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04-19-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Thinking of buying a Pentax 14 mm F 2.8-good idea?

In the past I've asked for opinions on lenses from this forum. The detail, thoroughness, experiences I find invaluable and provide information that helps me make informed decisions.

As a result in the past using advice on this forum I have bought the Pentax 16-45, 55-300, 10-17 Fisheye. Thank you.

Now I'm considering the Pentax 14 mm F 2.8 lens.

I would use it to take pictures of vintage cars, hot rods, motorcycles, vintage trucks and landscapes.

I already have...wide angle wise...a Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye, Pentax 16-45mm that I use for vehicles...usually on 16 mm and an 18-55mm that I don't use much.

I find the 16-45 mm excellent for a zoom...very sharp, clear, little distortion.

Qualities I look for and that I wonder whether the 14 mm would meet well include:

* Very clear, sharp pix of vehicles....although the 16-45 mm is excellent, I would hope that the 14 mm surpasses this lens in these qualities. I'm assuming it might as the 14 mm is a prime, compared to the zoom 16-45.
* Colour Rendition- Accurate reproduction and rendition of colour is important to me. Many of the vintage vehicles have astounding paint jobs, much better with a wider variety of colour and 'sparkle' then many production vehicles. Again the 16-45 does well...I'm hoping the 14 mm as a prime would do better.
* Distortion - I don't mind a bit of wide angle distortion, however I do like the vehicles to more or less appear as they do to the human eye. Wide angle will have some distortion...that's OK...as long as it's not fisheye proportion...I already have the 10-17 mm for that angle.
* The 14 mm is an F2.8...during evening shots I hope that an F 2.8 will make a significant difference over the F 4 of the 16-45. Would this be the case, do you think ?
* Landscapes...I love the wide skies, beautiful clouds, extra wide ground level shots I see with extra wide angle lenses. I wonder if the 14 mm is capable of shots like these ? I'm thinking the 14 mm would be the 35 mm equivalent of a 20 mm and the 16 mm of the 16-45 would be around 24 mm...am I right on the button ? Is this enough of a difference to notice in pix...width of angle, field of view ?

Thanks.

Les

04-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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Well, first off, f/4 is only one stop less than f/2.8 so the difference might mean a lot to you and it might not mean anything at all. The lens is a bit smaller than the DA 16-45, so there's a plus there, but it's just a 14mm, and you might end up finding yourself too limited by the constant wide angle photography that it is only capable of taking. Your subjects that you noted might be perfect for that, but I would recommend putting your 16-45mm on 16mm for a whole day and seeing if you can live with that. I think it has fairly better distortions too, since it's a prime lens.
04-19-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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I can't vouch for the landscapes as I have not used it for that yet. As for car shows, especially indoor ones, I found it ideal. It is quite interesting to have to lean over the ropes to get close enough to get a shot with this lens. I don't think you could go wrong with it for the uses you intend. I looked at the Da 15 limited but could not justify the extra cost.

Here is an example from the Vancouver Auto show. Keep in mind that this was handheld and a rushed shot. I went to look at new cars to purchase, not to photograph but could not resist a few snaps. Sorry forgot the specs.

Taken with the KX 1/40th F3.5 IS0 250 and autofocus

04-19-2010, 04:02 PM   #4
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I've found the 14mm to be super sharp with amazing color fidelity (I prefer the color of the 14 over the color of the DA35 Ltd....shhhh, don't tell anyone). I don't have any of my personal family snapshots online anywhere, but I've taken a bunch of indoor low light photos, all handheld, and they're gorgeous. That 2.8 is great to have. Some of my favorites from the 14 that I do have online:

An example of the kind of color this lens can capture - and really sharp, too


Very low distortion


The textures & colors of this one have been messed with in PP, but it gives you a good sense of the scope you can get at 14mm. I'm standing waaay closer than it looks like


Lovely low light photo characteristics


04-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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I'd buy a DA 12-24mm instead.

I don't think there is any question about the IQ of the DA 12-24.

It is F/4, 1 stop slower than the DA 14. But at this range of focal length, F/4 in most cases is plenty fast.

The DA 12-24 is slightly bigger and heavier than the DA 14, but not by much: 15.2 oz. vs 14.8 oz, 3.3" X 3.4" vs 3.3" X 2.7", same 77mm filter thread.

If you were comparing the DA 12-24 against the DA 15 Ltd., I could see the definite advantage of the DA 15 Ltd in size.

IMHO, the versatility of the DA 12-24 makes it a better value than the DA 14.
04-19-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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I too am agonising over the 14/2.8. I've narrowed down my choices to the following:

1. Pentax DA 14/2.8 - fast, sharp, great colour, bombproof build quality, excellent close focus capability.

2. Sigma 10-20/3.5 - reasonably fast, useful zoom range (would overlap a bit with my DA*16-50/2.8), has HSM. I had this one but sent it back due to bf and edge softness at larger apertures (bad copy?)

3. Pentax 12-24/4 - a bit slow for my style, ok build quality, sharp, has a very useful zoom range.

For my style I'd actually go for the 14 prime given my lens lineup (my workhorses are the 16-50/2.8, 50/1.4, 50-135/2.8 and 77/1.8). What really attracts me to the 14/2.8 is its close focus ability, particularly for creative compositions.

Last edited by Mohawk; 04-19-2010 at 05:35 PM.
04-19-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
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Even though there's a DA14 over in the marketplace with your name on it (and mine ) I'm going to throw out a second or third for the 12-24 if you can swing it. For wide angle, this has become my go to lens.






04-19-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Well, first off, f/4 is only one stop less than f/2.8 so the difference might mean a lot to you and it might not mean anything at all. The lens is a bit smaller than the DA 16-45, so there's a plus there, but it's just a 14mm, and you might end up finding yourself too limited by the constant wide angle photography that it is only capable of taking. Your subjects that you noted might be perfect for that, but I would recommend putting your 16-45mm on 16mm for a whole day and seeing if you can live with that. I think it has fairly better distortions too, since it's a prime lens.
The F 2.8 as opposed to F 4 is valuable in that golden hour before the sun goes down for outdoor car shots.

Last summer I found I was switching from my 16-45 F 4 to my 50 mm F 1.4 as the sun went down. The 50 1.4 is a great lens, but on my K10D or KM body...it's about a 70-75 mm...not great focal length for a car...too narrow a FOV.

Good suggestion about using 16 mm for a day, I have done this with my 10-17 mm and it does take a certain discipline.

04-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianK Quote
I can't vouch for the landscapes as I have not used it for that yet. As for car shows, especially indoor ones, I found it ideal. It is quite interesting to have to lean over the ropes to get close enough to get a shot with this lens. I don't think you could go wrong with it for the uses you intend. I looked at the Da 15 limited but could not justify the extra cost. same thing here, also one less mm of with and F 4 as opposed to F 2.8.

Here is an example from the Vancouver Auto show. Keep in mind that this was handheld and a rushed shot. Good shot especially considering indoors ,,,great colour rendition. Did you get that SRT ? I went to look at new cars to purchase, not to photograph but could not resist a few snaps. Sorry forgot the specs.

Taken with the KX 1/40th F3.5 IS0 250 and autofocus

Thanks for the pix...gives me an idea of FOV, etc.
04-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ecaterin Quote
I've found the 14mm to be super sharp with amazing color fidelity (I prefer the color of the 14 over the color of the DA35 Ltd....shhhh, don't tell anyone). I don't have any of my personal family snapshots online anywhere, but I've taken a bunch of indoor low light photos, all handheld, and they're gorgeous. That 2.8 is great to have. Some of my favorites from the 14 that I do have online:

An example of the kind of color this lens can capture - and really sharp, too


Very low distortion


The textures & colors of this one have been messed with in PP, but it gives you a good sense of the scope you can get at 14mm. I'm standing waaay closer than it looks like


Lovely low light photo characteristics
Great pix...thanks for the landscapes...I can see this 14 mm will give me the big skies, stretched clouds.
04-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I'd buy a DA 12-24mm instead.

I don't think there is any question about the IQ of the DA 12-24.

It is F/4, 1 stop slower than the DA 14. But at this range of focal length, F/4 in most cases is plenty fast.I wouoldn't mind the 12 -24, but in Canada it is well over $ 1000.00 CAD...where the 14 mm is around $ 700 CAD..also I want to have a prime.

The DA 12-24 is slightly bigger and heavier than the DA 14, but not by much: 15.2 oz. vs 14.8 oz, 3.3" X 3.4" vs 3.3" X 2.7", same 77mm filter thread.

If you were comparing the DA 12-24 against the DA 15 Ltd., I could see the definite advantage of the DA 15 Ltd in size.

IMHO, the versatility of the DA 12-24 makes it a better value than the DA 14.
The 12-24 is a fine lens....hopefully eventually I might be able to get a great deal on one.
04-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mohawk Quote
I too am agonising over the 14/2.8. I've narrowed down my choices to the following:

1. Pentax DA 14/2.8 - fast, sharp, great colour, bombproof build quality, excellent close focus capability.That's what I understand....waiting for a sale and my wife's ok...

2. Sigma 10-20/3.5 - reasonably fast, useful zoom range (would overlap a bit with my DA*16-50/2.8), has HSM. I had this one but sent it back due to bf and edge softness at larger apertures (bad copy?)I too have looked seriously at the Sigma 10-20...but I keep on reading about not all are good copies. I was looking at the Sigma F 4...cheaper...I dunno...I go back and forth about getting a Sigma. Not sure what to do.

3. Pentax 12-24/4 - a bit slow for my style, ok build quality, sharp, has a very useful zoom range.
Pricey in Canada...don't know if you are American or Canadian...but if you're US based, think the 12-24 price is a lot more reasonable there, then up here. Also as you say F4...I would like faster.
For my style I'd actually go for the 14 prime given my lens lineup (my workhorses are the 16-50/2.8, 50/1.4, 50-135/2.8 and 77/1.8). What really attracts me to the 14/2.8 is its close focus ability, particularly for creative compositions.
That's good info...didn't know the 14 mm was a close focuser....another plus to me.
04-19-2010, 07:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Even though there's a DA14 over in the marketplace with your name on it (and mine ) I'm going to throw out a second or third for the 12-24 if you can swing it. For wide angle, this has become my go to lens.






That 12-24 is a heck of a lens....just...ouch ...the Cdn. $$$ !!
04-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
That 12-24 is a heck of a lens....just...ouch ...the Cdn. $$$ !!
Yes, I know. This one came from B&H for $599 shipped (USA).. They are $699 now but so is the DA14 (new). That's partly why I encouraged you to go to the marketplace in search of a Used DA14 f2.8...

04-19-2010, 08:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Yes, I know. This one came from B&H for $599 shipped (USA).. They are $699 now but so is the DA14 (new). That's partly why I encouraged you to go to the marketplace in search of a Used DA14 f2.8...

About $ 1100 to 1299 CAD in Canada for the 12-24.
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