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12-05-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
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Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8-opinions please

I'm looking at a few different lenses to round out my lens arsenal.

Currently I have a 10-17 Fisheye, 16-45, 50 F1.4, 55-300, 18-55 kit digital lenses...to go with my K10D and KM (K2000 in USA).

I've thought about the 12-24 but at $1299 Canadian...forget about it.

I've been thinking of the Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8. It's fast at F2.8, 14 mm...sort of wide angle...think around 35mm equivalent of 21 mm or so.

I understand that a good prime is generally sharper than a good zoom, so I wonder if the 14 mm is worth getting, considering it's 2 mm wider, faster @ F2.8 as opposed to F4 and a very good (I'm assuming) prime vs what I consider to be a very good zoom...my 16-45.


I like my 16-45 as I find it's sharp and although wide angle, I wouldn't mind having something a bit wider.

I find my 16-45 is much sharper than my 18-55 kit, which I rarely use.

I recently bought a Pentax 10-17 mm and although I haven't used it on vintage cars yet (winter here in Canada) I plan to try it...working the angles to weed out as much distortion as I can.

I usually take pictures of vintage special interest cars, hot rods, motorcycles...also landscapes.

Will I notice a big enough difference in the wider field (14 vs 16) of vision, sharper, clearer pix (prime), better performance at low light ?


Last edited by lesmore49; 12-05-2009 at 11:22 PM.
12-05-2009, 11:36 PM   #2
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I dont have the 16-45 but I have the DA14. Based on the stats from my flickr site, it would appear that I use the DA14 a fair bit as abt 30% of all my shots are using this lens. I think the 14mm is really quite wide and i would imagine the extra 2mm over the 16-45 matters a big deal in practical usage. Since my wife gets into DSLR a couple of weeks ago, she has now taken over this lens (by force) as the new owner That should prolly give u some idea how we love this lens
12-06-2009, 11:30 PM   #3
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Raider...thanks for the info...no one else have a 14mm F2.8 ?
12-07-2009, 01:03 AM   #4
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i've seriously considered it myself. However, the price has me not putting it on my current 'to buy' list as its quite pricey for a prime. Cheaper than the Canikon versions but still up there. I will have to save up for it.

When I tried it in the store, I liked it a lot. I think it and the DA 21 Ltd would go well together to create a wide angle kit That's my plan... sometime...

On another note, I've used the DA16-45 and it's a superb lens. Absolutely superb. If you don't mind the F4 aperture, I'd say go for it if it's wide enough for you. For me, I wanted a nice lower light wide angle, so the 14mm F2.8 is still something I have in my sights

12-07-2009, 01:39 AM   #5
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I have it and really like it, see my review in the database: Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 14mm F2.8

I use it wide open a lot, for low light or shallow DOF.

Note that there's also software to "defish" your DA 10-17 photos (see photozone's test Pentax SMC DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED[IF] Fisheye - Review / Test Report
12-07-2009, 02:34 AM   #6
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Hi,
I think the 14mm 2.8 will complement your 16-45 nicely, whereas having the 12-24 would leave you a little bit torn every time over which zoom to take with you. The DA14 makes a nice lens for available light events photography which means you will feel well equipped just taking the 14 mm and the 55 mm with you on an evening walk or a party.
12-07-2009, 02:44 AM   #7
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I'm wondering why you didnt mention the DA 15. It will turn whatever camera you have into a light kit, so there's something to consider between f2.8 and compactness.

Your question on whether it will feel wider, yes, 14mm will feel considerably wider than 16mm, but whether that's enough or not for your purpose is not something someone else can decide...

There's also Sigma 10-20mm, perfect overlap with your current 16-45
12-07-2009, 03:17 AM   #8
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Good question, I have one in a box, wrapped in decorative paper under a conifer in our living room. I have forsworn not to open, inspect or otherwise mount said lens until the morning of Dec the 25th. My other "wide" is the 17mm end of my Sigma 17-70 zoom.

Hypothetically if I had opened the box and mounted the lens (in spite of being forsworn above) juts to make sure it, errrr, fitted/worked, then let us say that I was impressed with the quality of image. Hypothetically you understand...

I've seen some of Raiders work, and if he is endorsing the lens then I'd consider it. Money being no object you might go for the Pentax wide zoom, however it was the faster glass and the prime that got me in.

Couple of links, Andy McInroy uses one quite a bit, particularly in sea caves. Keitha McCall has a good blog entry on the subject

12-07-2009, 05:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
There's also Sigma 10-20mm, perfect overlap with your current 16-45
Except the sigma 10-20 is soft soft soft...
12-07-2009, 06:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
Except the sigma 10-20 is soft soft soft...
What abt the Sigma 10-20/f3.5? I read it is a fairly sharp lens, expensive but quality lens? I think I will still go for the DA12-24 myself.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dale Quote
I've seen some of Raiders work, and if he is endorsing the lens then I'd consider it.
Thanks Dale for your kind words.
12-07-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I'm looking at a few different lenses to round out my lens arsenal.

Currently I have a 10-17 Fisheye, 16-45, 50 F1.4, 55-300, 18-55 kit digital lenses...to go with my K10D and KM (K2000 in USA).

I've thought about the 12-24 but at $1299 Canadian...forget about it.

I've been thinking of the Pentax-DA 14mm F2.8. It's fast at F2.8, 14 mm...sort of wide angle...think around 35mm equivalent of 21 mm or so.

I understand that a good prime is generally sharper than a good zoom, so I wonder if the 14 mm is worth getting, considering it's 2 mm wider, faster @ F2.8 as opposed to F4 and a very good (I'm assuming) prime vs what I consider to be a very good zoom...my 16-45.


I like my 16-45 as I find it's sharp and although wide angle, I wouldn't mind having something a bit wider.

I find my 16-45 is much sharper than my 18-55 kit, which I rarely use.

I recently bought a Pentax 10-17 mm and although I haven't used it on vintage cars yet (winter here in Canada) I plan to try it...working the angles to weed out as much distortion as I can.

I usually take pictures of vintage special interest cars, hot rods, motorcycles...also landscapes.

Will I notice a big enough difference in the wider field (14 vs 16) of vision, sharper, clearer pix (prime), better performance at low light ?
I had a 14/2.8 for quite a while. Great lens, but big.
My 12-24 was noticeably wider at 12mm than the 14, so I expect the 14 will be noticeably wider than your 16-45.
I wasn't weeing any real image quality difference between the 12-24 and the 14, and both lenses are quite large, so I sold the 14 in favour of a 15LTD.
12-07-2009, 06:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I understand that a good prime is generally sharper than a good zoom, so I wonder if the 14 mm is worth getting, considering it's 2 mm wider, faster @ F2.8 as opposed to F4 and a very good (I'm assuming) prime vs what I consider to be a very good zoom...my 16-45.
Primes sharper than zooms is a generality. If you look at the Photozone results, the primes have lower distortion but at 16mm the 16-45 is sharper than the 14mm and as sharp as the 15mm. The 14mm of course gains a stop of light, but your subjects are stationary, so bokeh would be a factor but low light is not that big a deal?

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I recently bought a Pentax 10-17 mm and although I haven't used it on vintage cars yet (winter here in Canada) I plan to try it...working the angles to weed out as much distortion as I can.
You should work with the 10-17 before deciding on another superwide. At 17mm the fisheye is significantly wider than the 14mm. Distortion can be controlled with composition or defished if necessary. Maybe you'll find you need lower distortion or another stop of light, or maybe you'll decide that you don't.
12-07-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
What abt the Sigma 10-20/f3.5? I read it is a fairly sharp lens, expensive but quality lens? I think I will still go for the DA12-24 myself.
just as soft

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens Review

the sigma 12-24 appears to be very sharp though... and full frame if that turns you on... but it's a monster...

http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Reviews/a_Sigma_12-24_f4.5-5.6/a_Sigma_EX_12-24_f4.5-5.6.html
12-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Primes sharper than zooms is a generality. If you look at the Photozone results, the primes have lower distortion but at 16mm the 16-45 is sharper than the 14mm and as sharp as the 15mm. The 14mm of course gains a stop of light, but your subjects are stationary, so bokeh would be a factor but low light is not that big a deal? I find my 16-45 very sharp at 16- 17mm. I have takne 1000's of pix with it of very well restored vintage cars with lot's of detail in the bodywork and the 16-45 is so sharp that I don't have any complaints and I'm pretty persnickety...I thought the 14 mm might be sharper as a prime and that the extra 2mm might make it significantly wider...FOV-wise...Gives me food for thought.



You should work with the 10-17 before deciding on another superwide. At 17mm the fisheye is significantly wider than the 14mm. Distortion can be controlled with composition or defished if necessary. Maybe you'll find you need lower distortion or another stop of light, or maybe you'll decide that you don't.
Interesting that you say the 10-17 Fisheye is significantly wider at 17 mm then the 14 is at 14 mm?

As you say I have found that I can control the fisheye effect with the 10-17 Fisheye lens by careful composition...ie; straight edges, poles in the centre of the lens..using approx... 15 to 17 and then cropping the edges. I'm finding the 10-17 mm a very versatile lens...almost....almost ...a super wide angle and fisheye in one package...but as you say I really have to work the angles with this exceptional lens.

It might be a good idea to keep on with the 10-17 (only had it for less then 8 weeks) and improve my skills first, before I decide on a super wide angle.
12-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
just as soft

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens Review

the sigma 12-24 appears to be very sharp though... and full frame if that turns you on... but it's a monster...

http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Reviews/a_Sigma_12-24_f4.5-5.6/a_Sigma_EX_12-24_f4.5-5.6.html
I came very close to getting a Sigma 10-20 F4...but read some reviews that gave me pause. The Pentax 12-24 would be great...but at $ 1299 CAD...Pentax Canada has priced me out of the market .
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