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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:11 PM   #1
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Default Merits/negatives...Pentax 14 mm vs 15mm

I've been considering the advantages of the Pentax 15 mm F 4 vs the Pentax 14 mm F 2.8. Also considering getting one or the other to add to my arsenal of lenses.

I take indoor/outdoor pictures...vintage cars, landscapes, general objects in the outdoors, people shots.

I have wide angle zooms...12-24, 16-45, 18-55 and they are all great...but I am thinking that I might see some, different picture taking qualities, through using a prime as opposed to a zoom.

I was using my Pentax 50mm F 1.4 a few nights ago for some out door photography during dusk and I was quite taken with the 'creamy' quality of the picture with this lens. Very sharp too, which kind of bears out the reputation for sharpness that good primes seem to have.

I admit I lean towards the 14 mm because of it's F 2.8 and it's 1 mm wider field of vision.

Criteria I'm looking at include the following:

  • Picture sharpness
  • Colour reproduction
  • Build quality, general ruggedness...metal or plastic construction
  • Bokeh
  • Which would you say is better
  • anything else I might be missing
Thank you.

Les
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:33 PM   #2
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do keep in mind at 14/15mm you are going to have a lot of dof even wide open, so you are not going to really have a chance to get any creamy oof areas anyways. in general in these widest lenses, you don't gain that much going to a prime over the nicer zooms like the 11-16s and 12-24s, etc.

the 12-24 will have more distortion at 12mm than these 2 primes do at their widest, 2% vs 1.5%, but at 14-15mm the zoom probably has less distortion though i dont have that number exactly.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:34 PM   #3
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not to knock either lens at all. just since you have a nice UW zoom, you may not be gaining that much.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 3:58 PM   #4
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not to knock either lens at all. just since you have a nice UW zoom, you may not be gaining that much.
You could well be right....but I'm always looking for something a bit different.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 4:00 PM   #5
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....but I'm always looking for something a bit different.

well thats a good enough reason in itself. i think we all do that
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 7:04 PM   #6
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yeah i'm kinda with hards80 i dont think you'll see much difference between this and your 12-24mm

i think you'd be better off getting 35mm f2 or the 35mm f2.8 macro or save some money and get the new cheap 35mm f.2.4 - anypne else thinking pentax has quite afew lenses at this focal length? =) shame there wasn't a f1.8 well guess there is the fa 31mm f1.8 ltd but thats a pricy lens but is supposed to be an absolute stunner of a lens
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 7:33 PM   #7
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yeah i'm kinda with hards80 i dont think you'll see much difference between this and your 12-24mm

i think you'd be better off getting 35mm f2 or the 35mm f2.8 macro or save some money and get the new cheap 35mm f.2.4 - anypne else thinking pentax has quite afew lenses at this focal length? =) shame there wasn't a f1.8 well guess there is the fa 31mm f1.8 ltd but thats a pricy lens but is supposed to be an absolute stunner of a lens
I use mostly wide angles...the 35mm lenses would be the 35 mm equivalent of ...I'm guessing around a 50 mm, I'm thinking ? Sort of the focal length, like the old 'normal' lens...50 mm.

But your post did get me thinking...moderate ...digital..wide angle prime with a F2.

I'm trying to think if there are any third party manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron, etc...that make prime, fast wide angles.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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Hi Les,

Your lenses mirror mine. I opted about a year ago to get a DA 21 Ltd mint used from a used photography equipment site. The short story is a FA 31 Ltd showed up (they had posted a picture - that I never looked at and the S/N, so they sent what they advertised, though mislabled). This lens has opened up a somewhat new aspect for me - in terms of sharpness and improved resolution (due to a much narrower field of view).

The reason why I related this, is that I now use that for a lot of stitched panoramas, supplementing the 12-24. I have often thought about the 15 and 21 being smaller and lighter, however - to some extent I think my lens acquisition is over. I have the focal lengths covered with very good glass, and I really don't want to reacquire primes in the same areas. The 12-24 is nearly equal to the primes anyway, and in terms of lens speed the difference between 3.2 and 4 is not much. 2.8 is indeed faster, but the size is at least as large as the 16-45 and almost the size of the 12-24 - its not really a small lens like the 21 or 15. I work off a tripod anyway quite a bit, so the speed becomes almost a mute issue.

So, overall - I really do not know what a 14 or 15 will really buy you. Like Hards observed, for the Bokeh you are going to need to go to a longer focal length anyway.

I would go through and sort your past shots on focal length and see if 14 or 15 would work for you, and possibly see how slow you have actually gone. I would guess that 5.6 would possibly be your floor, so would you really have a need for anything faster?

So, I do have the same thought as you - but more oriented towards size for business travel. What I have done is essentially taken the K20 and the 31, stuffed the tripod and ballhead in my luggage and called it quits.

I don't know if that helps any....
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 1:29 PM   #9
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Hi Les,

Your lenses mirror mine. I opted about a year ago to get a DA 21 Ltd mint used from a used photography equipment site. The short story is a FA 31 Ltd showed up (they had posted a picture - that I never looked at and the S/N, so they sent what they advertised, though mislabled). This lens has opened up a somewhat new aspect for me - in terms of sharpness and improved resolution (due to a much narrower field of view).

The reason why I related this, is that I now use that for a lot of stitched panoramas, supplementing the 12-24. I have often thought about the 15 and 21 being smaller and lighter, however - to some extent I think my lens acquisition is over. I have the focal lengths covered with very good glass, and I really don't want to reacquire primes in the same areas. The 12-24 is nearly equal to the primes anyway, and in terms of lens speed the difference between 3.2 and 4 is not much. 2.8 is indeed faster, but the size is at least as large as the 16-45 and almost the size of the 12-24 - its not really a small lens like the 21 or 15. I work off a tripod anyway quite a bit, so the speed becomes almost a mute issue.

So, overall - I really do not know what a 14 or 15 will really buy you. Like Hards observed, for the Bokeh you are going to need to go to a longer focal length anyway.

I would go through and sort your past shots on focal length and see if 14 or 15 would work for you, and possibly see how slow you have actually gone. I would guess that 5.6 would possibly be your floor, so would you really have a need for anything faster?

So, I do have the same thought as you - but more oriented towards size for business travel. What I have done is essentially taken the K20 and the 31, stuffed the tripod and ballhead in my luggage and called it quits.

I don't know if that helps any....
Thanks it does help. For the most part I'm very happy with all my modern Pentax lens...the exception being..the 18-55 kit lens I have with a platic mount.
I would rather have the money saved...then this lens...it's Ok......but.

I've also played with the idea of the 40 mm F2.8 Pancake lens...but I've seen some of the pix on this website that it produces and I'm not all that impressed....although I do like the remarkably small size. I think it would make a good combo with my small KM (K2000) body.

Les
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 12:31 AM   #10
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Thanks it does help. For the most part I'm very happy with all my modern Pentax lens...the exception being..the 18-55 kit lens I have with a platic mount.
I would rather have the money saved...then this lens...it's Ok......but.

I've also played with the idea of the 40 mm F2.8 Pancake lens...but I've seen some of the pix on this website that it produces and I'm not all that impressed....although I do like the remarkably small size. I think it would make a good combo with my small KM (K2000) body.

Les
Les... the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited would make a fantastic companion for your KM. I know you don't like plastic much, but if you can deal with it the new DA 35mm f/2.4 sounds promising, cheaper and half a stop faster. We'll have to wait for tests to see if it's as sharp as we hope.

To answer your question about fast, wide-angle, third-party primes... they don't get very wide while remaining very fast... but I submit these two Sigmas for your consideration. The first is a pretty big lens, but is less money than the second and works very well. It should even work on a full-frame camera, given its DG designation. The Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=217763&is=USA

This second lens isn't quite as wide as the previous one but is faster. Very sharp in the center but a bit soft at the edges (although not anywhere near as bad as some people would have you believe). It's a great lens for portraits and low-light work. Plus it's still half the price of a FA 31mm f/1.9 Limited - and still faster. It will only work on an APS-C DSLR due to its DC designation. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=433041&is=REG

Last edited by Biro; Oct 3, 2010 at 12:43 AM.
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