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01-07-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
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DA 12-24mm f4 as a street/walkaround lens

So I just recently purchased the 16-50mm DA* to satisfy my wide angle/street shooting needs.

After reading multiple posts about SDM issues, focus ring issues, zoom ring issues, vignetting, and FF/BF issues... I'm starting to have second thoughts as my time is counting on the warranty.

I'm considering taking it back and getting another lens as it's a $900 investment. I'm a fan of Pentax glass and I don't really want to pick up the 16-45 or 17-70. Rather, I've been looking at the 12-24mm in great detail. I'm looking at this as a 2x zoom with a MUCH wider angle of view as opposed to 3x.

I know I miss out on the weather sealing and SDM, but whatever, it's one of those things that I would like to have but no big deal if I don't.

As for the range, has anyone walked around on trips, through small streets and markets in old towns with this lens? I know of the landscape/architecture capabilities, but I would love to get a first hand perspective of how this would do as a lens on my K200D, walked around a new city for instance and taking shots of the city life (my style of shooting).

Also, what's tempting me even more is the price. I got the DA* on sale for $800 CAD + tax = $900 CAD. The 12-24mm is looking pretty good at $720USD from B&H with a 1.04 exchange rate

Your feedback (and sample shots) are much appreciated!!!

Essi

(edit: please do not suggest a superzoom (ie. 18-250mm)or anything like that, as I prefer exceptional quality throughout the range and felt that the 35mm DA Ltd did me well as a walkaround)


Last edited by esman7; 01-07-2010 at 03:01 PM.
01-07-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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The 12-24 is too wide for a walk-around lens.
There's a big difference between 12mm and 16mm at the wide end, and 24mm is just not long enough for most situations.
It complements the 16-50 well but cannot replace it in any means. You may be looking at getting a Tamron 17-50 to complement the 12-24 (if you're still keen on it).
01-07-2010, 03:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You may be looking at getting a Tamron 17-50 to complement the 12-24 (if you're still keen on it).
I knew someone would mention the Tamron (hence why I wrote Pentax glass)

I trust you Ash, but do you think that my DA 35mm would be a good midpoint to cover the missing bases?
01-07-2010, 04:18 PM   #4
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hello there Esman. I see that you are from Vancouver as well so I'm pretty accustomed to the type of lenses that you might be needing for your walks. I can't provide you with images since I accidentally mishandled and lost most, if not all of my 12-24 shots. the 18-55 II would be ok for such occasions but found that it's strong distortion at the wide end and weak contrasts can be bothersome. in short, IQ is not that awesome unless you do some PP work. I do find the 18mm or 16mm fall short sometimes as that extra 4mm of the 12-24 gives you more than enough room to cover an area. 24mm is quite short.
a 35mm would be a very good complement for a walkaround lens, but a 28mm would even be great. I love how a 28mm gives that wider FOV with a well-sized subject.

01-07-2010, 04:49 PM   #5
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Pentaxor, thanks for your advice. I agree with you on the kit lens contrast. I'm looking to travel more in 2009 and would love to keep the 16-50mm as it's ideal range for walking about.

Maybe I should just suck it up and keep it? There must be tons of people who bought that lens and don't know about PentaxForums and are evening our the averages of QA/QC issues (at least I hope so!).
01-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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Hey Essi,

Sorry I didn't get a chance to head out and try a few shots with mine for you (work is crazy and I have to head back east for a few weeks). I have both the 12-24 and the 16-50. As you know, I thought of selling the 16-50 but found it is a good, all around lens and the weather sealing really means something in our neck of the woods. I thought of using the FA Ltds and picking up a 16-45 (I had one that I was very happy with), but again, I do like having the weather sealing and the 16-50 is a good general lens (although it is a little big).

If something happens to the SDM, I'll get it fixed. I just don't see a replacement for it.

I've only had the 12-24 for a few weeks (came across someone at work that wanted to sell his). I agree that it is too wide for a walk around lens...I'll mainly use for for landscape.

I guess that there are risks with SDM (at least from the feedback from others here, although I believe one is more likely to respond if they have had a problem than those of us that have the lens and it's been fine). The big question is....have you grown to really like the 16-50?

Cheers,
Steve
01-07-2010, 05:12 PM   #7
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I think it would be wise to pay extra for an extended warranty. but still considering the 5-10 year warranty offered by the competition and knowing that they cost less, gives you something to wonder about. for a premium grade lens with a very limited warranty doesn't seem to be right at all considering they don't come cheap. I wouldn't mind paying a premium price as long as their service or replacement lens is dealt with as soon as possible in the event of QC concerns arise and a 5 year warranty would give people the confidence to buy the lens. you can't expect people to be happy if they have their lens' sitting on the Pentax hangar for 2-3 months. nor the fact that they only have a year of warranty. that is 9 months of uncertainty. though I won't mind them to only have 1-2 years warranty as long as they don't fail right after that period. these are not even batteries we're talking about.
01-07-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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.

I think the 12-24 can be used as a slightly creative walkabout. I've even taken
one to the zoo!














01-07-2010, 11:02 PM   #9
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Looks like I need to take the 12-24 out! Essi...a 12-24 would make a nice addition to your 16-50
01-07-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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the great thing about the 12-24 is you can use it to shoot something or someone very closely (due to very wide FOV which is very useful) and stealthily without bothering them or giving much attention. the bad thing about the lens is you need to shoot close inorder produce an acceptable size of the subject. definitely not for something that is considerably far from you.
01-08-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot for your input fellas.

Steve, unfortunately I can't really complement the 16-50 as it's really one or the other for the time being (budget speaking) and I want to take some decent street shots during the Winter Olympics. Thanks for your input and no rush on the test samples, I really appreciate it.

As for those photos above, the 12-24mm is sharper than a Hatori Hanso but the range difference may do me much better in the long run after all. Plus weather sealing is also a great benefit, especially on a "standard zoom". Makes more sense to have it on this range than on a 50-135mm for my usage. One other thing... the gold ring is priceless.

I hope to take it out for an extended period of time this weekend so hopefully I can report back saying how much I love the 16-50mm and that I need to keep it even if that means using a screw drive down the road.

I also agree with you Steve, that those who have encountered a problem will be more likely to voice their concerns, so maybe I can go forward being a guy who's shut up because he's happy with the lens. By the way, I love the DA 35mm Thanks.
01-08-2010, 10:15 AM   #12
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The 12-24 is about the same size as the 16-50, but a little less in weight. It focuses nice and quickly, which is nice. If you find you are not going past 24mm most of the time with your 16-50, then I'd say you'd be very happy changing over to the 12-24. OTOH, if you're constanting bumping it tto 50mm, then the 12-24 alone won't do it for you.. I liked the combo of the 12-24 + 43mm, or less expensively, you could use a 40mm, 50 or 70 for the tele lens.
01-08-2010, 12:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kathyk Quote
The 12-24 is about the same size as the 16-50, but a little less in weight. It focuses nice and quickly, which is nice. If you find you are not going past 24mm most of the time with your 16-50, then I'd say you'd be very happy changing over to the 12-24. OTOH, if you're constanting bumping it tto 50mm, then the 12-24 alone won't do it for you.. I liked the combo of the 12-24 + 43mm, or less expensively, you could use a 40mm, 50 or 70 for the tele lens.
Thanks, but I'm looking more for "one" lens to have on my camera for walking around. Appreciate the input. I would likely use the 35mm to complement.
01-08-2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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12-24 is a great lens for traveling and landscaping... but as a general walk-around i'd take the 16-45....
01-08-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
I knew someone would mention the Tamron (hence why I wrote Pentax glass)

I trust you Ash, but do you think that my DA 35mm would be a good midpoint to cover the missing bases?
It does seem from the discussion you're leaning more towards the 12-24, which is fine - it's an excellent lens in every way. You just have to be prepared to switch lenses, perhaps even often, to get a longer focal length.

The only other lens that may come close to replacing the 16-50 (other than my suggested Tamron) is the DA 16-45, as already mentioned also. Bear in mind that it is an f/4 max lens, but as a walk around it doesn't do badly at all. Your 35 would still come in handy, though...
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