24mm prime comparison


sorted78

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 07:35
After 2 years of LBA and a couple of recent low eBay bids which I didn't expect to win, I've inadvertantly assembled a collection of the following 24mm primes.

Vivitar 24mm f/2 (Komine)
Vivitar 24mm f/2 (Kiron)
Sigma 24mm f/2.8 (Super wide 2)
SMC Pentax 24mm f/2.8
Pentax FA*24 f/2 (low eBay bid!)

I had a couple of minutes yesterday and did a few quick comparison shots and comapared them agains my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 at 24mm. They all fared pretty well, but for me, the surprise was the Kiron. It is contrastier wide open than the FA*; I think that the Pentax is better when stopped down and has nicer colours, but I prefer the bokeh of the Kiron and for 15-20% the price of the FA*, it's amazingly good.

The shots below are JPEGs straight out of my K-5, cropped or resized with Mogrify, but no other PP. They were shot on a tripod, using teh 2 second timer and focussed with live view.

Wide open (I know this isn't really a fair test, but was intended mainly to compare OOF rendering)

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8 (apologies for the shadow in this one)


FA*24


Tamron 17-50



Wide open crops (100% crops from the above)

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8 (apologies for the shadow in this one)


FA*24


Tamron 17-50



Same shot at f/8

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8


FA*24


Tamron 17-50



100% crops at f/8

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8


FA*24


Tamron 17-50



Landscape at f/8

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8


FA*24


Tamron 17-50 (NB I think the AF intervened on this one, so it is out of focus)




Landscape at f/8 (100% crop)

Komine 24/2


Kiron 24/2


Sigma 24/2.8


K24/2.8


FA*24


Tamron 17-50 (NB I think the AF intervened on this one, so it is out of focus)

drfahad

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 08:30
thanks for sharing this detailed review, i really help me and shall help alot of people for sure
Bodies: K3 (Gunmetal Limited Edition) & K30
Pentax lenses: DA 18-250mm,FA 50 1.4,, DA 35mm F2.4
Sigma lenses: 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 DC Macro,24mm 2.8 Superwide II AF, 50mm 2.8 Macro,50-150mm f2.8 DC EX HSMII , 70-200 2.8 EX APO
Falcon 8mm Fish eye + Old manual lenses
Flashes: Pentax 360 fgz, Metz 48 Af-1, Pentax Af 280T

ChrisA

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 08:38
It's a very interesting survey, and with the FA* 24, certainly bears out the assertion that colours from Pentax lenses are richer.

Less so with the K 24, it seems, and the Kiron in particular seems to give a very blue cast.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
.

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 08:48
Nice review, I didnīt even know that there were Vivitar 24mm f/2 lenses out there. Youīre right, the Kiron is the best performer wide open, but loses itīs advantage by f/8. I have the Sigma myself and am happy with it, especially sharpness wide open. The build quality isnīt top-notch though, and it renders with a slight green tinge (noticeable in skies). It also tends to overexpose (a rarity, on a K200D at least) as your copy seems to do too.

What I noticed about your shots is that the FA* has a wildly different colour character to the others. Maybe a yellow tint?
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

sorted78

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 10:05
Quote:
Youīre right, the Kiron is the best performer wide open, but loses itīs advantage by f/8

I was also suprised by how comparatively bad the Komine was wide open. It just goes to show that Vivitar lenses are a bit of a lottery, as I have other Komine made Vivitar primes that are very good wide open (28mm f/2 for example)

Quote:
the FA* 24, certainly bears out the assertion that colours from Pentax lenses are richer

It's interesting to see how the colour rendering varies; the lighting conditions were pretty consistent but the camera was set to auto white balance so it really shows how the camera+lens renders colours, as opposed to comparing the lenses directly. It's interesting to see the colours from the Tamron are close to the FA*24. I'm really impressed with the Tamron; I have found that I really need to pixel peep to spot the difference between it and some of the primes.

Algernon

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 10:41
Interesting test If the Kiron 24mm is like the 28mm f/2
it could be soft at the edges link

I like AWB, but it just doesn't work with some lenses, although
Manual/semi-auto WB is usually OK.

It would be interesting to include the 18-55mm Mk II kit lens
and the 12-24mm zoom. I suspect the latter wouldn't do as well as
people expect

There does seem to be problems focusing WA lenses for landscapes.
I've found it better to set the lens to infinity (providing infinity
focus is accurate) and f/8.... everything then from a few meters is
usually very sharp. Failing that it seems better to focus beyond
what you want to be in focus If you focus on it you usually
find something in front of it is in focus.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

johnriley

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 10:43
Very interesting. I wish it were possible to do multiple tests with several samples of each lens though, especially as these are all used ones. We have no idea where sample variation may cause differences, or indeed whether or not individual lenses have been mistreated by previous owners. Sometimes even partially dismantled and "owner serviced" which is a real lottery of skill levels.

What we can say is that a good independent lens can be very good indeed, notwithstanding actual build quality and how they stand up to continuous use.
Best regards, John

sorted78

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 11:35
Quote:
What we can say is that a good independent lens can be very good indeed

I think that's right, unfortunately. All I can conclusively learn from doing this is how well the lenses I have work on my particular K-5 under those conditions!

There are some general, qualitative trends, such as that the modern lenses appear to give more saturated colours and that I don't like the bokeh of the Komine.

I'm still quite new to the world of SLRs after a 20-odd year hiatus from film photography with a German rangefinder and am in remission from an initial bout of LBA, gradually proving to myself that technique is more important than shiny gear.

Quote:
It would be interesting to include the 18-55mm Mk II kit lens
and the 12-24mm zoom. I suspect the latter wouldn't do as well as
people expect

I hadn't thought of of including the kit lens. I suspect it would have been rather good. I've also got a Tamron Adaptall 24mm that is highly regarded and wish I'd included that as well. Unfortuantely I'll probably get in trouble if I spend any more time messing around with lenses this weekend!

womble

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 11:41
I noted a while back that the auto-white balance on my K10D choose very different settings with my K135/2.5 lens than with my DA* 50-135 etc. Setting the white balance manually (in software in my case) so that the K matched the DA* improves the colours on the K hugely. I don't know why, but that is one of the reasons I shoot RAW.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Algernon

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 11:49
If you haven't already seen it you might find this test
interesting in which the Kit Lens seems better than the
31mm LTD link

I forgot to mention about AWB. It does seem to change with
exposure on non Pentax lenses and even the older K and M lenses.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 14:32
That article certainly does not show the 18-55 beating the FA31mm, unless you habitually shoot at tiny apertures. As Shutterfinger says, there's no law that you should have to shoot a fast lens at or near maximum aperture...

But there should be.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

kingfisher

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 20:09
great comparison, thanks for effort ..... I had my friends FA*24 for a week and i liked that lens a lot, but here it seems that Kiron 24/2 beats it in resolution and equals it in bokeh.I'm impressed by this Kiron and would love to see more shots from it.
Tamron 17-50 looks sharper as well, but i don't like its bokeh so much as that of FA*24 and Kiron.

Dangermouse

Link Posted 16/10/2011 - 22:12
I always reckon the main advantages of a faster lens are the brighter viewfinder (helps AF to work as well as being easier to MF, I know my 50-135mm f2.8 will AF in light levels which leave slower lenses hunting from end to end) and the fact that it will be sharper as you open the aperture up.

He doesn't mention the other reason many people like primes either - the size. The 35/2.4 is a much more bag or pocket friendly lens than the kit zoom.

I habitually shoot around f8 as I find it to be the sweet spot of pretty much everything from an old Tokina PK-A 28mm lens up to the DA* mentioned before. The difference is that if I shoot with the Tokina at f2.8 the results are nothing like as good as those from the DA* at the same aperture! It also offers the best balance of DOF with a reasonable shutter speed for hand-held shooting.

I must try adding my recently acquired K series primes and DA* zoom to the testing I did a while ago of the Samyang 85mm Vs K 120mm f2.8 and M 135mm f3.5.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

rparmar

Link Posted 17/10/2011 - 00:59
Thanks for this comparison. John is correct to point out that sample variation can be a significant factor.

I have a Komine-made Vivitar 24mm f/2 that does a fine job. The only thing I can fault it on is distortion at the edges. I tend not to use it wide open to avoid a bit of softness. But I pack it in place of the DA12-24mm when space is at a premium (and when I don't think I will need a very wide shot). It's a great street lens.








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Last Edited by rparmar on 17/10/2011 - 00:59

Russtopher

Link Posted 21/10/2019 - 02:22
Interesting and informative lens test. I will soon be doing a similar test on the following lenses:

Vivitar (Komine) 24 f/2
Kiron 24 f/2
Panagor 24 f/2.5
Kiron 28 f/2
Vivitar (Komine) 35 f/3.5

I'll post my results.
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