Pentax 14mm f/2.8 ED IF SMC P-DA

 
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14mm $425
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(From Pentax lens literature) The Pentax SMC P-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED IF is designed to be used with digital cameras. It incorporates a high-refraction extra low dispersion (ED) glass element to produce a high-resolution, high-contrast image with true-to-life color rendition, and features an internal focus system to make focusing smoother and faster. Like all Pentax lenses, this lens is treated with the acclaimed SMC coating for maximum light transmission, sharp definition, and high contrast images.

Pentax 14mm f/2.8 ED IF SMC P-DA

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Pentax 14mm f/2.8 ED IF SMC P-DA User Reviews

8.5/10 average of 2 reviews Build Quality 9.0/10 Image Quality 9.0/10
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (6 reviews)
    Excellent at limiting chromatic aberration and generall a sharp lens.
    Manual focus ring grainy, not WR, APS-C only imaging circle.

    Picked up the lens locally used for a great price.

    What I like:
    - Seriously excellent at limiting chromatic aberration!
    - Seriously excellent sharpness, especially at MTF!
    - Quick-shift focusing ability without having the focus ring turn when AF is happening.
    - 14mm on APS-C is a nice focal length
    - Close focus ability
    - Use as a Rectilinear wide angle landscape lens is top notch.
    - A nice large f2.8 aperture that produces sharp images on my K-7 from f2.8 onward, however with visible vignetting comparing f2.8 to say f5.6 that I have noticed with limited testing so far.
    - Produces “star burst” style light sources.
    - Solid all metal barrel construction.
    - The bokeh in general is pleasing to my eyes around 80% of the time.

    What I don’t like:
    - APS-C only lens.
    - Extreme edges are un-sharp with visible distortion on my lens, but I’ll admit I like the effect in some images.
    - The manual focus ring is “grainy” in feel with a considerable amount of friction when turning.
    - It’s a lot larger than Pentax’s newer DA 15mm F4 Limited lens.
    - Lens flare without the hood isn’t difficult to produce.
    - The 6 flat aperture blades can produce quite visible hexagon shaped bokeh bright spots at times.
    - Not specifically designed to be WR (weather resistant), so it could use an engineering refresh from Pentax.

    Conclusion:
    Overall I’m happy with this purchase, but also keep in mind I paid less than half what the current going price online is at. Before having a chance to pick it up, the lens was never on my radar as I have a 10-17mm fisheye and felt I didn’t need another wide angle. In retrospect, having a rectilinear wide angle is very very nice as I can produce quite different scenes compared to the fisheye lens at say 17mm where distortion is at the lowest point. Overall I’m extremely happy I bought the lens as it’s a great fit for many of the subjects I like photographing such as landscape and architectural. I would still seriously consider the lens at full retail price, but I would be on the fence for a while as it has a few drawbacks.

    Photos and more analysis in my blog article.

    reviewed November 24th, 2010 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (10 reviews)
    closeup capability, build quality, very good CA performance
    bokeh sometimes, difficult to get the corners sharp

    A very unique lens. There is nothing similar and it is great in many ways.
    I've had my hands on many wide lenses (DA15, DA12-24, or Tokina 11-16 and Sig 10-20 on other mounts). I also own DA 10-17 fisheye for more extreme perspectives.
    But from all of them only DA14 allows me to get really close to the subject. Also the build quality is the best, very important measure for me.
    For shooting in nature good valance between CA correction and sharpness is important to get huge prints in decent quality. For this purpose the DA14 is also at the top among WA lenses for crop factor cameras. Sometimes I just have to focus manually to get the focus correctly even to the corner of the image.
    On the other hand lenses with rounder apertures (DA15 or Tokina 11-16) have their advantages in some shots. I'm very happy with flare resistance. I only witnessed better performance in this regard with the DA15.
    I hope Pentax would re-issue this lens with WR and rounded diaphragm blades. Then it would be just perfect.

    reviewed March 30th, 2010 (purchased for $550)