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07-12-2007, 12:47 AM   #1
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Is DA 14/2.8 next to DA* 16-50/2.8

Hi,
I am thinking of getting my self a DA 14/2.8 mostly for cave photography, but then again I'm getting my self the DA* 16-50/2.8 within next 12 months. Now I'm wondering how much is DA 14 wider and better in image quality than DA* 16-50/2.8 will be? Now I know that DA* isn't out yet but I expect it to be as wide as DA 16-45/4 and have better IQ in every aspect (sharpness, CA, distortion...) so for the time being we can use DA 16-45 as a reference. Any thoughts or experience?

P.S.
"Is" in the title of this thread is a typo. Moderators, if you find time...

07-12-2007, 12:59 AM   #2
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Ive been thinking about a da14 myself. Too bad its not 12mm when they have the 12-24mm f4. The zoom seems to be a bit sharper than the prime as well.

I assume the DA* will be quite a bit better than the DA14 considering its not even as sharp as the DA12-24 eventhough the differences are not that big.

As for wide, look around for one of those comparison charts.
07-12-2007, 01:16 AM   #3
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I've been reading that 12-14 is sharper than 14 but I wonder if that is also the case from f5.6 to f8 which is the range of aperture I use in cave. I also read that 14 has much less chromatic abbreviation and besides that widest aperture 4 makes manual focusing in low light harder.
07-12-2007, 01:51 AM   #4
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I really prefer primes and really want to get the 14 instead of the 12-24 but its very dissapointing to see the prime lens being beaten by the zoom that also goes wider.

Here are the results for f5.6, DA 14 vs DA 12-24 @ 12mm

Numbers are: Center, Border, Extreme Border.

DA 14:
2166
1911
1631

DA 12-24
2224
2049
1872

The center is not that much different but as you move to the borders the differences should be visible.

07-12-2007, 01:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matjazz Quote
I've been reading that 12-14 is sharper than 14 but I wonder if that is also the case from f5.6 to f8 which is the range of aperture I use in cave. I also read that 14 has much less chromatic abbreviation and besides that widest aperture 4 makes manual focusing in low light harder.
I had the DA14 and a bunch of other DA primes (21, 40, and 70) and the DA14 showed the MOST CA of them all. I have heard others report this as well and I have gotten comments about the CA level in many of the pictures I have taken with it and published.

I would suggest that you wait and see if the DA* 16-50 works well enough for your cave photography. If you need wider you might as well consider the 12-24 zoom or perhaps even the Sigma 10-20, which seems to be fairly good - and is within the aperture range you mentioned.
07-12-2007, 03:01 AM   #6
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OK then. Let's wait and see what DA* 16-50/2.8 will be like.
07-12-2007, 03:58 AM   #7
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The newer copies of Da 14 does not have the poor centre resolution anymore. It is a great performer. I often use the lens wide open at night time shots.

Da 12-24 f4 is too dark through viewfinder.

Still I am also going to get Da * 16-50 to give it a go.
07-12-2007, 08:39 AM   #8
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I am also contemplating to get the DA 14/f2.8...however, the DA 16-45/f4 is about 40% cheaper. Is the extra 2mm and smaller f-stop from the DA 14/f2.8 going to make much of a difference in actual photo shooting?

07-12-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Well 2mm at the wide end is a lot more than,say,the difference between a 150 and 152mm lens so yeah those 2mm will give you a decent increase. altho that also means that the 12-24 is another nice step wider than the 14 again. I wish they would have made it a 12mm f2.8 instead, then it would have been an easy choice.

The da14 does have a short min focus distance though, and that can come in handy.

I dont think you will be using it at f2.8 too often although brighter viewfinder is nice and it will help af as well by letting in more light to the af sensors.
07-12-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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Pentax Ultra-Wides Compared

QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
I am also contemplating to get the DA 14/f2.8...however, the DA 16-45/f4 is about 40% cheaper. Is the extra 2mm and smaller f-stop from the DA 14/f2.8 going to make much of a difference in actual photo shooting?
I presently use a DA 12-24mm, and I have owned both the DA 14mm and the DA 16-45mm.

Yes, the difference between 16mm and 14mm is quite noticeable. With the right subject, the wider field of view of the 14mm can make a difference. The one extra stop of light of the DA 14mm doesn't really make much of a difference in the viewfinder image, but it can help a bit in critical focusing.

To summarize the differences:

DA 12-24mm: Very low geometric distortion across the zoom range, but the most CA in certain scenes with strong contrast. The flexibility of the zoom more than makes up for the CA (which can be easily fixed before printing). Best when well stopped down (as is true with all of the wide angle lenses).

DA 14mm: Very low geometric distortion, excellent build quality, and closer focusing as compared to the 12-24. Less CA than the 12-24 but still visible in certain scenes. One stop faster but still must be well stopped down for best results.

DA 16-45mm: Visible barrel distortion at the wide end. In some shots I needed to correct the lens distortion (but easy to do with RAW files using the Pentax Photo Lab or similar software). Less CA than the ultra-wides, but still visible in some shots with strong contrast (also easy to fix). The wide end just barely reaches into the ultra-wide range but the flexibility of the zoom makes it a very useful lens. I liked the handling and light weight of the lens, and was never limited by the f4 maximum aperture. If you want a wide to normal zoom then this is an excellent choice and an improvement over the kit lens in several respects (wider wide end, faster at the long end, and better image quality). If your main interest is to go ultra-wide, then you should go for the DA 14 or the DA 12-24 and really experience ultra-wide.
07-12-2007, 05:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for the comparison info. Very nicely done and presented.

I think I will go for the DA 14/f2.8 in view of the following 2 points you highlighted:

1. wider field of view.
2. shorter minimum focus distance.

Now all I need is some extra $$$
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