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06-18-2007, 01:57 AM   #1
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21 or 43mm limited?

Which one is better? I'm basically looking for perfect glass, minimum distortion, maximum sharpness and as little CA as technically possible... Feel free to offer tips on versatility and which one to use in which situation, but the bottom line is that i can only afford one of them, and i need the one with best spec.

06-18-2007, 02:19 AM   #2
and
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Well thats easy, the 43 limited.
Because:
You mention distortion as a criteria, but one of the lenses is a near normal and the other one is wide, not really a fair competition:
DA21: 2%
FA43: 0.65%

Sharpness (peak)
DA21: 2290 @ f5.6
FA43: 2311 @ f4 (The highest I have seen from a Pentax lens)

The FA43 is: faster, sharper, less distorted altho with a bit more CA but not that pronounced.

These lenses are quite different tho, I dont really see one being a competing alternative to the other....
06-18-2007, 02:44 AM   #3
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Most times a normal lens would out perform a wide angle lens in regards to sharpness and distortion. Not always but on average..

These are very different lenses, I think the choice should be based more on your needs for the particular focal lengths..
06-18-2007, 03:32 AM   #4
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Joele said it best: what are your shooting needs? I have both lenses and absolutely LOVE the 43mm Limited—it pretty much stays on my K10D as the "standard" lens 90% of the time. However, when I need a wide prime for landscape or architectural shots, then I break out the 21mm. So determine what your needs are for the majority of your style of shooting, buy whichever one does the job and save to get the other when you can!
Rob W

06-18-2007, 07:46 AM   #5
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Excuse me if this appears rude, but this is a riduculous thread.

So you're saying, "tell me what to go and buy and also tell me what I can shoot with it !!" These lenses are not directly comparable (on APS, one is wideangle, the other is telephoto !! ).

If you don't know what you are going to shoot with it, then don't buy it. Lenses are just tools at the end of the day.

Andy
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06-18-2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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Well 43>21mm, so my vote goes towards the 43mm being the better lens!

Seriously, how can you possibly ask a bunch of strangers which is the "better" (or "best') lens between two completely different focal lengths.

If you don't know enough about lenses/focal lengths/etc.. you shouldn't buy ANY new lens. If you are still at a point where you have to ask "which lens to use when", you aren't ready. Seriously...

As to when to use which lens, if you want a picture to look like it was shot with a 21mm lens, use the 21mm lens.
06-18-2007, 08:58 PM   #7
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There's no need to be rude to the OP. Some of you are bordering on that, and it's not necessary.
06-18-2007, 09:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxbeat Quote
Which one is better? I'm basically looking for perfect glass, minimum distortion, maximum sharpness and as little CA as technically possible... Feel free to offer tips on versatility and which one to use in which situation, but the bottom line is that i can only afford one of them, and i need the one with best spec.
Well, we can't say the DA21 has better spec than the 43, and vice versa. These are two totally different lenses, one is 21mm, a wide angle lens even fact in the 1.5x crop, while the 43mm is a normal lens, and a mid-tele lens on current digital SLR. It is really hard to compare these two, just get whichever suits your shooting style.

If you like people snaps, get the 43. If like landscape and street scenes, then get the 21. If you are happy with the kit lens, then don't buy any of these, just get something that your kit lens doesn't cover ...

06-21-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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Hehehe

Ok, guys, relax.... I do all kinds of photography so the lens will, at the end of the day, decide what i'll shoot. What I am looking for is a general sharpness, AF-handling, edge sharpness etc.

I do realize that a 43mm is better for portraits and gives me "tighter" shots, come on I have used a zoom lens before. But on the other hand these lenses offer great versatility in situations like event, concert and art photography. I do realize that this will trigger the "fast telezoom is the best comment", but I can tell you that I will ignore it. With about 2tb of shots, I can statistically prove that when put in my hands, <-85mm primes give better results.

In my opinion, a camera or lens is not a tool, it's a image drawing device. Is a pen or a paintbrush always a tool? Not in my opinion. Everything in life isn't work. And everything you do is not a job.

Thanks for taking your time to comment on a "useless" thread

Edit: I forgot to mention: Color rendition for christ sake!

Last edited by pentaxbeat; 06-21-2007 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Grammar, new info
06-21-2007, 03:03 PM   #10
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They both have great colour rendition.

And are both very good lenses in their own focal lengths..
06-22-2007, 04:22 AM   #11
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I love 43mm ltd very much; one of my favorite lenses







06-22-2007, 06:22 AM   #12
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Man I'm poor because of this LBA.. But my suggestion to you -- Get both =D.

I'm about to one soon too...
06-26-2007, 01:09 PM   #13
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tested

I've tested the 21mm and the 43mm today, and I think it'll be the 21mm and then the 50mm D FA macro 2.8 instead of the 43mm, at least for now. HOLY MOTHER is the 50mm sharp! Indoors at f2.8 a portrait could at 100% clairly show that the model was using a bad mascara, there are probably people out there who can tell what make it was! If the pic doesnt poke their eyes out from sharpness first...

There goes another 1000$...
06-26-2007, 01:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
Well thats easy, the 43 limited.
Because:
You mention distortion as a criteria, but one of the lenses is a near normal and the other one is wide, not really a fair competition:
DA21: 2%
FA43: 0.65%

Sharpness (peak)
DA21: 2290 @ f5.6
FA43: 2311 @ f4 (The highest I have seen from a Pentax lens)

The FA43 is: faster, sharper, less distorted altho with a bit more CA but not that pronounced.

These lenses are quite different tho, I dont really see one being a competing alternative to the other....
Pentax SMC-DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL - Photozone Review / Quick Test Report
16-45 @ 16mm F5.6: 2321! (only center tho)

:-)
06-26-2007, 06:25 PM   #15
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Well, I did say "the highest _I_ have seen" so
The 16-45 sure is nice, very hard to beat at that price, its going to be interesting to see how the 16-50 measures up to it, I dont think it will be sharper to the equivalent of the extra, what? 3x price tag?, but the extra stop and SDM are of course the selling points...

Oh and one thing I personally dont like about the 16-45 is that it extends so much. I find lenses to at least appear more durable and handle better if they dont extend much.
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