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06-05-2010, 06:36 AM   #16
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One more thing to be said. My wife's views on camera operation are not my own. I like friendly zoom rings. What she has explained is that she wants her photos to have great depth of field without her thinking and manipulating a lot of settings. She wants to set the lens at infinity and not focus but have the image be all in focus form "close by" to the things far away in the image. I translate what she asks for to mean a relatively wide angle lens however it may be a 20 or even 24 on an APS-C sensor would be enough view set on infinity with enough speed with light to result in a sharp in focus image in the whole field of view. I think we have all done this and usually with a wider angle lens and a longer view. Naturally, a soft focus lens is not desired nor one with highly noticeable problems at corners or a lot of CA. I hope these explanations this morning help with understanding.

06-05-2010, 10:17 AM   #17
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The DA15 might not be cheap, but there are no other recitlinear primes that wide that are any cheaper. The Zenitar 16 is cheaper and though it is a fisheye, it's only a little fishy on APS-C and could be worth considering. You'd rarely notice the semi-fishy-ness on this lens in a landscape, but would in a portrait.

Something to consider regarding distortion, BTW - fisheye or not, a portrait taken with a wide angle lens will always suffer perspective distortion. That's not a lens defect; it's just what happens when you shoot a person from so close that the nose looms noticeably larger than the rest of the face. So it's possible you and/or your wife are blaming the lens for something that is simply inherent in shooting portraits from so close.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-05-2010 at 04:29 PM.
06-05-2010, 10:42 AM   #18
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Well, you mentioned the Sigma 10-20 so i'll address that.

The 10-20 is in a class of lens called a ultra wide angle. Probably the best way to understand what this lens can produce is to see the Sigma 10-20 lens club thread in this forum.

I don't normally think of it as a new person's lens, but it does sell well across the makes of cameras, e.g. on the Amazon best selling lens list, it listed both the Sigma 10-20 f4 Canon and Nikon versions. Used, these lenses sell for about $350 and new they are still available from Adorama and BHPhoto for $479.

My experience is all with the older F4 version, but there is newer design thats an F3.5 version that i won't address. Its slightly faster but heavier, but read the reviews. It also sells for $600 plus with no better IQ from what some have said. There are examples of these photos in the lens club thread on the Sigmas as well.

On the F4 version, you can literally set the focus ring near the "3 foot/1 meter" mark and it will be in focus from near to infinity. Now that changes a little bit for the focal length you select, but its very good. I have been in night scenes where i didn't have anything close to focus on and have just manually set the ring to the 3 foot mark and left it at that for shooting.

At 10mm FL, there is a lot of perspective distortion, but thats a price to be paid for getting such a large FOV. Also the AF function starts to fade out in its effectiveness in low light at 10 mm. The problem, i believe, is everthing in the viewfinder is so close together at 10mm, i believe its difficulty for the camera to focus on things that already seem in focus. As i said above, just switch to MF and set the focus ring to 3 feet and you're good to go. For 12mm to 20 mm, i've not had any problem with the lens finding a focus lock.

The best way to avoid perspective distortion with these lenses is to hold the lens axis parallel to the ground. If you point upwards (from a horizontal view) just a little, you can look through the lens and see the vertical lens rapidly become more convergent towards the top of the VF and divergent towards the bottom of the VF. This optical effect is true of all lens, but the UWA really emphasize this effect. Just the reverse happens if you point the lens down below the horizontal view. vertical lines converge together downward and diverge towards the top of the VF.

Towards the 20mm zoom range, the Sigma 10-20 gets very civilized and acts like most other lens. Below 14mm or so, things get more radical from a perspective standpoint. This is a good thing since it teaches one a lot about photography. 3 days after i got my Sigma 10-20, i was determined to return it as defective, must be defective i thought because i couldn;t take a decent picture with it :-). On the forth day my pictures started getting better and from then on i was no longer thinking of selling it.

I've compared, using photozone.de test results, the DA-15 and the Sigma 10-20 at 14mm (photozone.de doesn't have test results on the 10-20 at 15mm) I forget the exact numbers, but the 10-20 at 14mm has less barrel distortion than the DA-15. Up to F8, the DA-15 is sharper in the center, but less sharp than the Sigma 10-20 at the edges. Above F8, the DA-15 is slightly sharper than the Sigma at the center and the edges. The Sigma is slightly cooler than the DA-15 in its rendering but this is easily correctable, if preferred. I consider the two lens to be comparable in lens performance, obviously the big difference is portability and weight.

Anyway, see the Sigma 10-20 lens club shots and you'll see some of the interesting things the lens can do. best wishes in your lens selection.
06-05-2010, 04:14 PM   #19
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The DA21/3.2, the Goldilocks lens

This lens on a APS-C sensor has a fov equivalent of about 33mm...just right for shooting in "P&S" mode. It has more distortion than average (more than the DA15) but if you are not shooting mostly architecture, it will work fine. Set it at 10ft and f/8 and your depth of field will be between 5ft and infinity.

06-06-2010, 03:31 AM   #20
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As I said in another thread regarding wide angle lenses

"I could recommend the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 which is a rectilinear lens i.e. which still maintains relatively straight lines at the edges, which I find ideal for my type of work.

It may not be the fastest kid on the block, but at F3.5 still quick enough to be hand held.

Just bear in mind it is very wide on FF cameras but not so much on today’s DSLR’s. Check out the reviews on the lens section of this site."
06-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
As I said in another thread regarding wide angle lenses

"I could recommend the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 which is a rectilinear lens i.e. which still maintains relatively straight lines at the edges, which I find ideal for my type of work.

It may not be the fastest kid on the block, but at F3.5 still quick enough to be hand held.

Just bear in mind it is very wide on FF cameras but not so much on todayís DSLRís. Check out the reviews on the lens section of this site."
I'd love to have one but not for the $1400 i currently found on ebay. The DA15 sounds like a real bargain for half the price. :-)
06-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
As I said in another thread regarding wide angle lenses

"I could recommend the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 which is a rectilinear lens i.e. which still maintains relatively straight lines at the edges, which I find ideal for my type of work.

It may not be the fastest kid on the block, but at F3.5 still quick enough to be hand held.

Just bear in mind it is very wide on FF cameras but not so much on today’s DSLR’s. Check out the reviews on the lens section of this site."
Wow, I would have to agree that a $1400 lens exceeds my budget by close to seven times. I think I could eventually get my wife convinced to spend in excess of $200 and if I save some could get the total up to $400 or 500 which puts me in range of todays AF 14 and 15 lenses. That is probably what will happen but I will need to convince her first. Everyones responses to this thread I started will go a long way to getting her convinced.
06-06-2010, 06:01 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I'd love to have one but not for the $1400 i currently found on ebay. The DA15 sounds like a real bargain for half the price. :-)
Even more so then for barely a third price, which is what it goes for!

06-06-2010, 06:48 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Even more so then for barely a third price, which is what it goes for!
In the lens database it says $900. I haven't looked anywhere for this one for I thought it to be a fisheye like most 15 mm film lenses. I had no idea it was a rectilinear lens. I will start looking for eBay is probably the more expensive place to look these days.
06-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kacansas03 Quote
In the lens database it says $900.
??? I just checked, and it says the average price paid was $620, and that includes a couple of people who bought it overseas where the price was greater. Anyhow, the regular price of the DA15 was around $550 for quite a while, but I see now it's $499.

'
QuoteQuote:
I will start looking for eBay is probably the more expensive place to look these days.
Not sure what you're trying to say here, but Adorama and B&H are by far the two largest / most popular / most reputable dealers. Looks like Adorama is currently out of stock, but B&H has it in right now. It's conceivable you could find it for slightly less used on Ebay, or slightly less new if prodigital2000 happens to be having a sale on it that week. But Adorama and B&H should always be the first place one looks.
06-07-2010, 12:57 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
??? I just checked, and it says the average price paid was $620, and that includes a couple of people who bought it overseas where the price was greater. Anyhow, the regular price of the DA15 was around $550 for quite a while, but I see now it's $499.

'

Not sure what you're trying to say here, but Adorama and B&H are by far the two largest / most popular / most reputable dealers. Looks like Adorama is currently out of stock, but B&H has it in right now. It's conceivable you could find it for slightly less used on Ebay, or slightly less new if prodigital2000 happens to be having a sale on it that week. But Adorama and B&H should always be the first place one looks.
We have some bad communication here. I thought Marc was talking about the SMCPA 15 mm FF lens. He was talking about the 15 mm DA lens. I agree that it can be purchased for far less than $1400. I was talking about searching online for the SMCPA 15 mm film lens. Which was really hard to find but the examples I found were nowhere close to $1400. philbaum was commenting on the price of the SMCPA 15 mm FF lens and not the DA. I am kacansas03 on here and I agree with you Marc. We were communicating about apples and oranges, I was looking into the film 15 mm which I thought was fisheye and not rectilinear and Marc was communicating about the DA lenses. All my looking for quicker wide angle has led me to the Sigma 20 mm f1.8 but it is expensive too. I think saving up for the Pentax lens is best at this time.
06-07-2010, 01:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by kacansas03 Quote
We have some bad communication here. I thought Marc was talking about the SMCPA 15 mm FF lens. He was talking about the 15 mm DA lens.
Right. The DA15 is the lens Phil specifically said sounded like a deal at half of $1400 lens, and I responded that it - meaning that same DA15 - is actually only barely a third of $1400. Sorry for the confusion.
06-08-2010, 04:51 PM   #28
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I have the 16-45mm, and for the price(for me at least) it can't be beat. I got my slightly used for $270. Yes it isn't 14mm or 2.8, but it is sharp, wonderful colors and reasonably wide. And your not going to find anything much wider for a better price....I would love to have the Sigma 10-20mm...but I'm cheap
06-09-2010, 06:52 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by kacansas03 Quote
Thanks Adam. Not all photographers are alike and my wife loves scenic photography plus candid snapshot. She does not like the 18-55 zoom for she feels it isn't wide enough and she has to remember that it has a zoom ring. Plus she has told me she wants something like the old 24 mm film lens where she just left it at infinity since everything she was photographing was beyond 10 feet from her. So she didn't have to focus or wait for auto focus, just shoot away. Let me tell you the woman could go through film like you wouldn't believe. After our Wyoming trip in '04 I decided a digital was necessary since I didn't have an infinite film developing budget, 60 rolls to develop that she shot from the trip!
Get her a point and shoot ..
06-09-2010, 07:09 AM   #30
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I personally like the sigma 10-20, but the OP has said he does not want zoom, so in that case, the only thing left is a prime in the 14-15mm (because the OP has also stated that he wants the equivelent of a 24mm on film)

This is what he wants, although my own experience is that 24mm on film was just not wide enough. Maybe that is just me.
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