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04-12-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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Need help picking a wide angle

Well I aim to buy a new wide angle lens in a couple months time and have narrowed it down to 3 lens. My widest lens is only 18mm.

Pentax DA 12-24 f4 (around $1000AUD)
Pentax DA 15 f4 (around $1300AUD)
Pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8 (around $1380AUD)

The 12-24 apeals to me because its the widest of those 3 plus the cheapest.
Then the DA 15 apeals to me because i like the primes.
And the DA* because its the fastest and the being weather sealed is a bonus too.

I shoot a wide range of subjects but the lens i pick will mostly be for landscapes and buildings inside and outside.

Can anyone give me any advice on which of these lens would be the best for me?

Thanks-
Simon


Last edited by TOUGEFC; 04-12-2010 at 11:52 PM.
04-12-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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As I'm typing this response, right below the box where I am typing I see a list of other extremely similar threads to check out.
04-12-2010, 11:54 PM   #3
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Yes but many of those threads are comparing with one of the above lens to a sigma 10-20
04-13-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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I have all three lenses you mention. Among them, the DA* 16-50 is used the most (for general shooting, parties, meetings, ....). In most cases, I also bring along the DA 12-24 even though I don't use it as much.

I have a friend in real estate/rental business. When I go with her to take photos of the properties, I take only the DA 12-24.

The DA 15 is used mainly as a "fun" lens when I travel light (e.g. a walk during lunch break) or when I want to remain inconspicuous. Most of the times, I also have the DA 40 or DA 70 in the pocket.

I recommend the DA 12-24. Its IQ is top notch. I actually like its IQ over the DA 15's. The only drawback is its large size.


Last edited by SOldBear; 04-13-2010 at 12:46 AM.
04-13-2010, 12:31 AM   #5
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If you already have a lens at 18mm (I'm assuming it's a kit lens) you will benefit more from speed and IQ from the DA*16-50. It is a fantastic all-around lens (I use mine around 80% of the time) but obviously, it is not as wide as the 12-24.
A super wide is a great lens to have for landscape and very cool perspective shots, and I would say the 16-50 would not really serve the same purpose as the 12-24. What are you looking to do with a wide angle lens?
04-13-2010, 12:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I have all three lenses you mention. Among them, the DA* 16-50 is used the most (for general shooting, parties, meetings, ....). In most cases, I also bring along the DA 12-24 even though I don't use it as much.

I has a friend in real estate/rental business. When I go with her to take photos of the properties, I take only the DA 12-24.

The DA 15 is used mainly as a "fun" lens when I travel light (e.g. a walk during lunch break) or when I want to remain inconspicuous. Most of the times, I also have the DA 40 or DA 70 in the pocket.

I recommend the DA 12-24. Its IQ is top notch. I actually like its IQ over the DA 15's. The only drawback is its large size.
Thanks for the advice, is there much difference iq wise between the DA 12-24 and the DA* 16-50?
04-13-2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Thanks for the advice, is there much difference iq wise between the DA 12-24 and the DA* 16-50?
Yes. I don't think there are many lenses, primes included, can keep up with the DA*16-50.

But the DA 12-24 is not bad, not bad at all, even though its CA tolerance could be improved. Here is a set of photos of a rental property I took recently, JPEG from a K10D, with minimal post processing (straightened, cropped and resized) (lighting was provided by a hotshoe-mount Sunpak 36DX bounced off walls/ceiling):

https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Front.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back2.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back3.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/LivingDiningRoom1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/LivingRoomLookingInToDenAndFamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/DiningRoomLookingOutToFrontDoor.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/DenLookingOutToLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoomLookingOutToKitchenAndLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoomLookingOutToLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/BreakfastNookLookingIntoKitchenFamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenBreakfastNook.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenFamilyRoom1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenFamilyRoom2.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenLookingOutToFamilyRoom.jpg
04-13-2010, 12:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ari Quote
If you already have a lens at 18mm (I'm assuming it's a kit lens) you will benefit more from speed and IQ from the DA*16-50. It is a fantastic all-around lens (I use mine around 80% of the time) but obviously, it is not as wide as the 12-24.
A super wide is a great lens to have for landscape and very cool perspective shots, and I would say the 16-50 would not really serve the same purpose as the 12-24. What are you looking to do with a wide angle lens?
Sorry i missed your post before, yes the kit lens is my widest lens. I mainly just want a lens thats wider/faster and has better iq than my kit lens. To shoot landscapes, buildings from the outside and inside.
QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Yes. I don't think there are many lenses, primes included, can keep up with the DA*16-50.

But the DA 12-24 is not bad, not bad at all, even though its CA tolerance could be improved. Here is a set of photos of a rental property I took recently, JPEG from a K10D, with minimal post processing (straightened, cropped and resized) (lighting was provided by a hotshoe-mount Sunpak 36DX bounced off walls/ceiling):

https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Front.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back2.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/Back3.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/LivingDiningRoom1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/LivingRoomLookingInToDenAndFamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/DiningRoomLookingOutToFrontDoor.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/DenLookingOutToLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoomLookingOutToKitchenAndLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/FamilyRoomLookingOutToLivingRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/BreakfastNookLookingIntoKitchenFamilyRoom.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenBreakfastNook.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenFamilyRoom1.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenFamilyRoom2.jpg
https://viper.verific.com/WebSites/TracyRental/KitchenLookingOutToFamilyRoom.jpg
Thanks for the examples they look quite sharp.

04-13-2010, 02:37 AM   #9
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I haven't used the 12-24 myself, but have only heard good things about it.

If you, like myself, can't afford the DA 16-50/2.8 you could always look into the Tamron 17-50/2.8. As well as cheaper, it's also significantly lighter than the DA. I ordered my copy yesterday.. AU$445 to the door

Here are some reviews.

FM Reviews - AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
04-13-2010, 09:13 AM   #10
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Remember that in Australia you can email the distributor (CR Kennedy) to price match grey importers (eg. DWI) so your quoted prices could be lower.

plus if you are going overseas, you can claim GST back on the "price matched" price
04-13-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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fractal, ok i will have a look at that lens, on another note ive a shop in sydney selling the da* for 1150 bucks! I hope it stayx that price for a while until.
Kbryant, ok thanks for the tip!
04-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #12
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sorry for the typo's im using my phone at work.
04-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #13
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Process of elimination:

Too many horror stories about SDM problems for me to plunk down the money for the 16-50, plus the focal length mostly duplicates what you have (or maybe you are going to unload the kit...)

Small differences in focal length in ultra-wides makes a big difference, so I would not want to be fixed at 15mm.

The 12-14 provides a noticeably wider FOV than the kit, and is a very handy range for architecture to car shows. You really can't go much wider rectilinearly, except for the Sigma 10-20, but I think at the wider end that one looks kind of odd (that coming from a fisheye fan...)

Although the f2.8 sounds good, for landscapes or even indoors, you will likely be on a tripod making the a longer shutter speed not an issue, perhaps.
04-13-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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I think that a bit more information is needed. For instance....

For the 16-50 -
  • Do you need the f2.8 speed?
  • Are you finding your kit lens reasonably adequate?
  • Is 16 sufficiently wide for your needs?

For the wide angle lenses -
  • Do you value versatility?
  • Does size/weight matter?
  • Is f4 sufficiently fast enough, or will a tripod and longer exposures due?

The new lens in general -
  • What do you hope to accomplish with it?
  • Landscapes? Low ambient light? Architecture?
_______________________________

The difference between your 18 and the 16-50 is the lens speed and better quality. However, if you are looking for wide angle photography then the 16-50 is probably not wide enough.

As touched on earlier, the most apparent difference between the 15 and 12-24 is essentially size, weight, plus one is a prime and the other a zoom. A number of the lens review sights have the IQ of the 12-24 equal to the 15. The 12-24 has been referred to as a prime for its IQ. Yes, it has some CA problems however that is easily correctable with software. So, if you are looking for something that is a prime, small and light, then its the 15. If physical size is not a large concern and versatility is, then the 12-24 is for you.

I have the 12-24 and have been tempted by the 15, but the 12-24 is so good that I have not really pursued it at all. I have found the 12-24 to be extremely sharp and has worked very well for me. I also have the 16-45/f4 and again not really considered the 16-50.

Sorry for the link to another forum site, but here are a number of 12-24 shots. The reduced size does not due justice to its IQ here at all....

Ohio Barns & BarnStormers.... - Steve's Digicams Forums

hope that helps....
04-14-2010, 01:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Process of elimination:

Too many horror stories about SDM problems for me to plunk down the money for the 16-50, plus the focal length mostly duplicates what you have (or maybe you are going to unload the kit...)

Small differences in focal length in ultra-wides makes a big difference, so I would not want to be fixed at 15mm.

The 12-14 provides a noticeably wider FOV than the kit, and is a very handy range for architecture to car shows. You really can't go much wider rectilinearly, except for the Sigma 10-20, but I think at the wider end that one looks kind of odd (that coming from a fisheye fan...)

Although the f2.8 sounds good, for landscapes or even indoors, you will likely be on a tripod making the a longer shutter speed not an issue, perhaps.
Thanks for the advice, i will keep the sdm fails in mind.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I think that a bit more information is needed. For instance....

For the 16-50 -
  • Do you need the f2.8 speed? Yes it would be handy since alot of my shots inside buildings can be quite dark.
  • Are you finding your kit lens reasonably adequate?I like the kit lens i just wish it was wider.
  • Is 16 sufficiently wide for your needs?Im not to sure if 16 will be wide enough.

For the wide angle lenses -
  • Do you value versatility?Yes
  • Does size/weight matter? Not really
  • Is f4 sufficiently fast enough, or will a tripod and longer exposures due?
I could probably get away using f4 in low light and use tripod or flash if need be.

The new lens in general -
  • What do you hope to accomplish with it? Wider angles, i struggle with 18 at times, and better iq would be nice.
  • Landscapes? Low ambient light? Architecture? All
_______________________________

The difference between your 18 and the 16-50 is the lens speed and better quality. However, if you are looking for wide angle photography then the 16-50 is probably not wide enough.

As touched on earlier, the most apparent difference between the 15 and 12-24 is essentially size, weight, plus one is a prime and the other a zoom. A number of the lens review sights have the IQ of the 12-24 equal to the 15. The 12-24 has been referred to as a prime for its IQ. Yes, it has some CA problems however that is easily correctable with software. So, if you are looking for something that is a prime, small and light, then its the 15. If physical size is not a large concern and versatility is, then the 12-24 is for you.

I have the 12-24 and have been tempted by the 15, but the 12-24 is so good that I have not really pursued it at all. I have found the 12-24 to be extremely sharp and has worked very well for me. I also have the 16-45/f4 and again not really considered the 16-50.

Sorry for the link to another forum site, but here are a number of 12-24 shots. The reduced size does not due justice to its IQ here at all....

Ohio Barns & BarnStormers.... - Steve's Digicams Forums

hope that helps....
Thanks for your post, ive answered all your questions in red, im starting to lean towards the 12-24 now....
I wish the 12-24 was a bit faster and was WR....
I wish the 16-50 was wider...
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