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05-19-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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prime landscape lens suggestions

I have a few lenses, but no prime wide angle to use for landscapes.
I have tele and zooms all of which are fine, sharp at certain focal lengths and apertures but the only wide angle I have is the kit 18-55 mk2
which is at its best does a good job but due to the tiny focus movement is very hard to try to set to hyper-focal distances, so what is a alternative, any brand , M or A is fine to use on my K10d
Alistair

05-19-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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The DA 15mm limited, or the A, M, or FA 20mm f/2.8.
05-19-2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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You might be interested in reading about the DA wide angle primes here, as well as checking out the other sections:

Pentax Lens Review Database - Pentax DA Series Prime Lens Reviews and Specifications

I can personally recommend the FA 20 and FA* 24; I've heard good things about the DA 21 and DA 15 as well.

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05-19-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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Can definitely recommend the DA15mm Ltd if you can afford one. That translates to a 22.5mm on the K10D body.

Check out the thread started by Jay Sherman on this lens, here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86234-15mm-lim...s-my-mind.html

It's a long thread, but has some excellent photos, lots of discussion, and has spawned a load of new DA15mm owners, including me.

05-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I have a few lenses, but no prime wide angle to use for landscapes.
I have tele and zooms all of which are fine, sharp at certain focal lengths and apertures but the only wide angle I have is the kit 18-55 mk2
which is at its best does a good job but due to the tiny focus movement is very hard to try to set to hyper-focal distances, so what is a alternative, any brand , M or A is fine to use on my K10d
Alistair
I think 16-45mm is more useful than the prime lens for landscape.
05-19-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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I think 24mm is wide enough for landscapes. In fact sometimes a 50mm is just right. Big myth that landscapes = ultra-wide.

QuoteOriginally posted by jpoint Quote
I think 16-45mm is more useful than the prime lens for landscape.
It's a great choice.
05-19-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I have a few lenses, but no prime wide angle to use for landscapes.
I have tele and zooms all of which are fine, sharp at certain focal lengths and apertures but the only wide angle I have is the kit 18-55 mk2
which is at its best does a good job but due to the tiny focus movement is very hard to try to set to hyper-focal distances, so what is a alternative, any brand , M or A is fine to use on my K10d
Short and sweet: SMC K 35mm f/3.5

Near zero distortion, unbelievable resolution at
f/11 and 16, incredible colors, rendering and
flare resistance.


Quick sample at f/16 - see beach stones where point of focus was horizon.
PS. right click and select view image to pixel peep sharpness

Last edited by JohnBee; 05-19-2010 at 06:32 PM.
05-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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Nice one John. Good "out of the box" suggestion!

05-19-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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Since you have the 18-55, first step would be to use it to understand what focal length you want. 28mm is just about perfect very often for me - more so than any other single focal length. Others find 21 or 24 or 35 more useful; others find something wider than 18 most useful.
05-20-2010, 03:54 AM   #10
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Original Poster
Thank you every one for the replies ,food for thought ,and I perhaps did not express my thought to well, so to clarify,I have a pentax 18-55 kit lens an old pentax 100mm prime M series / macro; a old pentax 80-200 a series zoom, a Sigma 28-300 zoom and a Auto Chinon manual 50mm prime [which I bought to put the dcr150 on and it works jolly well for that]
So I use the 18-55 for my attempts at landscape, The 18-55 is at its sharpest at about 35 mm and while it is usable at 18 or slightly more,say 20/28 but what I find is to get my foreground sharp is often potluck despite measuring distances as I find the focus helix in the kit lens is to fine and it is difficult to set accurately.
I accept the advice that focal length in the 20-30's is ok and I don't maybe don't need a 16mm, I thought 27mm was the size prefered for film and for a dslr it will enlarge to much? that was why I was thinking about focal lenghts in the teens.
What I don't want is a fish eye type effect and due to the crippling prices of pentax lenses I am quite content to look for a older fully manual lens with adecent focus throw that has resonable spaces beteen the distance marks and which does not have to be fast as I would mostly be using f8-f16 anyway on a tripod and often low down hence the interest in as great a depth of close up field as possible.
I hope this makes sense , I know what I want but not sure how to put it over.
Alistair
05-20-2010, 04:21 AM   #11
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If you are asking about a really wide lens, then your options seem limited to the DA 14 and the DA15. Or, you could get a 16-45. The 12-24 is also widely liked. The 16-45 would be the cheapest option.

You can of course, choose to shoot panoramas in a lot of these situations and use a longer lens. I feel like I get more detail and less distortion that way, but each to their own.
05-20-2010, 04:55 AM   #12
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I'd suggest taking a bunch of your favourite landscapes compositions so far, and looking at the focal lengths you used for those (PhotoME can help you with that). This will give you a pointer.

If you find out that with your kit you're never at the widest setting, that's a good pointer too. As others have said, wide is not a prerotagive for landscapes. It somewhat is for panoramas, which isn't the same.

Some lenses will generate some distortion, and sometimes that's a bonus for landscapes, but that is a personal style thing.

I personally use the Sigma 17-70, WR kit lens version 2, and DA 21 mm LTD for landscapes. And I pull out my tele lenses for details. I've never used my 50s for anything approaching a landscape, except by night.
05-20-2010, 05:19 AM   #13
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I don't like ultrawides for landscape photography, it isn't easy to get a strong composition and even if you do the foreground is nearly always too dominant. And the distortion can have wavy sub frequencies which are almost impossible to remove in PP. Not to mention they are more likely to have CA and PF that will be unacceptable*. I recommend the FA31mm f/1.8 it's as sharp as hell from corner to corner. It has the same FOV as a 47mm lens which makes it slightly wider than a "normal" lens. And it is excellent for panoramic photography due to the fact that it has low distortion in it's focal length class. be warned though, it is expensive.

*sadly,there are few exceptions to this rule of the thumb.
05-20-2010, 05:27 AM   #14
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I think that either a 14/15mm from pentax (DA or FA/J or limited)
or one of those super zooms 12-24 from Pentax or 10-20 from Sigma/Tamron would fit your bill well.
It all depends on the depth of your pockets
05-20-2010, 03:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I thought 27mm was the size prefered for film
By whom? As I said before, everyone has different preferences. You need to learn for yourself what works for *you*.
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