Earlier this week, I was thrilled to see Yvon Bourque enjoying his new DA 15mm on a trip to the San Bernardino Mountains, because the lens seems to do fantastic things in the bright light, especially stopped down to F8 or higher. Check out the contrast in this picture:
This makes me just as giddy as when I first saw Ned Bunnell's blog postings in February about how the lens looked, and what the new DA Limited 3x case was like. It really made me want this lens as part of a trio (DA 15mm, 35mm, and 77mm). Ned's early test shots out at San Clemente Pier and the follow-up shots were mouth watering, too, such as this close-up:DP Review test of the DA Limited 15mm, I'm a bit surprised they didn't like the lens as much as I was expecting. Everyone else raves about it. According to their test, MTF sharpness peaks at about F7.1-F8:
Considering that it barely touches 1500 on the MTF-50 scale for their test is really difficult for me to relate to the sharp images I've seen with the lens elsewhere. And the sharpness drop-off and light fall-off in the corners that DP Review experienced is also surprising. I'm sure they didn't get a bad lens, but my gut intuition tells me that your personal mileage may vary with this lens. Particularly because of Mike's first snaps at The Online Photographer just a little while ago this month:
There's something special about the DA 15mm's clarity, especially in the better shots I've seen lately, that comes not from the accumulation of small details (the lens is sharp) but the overall handling of light, color, and contrast, so much so that it reminds me of Leica wide-angle lenses. It's there even with the CA and corner issues. That's my overall feeling on the matter. I hope this lens has more legs to it than the first numerical testing reviews imply, because I have a feeling it's a sleeper hit for Pentax.