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Thread: My 2nd take on the DA15

  1. #1
    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default My 2nd take on the DA15

    Some few months back, I did a quick review on a newly acquired DA15 and the conclusion was that I thought I should really give it a bit more time to prove its worth (before which I was pretty disappointed with its first shots and even condemned it as a "white elephant").

    I took it for a recent holiday in China and I guess it has impressed me more than any of the other limiteds, quickly becoming a favourite and earned a reputation the perfect travel/street/walkaround lens over other primes for me. Basically the FOV is so versatile, I'd been converted to a wide-angle guy - you seldom have to take steps back to get things in frame. Optically, the sharpness is pretty decent even wide open, it retains the characteristic DA limited rendering and have low distortions and abberations.

    Here's some of the sample pics (all happened to be taken wide-open at f4):

    Close-ups


    Bokeh can be a bit charateristic. Else the centre sharpness is pretty decent.


    Composing for a table shot is a breeze.

    Streets


    This scene did not look as tranquil and cool as I thought. Must be due to the rendering. Ha.


    Composes nicely for streets and good for a handheld night shot. Erm, no prizes for noticing the "Pentax" advertisement sign.

    Abstract


    Just point and shoot and chances are that you'll get something decent.

    Like they had always said, forget the lab tests. Go shoot in the field and you'll learn the truth and capability of a lens.
    Last edited by scorpioh; 25th November 2009 at 03:58 PM.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  2. #2

    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    which one is better, fa31 or da 15?

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    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by chiangxing View Post
    which one is better, fa31 or da 15?
    Depends on what aspect you are considering.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  4. #4

    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpioh View Post
    Some few months back, I did a quick review on a newly acquired DA15 and the conclusion was that I thought I should really give it a bit more time to prove its worth (before which I was pretty disappointed with its first shots and even condemned it as a "white elephant").

    I took it for a recent holiday in China and I guess it has impressed me more than any of the other limiteds, quickly becoming a favourite and earned a reputation the perfect travel/street/walkaround lens over other primes for me. Basically the FOV is so versatile, I'd been converted to a wide-angle guy - you seldom have to take steps back to get things in frame. Optically, the sharpness is pretty decent even wide open, it retains the characteristic DA limited rendering and have low distortions and abberations.
    Nice shots and thanks for sharing.

    What is really unique about DA15 is the size (really really small) for a very wide angle lens. I did not think about this much until I got hold of the Sigma 10-20. The Sigma 10-20 though wider is much larger and heavier and quickly adds up the weight of the camera bag. The size of the 10-20 also makes it harder to store in a small camera bag compartment. Those who want to travel light or want a smaller lens+camera to handle should really consider the DA15.

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    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Nice shots and thanks for sharing.

    What is really unique about DA15 is the size (really really small) for a very wide angle lens. I did not think about this much until I got hold of the Sigma 10-20. The Sigma 10-20 though wider is much larger and heavier and quickly adds up the weight of the camera bag. The size of the 10-20 also makes it harder to store in a small camera bag compartment. Those who want to travel light or want a smaller lens+camera to handle should really consider the DA15.
    Thanks! Ha, I guess I had been pamapered too much by the size of my primes, I did not even consider the size of the 15mm a plus factor (had really taken it for granted). I took with me during the trip the 15, fe10-17 and the 40. The 40 seen the least action. And I have to add that the 15 and 1017 are not substitutional. In fact, they exhibit different characteristics which I wouldnt bear forsaking either that I brought these two seemingly redundant super wide lenses for a single trip.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  6. #6

    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    I like most of the shots except the first one.. Find the OOF areas too busy/distracting for my taste..

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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by chiangxing View Post
    which one is better, fa31 or da 15?
    or the FA* 85? or the A* 135? Heh. There's no good answer to this type of questions, they're all great lenses. The question you should ask is, what are you looking for in a lens?

    I agree with johnnsom, like all the shots except for the first one - somehow the flower turns out quite "plasticky"
    Scene in Singapore
    Lens of the month: Mamiya Sekor 60mm f2.8 Macro

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    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Good mix of scenes. I think you're getting the hang of using an ultra wide.
    Looking at the exif, I do notice that the images at max aperture (f/4) do show a little light falloff at the edges.
    The close-up of the rose shot is ok but at f/4 it would be pretty hard to blur the background due to the large DOF.
    Dramatic lines comes pretty easy with such an angle of view. I think the DA21 offers a more naturalistic rendition for street shooting but either lens will work.
    Good sharing.

  9. #9
    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    Good mix of scenes. I think you're getting the hang of using an ultra wide.
    Looking at the exif, I do notice that the images at max aperture (f/4) do show a little light falloff at the edges.
    The close-up of the rose shot is ok but at f/4 it would be pretty hard to blur the background due to the large DOF.
    Dramatic lines comes pretty easy with such an angle of view. I think the DA21 offers a more naturalistic rendition for street shooting but either lens will work.
    Good sharing.
    Oh yeah, the light-falloff is slightly more pronounced (e.g. top right-hand corner of pic 3) cos I used a third party screw-in hood which, well, is slightly too long for a 15mm. It is less pronounced if I were to use the built-in hood of the lens but I never like using built-in hood and almost attach a screw-in hood for all my lenses and do not use a lens cap (ok, that is another topic altogether).
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  10. #10

    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by knyghtfall81 View Post
    or the FA* 85? or the A* 135? Heh. There's no good answer to this type of questions, they're all great lenses. The question you should ask is, what are you looking for in a lens?

    I agree with johnnsom, like all the shots except for the first one - somehow the flower turns out quite "plasticky"
    my budget is only one good lens. I prefer a wide angle one. However, i wonder whether the DAs can still be used in FF (i don't know when pentax will make one). sigh.

  11. #11
    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    A few more for those interested:


    Captures enough elements in a street scene easily.


    Fits large buildings in a perpendicular shot.


    Easy use of space.


    Extremely good for large structures. I think anything narrower than a 17mm would have problems fitting the frame.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  12. #12
    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 2nd take on the DA15

    Quote Originally Posted by chiangxing View Post
    my budget is only one good lens. I prefer a wide angle one. However, i wonder whether the DAs can still be used in FF (i don't know when pentax will make one). sigh.
    If you need a wide angle, get either the DA15, pentax 12-24 or sigma10-20, the latter two bigger and heavier. Don't think so much about FF compatibility. We do not know when that day will come and these three mostly recommended super wides are APS-C. Just buy according to your needs, especially your current needs.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

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