Adventures in 15mm

False Klamath Cove AU11-5

Pursuant in my conviction that prime lens generally lead to better photos than zooms, I am in the process of replacing my ultra-wide angle zoom, the Pentax DA 12-24, with a prime lens, the Pentax DA 15 f4 Limited. This latter lens, even though it has only been out for a few years, has already garnered a bit of a reputation. There are connoisseurs of high end glass that claim the DA 15 is equal, if not superior, to the Zeiss glass they are familiar with — an astonishing claim given that the Pentax lens costs about a fourth what an equivalent Zeiss lens might cost. In any case, it was hard to resist this lens as a replacement for the DA 12-24.

Having had a chance to take it and get a feel for the lens, I am beginning to understand what all the fuss is about. The lens features spectacular color rendition and clarity. Flare control is so good that you can point it at the sun and still produce images with excellent contrast. And finally, the lens has the celebrated “starburst” effect when pointed at light sources, as in the following:

Notice the rich, vibrant colors in the following images, particularly the rich blues in the pond and creek photos:

Crater Lake AU11-72