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Old Apr 19, 2010, 2:49 PM   #1
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Default Pentax 14 mm F 2.8- opinions

In the past I've asked for opinions on lenses from this forum. The detail, thoroughness, experiences I find invaluable and provide information that helps me make informed decisions.

As a result in the past using advice on this forum I have bought the Pentax 16-45, 55-300, 10-17 Fisheye. Thank you.

Now I'm considering the Pentax 14 mm F 2.8 lens.

I would use it to take pictures of vintage cars, hot rods, motorcycles, vintage trucks and landscapes.

I already have...wide angle wise...a Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye, Pentax 16-45mm that I use for vehicles...usually on 16 mm and an 18-55mm that I don't use much.

I find the 16-45 mm excellent for a zoom...very sharp, clear, little distortion.

Qualities I look for and that I wonder whether the 14 mm would meet well include:

  • Very clear, sharp pix of vehicles....although the 16-45 mm is excellent, I would hope that the 14 mm surpasses this lens in these qualities. I'm assuming it might as the 14 mm is a prime, compared to the zoom 16-45.
  • Colour Rendition- Accurate reproduction and rendition of colour is important to me. Many of the vintage vehicles have astounding paint jobs, much better with a wider variety of colour and 'sparkle' then many production vehicles. Again the 16-45 does well...I'm hoping the 14 mm as a prime would do better.
  • Distortion - I don't mind a bit of wide angle distortion, however I do like the vehicles to more or less appear as they do to the human eye. Wide angle will have some distortion...that's OK...as long as it's not fisheye proportion...I already have the 10-17 mm for that angle.
  • The 14 mm is an F2.8...during evening shots I hope that an F 2.8 will make a significant difference over the F 4 of the 16-45. Would this be the case, do you think ?
  • Landscapes...I love the wide skies, beautiful clouds, extra wide ground level shots I see with extra wide angle lenses. I wonder if the 14 mm is capable of shots like these ? I'm thinking the 14 mm would be the 35 mm equivalent of a 20 mm and the 16 mm of the 16-45 would be around 24 mm...am I right on the button ? Is this enough of a difference to notice in pix...width of angle, field of view ?
Thanks.

Les
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 10:11 PM   #2
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Evening Les,

I think that you are correct in all of your points. If I remember correctly the 14 looks very similar to the 12-24 in size and weight as well as the large front lens element. If I remember correctly, Ira has one also.

One item that has become apparent, in using my 12-24 it appears to be faster than one would expect an f4 lens. Thinking it through, with the additional light gathering ability of the lens (wide angle), so it appears to be faster than another lens at a much longer focal length. That may help, especially considering the 14 is an f2.8. It is suppose to be a very sharp lens, with great IQ. Since it has been long discontinued, the trick is finding one.

Take a look at the 14 vs the 12-24. The 12-24 has better resolution across the lens (center to edge and corner) at 12 and 18mm and drops off at 24 a bit.

However, in the evening the 14 has the speed and the 12-24 doesn't and that is the main difference to you and your photography. Coupling that with SR, I would think that would be a winning combination. Neither Canon or Nikon offer any stabilized lenses that are this wide, so in this environment - especially ambient lighting, its a perfect combination.

I have really never noticed any distortion with my 12-24, as you really have to go looking for it.

hope that helps...
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
Evening Les,

I think that you are correct in all of your points. If I remember correctly the 14 looks very similar to the 12-24 in size and weight as well as the large front lens element. If I remember correctly, Ira has one also.

One item that has become apparent, in using my 12-24 it appears to be faster than one would expect an f4 lens. Thinking it through, with the additional light gathering ability of the lens (wide angle), so it appears to be faster than another lens at a much longer focal length. That may help, especially considering the 14 is an f2.8. It is suppose to be a very sharp lens, with great IQ. Since it has been long discontinued, the trick is finding one.I wasn't aware that it has been out of production for awhile, thought it was current.

Take a look at the 14 vs the 12-24. The 12-24 has better resolution across the lens (center to edge and corner) at 12 and 18mm and drops off at 24 a bit.

However, in the evening the 14 has the speed and the 12-24 doesn't and that is the main difference to you and your photography. Coupling that with SR, I would think that would be a winning combination. Neither Canon or Nikon offer any stabilized lenses that are this wide, so in this environment - especially ambient lighting, its a perfect combination.

I have really never noticed any distortion with my 12-24, as you really have to go looking for it.

hope that helps...
It does. The reviews are great. Thanks Observer. I know the 12-24 is a top notch lens, but boy the cost in Canada is unbelievable...approx. $ 1100-1299 CAD and the part that bugs me is that the Cdn $ and US $ are almost at par. Someone's making some bucks.

Last edited by lesmore49; Apr 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM.
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Old May 1, 2010, 7:16 PM   #4
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The two advantages of the DA14 are the extra stop of light and something you haven't mentioned... much closer focusing. So it is great at shots where you want to completely emphasise a foreground object in respect to the background. Car shots might be one example.

I would not say this is a landscape lens, except for certain "trick" shots I get weary of. That is because you will be stopping down for landscapes... the f/2.8 is useless when shots need to be at f/16. And often you will need something much less wide. I would vote for the DA12-24 or even the DA16-45 in that respect.

I think distortion is well controlled, but it is already on the zooms. So-called perspective distortion is another matter. That is up to you as photographer to use or abuse.
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Old May 1, 2010, 8:37 PM   #5
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The two advantages of the DA14 are the extra stop of light and something you haven't mentioned... much closer focusing. So it is great at shots where you want to completely emphasise a foreground object in respect to the background. Car shots might be one example.

I would not say this is a landscape lens, except for certain "trick" shots I get weary of. That is because you will be stopping down for landscapes... the f/2.8 is useless when shots need to be at f/16. And often you will need something much less wide. I would vote for the DA12-24 or even the DA16-45 in that respect.I have the 16-45 and am waiting for a 12-24....so as you indicate, I think I will be well covered in the wide angle area. I have noted a number of people have indicated the 12-24 is very competitive, quality wise with wide angle primes.

I think distortion is well controlled, but it is already on the zooms. So-called perspective distortion is another matter. That is up to you as photographer to use or abuse.
I have a Pentax 10-17 Fisheye (since Oct. '09) and in using it, have found that my abilities to manage perspective distortion have been put to the test. It's been a good learning tool in this respect.

Les
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