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04-14-2014, 07:51 AM   #1
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Ricoh GR vs. Pentax DA 21mm Limited ?

Hello,

I am tempted to exchange my 21mm Limited (on K-5) for the Ricoh GR. I really love the results the 21 has given me and am not exactly sure if the GRs results will be up to the same level in sharpness, colors and contrast.

I love to photograph architecture and landscapes with the 21, but would shoot some street too if I had the GR. The K-5 is not stealthy enough for it in my opinion.

So, are results of architecture, landscape (partly heavily post-processed RAWs) comparable between my K-5 + 21mm Limited and the Ricoh GR? Any experience to share anyone?

04-14-2014, 09:37 AM   #2
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Ive been considering the same move and from what Ive read the lens on the GR is slightly better than the DA21 comparing conrner to corner sharpness. Resolution should be a hair better to the classic K-5 because it lacks an AA filter (Like K-5IIs).
I stopped looking for the GR because I am leaniing to a Sigma DP merrill compact (foveon sensor)
04-14-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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What a great idea for a second body that you carry in your jacket pocket for all the wider stuff!

Like the K5 IIs, the GR does without AA filter for sharpness.

You could leave something like a 50-135 on your ILC and you're covered for fluid shooting when you're at an event.
04-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #4
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I have made that move from DA21 to the GR. While I loved the DA21 and the images it produced, I am very pleased with the GR. For my usage the GR advantages are smaller form factor which was good for light travel and street shooting; sharper images resulting from the great GR lens and the lack of AA filter; Macro mode; interesting in camera jpeg processing and; nice Black and White tonality. Here are some images for example. The Hartwood Leaf picture was in Macro mode.

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04-15-2014, 06:24 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Having had both... GR makes a ton of sense. Its sharpness is just a notch about the already excellent 21, plus it's faster and has the 35mm focal length option (not to mention the portability, etc). The GR is a bit more $, but worth it IMO.
04-16-2014, 06:34 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Do it. It's odd how very few wide shots I've ever taken with my Pentaxes, simply because I've had a GR series since 2009. It just fills that gap and it's never a matter of "did I bring that lens?" because the GR is ALWAYS with me even if the Pentax is not. I even ditched my DA15mm... It's of course a different animal altogether, but the GR at the very least holds its own. The GR was sharper, and though it doesn't star flare like the 15 legend, it does produce some very nice looking ones when stopped down past 5.6...

---------- Post added 04-16-14 at 06:37 PM ----------

Have a look at my Ricoh set if you like. Only the latter ones are using the GR, but everything in there is Ricoh 28mm equiv, the earlier stuff from the GRDIII so you'll get the idea what's possible, which is.... damn near everything. There may be one or two shots using the 21mm conversion lens as well.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/chickentender/sets/72157633285396210/
04-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by innivus Quote
Having had both... GR makes a ton of sense
+1, same here.
04-17-2014, 10:21 AM   #8
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I rented a DA21 for my K-3. I thought it was a fine lens. Pretty sharp, nice colors. Just a very capable lens.

But the first time I took a picture with my GR at wide open aperture, I was *stunned* how sharp the lens is. I think the results look sharper than any lens on my K-3. Colors on the GR are different than the K-3, but that's subjective.

Unless you specifically like the FoV of the DA21 or need the built in stabilization, I'd say go with the GR. It also gives you the option to mount a longer lens on your K-5 and dual wield your cameras. Your K-5 with a longer lens for portraits and the GR in your pocket for wide shots.

04-17-2014, 06:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
or need the built in stabilization
Less important at a short FL, of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
It also gives you the option to mount a longer lens on your K-5 and dual wield your cameras. Your K-5 with a longer lens for portraits and the GR in your pocket for wide shots.
Great setup!
04-18-2014, 02:06 AM   #10
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Thank you for your replies!

I am almost convinced. If I get a good selling price for my DA 21mm I think I will get me a Ricoh GR. Then I could take wide shots and do my beloved macro stuff with the 100mm WR on the K-5 at the same time. :-)
04-28-2014, 05:43 PM   #11
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I've had the 21 for a long time and the GR for the past year. GR is way sharper, even at 2.8.
04-29-2014, 11:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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DA21 is, unfortunately, the weakest of all DA Limited lenses. It is not bad, but it is not brilliant like the DA15 or DA70 either.
I was always hoping Pentax will wake up and deliver a 24mm / f2 lens on par with best Limiteds, one that could become a centre of gravity of all Limiteds.

To me DA21 looks like a decision made by some bureaucrat in Pentax HQ, who could not decide whether Pentax should issue a really good 28mm equivalent lens (or 18.5 in APS-C), or a kick @ss 35 mm equivalent lens (24mm in APS-C), and decided to go middle way, middle value, with no flair.

Ricoh's GR lens, of course, is amazing, and even more so because it is premium coated on all sides of all elements, optically refined to sit close to sensor and delivers it best light possible.

---------- Post added 04-30-2014 at 04:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Diggoar Quote
Thank you for your replies!

I am almost convinced. If I get a good selling price for my DA 21mm I think I will get me a Ricoh GR. Then I could take wide shots and do my beloved macro stuff with the 100mm WR on the K-5 at the same time. :-)
DA21 has its value for the K-mount DSLR, and I'd think twice before selling it. More because the GR is a separate camera altogether, and usually when you take a DSLR, you will not use the GR. And vice versa.

Treat them separately.
05-01-2014, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Good advice Uluru.

And the 21 can do great things in the right hands (like just about any lens): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46831-post-...otos-here.html
05-01-2014, 10:22 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
I rented a DA21 for my K-3. I thought it was a fine lens. Pretty sharp, nice colors. Just a very capable lens.

But the first time I took a picture with my GR at wide open aperture, I was *stunned* how sharp the lens is. I think the results look sharper than any lens on my K-3. Colors on the GR are different than the K-3, but that's subjective.

Unless you specifically like the FoV of the DA21 or need the built in stabilization, I'd say go with the GR. It also gives you the option to mount a longer lens on your K-5 and dual wield your cameras. Your K-5 with a longer lens for portraits and the GR in your pocket for wide shots.
Exactly. Its not meaningful to compare a DA-21 on a K5 with a GR. The K5 has an AA filter in it and thats going to handicap the lens. A K3 with the DA-21 is more likely to give the GR a run for the money.

On the other hand, i can't debate the logic of buying the GR instead of the DA-21 if it costs about the same and you want a convenient camera for candid/street type shooting.
05-02-2014, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Have had both. In terms of sheer quality, the GR's lens will win out vs the DA21.

I think the biggest thing to consider is going to be whether you're going to be comfortable using the GR's LCD as the only finder, or using an external finder that's not coupled to the lens vs a real finder as on a K DSLR. Personally, I don't find this an issue, but for a lot of people, it could be a deal-breaker.

For me, I'd go with the GR vs the DA21 anytime. The size + weight saving alone is worth it, IMO.

I typically don't AF, and just prefer to zone-focus, and while I initially thought the GR's snap focus function would be harder vs the real engraved marks on the DA21, I have not found it to be an issue at all.

Cheers.
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