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12-26-2012, 04:14 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Unfortunately, in Europe the price difference between the 15 and the 21 is so great that choosing one or the other is not just an academic question but a financial one too. I long for more limiteds but can't afford the 15. The 21 may not be as wide as I'd like. SO I might just go for a Sigma 10-20 and be done with it.
Strange that is - here in the US the lenses are exactly the same price - although they have gone up 20% since the great holiday deals.

12-27-2012, 02:23 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Strange that is - here in the US the lenses are exactly the same price - although they have gone up 20% since the great holiday deals.
I might be making a trip to NY in a few months and I'm considering holding off and getting the 15 while I'm there. With the current price at B&H it works out as 170GBP cheaper.

However, the 21 does still intrigue. It's small size and less extreme field of view would be good. The barrel distortion puts me off, though I haven't seen any examples of it, it's mentioned in every review. For a lens that price it should also be faster, but that can be said of all the DA ltds. However, I'm used to the 17mm of my Tamron zoom at the wide end and 21mm it quite a bit less.
12-27-2012, 02:51 AM   #33
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The 21mm is a cute lens, but I struggled to justify keeping it when it overlapped with so many other lenses. Also, why so expensive? This lens is slow, doesn't correct barrel distortion very well, is screw drive only, doesn't contain much glass, and surely can't be that challenging of a design? Beautiful contrast and color though.

The 15mm is more expensive, but if you don't have a UWA, is genuinely useful beyond merely being small. Distortion is beautifully dealt with. The retractable hood is a touch of class. The larger size is easier to handle than a pancake IMO. Contrast and color are even better than the 21. The only flaw is the soft edges, which can be an issue on landscape shots if you're not careful.
12-27-2012, 07:31 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Unfortunately, in Europe the price difference between the 15 and the 21 is so great that choosing one or the other is not just an academic question but a financial one too. I long for more limiteds but can't afford the 15. The 21 may not be as wide as I'd like. SO I might just go for a Sigma 10-20 and be done with it.
Don't know if you have seen this (I notice a later reply with price diff in GBP)

But this is the best price I've seen the 15mm for new:

Pentax SMC-DA 15MM F4 Lens 0000270751473 | eBay

Ebay uk item number 200819275712

This is where I would get the DA 15mm from if I was going to by it. Best I've seen the 21mm is about 400 new. Seen it cheaper used on ebay.



I'm very confused at the moment. All sorts of ideas (not all of which are WA related)...

Cashback + trade in of K7 for K5ii or K30
DA 15mm
Sigma 10-20mm
Samyang 14mm
Wait for Samyang 10mm reviews/lens to surface
Tamron 17-50mm
Sell my FA 35mm and get a FA 31mm

12-27-2012, 08:03 AM   #35
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Looks like someone's set up a business importing them from the US and selling them over here. It's Pentax's fault that it makes sense to do that.
12-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #36
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Yeah its not great, but thoguht I'd make you aware.

The prices are certainly quite steep on some lenses over here.
12-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #37
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I'm just interested.. I looked at some of the online reviews of these two lenses.. how can the 21mm have more distortion than the 15mm?
Oh, and yes, I am soo jealous when I hear people buying these lenses in the USA for much lower prices, and especially second hand ones. Over here they cost much more, and even second hand lenses cost almost as much as new ones. The only problem I find is that I really don't want to be importing a lens via mail, its expensive, risky, and I'd have to pay import taxes (and dealing with the import police here is soul crushing, you never know what they will come up with..). So someone buying bulk from USA and shipping to Europe could probably make a nice profit.
12-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
The 21 may not be as wide as I'd like. SO I might just go for a Sigma 10-20 and be done with it.
I inoculated myself from both these excellent lenses with the Sigma 15 f/2.8 FE and smc-a 24mm. I do have the 40 and 70 Limiteds & both are quite impressive so I can see the appeal; had the Sigma not appeared at the right time for a great price the DA15 would be on my list too. And with the fisheye in hand I doubt the DA distortion issues would bother me much..

So finding a 24mm could help you learn if the 21 is worth saving for, less outlay and great resale value. And for going wide I'll never need more than the Sigma 15!


Last edited by jimr-pdx; 12-27-2012 at 11:25 AM.
12-27-2012, 03:32 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I inoculated myself from both these excellent lenses with the Sigma 15 f/2.8 FE and smc-a 24mm. I do have the 40 and 70 Limiteds & both are quite impressive so I can see the appeal; had the Sigma not appeared at the right time for a great price the DA15 would be on my list too. And with the fisheye in hand I doubt the DA distortion issues would bother me much..

So finding a 24mm could help you learn if the 21 is worth saving for, less outlay and great resale value. And for going wide I'll never need more than the Sigma 15!
I have the Sigma 24/2.8 AF version. I sold the MF version when I got it, but to be honest the AF version produced better pics (better colour, less flare) for some reason. I should set a zoom to 21mm and see how I feel about it, but it won't be as good as even 18mm when on holiday and confronted by a huge cathedral.
12-27-2012, 09:02 PM - 1 Like   #40
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Wow, a 3+ year old thread back from the dead!
I am pretty sure there are more than one current threads discussing DA15 vs DA21 if you want a more recent discussion.
That said, I use both and find the most significant difference between the two to be the actual difference in focal length. With respect to IQ and quality, there are few differences. Sharpness is great with both, as are flare resistance, color, etc. distortion is no more an issue with one over the other. That is, with the 21, i will see barrel distortion as I move my horizon line away from the center; I will often correct this in post. Likewise, the DA15 exhibits strong perspective distortion, such that I frequently must apply a correction in post, particularly with walls, buildings, and other straight lines.
The size of either lens is amazing, both fit in my pocket and are always at the ready. I recommend both wholeheartedly.
12-28-2012, 12:26 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I'm just interested.. I looked at some of the online reviews of these two lenses.. how can the 21mm have more distortion than the 15mm?
One of the compromises made in the design.
The M20/4 also had a lot of bizarre geometric distortion.

For the record, Photozone measures 2.0% distortion for the DA 21,
and only 1.4% for the DA 15.
12-28-2012, 12:33 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Likewise, the DA15 exhibits strong perspective distortion, such that I frequently must apply a correction in post, particularly with walls, buildings, and other straight lines.
Distortion? The lens is creating a relatively faithful image, which your "correction" is then distorting!
12-28-2012, 08:05 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
It's small size and less extreme field of view would be good. The barrel distortion puts me off, though I haven't seen any examples of it, it's mentioned in every review.
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
how can the 21mm have more distortion than the 15mm?
I'm pretty sure this picture frame is rectangular in real life. When I mentioned the distortion in another post, someone basically said "so what - almost any editor can fix it..."


QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Distortion? The lens is creating a relatively faithful image, which your "correction" is then distorting!
No doubt the poster is talking about leaning angles, which is the natural result of wide-angle use.

I like wide, so I was in the habit of just putting on the 15mm as the first choice (if out with primes). However, I am finding more uses for the 21, and sometimes will choose it first, now. In most circumstances the barrel distortion is essentially unnoticeable.
12-28-2012, 10:27 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Distortion? The lens is creating a relatively faithful image, which your "correction" is then distorting!
you were joking, right? I am talking about the extreme perspective distortion inherent of very wide rectilinear lenses. Do you need to see my examples of the golden gate bridge before correction with the two towers splaying outward in a most unnatural way or are you following me? Believe me, the DA21's little correctable arc is nothing compared to that.
12-29-2012, 12:01 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
you were joking, right?
There was a smiley at the end of the post,
but there's also a serious point here.

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I am talking about the extreme perspective distortion inherent of very wide rectilinear lenses. Do you need to see my examples of the golden gate bridge before correction with the two towers splaying outward in a most unnatural way or are you following me?
It's a question of language,
which can be confusing for beginners
if we use the word "distortion" for two distinct effects.

Unlike barrel or pincushion drawing,
converging verticals aren't distortion.
They're a true part of the image.
A pinhole, which by its nature has no distortion,
may make verticals converge.

If the sensor is held parallel to a rectangular subject,
a good wide rectilinear lens will project a rectangular image.
So I don't see converging verticals as being
"inherent of very wide rectilinear lenses."
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