I am doing a little LENS review of the DA12-24.
I will not do a brick wall test, newspaper test or major crops because
1. they are not what you take when you use this lens and
2. I dont have the proper charts etc to properly do it, no point do it half ass*d.
What i will do is compare it to the two other lenses I have near this focal length, the DA*16-50 and the DA18-55.
Firstly, the lens slots in nicely between the DA*16-50 and the DA18-55 in quality of finish. It is weighty - close the the DA*, has a solid feel to it and it beautifully finished, with blend of metal and plastic parts and rubber grips.
The front lens element does not rotate and therefore is easy to use with a Circular Polarizing filter.
The hood is quite large and almost overbearing compared to the lens itself, but totally worthwhile with such a wide angle lens, helping to stop unwanted flare.
USING THE LENS
The most dramatic thing about this lens is the lack of visual image distortion, even at 12mm it is almost undetectable, while going from 13-24mm IS perfect without any distortion whatsoever.
At 12mm F4 the image is sharp and marginally sharper at F8 tapering off at F13-F22.
I dont find 24mm as sharp until F8 but elsewhere in the range up to 22mm is as good as 12mm.
Comparing images from the DA*16-50 and DA12-24 finds very little difference at 16mm and 12mm. They both have about the same Resolution and sharpness and little purple fringing where there are strong colour contrasts (white and blacks).
The DA* shows some barrel distortion where as the DA12-24 shows virtually none.
Colours on both lenses are superb, flare is really well controlled and it is impossible to say which image is from what lens.
The DA seems to lock focus extremely quick and accurately perhaps fractionally faster than the DA* and about the same as the DA18-55.
Lets face it, you buy this lens for the wider side of its design, from 12mm+ and mostly for landscapes, interior/exterior real estate and street work.
F4 may not sound like much but it locks focus fast and depth of field around this focal length is DEEP no matter how close you are.
Image quality is 2nd to none and matches the DA*. In fact it is the perfect compliment for the DA*, extending the range to 12mm and loosing nothing at all in quality and resolution.
The hood will fit on the DA* as well.
Things to look out for when using this lens-
Looking up or down when there are geometrical shapes in the image will create massive amounts of perspective distortion. This is not a lens issue just a something thats happens at these focal lengths that you should be aware of especially when taking real estate photos for example.
Purple Fringing. It has some, not as bad as the DA* and not enough to really worry about, but look and you will find if youre into pixel peeping. K7 fixes this, so does PS.
No Bag come on, give me a bag when i spend this much
COST = $1000 to $1150 Shop around !!!
DA12-24 @12mm (notice just how much more you get for 12mm compared to 16mm and complete lack of barrel distortion! not much PF to see either)
DA*16-50 @ 16mm (note PF in the lights and slight barrel distortion)
DA18-55ii @ 18mm (slight barrel distortion)
Looking up (perspective distortion, trees bowing in towards the middle)
Looking straight out, perfect image quality, some PF, HERE is where you need 12mm