Pentax 15mm Ltd Quality Lens.
I have had this lens about two years, when fitted to my K5 body the balance is perfect.
The build quality for this pricey lens is superb and I just love using it.
The optical quality is on a par with my 50-135mm lens, and the focal length does not cause too much distortion. Shots taken into the light are usually flare free and light sources are recorded as very sharp starbursts if the lens is stopped down.
I love travel, street type photography, but I have used its close focussing ability very effectivelly with floral shots.
For travel I use my 70mm Ltd and the 15mm Ltd most of all, as the zooms I find too heavy unless in a studio. This combination is so compact I can go unnoticed, it never ceases to amaze me when I see Canon users with long white tele lens walking the street, very posy I think.
Finally, for me the limited primes are a pleasure to use.
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I also love this lens which I find gives exceptional contrast and colour rendition. Once you have used the Ltd lenses you are smitten. They are a joy to handle and I much prefer them to the heavy zooms which turn your camera effectively into a brick around your neck. Many people do not worry about that but the weight of the camera is an issue for me. The only downside is an amount of lens changing. I have tried and returned my copy of the DA 20-40 lens ( which significantly decreases the amount of lens changing) because I could not find a copy which approached the IQ of my Ltd primes. I am very disappointed about that as the DA 20-40 was also a joy to handle and use and although heavier than the primes was not excessively so. I am thinking of trying again to get a better copy in a few months time as I feel that it goes well with the 15 and 70 Ltds .
The DA15/4 is a fine lens indeed. I for one have always loved it for the simple reason of its FoV which has always been my favourite for street photography. It's light and small and offers good optical quality in the center of the image. For the edges it needs some stopping down. One thing I regret about it is its built-in hood, which is great for keeping stray light from entering the lens, and as such it's close to perfect, if it weren't for the hood slightly protruding when retracted. This means I cannot mount any of my filters (all of them have a larger than 49mm diameter to accommodate larger lenses as well) without mounting an extra (glassless) 49mm filter in between.
One detail: seeing you state you have owned this lens for 2 years, I gather you are reviewing the SMC version (which is also the one I have), rather than the newer HD version (which you link to and which was only introduced this year)?
Antwerp, Belgium, GMT+1
My favorite Pentax lens and the only one I'd keep if I switched to a mirrorless systems. Built in hood , size, starbursts, it's great. Only complaint is the screw drive noise. Mine is like a dentist drill on my k-01.
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