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03-10-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Going to Hawaii in April and then Europe in May.

I am trying to decide between either of these two lenses, and having a hard time deciding.

I'm coming from the RICOH GRD4 so I'm thinking that the DA21LTD might be more akin to the FOV that I'm used to, but I really have no idea and no way to test the lenses.

Am I correct in that they both allow for hyperfocal / zone focus manual focusing?


03-10-2013, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Did you see the sample photos and lens review section?
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

According to the reviews, the DA 21mm is a good lens, but there is almost a cult around the DA 15mm. I think it might depend on the cost of the lenses in your area. Look at the photos of the lens, they both allow zone focusing, but they are small lenses, so the focusing ring and aperture ring are also small.
With the K-01 thats not a problem, though, because you have focus peaking and the AF isn't bad either (once you update the firmware).
03-10-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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To answer your question: yes & yes

I have both. 21 is very similar to shooting a traditional 28mm on film. I enjoy that.

The 15 is an excellent lens but I find the Wide angle perspective distortion can be a bit much making for challenging composition... ie. it is more work for vacation candids, but it is probably best choice for architectural/landscape wideangle work.

Both have bags of DOF... F8 and be there
03-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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I lived in Hawaii for a long time and been up and down and around all the islands. If you only had to pick one I would go with the 21. That said the 15 is good too. I have both lenses and am highly please with both. Hawaii being the backdrop though it just depends on what you plan to shoot.

03-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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You can start some lengthy debates over the idea of "ideal focal lengths" but I would say the 21 is more suited for general wide-normal perspective street shooting and the 15 is more for dramatic wide angle perspectives.

Although I don't have those specific lenses I have lenses that cover those focal lengths and both FOV have their uses. You just have to decide which you like more ... or get both.
03-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JJJPhoto Quote
or get both
I second that!
03-10-2013, 12:46 PM   #7
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Both lenses are tiny and can fit in a shirt pocket--both in one pocket on some shirts. Travel packing is a non-issue. If you have both, take both.

If you are looking to buy one or the other, go through your favorite photos taken in the last few years. Check the general perspective and focal length of the bulk of your best shots...don't trick yourself into thinking that you will stretch from your norms on these trips...go with the perspective you already seem to like and excel shooting. If you have never owned a super wide like the 15, don't presume that you can buy one and suddenly be a fabulous wide angle shooter. Go with what you know and keep your learning curve away from your expensive trips.
03-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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I have both as well. They are both nice on the K-01, as are all the limiteds. I took them both to the Grand Canyon, and actually ended up using the 21 more, as the 15 for sweeping landscapes really diminishes the size of some of the distant features - but is awesome for those unique shots incorporating a foreground element. If I had to pick only one, it would probably be the 21 as it is very versatile for both landscape and group shots. It is also somewhat smaller. The 21 is also a little more forgiving with wide angle perspective distortion. I find when I travel now, I take the 4 lenses 15, 21,40 and 70 (one on the body and 3 in the limited case) and usually end up using the 21 and 15 the most. Either way, you couldn't go wrong! Good luck with your choice!

03-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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Both do different things. I don't think the choice is one or the other.
03-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies everybody.

I'm coming from the GRD4 which is 28mm, so that is the only focal length that I've been using.
As far as focus peaking and AF: for street photography I love the snap focus feature on the GRD4 so I need lenses with zonefocusing abilities.

I like versatility and the 28mm, so I will go with the DA21ltd first.

Still getting the hang of the K01, probably having to do with getting used to the DA40XS. I'm used to the wider angle.

And of course, I need to improve my skills!

Here is a link to the my flickr stream where you can see some of my first published pictures taken with the K01 and others taken with the GRD4.

Flickr: perptual3's Photostream
03-11-2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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I have both lenses, and used them both in Hawaii. The DA21 is a generally more practical lens I think and you certainly can go wrong with it. The DA15 is also very interesting though more limited in use. On my current trip to Molokai/Lanai, I only took the DA40 and DA21 and that worked fairly well. Here my Hawaii galleries where I used the DA15 \(Zenfolio | Roger St-Pierre Photography | Maui, HI) and DA21 (
03-11-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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May be a new 21XS or 24XS should be coming?
03-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #13
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From someone who has owned both, id recommend neither in this case, the DA12-24 +LR4 is great as an urban travel lens
03-13-2013, 03:11 PM   #14
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Getting the DA21ltd first, the the 15.

Thanks for the feedback everybody.
03-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #15
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Interesting viewpoint from twitch. I had the 12-24 for several years and then purchased the 15 and 21...sold the 12-24 here on the forum...just wasn't using it...always bothered by the distortion...

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