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04-10-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
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pentax 15mm review dpreview vs potozone

I see different reviews from dpreview and photozone regarding sharpness of the pentax 15mm lens. Photozone shows excellent center sharpness with great edge to edge sharpness stepping to f8. On the other hand dpreview shows not so good sharpness for the lens. What is your experience with the lens. Which review should we go by.

photozone
http://www.photozone.de/pentax/463-pentax_15_4?start=1

dpreview
http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/widget/Fullscreen.ashx?reviews=49&fullsc...ration.xml%3F4

04-10-2010, 01:18 PM   #2
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My experience matches photozone. See any of the many threads on the DA15 or comapring wide angle lenses in general on this forum for lots of sample images and further discussuion. Center sharpness even wide open is exactly as amazing as photozone makes it out to be, and at f/8 - where photozone shows virtually all lenses peforming about the same - it is indeed perfectly fine across the whole frame.
04-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Another test of the DA15mm f4 is at slrgear.com.:
Pentax Lens: Primes - Pentax 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited SMC DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com!

The rating of slrgear.com matches the rating of photozone.de with positive comments: "we found this a very appealing little lens to shoot with, very compact and quick on the draw. A great lens for street photography or landscape work". "We've been consistently surprised and delighted with Pentax's lineup of DA Limited lenses, and with this one Pentax appears to have another winner on its hands: It's a very appealing little lens to work with".

Hope that the info will be of interest and add to Mark's experience.

Last edited by hcc; 04-17-2010 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Typo
04-11-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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.

There was a thread on dpreview (thread, not review) last year where a DA 15
owner posted some f/8 shots from his lens that did look pretty bad in the
corners, on a flat focal plane - this makes me wonder if there wasn't some sample
variation early on (or still.)

My DA 15 is my favorite DA lens of all time now, finally surpassing the legendary
DA 35ltd. (In my mind at least.) It's sharpness is thrilling.


central sharpness @ f/4


Crop:



f/8:



04-11-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex00 Quote
I see different reviews from dpreview and photozone regarding sharpness of the pentax 15mm lens. Photozone shows excellent center sharpness with great edge to edge sharpness stepping to f8. On the other hand dpreview shows not so good sharpness for the lens. What is your experience with the lens. Which review should we go by.

photozone
Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis

dpreview
dpreview.com - Lens Review - Fullscreen
Generally speaking anything that says "Pentax" on it starts 2 laps behind at DP Review. It is my personal, unsubstantiated opinion that Photozone's reviews are FAR les biased and more likely to be an accurate representation of a lens's performance.
04-11-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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The old Photodo was my favour lens test site, and now Photozone and only. Their test results match my personal experience. Dpreview is for camera reviews, but they can't seem to get their lens reviews right, not even close.
04-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex00 Quote
I see different reviews from dpreview and photozone regarding sharpness of the pentax 15mm lens. Photozone shows excellent center sharpness with great edge to edge sharpness stepping to f8. On the other hand dpreview shows not so good sharpness for the lens. What is your experience with the lens. Which review should we go by.

photozone
Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis

dpreview
dpreview.com - Lens Review - Fullscreen
I'm certain I'm among the minority here, but I think you can go bat blind and crazy reading reviews and comparing photos of newspapers and charts. To me, the best reviews of any camera equipment are from those who actually own and use the stuff. For me, the DA15 is a grand slam home run and I haven't taken one single picture of a resolution chart with it. My only complaint about it is, I'd like to find a slip on lens cap like the ones on my other Limited lenses instead of the threaded one that comes with it.

04-11-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
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Sadly the Limited seem to have limited QA. I for one have 2 excellent ones and 1 poor one (none of them are the 15mm) but the same model has shown excellent results from others.

- Itai
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04-11-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
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Personally I would just look at the photozone reviews, DPreview is so biased that it really isn't even funny anymore.
04-17-2010, 02:28 AM   #10
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I just received the lens and it looks great. Currently testing at all apertures. What aperture do you mostly shoot at with this lens. According to my tests, f8 seems to be the sweet spot where center and edges are sharp. f5.6 seems to have the best center sharpness, and other hand f22 seems soft. What is the purpose of f22 for this lens. Seems like anything above f11 starts to get soft. Do you use manual or auto focus. Where do you normally focus when shooting a far away scene. Is 3ft a rule of thumb. Is f11 good enough to get everything in focus.
04-17-2010, 02:37 AM   #11
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I love to shoot close and near wide open. I can be a bit of obsess when testing my brand new gears within the exchange period. But after that, I just use them as the situations are called for. I am sure nobody want to shoot everything at 3ft f8 right?
04-17-2010, 04:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex00 Quote
I just received the lens and it looks great. Currently testing at all apertures. What aperture do you mostly shoot at with this lens. According to my tests, f8 seems to be the sweet spot where center and edges are sharp. f5.6 seems to have the best center sharpness, and other hand f22 seems soft. What is the purpose of f22 for this lens. Seems like anything above f11 starts to get soft. Do you use manual or auto focus. Where do you normally focus when shooting a far away scene. Is 3ft a rule of thumb. Is f11 good enough to get everything in focus.
You hit diffraction issues around f11. More of a sensor problem than a lens problem. f11 should get most things in focus. Based on the hyperfocal length calculator, at 15mm and f11, everything from 3 feet to infinity should be (relatively) in focus.
04-17-2010, 05:41 AM   #13
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dpreview explained they had issues with the field curvature; this is the case when you shoot flat objects like a test chart at low focus distance - because it is a wide angle. They told that they defocus the lens to have a better balance between center and corners sharpness; Photozone test protocol seems to proceed differently; may be Klaus adjust focus when testing edges, or he uses a larger test chart. Don't forget that field curvature at infinity - most of the time this lens is used focused near infinity - can be different than at close focus distance. My personal experience with DA15 match photozone tests.
What I appreciate with dpreview is that they express the lateral CA as 2 curves; photozone often says that Ca is easy to correct in post processing, that is not always true. It is true if CA curve is linear - it is the case for the DA15; it is not easy to correct on the DA12-24 for example.
04-17-2010, 09:01 AM   #14
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I mostly shoot f/4 or f/8. f/4 in low light, f/8 otherwise. Sometimes f/11 if I want a little more DOF. I haven't really seen the need to smaller apertures - DOF is already enough at f/11 most of the time, so why deal with diffraction just to eek out a little more.
04-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by goubejp Quote
dpreview explained they had issues with the field curvature; this is the case when you shoot flat objects like a test chart at low focus distance - because it is a wide angle. They told that they defocus the lens to have a better balance between center and corners sharpness; Photozone test protocol seems to proceed differently; may be Klaus adjust focus when testing edges, or he uses a larger test chart. Don't forget that field curvature at infinity - most of the time this lens is used focused near infinity - can be different than at close focus distance. My personal experience with DA15 match photozone tests.
What I appreciate with dpreview is that they express the lateral CA as 2 curves; photozone often says that Ca is easy to correct in post processing, that is not always true. It is true if CA curve is linear - it is the case for the DA15; it is not easy to correct on the DA12-24 for example.
That is one of the reasons i never went for the 12-24mm. It was too much CA to deal with.
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