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Old Apr 19, 2010, 6:00 PM   #1
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Default Wide angle lens reccomendations

I don't need to buy another lens, but my LBA is giving me withdrawls. ;-)

well ive got everything covered from 18mm to 1000mm. The only lens I feel like Im missing is an ultra wide angle lens. Ive been doing more and more panoramic shots lately and they have been turning out well but theres many times when I just BARELY need a second shot to cover what I want in the frame but have to end up taking two shots or more because stepping back isnt an option.

My widest lens range is with the 18-55mm kit lens and I find it very sharp at 18mm. I was interested in checking out a prime manual lens for something a little wider but this isnt really easy to do considering the older wide angle lenses are not the same range on the DSLR, meaning if I buy an older wide angle lens, itll mostly likely not not even as wide as the 18mm kit lens because of sensor size. So it looks like new AF lenses made for DSLR sensor sizes are only option...

So is my only option the sigma 10-20mm? it seems all the new wide angle lenses are over 500 bucks, does anyone have any strong reccomendations here? I feel if i were to make a purchase, I would just go for the 16-45mm pentax, or sigma 10-20. However Im also not so sure if its worth the moderate price to just save myself from stitching pannos.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:08 PM   #2
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One thing that a ultra wide gives you that a stiched pano cannot is the interesting perspevtives when you frame near and far subject matter in the same shot. The depth of field is generally very deep and I find it makes for very interesting compositions. While I do not own one, I hear that the Pentax 12-24 f/4 is a good wide angle choice. I also have used the 10-17 Fish Eye which at 17mm perform like a traditional wide angled lens; at 10mm it is a circular fish-eye. A most fun lens. I tried the Sigma 10-20mm, but returned it--it seemed a bit soft for my liking. Besides, it was a huge lens (82 mm diameter operning). They are all over $500...not sure how you can overcome that obstacle. I'd recommend the Tokina's which are right at about the $500 range and have excellent IQ. Unfortunately they are not offered in the Pentax mount.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 8:19 PM   #3
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The Pentax 12-24 is pretty much the same as the Tokina 12-24, which I own. And it is a superb ultrawide, very sharp, great build, distortion is good for the angle.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:31 PM   #4
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I do like the wide angle end of photography. I have acquired over time a 10-17 FE, 12-24, and 16-45, along with a 31 Ltd.

You have a number of choices in Pentax glass, and some with Sigma, Tameron and an older Tokina that was made with a K mount.

  • DA 14mm f2.8 - discontinued but is suppose to be excellent - same physical size as the DA 12-24, need to find one
  • DA*15mm f4 - excellent small prime
  • FA 20mm f2.8 - discontinued, excellent low light
  • DA* 21mm f3.2 - excellent, light weight, a small bit of distortion
  • SMC K 18mm f3.5 - discontinued, excellent - no AF, need to find one
  • SMC A 20mm f2.8 - discontinued, excellent - no AF, need to find one
  • Tokina 17mm f3.5 - discontinued, excellent, large lens (about the size of 12-24), no AF, need to find one. I see a couple become available every few months
  • DA 10-17 FE - excellent, AF fish eye 180 - 100 degrees FOV
  • DA 12-24 - excellent, rivals primes in IQ, 100 - 60 degrees FOV
  • DA 16-45 -excellent, discontinued, price has dropped to mid $250, not really wide angle
  • Tamron 10-24 - reported to be not as good as Pentax and Sigma
  • Tamron 11-18 - reported to be not as good as Pentax and Sigma
  • Sigma 10-20 - excellent
  • Sigma 12-24 -excellent,
  • Sigma 8-16 - new just announced
I think I listed most of the options, but do not guarantee that I got everything.

Personally, and it all boils down to what you want to do (and $pend) - the Pentax 12-24 has been noted to have the IQ and resolution of the primes. It tends to be an all in one, in that it is very sharp and does everything very well (low distortion but with some CA), however it is a large lens. The 10-17 FE and the 12-24 complement each other in terms of FOV, where one ends the other begins. Tokina has a 12-24 for only Canon, Nikon and now Sony mounts. It is the same lens design as the Pentax DA 12-24 (rumored to designed by Pentax). The difference (other than mount) is the lens coating and the AF clutch design, and of course the barrel design (look and feel). Tokina has come out with a 11-16/f2.8 lens about 18 months ago, and Pentax has NOT followed suit. Tokina's 11-16 is an upgrade to the 12-24 and they look nearly the same. It has been reviewed to be extremely sharp with wonderful IQ and color (but not available in a Pentax mount).

The Sigmas also have a good reputation, and to be cheaper than the Pentax. Sigma also is slightly wider by 2mm or about 4 degrees in FOV. However, the wider you go the more distortion you gain. Sigma also has the built in lens AF motor in at least one of the models.

Bottom line - none of the lenses are inexpensive or even cheap. They all start at around $500 and escalate quickly from there. Also, in that they are wide angle, and gather a lot of light, the f4 lenses in this focal length tend to shoot a lot faster than f4 lenses in longer focal lengths.

That is just a quick review....

Last edited by interested_observer; Apr 19, 2010 at 9:47 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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I'm another that has both the Pentax 12-24 and the 10-17 FE. The 10-17 is a very fun lens, but it doesn't do the same things as the pentilinear 12-24. It's a fish-eye and it does that very, very well. The 12-24 is not exactly small as far as the front element (77 mm) but it's smaller than the Sigma (82 mm?!!!?). Otherwise the 12-24 isn't bad - it's not that long and its not all that heavy either (but then I have a number of fast lenses and long lenses, so it's somewhat relative). I had some front focusing issues with the 12-24, but they were fixed using the K-7's focus adjust. It is quite sharp up through f11. I'm very happy with both lenses and glad I finally broke down and bought the second one.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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After a K7 purchase I'll be getting the DA 12-24. One of the best out there. But Dangit they are pricey!!
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 5:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the recommendations everyone! The 12-24 looks like it'd be just what I need. This one will have to wait for now with that price
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 4:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
I do like the wide angle end of photography. I have acquired over time a 10-17 FE, 12-24, and 16-45, along with a 31 Ltd.

You have a number of choices in Pentax glass, and some with Sigma, Tameron and an older Tokina that was made with a K mount.

  • DA 14mm f2.8 - discontinued but is suppose to be excellent - same physical size as the DA 12-24, need to find one
  • DA*15mm f4 - excellent small prime
  • FA 20mm f2.8 - discontinued, excellent low light
  • DA* 21mm f3.2 - excellent, light weight, a small bit of distortion
  • SMC K 18mm f3.5 - discontinued, excellent - no AF, need to find one
  • SMC A 20mm f2.8 - discontinued, excellent - no AF, need to find one
  • Tokina 17mm f3.5 - discontinued, excellent, large lens (about the size of 12-24), no AF, need to find one. I see a couple become available every few months
  • DA 10-17 FE - excellent, AF fish eye 180 - 100 degrees FOV
  • DA 12-24 - excellent, rivals primes in IQ, 100 - 60 degrees FOV
  • DA 16-45 -excellent, discontinued, price has dropped to mid $250, not really wide angle
  • Tamron 10-24 - reported to be not as good as Pentax and Sigma
  • Tamron 11-18 - reported to be not as good as Pentax and Sigma
  • Sigma 10-20 - excellent
  • Sigma 12-24 -excellent,
  • Sigma 8-16 - new just announced
I think I listed most of the options, but do not guarantee that I got everything.

Personally, and it all boils down to what you want to do (and $pend) - the Pentax 12-24 has been noted to have the IQ and resolution of the primes. It tends to be an all in one, in that it is very sharp and does everything very well (low distortion but with some CA), however it is a large lens. The 10-17 FE and the 12-24 complement each other in terms of FOV, where one ends the other begins. Tokina has a 12-24 for only Canon, Nikon and now Sony mounts. It is the same lens design as the Pentax DA 12-24 (rumored to designed by Pentax). The difference (other than mount) is the lens coating and the AF clutch design, and of course the barrel design (look and feel). Tokina has come out with a 11-16/f2.8 lens about 18 months ago, and Pentax has NOT followed suit. Tokina's 11-16 is an upgrade to the 12-24 and they look nearly the same. It has been reviewed to be extremely sharp with wonderful IQ and color (but not available in a Pentax mount).

The Sigmas also have a good reputation, and to be cheaper than the Pentax. Sigma also is slightly wider by 2mm or about 4 degrees in FOV. However, the wider you go the more distortion you gain. Sigma also has the built in lens AF motor in at least one of the models.

Bottom line - none of the lenses are inexpensive or even cheap. They all start at around $500 and escalate quickly from there. Also, in that they are wide angle, and gather a lot of light, the f4 lenses in this focal length tend to shoot a lot faster than f4 lenses in longer focal lengths.

That is just a quick review....
Other than FA 20mm f2.8, all seem pricey particularly when compared with Zenitar 16mm . I got that new at around $160. Likely it is now $220 new.

Long list of happy users

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...sentation&qf=m


Daniel
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 6:31 AM   #9
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Hi,
Like Daniel, I'm an avid user of the zenitar 16mm, I got mine BNIB from the States for around 65 GBP including shipping, that was a real bargain.
The shots below were shot with it at the RHS Kew Gardens, on a day when I found I'd left my DA 18/55 kit lens behind, and picked up the zenitar instead (they have identical leather bags). It didn't make a lot of difference as the shots below will show. ... Jack
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 6:41 AM   #10
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Hi again,
One drawback with the zenitar, is that some, not all come from the factory with the focus adjustment incorrectly set, it can give disappointing results until you realise there's a problem.
Fortunately it's very easily rectified, I had this problem, and a bit of google searching provided many hits on this subject, check out the link below for the proceedure. ... Jack.

http://mac.tidings.nu/PinkyPentax/Z16mmFE.shtml
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