The DANTSYS discrete ordinates computer code system is applied to quantitative estimation of water kerma rate distributions in the vicinity of discrete photon sources with energies in the 20- to 800-keV range in two-dimensional cylindrical r-z geometry. Unencapsulated sources immersed in cylindrical water phantoms of 40-cm diameter and 40-cm height are modeled in either homogeneous phantoms or shielded by Ti, Fe, and Pb filters with thicknesses of 1 and 2 mean free paths. The obtained dose results are compared with corresponding photon Monte Carlo simulations. A 210-group photon cross-section library for applications in this energy range is developed and applied, together with a general-purpose 42-group library developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for DANTSYS calculations. The accuracy of DANTSYS with the 42-group library relative to Monte Carlo exhibits large pointwise fluctuations from -42 to +84%.The major cause for the observed discrepancies is determined to be the inadequacy of the weighting function used for the 42-group library derivation. DANTSYS simulations with a finer 210-group library show excellent accuracy on and off the source transverse plane relative to Monte Carlo kerma calculations, varying from -4.9 to 3.7%. The P3 Legendre polynomial expansion of the angular scattering function is shown to be sufficient for accurate calculations. The results demonstrate that DANTSYS is capable of calculating photon doses in very good agreement with Monte Carlo and that the multigroup cross-section library and efficient techniques for mitigation of ray effects are critical for accurate discrete ordinates implementation.