New York City with either the DA21 or DA14mm???

Started Nov 24, 2009 | Discussions thread
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manual_focus Senior Member • Posts: 1,103
New York City with either the DA21 or DA14mm???

I had the recent good fortune of getting several days in New York City and had to think about which lenses to take. I was going to shoot mainly outdoor architecture and inside museum images. Because of hassles in bringing packs into most major buildings in NYC I wanted to carry at most two lenses.

A few years back I switched to all primes to take advantage of Pentax's excellent glass and based on a 4 week vacation in Europe knew that my most used vacation/urban lens was the f3.2 DA21mm followed by my f1.4 A50mm. But NYC can be larger than life. What about the f2.8 DA14mm?

I settled on three lenses, the DA21, DA14 and the old but great f2.5 K135mm. After taking some 1200 images over 6 days I found out some interesting things about the use of the three lenses.

1) First due to the weather NYC in November can look best at night.

2) Two of the largest, and arguably the best museums, Metropolitan and Brooklyn, allow still photography without flash or tripods. Both of these facts result in low light photography. Since I have a K10D, I limit my iso to 400 except in unusual conditions. This required that I shoot wide open more than I usually do.

3) Pentax's shake reduction is great. Even wide open I shot a lot of images at 1/4 - 1/8 sec and got nice crisp images.

4) For street scenes, which I don't usually shoot, the 14mm was much better than the 21mm.

5) In general, the 21mm is perfect for indoor museum objects, but some scenes could only be taken with the 14mm.

I made the right choices. I would heartily recommend the DA 21 and 14mm two lens setup for NYC. These two lenses worked. I did not find myself wishing for either zoom lenses or other focal lengths. I'm torn between the f2.8 14mm and the newer f4 DA15mm. The older f2.8 was useful in really dark scenes but it's quite large. The smaller f4 15mm is simply easier to carry and manage without a bag. Having a newer camera like the K7 with its cleaner faster iso might compensate for the slower lens speed. If you want to be stared out the f2.8 with the lens hood attached is the way to go. While nice, I seldom used the K135mm telephoto.

As this is a photography forum its best to let the images do the talking. The next three posts will show examples of single image scenes, multiple image stitched scenes, and street scenes for the 14mm. (I did not get any useful 21mm street scenes).

A great city to take images of.
If you want to see the images, (and others) in a larger size you can go here:
Any questions and please ask.

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