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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Pentax 12-24 mm- opinions ?

I'm considering a Pentax 12-24 mm lens . What is your opinion of this lens ?

I currently have a 16-45 and a 10-17 Fisheye, both Pentax manufacture.

Is the 12-24 :

  • pin point sharp...I consider my 16-45 and 50 F1.4 to be excellent in this category. Is the 12-24 at their level or better in your view ?
  • Colour rendition- how would you rate ?
  • build quality- plastic or metal ? Is it a robust lens ?
  • reliable or problematic as I've read about the 16-50 ?
Any other issues, god, bad or ugly ?
Thanks,
Les
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 3:01 PM   #2
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Mine is quite sharp - I had some front focusing issues with it and the K-7, but it was easily corrected with the focus adjust feature on the camera. Color and contrast very good. Plastic. Doesn't mind being carted around, I haven't had any trouble and it spends most of the time in my daily camera bag.

It's got a 77 mm diameter so it's not exactly small around. It's not that long though and pretty light - I find its size not a problem at all and it's a long way away from being my biggest or heaviest lens. It gets quite a bit of use, I find it more useful than the 10-17, which is far more specialized (and fun).
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 5:17 PM   #3
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Mine is quite sharp - I had some front focusing issues with it and the K-7, but it was easily corrected with the focus adjust feature on the camera. Color and contrast very good. Plastic. Doesn't mind being carted around, I haven't had any trouble and it spends most of the time in my daily camera bag.I hope my K10D or KM (K2000) don't have focusing issues...I'm not sure they have the technology to correct this as does the K7.

It's got a 77 mm diameter so it's not exactly small around. It's not that long though and pretty light - I find its size not a problem at all and it's a long way away from being my biggest or heaviest lens. It gets quite a bit of use, I find it more useful than the 10-17, which is far more specialized (and fun).
I have the 10-17 also. I'm really looking forward, with the 12-24, to getting landscapes with stretched out skies (don't know if this makes any sense) and close up shots of vintage vehicles.

Thank you for your response.

Les
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 9:49 PM   #4
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I should have also mentioned that mine is sharpest up to about f11 - I'm not usually very happy with my pictures when using a smaller aperture (though come to think of it, I haven't tried since I sorted out the front focusing issue). But since you have such a big DOF at f11, that I don't feel particularly deprived. It's actually quite sharp wide open, I usually shoot anywhere between f4 - f8, only occasionally going as small as f11.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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i have the Tokina version which is very similar minus the SMC coat and the exterior. And it is my go-to lens. great optics, very sharp, handles distortion well. couldnt recommend the tokina/hoya ultrawides enough.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 10:53 PM   #6
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I should have also mentioned that mine is sharpest up to about f11 - I'm not usually very happy with my pictures when using a smaller aperture (though come to think of it, I haven't tried since I sorted out the front focusing issue). But since you have such a big DOF at f11, that I don't feel particularly deprived. It's actually quite sharp wide open, I usually shoot anywhere between f4 - f8, only occasionally going as small as f11.
I usually try to shoot at F8...so it sounds like that might be a sweet spot for this lens. I was also going to put a clear or UV filter on the lens...probably a B+W.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 10:56 PM   #7
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i have the Tokina version which is very similar minus the SMC coat and the exterior. And it is my go-to lens. great optics, very sharp, handles distortion well. couldnt recommend the tokina/hoya ultrawides enough.
I'm never sure what the relationship is between Tokina and Pentax. I hear some say they have a business relationship where they co-create some lens..or I've heard that lenses like the 10-12 Fisheye, 12-24 are Pentax designs that Tokina makes with Nikon and Canon mounts.

I've also heard that Tokina and Pentax (know Pentax is part of Hoya) are both under Hoya and Tokina markets some Pentax lenses under it's name with Canon and Nikon mounts.

In the end...I don't have a clue who does what, though .
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 10:59 PM   #8
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i am pretty sure they co-designed the lenses. i was actually thinking the opposite, where tokina is the more general model. and the pentax was the rebranded and recoated specialty version. but i dont know for sure.

in the end the pentax and tokina 12-24 perform almost identically, which is very good. the pentax resists flare a tiny bit better cuz of the coating, otherwise they are optically identical for all intents and purposes.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 3:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
I'm never sure what the relationship is between Tokina and Pentax. I hear some say they have a business relationship where they co-create some lens..or I've heard that lenses like the 10-12 Fisheye, 12-24 are Pentax designs that Tokina makes with Nikon and Canon mounts.

I've also heard that Tokina and Pentax (know Pentax is part of Hoya) are both under Hoya and Tokina markets some Pentax lenses under it's name with Canon and Nikon mounts.

In the end...I don't have a clue who does what, though .
Hi Les,

It's my understanding that the 12-24 was mainly a Tokina optical design that Pentax licensed, but the mechanics and coatings are all Pentax, so it's not literally a rebrand like the DA 18-250 is (IIRC, this is the only DA lens that doesn't have QS Focusing, so I think it was actually made by Tamron, and rebadged with Pentax DA cosmetics).

The 10-17 FE is almost certainly a Pentax design, as I believe the only other FE zoom that has been made previously was the Pentax F 17-28 f3.5-4.5 FE.

My understanding is that their other shared optical designs -- the 16-50/2.8, 50-135/2.8, 35/2.8 Macro, and the 100/2.8 Macro are Pentax designed optics licensed to Tokina. I've heard the lens elements are ground and polished in Pentax facilities, then shipped to Tokina for coating and assembly into Tokina designed barrels.

I have no confirmations on any of this -- just what I've read from what seem to be reasonable sources -- and it pretty much makes sense to me. I also know that Hoya owns Pentax, but I don't believe that they own Tokina, though Hoya filters and Tokina share the same US distributor, THK Photo Products. I believe that Hoya has a significant stake in Tokina, but not controlling interest.

Apparently there are no-compete clauses in the licensing contracts, so Tokina won't make any of these lenses in Pentax mount -- but a few years ago, Tokina also established a policy that they would not introduce lenses in mounts that hold less than a 10% market share, and Pentax doesn't sell enough cameras to qualify for any new Tokina releases. . . yet . . . -- one can always hope. I always liked Tokina, and currently have 6.

Concerning the lens. . . I don't think I've heard any negative reports about the DA 12-24. Most seem to feel that it's one of those relatively rare "close-to-prime" quality zooms. This is the only wide angle lens that holds a pretty high position on my LBA drool list. . .

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; Apr 28, 2010 at 3:55 AM.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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Hi Les,

It's my understanding that the 12-24 was mainly a Tokina optical design that Pentax licensed, but the mechanics and coatings are all Pentax, so it's not literally a rebrand like the DA 18-250 is (IIRC, this is the only DA lens that doesn't have QS Focusing, so I think it was actually made by Tamron, and rebadged with Pentax DA cosmetics).

The 10-17 FE is almost certainly a Pentax design, as I believe the only other FE zoom that has been made previously was the Pentax F 17-28 f3.5-4.5 FE.

My understanding is that their other shared optical designs -- the 16-50/2.8, 50-135/2.8, 35/2.8 Macro, and the 100/2.8 Macro are Pentax designed optics licensed to Tokina. I've heard the lens elements are ground and polished in Pentax facilities, then shipped to Tokina for coating and assembly into Tokina designed barrels.

I have no confirmations on any of this -- just what I've read from what seem to be reasonable sources -- and it pretty much makes sense to me. I also know that Hoya owns Pentax, but I don't believe that they own Tokina, though Hoya filters and Tokina share the same US distributor, THK Photo Products. I believe that Hoya has a significant stake in Tokina, but not controlling interest.

Apparently there are no-compete clauses in the licensing contracts, so Tokina won't make any of these lenses in Pentax mount -- but a few years ago, Tokina also established a policy that they would not introduce lenses in mounts that hold less than a 10% market share, and Pentax doesn't sell enough cameras to qualify for any new Tokina releases. . . yet . . . -- one can always hope. I always liked Tokina, and currently have 6.

Concerning the lens. . . I don't think I've heard any negative reports about the DA 12-24. Most seem to feel that it's one of those relatively rare "close-to-prime" quality zooms. This is the only wide angle lens that holds a pretty high position on my LBA drool list. . .

Scott
Scott,

Thank you for the clear explanation of the complex Tokina-Pentax relationship.

What you say makes sense.

I'm looking forward to my Pentax 12-24 mm coming in...I have big plans for that lenses.

Thanks, Les
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