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02-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #1
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To buy or not to buy Pentax HD DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited Lens

I have a Pentax k30 camera with which I have replaced my k-x bought in Japan a couple of years ago. First I was happy enough with my kit lenses (18-55 and 55-300) but I have gradually moved into primes and older Pentax lenses that have a special allure for me. Besides a Sigma 18-250 which has become my "travel lens", I now have a Pentax SMC DA 70mm 1:2.4 limited edition, a Pentax SMC DA 40 mm F/2.8 limited edition, as well as a Pentax SMCP-FA 50 mm F/1.4 AF, a SMC PENTAX-M 50mm f/1.4, and even a SMC Pentax-A 70-210 F4 manual focus K mount lens. I haven't yet mastered these lenses (not by a long shot) and yet I find myself lusting after a Pentax HD DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited that I can acquire for a relatively reasonable price. I know that buying lenses can become an addiction, and instead of becoming an addict I would much rather become a decent photographer. So here is the question, that many among you will surely be able to help me answer: is there a fairly wide hole in my small lens collection that the 15mm would seal to keep me busy for a few years or can I go ahead with what I already have? This probably sounds like a very stupid query, but I have come to believe that self-control is always in order, so I try not to buy stuff merely because I can.

02-28-2014, 01:25 PM   #2
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You have some nice lens there but you clearly could do with more at the wide end. The DA 15 is a special lens - really - and you will not regret it. Just do it.
02-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Buy the HD DA 15mm Limited. If you shoot landscapes, the f4 is not a problem. If you want to capture an interior crowd scene, the K30 high ISO performance is pretty good up to ISO 1600, especially if shooting raw. Jpegs get noisy. Or use a tripod.

The 15 is my most used lens in dry weather. Pixie dust enhances every shot.
02-28-2014, 01:53 PM   #4
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A good wide angle lens is a fine addition to anyone's lineup. You'll find your indoor shots at gatherings etc. will be very good with such a lens. I think it will outperform your zoom at 18mm, for sure. As Waterfall suggests, the ISO performance on modern cameras means f4 or 5.6 is no problem except maybe dark rooms, where you'll need to learn to hold very still....

02-28-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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Can you get a non-HD version?
I personally like they way they render more than the HD version.
Of course, that is my opinion only.
02-28-2014, 02:15 PM   #6
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Yep. The 18-55 is decent, and I didn't mind it either for landscapes, but the DA 15 is in a different league. Your only other option is the much bulkier DA 12-24, but the DA 15 is quality packed in a tiny lens.
02-28-2014, 02:15 PM   #7
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You can't go wrong with the 15mm. But, as others have said, the SMC version has nicer starbursts, so you should consider getting it instead if you can find it for sale!

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02-28-2014, 02:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
You can't go wrong with the 15mm. But, as others have said, the SMC version has nicer starbursts, so you should consider getting it instead if you can find it for sale!
I have the HD version and the only complaint, if you can call it that, is the starbursts from street lights have more rays than the pics from the SMC versions. I can live with that, because the flare resistance is superb.

02-28-2014, 02:57 PM   #9
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I wouldn't pay extra for the HD version, but you shouldn't pass up a good deal on this lens. It's a keeper.
02-28-2014, 03:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
The DA 15 is a special lens - really - and you will not regret it. Just do it.
agree.
02-28-2014, 04:58 PM   #11
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Thank you all

All of you who kindly answered my question recommended buying the lens, so I went ahead and did just that. I suppose now I have an adequate selection of lenses to go about my business of learning how to become a better photographer!
03-14-2014, 01:18 AM   #12
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Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That's what they all say.
You'll want the 35 Ltd Macro next. It's only a matter of time.
03-16-2014, 04:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That's what they all say.
You'll want the 35 Ltd Macro next. It's only a matter of time.
Or the DFA 100mm Macro
03-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #14
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I guess you're right

But now I've been sidetracked by old glass. Just bought several A, and M (both k and 42 screw mount) lenses and am quite busy exploring their capabilities. So far, very impressed. Sooner or later I suppose I'll be back to DA* and sundry limited lenses, but for now I'm quite happy with what I have.
03-17-2014, 01:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by manuel392003 Quote
But now I've been sidetracked by old glass. Just bought several A, and M (both k and 42 screw mount) lenses and am quite busy exploring their capabilities. So far, very impressed. Sooner or later I suppose I'll be back to DA* and sundry limited lenses, but for now I'm quite happy with what I have.
There is a dedicated lens club for the 15mm on Pentax Forums. You might enjoy browsing the posted images on this thread.
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