olympus 5050.

Both images (if I did this right) show pronounced flare with the 21mm (1st image) but much less with the 5050, an older Olympus P&S (2nd image). The subject consists of a 5000K compact fluroescent bulb and in the background, another compact fluoroscent on a desk lamp with a shade. The latter is probably about 3200K or so.

The 21mm's flare characteristics render it useless for night street photography or indeed, any night photography with BARE artificial light sources in the frame.

Both images were captured via RAW (DNG for the Pentax, ORF for the Olympus. Apart from some exposure adjustment to balance (more or less) the Olympus file to the Pentax and saving as JPEG'S, both are straight from the camera. Both were shot at 400 ISO, hand-held. SR was enabled on the K10D (the Olympus, of course, has no SR) but a test shot with SR turned off yielded the same result. No filters on either lens.

I really like the 21mm DA and frankly did not buy it for night street photography but I wonder if anyone else has experienced flare under such conditions. The only other Pentax lens I currently have is the kit lens (18-55mm) and it seems to exhibit less flare. Neither lens seems particularly susceptible to "ghosting" but flare is another matter.

The Olympus 5050 has been my night street scene camera for several years, partly because of the fast f1.8 lens (at the shortest focal length, which I mostly use, and partly because of the tremendous depth field, even wide open. I doubt that any combination DSLR and lens would give me both of these.

Comments?

Richard


Last edited by Old Timer 56; 10-07-2007 at 09:12 AM.
05-26-2007, 06:19 PM   #2
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The first one has obvious flare around the light source, the second seems completely washed out ..

I would be interested to see actual/normal night scene comparison shots as the second light in the background is still close to the camera yet looks much better on the DA21..

I only have one DA21 night sample handy, it has a little flare but IMO nothing that points to a problem with the lens..


Last edited by joele; 05-26-2007 at 06:42 PM.
05-26-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
The first one has obvious flare around the light source, the second seems completely washed out ..

I would be interested to see actual/normal night scene comparison shots as the second light in the background is still close to the camera yet looks much better on the DA21..

I only have one DA21 night sample handy, it has a little flare but IMO nothing that points to a problem with the lens..

Actually, the foreground light is washed out in both of my samples. But the 21mm DA sample is the one that exhibits pronounced flare.

The background light is intriguing. It is rendered much better in the 21mm DA sample but that light has a lamp shade so we don't see the bare bulb. I'm not sure why it looks better than the Olympus 5050 sample. But I've taken numerous night-time street scenes with the 21mm DA - scenes with street lights, bare-bulb fluorescents, automobile headlights, etc. The flare produced by such direct lights is quite pronounced. I don't have any direct comparison shots with the Olympus but I think I have a couple taken with both the 21mm DA and the 18-55mm DA. That kind of comparison would be more useful, I think, for people on this forum.

Perhaps I should mention that my standard for flare is the Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AIS lens. Virtually no flare at all. No other lens I have ever used by any manufacturer comes close. Maybe I've just gotten spoiled.

Nice skyline shot, by the way.

Richard
05-27-2007, 12:16 AM   #4
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Da 21 ltd seems to have better colour and resolution in the background comparing to the olympus shot.

I guess we just have to know about the strength and weakness of each lens and utilise the lenses to our best ability. From what I can see in your comparison images (probably in a controlled setting more or less), I would love to use Da 21 ltd for its colour rendering ability and corner resolution.

My Fa 24 f2 flares a lot but I look for ways to dampen down the flare issue of this lens.

Da 21 ltd is a fine lens; it is designed to be "compact" and it does the job well. Your olympus image is not convincingly better than pentax Da 21 ltd as the olympus lens seems to have such a poor light absorption ability that the image does not even flare ...

Cheers

05-27-2007, 01:46 AM   #5
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Lens Flare

Your post on lens flare and the DA21mm made me wonder how my DA lenses would react to such a lighting situation. I only have 3 Pentax DA lenses and sadly, none of them is the 21mm. I have a DA 40mm Limited, DA 10-17mm Fisheye and the DA 18-55mm Kit lens. For each shot I focused on the green labled CD box under the back light.

None seemed as bad as the 21mm shot you provided but the worst would appear to be the 40mm Limited, which would be my choice for stealthy street photography at night. Of course, none of this is very scientific but I did try to keep some consistancy in the shots.


DA 40mm: ISO 800, F3.5, 1/125 sec, 40mm (obviously)


DA 10-17mm Fisheye: ISO 800, F4.5, 1/180 sec, 17mm


DA 10-17mm Fisheye: ISO 800, F3.5, 1/180 sec, 10mm


DA 18-55mm Kit Lens: ISO 800, F4.5, 1/180 sec, 35mm
05-27-2007, 11:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
Your post on lens flare and the DA21mm made me wonder how my DA lenses would react to such a lighting situation. I only have 3 Pentax DA lenses and sadly, none of them is the 21mm. I have a DA 40mm Limited, DA 10-17mm Fisheye and the DA 18-55mm Kit lens. For each shot I focused on the green labled CD box under the back light.

None seemed as bad as the 21mm shot you provided but the worst would appear to be the 40mm Limited, which would be my choice for stealthy street photography at night. Of course, none of this is very scientific but I did try to keep some consistancy in the shots.
Your shots of the lamp show much less flare than mine. Here's a night shot outdoors I did recently with the 21mm DA. I believe the light bulbs are ordinary incandescents but the foreground one clearly shows the flare I am talking about.

Mind you, I think this is a great lens and the flare from light sources is somewhat variable. But it is not my choice for street photography at night. I wonder how the 16-45mm DA performs, flare-wise? F/4 is a bit slow for night work but I really need the short focal length.

Richard

Last edited by Old Timer 56; 10-07-2007 at 09:12 AM.
05-27-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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Interesting thread. Hereīs a shot with my FA 28-70 F4 AL. ISO 800 1/50 F:4 28mm.
I like this lens. Havenīt found any bad points.

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05-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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The flare in your second photo looks to me to be a bit like a grease or oil diffraction - is the lens completely clean?

05-27-2007, 04:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by thoughtfulchaos Quote
The flare in your second photo looks to me to be a bit like a grease or oil diffraction - is the lens completely clean?
If you are replying to my post, the lens is spotless.

Richard
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