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03-18-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
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Wide angle lens question

I am contemplating an idea of buying a new lens for wide angle range, for landscapes. I am thinking of primes over zoom lenses at the moment.
My choices are HD DA 15mm ltd or Irix 15 mm f/2.4 ( Blackstone or firefly), just to add more complications, I might add Pentax 14mm f/2.8. Now the problem is only Irix is WR lens, while two Pentax lenses are not weather sealed. I need advice from Pentaxians about image quality and handling of these lenses in comparison or otherwise.

Best regards,

Atindra

03-18-2018, 09:08 AM - 1 Like   #2
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DA 15mm is magical. See here: The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club - PentaxForums.com

The Irix is FF capable if you ever intend to go to a K-1.
03-18-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
DA 15mm is magical. See here: The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club - PentaxForums.com

The Irix is FF capable if you ever intend to go to a K-1.
Yep. I couldn't have said it any better.

If you're not planning to go full frame, you can't beat the DA-15.
03-18-2018, 09:48 AM   #4
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If you want the sun or other bright lights in the photos, then the DA15 is THE choice. If you like sun-stars, get the old DA-15, not the newer HD DA-15. If you want a faster lens for astrophotography, the 14 is better. The Sigma 8-16 is quite nice also, but suffers from flare more than I like, and it's heavy, and the aperture is very slow.

One thing I will say, if I pixel-peep my DA15 images, they are not as good as the Sigma 8-16, but just out shooting photos, I always end up with better images with the 15. It's just more inspiring to use. Most of my very favorite images were with the 15.

03-18-2018, 10:26 AM   #5
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um... let's not discount the DA14 just yet....

Pentax DA14mm Club - PentaxForums.com

https://www.flickr.com/groups/1564698@N22/


no, it's not a Limited lens, but it is monstrously capable...
03-18-2018, 10:50 AM   #6
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There are several great choices out there. I narrowed my choice down to the DA 14 and HD DA 15 - you won't go wrong with either. Ultimately I chose the HD DA 15 for its compact size, light weight and exceptional performance. There's never an excuse not to carry the 15 Limited because it takes up so little room in a camera bag!
https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/74929/1_Colonial_Building_Small_BW-2.jpg
03-18-2018, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thanks for suggestions but overall still the floor is wide open and the confusion remains. I have not owned any limited lens yet so might get tilted to 15mm ltd. Suddenly Rokinon 14mm F2.8 has also made decision making difficult.

Best

Atindra
03-18-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Atindra Quote
Now the problem is only Irix is WR lens, while two Pentax lenses are not weather sealed.
QuoteOriginally posted by Atindra Quote
Suddenly Rokinon 14mm F2.8 has also made decision making difficult.
Atindra
Atindra, I own non-WR and WR primes and zooms. If the weather is so bad that common sense says find shelter, then even with my WR gear, I will jury-rig my own rain shield, usually with an inverted gallon sized zip-lock freezer bag. Of course, they also make rain shields commercially:
OP/TECH USA Rainsleeve Small 8" Protective Shield 9001108

But in light rain or dust, I have never had issues with my non-WR primes. Unlike zooms with an extra rotating/extending collar and moving elements, primes are inherently more WR. So I would not chose the Irix just because it is the only WR option.

If you want the best, you have to pay for the best, and in this case the Pentax HD DA 15mm is it. The others are a compromise. In general, Rokinon are great for the price, but 9 out 10 donʻt have the IQ needed for enlargement quality print work. There is a greater sample variation with lower priced manufacturers, and although you could get lucky, I wouldnʻt waste my time.....unless, you know the manager at a local camera store, that has a case of these lenses and he/she will let you try as many as you want in store until you find a gem.

03-18-2018, 01:39 PM - 3 Likes   #9
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Can only confirm: if you plan to go the APS-C road, there's a lot to be said for the DA15, mostly because of its capability to churn out highly satisfying images that bear its very own signature.

Just reprocessed some DA15 images I took in East Frisia back in 2015 which utilize some that lens's strengths: (See full-res versions that retain more of the remarkable tonality here: East Frisia, 2015 - Marc)
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 03-18-2018 at 02:00 PM.
03-18-2018, 02:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Atindra, I own non-WR and WR primes and zooms. If the weather is so bad that common sense says find shelter, then even with my WR gear, I will jury-rig my own rain shield, usually with an inverted gallon sized zip-lock freezer bag. Of course, they also make rain shields commercially:
OP/TECH USA Rainsleeve Small 8" Protective Shield 9001108

But in light rain or dust, I have never had issues with my non-WR primes. Unlike zooms with an extra rotating/extending collar and moving elements, primes are inherently more WR. So I would not chose the Irix just because it is the only WR option.

If you want the best, you have to pay for the best, and in this case the Pentax HD DA 15mm is it. The others are a compromise. In general, Rokinon are great for the price, but 9 out 10 donʻt have the IQ needed for enlargement quality print work. There is a greater sample variation with lower priced manufacturers, and although you could get lucky, I wouldnʻt waste my time.....unless, you know the manager at a local camera store, that has a case of these lenses and he/she will let you try as many as you want in store until you find a gem.
Good suggestions, I will keep that in my mind.

Regards,

Atindra

---------- Post added 03-19-2018 at 02:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Can only confirm: if you plan to go the APS-C road, there's a lot to be said for the DA15, mostly because of its capability to churn out highly satisfying images that bear its very own signature.

Just reprocessed some DA15 images I took in East Frisia back in 2015 which utilize some that lens's strengths: (See full-res versions that retain more of the remarkable tonality here: East Frisia, 2015 - Marc)
Fantastic images. The last shot exhibits this lensí capability to shoot at Sun directly. Coating by Pentax is awesome maybe.

Atindra
03-18-2018, 04:32 PM   #11
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Pick the Irix for picture quality, Atindra, and the DA15 for portability.

I've got both, and they're great.
03-18-2018, 06:52 PM   #12
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Have you considered the Rokinon? IQ is fantastic, often used by pros. I shot this on the 14mm Rok with a Sony A7r. I have had great results with it on a crop. It's a lot less risky on a crop, in fact, when it comes to defects. If you purchase off Amazon and your copy is not perfect you can simply send it back until you get one that is.

Atomic Tree by J. Creasy - Photo 249703989 / 500px
03-18-2018, 08:21 PM   #13
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I have the DA 15 and it is really good. If you want to spend a little less and don't mind manual focus another lens is the Bower 14mm f/2.8 manual focus (also sold asRokinon & Samyang). I have this lens also. Just be aware of some have a de-centered lens issues, my first one did but B&H replaced it.
03-19-2018, 06:14 AM   #14
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The DA 14 can shoot closer than the 15 if that matters to you. DA 15 is the flare King. No experience here with Irix 15 or Rokinon 14.
03-19-2018, 01:24 PM   #15
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Just purchased the Irix (Firefly) 15mm today. I spent a several minutes doing a work out with a K-1 and the 15-30 and it was not for me - I knew it wasn't, which was why I'd been first to the Irix stand (at NEC, UK). The Firefly version is not instantly that much lighter, but after holding it and a Blackstone for around 5 mins while chatting with the rep, it was becoming clear to me that the Firefly was going to be my choice. I look after my lenses, so the finish differences between the two were not significant to me. The optics being the same got the Firefly over the line.

The Firefly can achieve the same level of WR as the Blackstone, so the rep confirmed, by screwing in a filter as the only wr difference is in that area.

The reviews I've read and folk I've talked too (many now) are very impressed with these two lenses. Personally, I am inexperienced with wide angles, which is why I decided to buy a 'cheaper', modern lens to experiment with.

I'll feed back after a few days of playing ...

Last edited by BarryE; 03-23-2018 at 10:21 AM.
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