SMCA 15mm F3.5


Anonymous

Link Posted 15/06/2003 - 22:22
I have recently purchased this lens (mail order from USA). I love the wide angle and am having fun, using on PZ-1 and MZ5n bodies. I find, however, particularly at wide aperture, that edge performance is really bad. Does anyone else have any experience with this lens ?

Chris

johnriley

Link Posted 15/06/2003 - 23:05
I have the SMC Pentax version of this lens, which is optically the same as all the other versions. With a bit of lateral thinking, I wonder why you are using a lens of this type wide open? With such a wide angle my thought would be to use small apertures and get the best advantage from the vast depth of field available - if necessary, using a tripod. In this way foreground objects can be given startling prominence with a fantastic sweep into the background. You do need to get very close to ensure that objects are not so small as to be insignificant - a 15mm lens is not an easy one to use well without some serious practice.

As a consequence I can't really help with edge definition at f3.5 but I can vouch for the lens being capable of excellent performance when stopped down to f8 or f11.

I hope these thoughts will be of some help.
Best regards, John

Anonymous

Link Posted 24/06/2003 - 23:25
Thanks for your comments.

Yes I do get good performance with the lens stopped down. I just feel dissapointed at wide open performance. I guess, for example, the Sigma 14mm F2.8 is a better lens at a significantly lower price ? But I do not know !

Chris

johnriley

Link Posted 25/06/2003 - 23:59
It depends what you mean by a better lens. As these lenses are almost always used stopped down (as probably also is a macro lens) then I believe that a realistic assessment is the performance at the apertures used. On this basis, there is no problem. I would expect the Pentax lens to score in terms of durability. I have handled Sigma lenses on exhibition stands that have become very loose and it is not encouraging - exhibition handling over a long period equates with a long operational life and the Sigmas do not, in my opinion, have that long term durability.
Of course, we don't know what the Sigma 14mm is like regarding performance, but we do know that the Pentax does the job.
The Pentax 15mm seems to be based on the original Zeiss design, which has also it seems been copied by Leica and Nikon. All these 15mm lenses seem very similar in construction. I don't know about the Sigma...
Best regards, John

cgproudfoot

Link Posted 28/07/2003 - 23:52
John,

A recent trip through Europe has proven the capability of this lens. It got a lot of use in Venice, Bologna and Turin. I still have expectations of "better" performance at the edges, but non-the-less am now getting good results.

Where I do not need the "width" of the 15mm, however, the 20mm end of my 20-35 zoom still seems to outperform. This really is a good lens !

Thanks for your comments,
Chris

johnriley

Link Posted 03/08/2003 - 13:39
I would agree with you - I also use my 20mm (SMC Pentax-M 20mm f4) much more than the 15mm, but there are situations where the 15mm is invaluable. I sometimes need it when taking architectural shots in very confined locations. The 20mm is much more useful in a general sense.

I very nearly bought the 20-35mm lens, but having the 15mm and 20mm lenses already I opted for the SMC Pentax FA 24-90mm, and I have found it to be very useful indeed. The only other lens I use with that kit is the 100mm macro.

The back up kit, based on the MX body, consists of SMC Pentax 24mm f2.8, SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm f4 and SMC Pentax-M 135mm f3.5. This is also a very serviceable set of lenses, but more traditional as you can see.

I don't know about you, but I can't resist lenses!
Best regards, John

cgproudfoot

Link Posted 14/08/2003 - 00:00
John,

I have:

A 15mm F3.5
FA 20-35mm F4.0
FA 28-70mm AL F4.0
F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5
F 35-105mm F4.5-5.6
FA 50mm F1.7
FA 100mm Macro F2.8
F 70-210mm F4.5-5.6
FA 300mm F4.5
Sigma 400mm F5.6
Pentax A 2x Converter

So I guess the answer is YES !!!

I use PZ-1 and MZ5n bodies, but am awaiting the ist-D with interest. I have been scanning using a Nikon Coolscan IV for a couple of years.
Chris

Anonymous

Link Posted 19/11/2003 - 01:26
Hi all
I have just discovered this forum.
so glad I did. thx to matt for his invaluable info on the *istD

I to have a Pentax SMCA 15mm (pic) also and I was wondering what is their value on secondhand market?

cased and boxed and unmarked
hardly used
pic above[/url]

cgproudfoot

Link Posted 10/12/2003 - 16:34
I have seen one in a store in Chicago recently for about $1300.

Overall I think these lenses are hard to get hold of so should keep a good value.
Chris

rw86348

Link Posted 27/02/2004 - 19:53
I would love to see a pic using the 15mm on an *istD!

cgproudfoot

Anonymous

Link Posted 05/03/2004 - 20:34
WOW! Nice!
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