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01-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
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Is My DA15 Sharp?

I have had my DA15 Ltd. for a few weeks, and only had a couple of opportunities to take it out, and pretty much no great photo ops. None of my pics are really earth shatteringly sharp, but they're not bad. Since my expectations were so high, I'm wondering if others could look at some of my full size shots and see if you think this one is as sharp as the reputation suggests. It's possible that it's just me, or unrealistic expectations. Mostly the pictures seem to lack the same pizzazz I've gotten from my DA40, but again I haven't had any great light to shoot with.

Here are some samples (click on the images for full size)

At f5.6



At f8



f6.3




And wide open




Last edited by Kozlok; 01-22-2013 at 07:03 PM.
01-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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First shot shows really good center sharpness. Can't check the corners, some of them are OOF (little bit) or nothing in detail.
Second shot seems to have the foreground on the corner out of focus.
Third shot isn't working for me.
Fourth shot shows great sharpness in the center.

Remember, this is a 15mm.
01-22-2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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As a point of reference, here's a few with the DA40 that just seems a bit sharper

@ 2.8



@ f8



@f4

01-22-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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To be honest, there's barely any difference in the center. Look at the fine hairs on the top of your dog's nose.

01-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
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Because it isn't an ultra-wide angle lens, I think it's reasonable to expect the 40mm shots to be a bit more crisp. Plus, the 40mm is virtually free of distortion, whereas the 15mm is not.

With that said, I don't think there's anything wrong with your copy of the 15mm.

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01-22-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Looked through the rest of your flickr shots - some are good, some are soft (but I'll attribute to focus being slightly off).

A good test you can do is a nice tripod test on various scenes. Remember, even though it's wide angle, at F4 it won't automatically be infinite DOF.
01-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'm thinking I just don't like the pics because I haven't had any great light. Every day I've had time at the right hours it has been raining. I'm sure a bit better day for shooting will make all the difference.
01-22-2013, 10:48 PM   #8
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I think your DA15 is just fine. In fact, the shot of the dog convinces me of that. Perceived sharpness is the result of a lot of factors -- amount of detail visible, depth of field, lighting, field curvature (from which the lens suffers), etc. I go through phases where I think my 15 is not sharp. Then all of a sudden it surprises me just how sharp it is, especially in the center. In general I think it can be hard to get a really compelling landscape image with the lens because of its wide field of view -- if there's not enough depth to the scene, everything looks flat and the organic details become muddy. This lens excels with the sharp angles of architecture and other mandmade structures, or scenes with lots of depth -- like your dog's snout dead on. Those whiskers are sharp, though the narrow depth of field may make that hard to appreciate.

Anyway, give it some more time! It's a tough nut to crack but one of my favorite lenses.

01-23-2013, 02:02 AM   #9
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It's worth taking your time focussing the DA15mm. Try live-view and CDAF. If there isn't time, focus on your hand first and then focus on your subject. Not sure why, but I found the AF on the DA15mm and other UWA lenses somewhat reluctant to kick in sometimes. And it's hard to see if focus is spot-on throught the viewfinder, since everything looks so small through this lens!
01-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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As someone that doesn't own either lens, my answer is yes, very. Extremely sharp actually.
01-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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I think they look pretty good. The DA 15 has pretty soft corners at f4. I normally will shoot it at f8 and by then, it is plenty sharp across the frame.
01-23-2013, 09:53 AM   #12
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Unless you are shooting at close distances (e.g. less than 10 feet) as in the picture with the dog, focus should not be an issue.

The hyper focal distance for a 15mm lens is as follows:

F4 - 9.28 feet
F5.6 - 6.57 feet
F8 - 4.66 feet

For typical landscapes @F8 everything will be in focus from about 3 feet to infinity as long as the lens is set at around 7 feet. Any softness will be attributed to other variables such as lens IQ, camera shake, wind, etc.

Did you use a tripod? If not, try with one and you will be pleasantly surprised.
01-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #13
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Hmm, the photos seem to be a little out of focus or maybe there is motion blur.. make sure you are focusing right (try hyperfocal) and that the shutter speed is high. Its a wide angle lens, but you should still keep the shutter speed above 1/100. Also, high ISO can make sharp lines appear to be "blurry" because of the noise.
The photo with the dog shows that the lens is actually sharp and working, I think you just need a little more experience with it
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