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Old May 9, 2007, 7:43 PM   #1
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So I was at a party, discussing lenses and beer blends with some photog/beer buddies o' mine when I was surprised to hear from a Canon shooter (isnt it always those guys?!),
"You have a pentax *ist right, Alex?"
"Yes.."
"Get rid of that, you can't find fast lenses for those. I like my Canon blah blah blah."
Or something.
Well I sobered up right quick and got on the internet when I got home and looked up fast lenses. I would really like to get an Ultra-wide fast lens. Fast as in large aperture opening but also fast as in a good quality AF, making it literally fast. The concern I have is that my current walk around lense, the Sigma 24-135mm f2.8 (the one with a bunch of menu problems that some people have and others dont - I have problems)

Now on with the question. Since I am pretty green with ultra-wides, do I want to get a prime? I know of a pentax 16mm which seems to be pretty good-looking, or do I want a zoom? I dont know these kinds of answers but I am very interested in the Sigma 10-20mm. Though it is not very fast (f4-4.5 I believe), it is fast enough for my uses I think. Now, that is rather expensive so does anyone know of any low-light hunting issues with it or is there a better alternative? Perhaps a classic manual that would quench my ultra-wide thirst? Now since I've just won a bizillion dollars, money isnt a threat. Or rather, my college expenses can be surpressed to buy a lens in the neighborhood of 0-650 dollars (ramen noodles aint so bad, and Natural Light is certainly...uh...drinkable), I should be able to find something decent that will work. Anyone's suggestions on an ULTRA-WIDE lens would be appreciated.

Also, while I've got you're attention, any thoughts on Polarizers (Hoya, B+W, Lee square filter kits) would be great because I need a polarizer but since my present lenses all have different diameters, I'm leaning towards the Lee Kit despite the initial heartbreaking price. Unless there is a problem with square filters? I just dont want to shell out 100-150 per filter for currently 3 different diameters when I am sure to find lenses that are not 77mm in the future. Oh, if there is an ULTRA-WIDE lens that is 77mm, that is a big plus.

Thanks and I'm sorry for the long post, its my nature and no man or beast will turn me.

Until tornadoes return to Kansas,
-Alex.
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Old May 9, 2007, 9:38 PM   #2
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I can't answer all of your questions and the widest lens I currently own is the 18-55 kit lens. Pentax makes a 10-17mm fish eye and a 12-24mm ultra wide zoom. Neither is "fast" in terms of aperture but there have been good reports on both lenses here. For a prime, there are several users who swear by the Zenitar 16mm (and post the shots to back it up) and it would be considered fast in terms of aperture at f/2.8. On the other hand, it is a manual focus and manual meter lens.

For your filters, the most economical method would probably be too buy one of each type of filter you intend to use sized to fit the largest lens you own or intend to own. Then get step up rings to fit that filter to your other lenses.

Good luck on your search and hopefully someone else can weigh in with more personal experience.

Tim
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Old May 9, 2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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The Widest F2.8 zoom lens is the TOKINA AT-X 165 PRO DX 16-50mm F2.8

I wouldn't call it Ultra wide, but it's fast. Not sure if it's available for a Pentax though.
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Old May 9, 2007, 11:55 PM   #4
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I have to wonder what you're shooting that requires a fast ultra wide lens? I only use a really wide lens for landscapes, and they're usually not too fast moving.

Anyway, if you define ultra wide as 20mm or wider and fast as f2.0 or larger, I think a truly fast ultra wide violates some rule of physics. The DA 14 f/2.8 would probably come the closest.Not sure if you can find one in stock, but you can get one on e-Bay.The"coming soon" DA* 16-50 f2.8in a zoomif you can stretch your budget a little further (maybe switch from drinking Natural Light to drinking your buddies beer).

FWIW, I don't think Canonhas anytihng faster/wider.They have a 14mm f/2.8 and a 16-35 mm f/2.8. Of course it's much easier to find the Canon lenses in stock, but hte prices are almost double those of the Pentax lenses.
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Old May 10, 2007, 1:00 AM   #5
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Thank you all, I hadnt considered the large aperture vignetting problem that I read about since making the post. Should I worry about vignetting with any filters that are not square? I've heard that I need to buy thin filters to get the most out of it. I will look into all the suggestions.

Thanks again.
-Alex

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Old May 10, 2007, 1:00 AM   #6
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dave_g wrote:
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The"coming soon" DA* 16-50 f2.8in a zoomif you can stretch your budget a little further (maybe switch from drinking Natural Light to drinking your buddies beer).
Pentax and Tokina have been doing some joint projects recently, such as the 12-24mm lens, which is why you can't find the Tokina with a Pentax mount.

It looks a lot like the DA* 16-50 f2.8zoomand the TOKINA AT-X 165 PRO DX 16-50mm F2.8might be the same lens.


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Old May 10, 2007, 2:38 AM   #7
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And something you can consider if you don't want a dredge escavating your wallet is a front WA adapter lens.... far from ideal (but not near as bad as a front tele can be)

I find not having the kit lens.... my pretty cheap 0.42x front WA on my 28-70mm Sigma does a really nice job for the $30 cost geting it down to like 14 mm.... yes more curvature on strait line than the $400+ lens might have.... guess it comes dow to how much/often do you really need it, and how rectalinear do you want it to be.

(and actually it probably does better than many still costly... but cheaper "fisheyes" in that department... again unless you want that effect)

For the small cost.... something you might try first.
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Old May 10, 2007, 2:47 PM   #8
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"These two new smc PENTAX-DA* zoom lenses come equipped with a new SDM System, which assures smoother, quieter autofocusing operation using a built-in supersonic motor. When mounted on the PENTAX K10D digital SLR camera body, the focus mode is automatically switched to SDM-assisted autofocusing."

So without a K10d, do you think it will hunt in the dark or has the motor no effect on the quality of the AF system?

Perhaps the wide angle adapter idea would work, I hadnt considered that. I'll have to look into all of these suggestions, I am pleased with my findings thus far, and I'll probably flip a coin or something as all of the lenses I've looked at all have good ratings and are probably sharper then my 24-135mm, which for the record, is a damn fine lens for the money but its weight and bulk have me a big down considering I usually only shoot at 24mm anyway. I dont mind getting up close and personal and have risked getting run over by cars by lying on the ground numerous times.

thanks again everyone,
-alex
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Old May 10, 2007, 5:15 PM   #9
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Pentaxchamp wrote:
Quote:
Now on with the question. Since I am pretty green with ultra-wides, do I want to get a prime? I know of a pentax 16mm which seems to be pretty good-looking, or do I want a zoom? I dont know these kinds of answers but I am very interested in the Sigma 10-20mm. Though it is not very fast (f4-4.5 I believe), it is fast enough for my uses I think. Now, that is rather expensive so does anyone know of any low-light hunting issues with it or is there a better alternative? Perhaps a classic manual that would quench my ultra-wide thirst? Now since I've just won a bizillion dollars, money isnt a threat. Or rather, my college expenses can be surpressed to buy a lens in the neighborhood of 0-650 dollars (ramen noodles aint so bad, and Natural Light is certainly...uh...drinkable), I should be able to find something decent that will work. Anyone's suggestions on an ULTRA-WIDE lens would be appreciated.

-Alex.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...718238#p718238


The cost of this set up (manual Zenitar 16mmF2.8) is around US$150 (new & shipping included) + $20-$200 (a mint condition used film camera).

It is ultra wide if not wild if you use it on full frame film (not dslr). Even with dslr, it is quite wide.

Daniel, Toronto
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Old May 10, 2007, 5:57 PM   #10
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dave_g wrote:
Quote:
I have to wonder what you're shooting that requires a fast ultra wide lens? I only use a really wide lens for landscapes, and they're usually not too fast moving.
Not Just for landscapes

17mm on 35mm film
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