How better is the DA 15 compared to the kit lens?

Started Sep 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
Ron Kruger
Senior MemberPosts: 1,975
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Sweet Spot Of The 15mm?
In reply to .Sam., Oct 3, 2010

No single lens does everything. That's why I have a good number to cover various focal lengths, POVs and effects. I sure wouldn't choose the 15mm for portraits or shots where I want a bokeh effect, so why in the world would someone buy this lens to shoot at f-4?

It is a landscape lens, with a wide DOF at all apartures. Because it renders better than any lens I've used, with a detail that blows me away, I have trouble taking it off my camera, and because of lack of bending at such a wide angle, I have found it the most creative lens I've used for a wide variety of shots..

But even after months of use, and hundreds of exposures, I'm still not sure of the exact sweet spot. With all my other lenses, I can pinpoint the sweet spot to a single f-stop or two (depending upon light), but the 15's sweet spot seems to span a three- or four-stop range. Has anyone pinned this down to one particular stop?

I'm not looking for the highest center sharpness at a rediculous 400 percent. What I'm concerned with is the sweet post of sharpness that maintains infinite DOF. Landscapes are what this lens was designed for, and they are my primary purpose. It is, after all, a speciality lens, not some "walk about" lens for snapshooters using a DSLR like a P&S. For that style of mindless shooting, the kit lens would, indeed, be a better choice.

I find the sweet spot for the 15 is much higher than any lens I've used. I place it somewhere between f-11 and f-16 (again depending upon light intensity). I most often shoot it at f-11 (tripod and mirror up function), because at that stop, everything from your feet to infinity is in focus, so really, there is no need to go higher.

I'm not interested in any more chart talk, but the practical, visual results from Marc and others who know a great deal about photography, shoot a great deal and know how to get maximum results from their equipment.
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In the end, the only things that matter are the people we help and the people we hurt. http://pa.photoshelter.com/user/ronkruger

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