Pentax DA* 11-18mm Initial user report


Nigelk

Link Posted 10/12/2019 - 14:39
A very unscientific user report.
I've had my new lens for a few days now and I'm starting to calm down. Sunday afternoon I got out for an hour or so and was able to take a few photos with my new DA* 11-18mm f2.8. Plus I've had a bit of play with it at home. With the limited file size that can be displayed here whilst I've uploaded plenty of pics, you'll have to take my word by and large.
I've included some crops of the same indoor scene taken with my new Pentax and my old Sigma 10-20mm f4-f5.6 a lens I've had for a number of years and generally found it to be a good performer when stopped down to f8 to f11. Again I'll have to confess file size is against me.
The Sigma is smaller, lighter, wider, greater zoom range and capable of some lovely results, it formed part of Sigma EX range, their top lenses of the time.
The Pentax is large, heavy and seems to be capable of great results through its entire aperture range, quite remarkable I'd say. In fact I'd go so far as to say it sets a new standard for DA* lenses. I did initially get a couple of less than optimal shots with the new lens at the focal length of 18mm using a tripod and the 12 second timer. With further usage I've come to the conclusion that at this focal length with the shutter speeds I was using there must have been some form of internal vibrations caused by the mirror and or the shutter as subsequently I've had great results at full zoom 18mm, all good!
First is an indoor scene that I've taken with the Sigma and Pentax at 11mm with some very heavy crops.
Of note is that the Sigma shots were my third attempt at getting correct focus, I was not happy with the first two attempts so on the third attempt I used live view and the focus seems to be where it should be, I had no such problem with the Pentax. Oh! I should mention, all taken with the Pentax K-S2. All shot raw no sharpening and no lens corrections.
The Scene



Pentax f6.3



Sigma f6.3



Pentax f6.3



Sigma f6.3



Pentax f6.3



Sigma f6.3



With both lenses at f11 the results were closer but the Pentax was still easily ahead in my opinion.

Pentax



Sigma



Some of my general shots mainly from my trip in to Bury St Edmunds Sunday PM. I have processed these as I fancied but have not applied in camera or otherwise any lens or aberration corrections, all shot raw and developed in Lightroom 6, mainly Highlights and shadows and cropping.




























Had a go at panning the gallopers






End of Play



So the Sigma is dead and buried then!?
I certainly don't need both lenses and it will not be the Pentax I'm parting company with. The Pentax is capable of edge to edge sharpness across its aperture range that I would not have though possible, it is not perfect as when shooting into the sun my images show but even here it does control flare better than the Sigma. The Pentax also does produce a fair amount of purple fringing, quite fine but it is definitely there. I've left it in the above images, it is of course easily removed and not a problem.
Just to show the Sigma at one third the cost and when stopped down is still a very handy lens I'll finish with a couple of shots using it.
Please feel free to comment if you wish, let me know you've had a look.
Next task is look out my filters and see what happens.

Sigma



Sigma



Please forgive, grammar, punctuation and spelling, English is my first language so I have no excuse
Cheers
Nigel

vejj

Link Posted 11/12/2019 - 13:38
Nice set. Looks to be a solid performer. Punchy contrast and delivering the goods at 2.8. The only downside is it puts my jump to full frame into question...
Gradually learning the art of polishing turds

K-3, K-1
Pentax 18-35, 35-80, 50, 85, 300
Tokina 70-210

Nigelk

Link Posted 11/12/2019 - 15:43
vejj wrote:
Nice set. Looks to be a solid performer. Punchy contrast and delivering the goods at 2.8. The only downside is it puts my jump to full frame into question...

Cheers vejj,
I think you'll be just fine with your K1II you have the 15-30mm available at very similar money, everyone who has the lens seems to rate it very highly. I'm just hoping they update/ replace the other two DA* especially the 16-50mm f2.8. If they bring them up to the same standard as the new 11-18mm oh my! I'll be broke and have an unhappy wife.
Thanks for looking
Nigel

Hypermodern

Link Posted 11/12/2019 - 18:49
I forked out on the 11-18 over the Black Friday period too. I think Iíve decided not to go full frame, my setup is heavy enough as it is. Iíve not had a good chance to test it properly yet but what Iíve seen so far looks very promising. Maybe weíll get some snow and I can have a go with it.

Nigelk

Link Posted 11/12/2019 - 21:17
I'm pleased to hear I wasn't the only one to cave in Hypermodern. I think with the £450 off full retail made it a reasonable deal. I wasn't and still am not tempted by full frame. APS-C produces the goods I need. I guess most of the keen photographers went full frame, probably why there isn't much of a buzz around this new offering.
I hope you enjoy your new lens as you get time to use it more.

Nigel

theonenadeem

Link Posted 12/12/2019 - 10:02
Some nice images and thank you for sharing you opinion.

Nigelk

Link Posted 13/12/2019 - 12:58
Thank you for having a look theonenadeem. Early days but this seems to be a lens made to impress.
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