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06-08-2010, 10:07 AM   #1
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I'm torn...

So I've really gotten the bug and jumped head first into photography, and boy am I having fun shooting friends, family, and a lot of creative images!

In the last month I have acquired a new White K-x, Sigma 70-300mm APO, SMC FA-50mm 1.4f, and the kit 18-55mm. These have me pretty well covered, obviously the LBA is starting to take hold and I'm torn on my next lens.

I'm debating the 10-17mm FE and the Sigma 10-20mm, or maybe the 12-24mm although its a little pricey for me at the moment.

I love the 50mm 1.4f right now because I take a lot of shots of either my 3 nephews running around (they are 4, 2 and 6months old, so LOTS of action ) and I also take it out at night with my friends, been taking some bar shots and all sorts of creative shots that I just can't get with anything over 4f i think. However, the 50mm focal length is starting to cramp my style. it's a little too narrow to capture everything I want.

Sooooo for this reason I am leaning towards the 10-17mm FE. I think I would have fun with the aspect of the photos, and I THINK it will be fast enough for some night shots, but I'm not sure.

However, I still really like the 10-20mm sigma. I like the idea of the Ultra Wide angle, however I'm not sure if it's really what I'm looking for. I'm no stranger to Photoshop, been using it daily for the last 10 years or so, currently getting comfy with CS5 so I have no issues correcting the Fish Eye in photoshop so my 10mm shots with the 10-17mm can still be UltraWide if I want to spend the 30 secs it takes to de-fish. Which makes me think this lens I would get more mileage out of.

Any advice? Lost....

06-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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I considered the 10-17 for a microsecond but decided I'd rather have a normal wide angle than have to be limited by the fisheye of the 10-17. I think you'll find that you'll want the fisheye less than you think. Yes you can correct it but I'd rather have a lens that I'll be able to use as is for 90% of my shots than have one that I'll have to correct for 90% of my shots. The 10-20 is an excellent lens and has quickly become my favorite glass as I like wide.

I'd get the 10-20 and then if you want a fisheye get one of the Bower/Vivitar 8mm's.
06-08-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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I love and use my DA10-17 FE -- but I don't use it enough. An FE is a special tool. I'd probably get more use ouit of a rectilinear ultrawide, like the Sigma 10-20. The disadvantage of defishing is loss of resolution at the edges, unless the defished image is shrunk quite a bit. An alternative is to frame shots very carefully to avoid the need for defishing -- which requires searching-out those special circumstances.

That said -- go for it! The FE is great in small and irregular spaces, is great to close in on a subject and shrink its background, to qualify its context, etc.

Then, to feed your LBA, look for fine cheap old manual lenses. I prefer those that focus closer and/or are noticeably faster than the zooms and/or have special qualities. Some great cheapies to consider: Takumar 28/2.8, 35/2.8 or f/3.5, 55/2, 135/2.5, 200/5.6 -- Russians: Industar-50/3.5 (APO), Helios-44 58/2, Jupiter-9 85/2, Jupiter-11 135/4 -- Germans: Meyer, Enna, Isco are often cheap and good; Schneider and Zeiss are often IMHO overpriced. Your mileage may vary. I won't even mention macros now -- check back later. Have fun!
06-08-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Damn you guys! I think I might go for the 10-17mm. The creative posibilities are really pulling at my heart strings...but I think the 10-20mm might be more useful.

Anyone with a 10-20mm ever use it at night, is it fast enough for taking pics of groups a people in a darker room? I always thought the 10-20mm was more for brightly lit landscapes, rather than fun indoor type shots. Going on a google hunt for a lot of 10-20mm and 10-17mm shots right now =/

06-08-2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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I too am with the FE lens.. I have the 18-250mm, FA 50mm 1.4, and recently got the DA* 55mm 1.4 and the FE lens definitely gets a lot of my attention considering all the fantastic and creative shots I get out of it, day or night. At 800-1000 iso on the K-7 or my K200d I still get terrific shots with the FE at night. I'd upload pics but theres enough out there on flickr to give you an idea. I mostly use either of my 1.4 lenses when I absolutely need to but the FE lens will not disappoint you at all. If you don't need distortion I estimate that the pictures straighten out around 14mm (but don't quote me, that's just my guess) and at 17mm it is a regular photo. Good luck with your decision!

Last edited by Ron_Man; 06-08-2010 at 11:43 AM.
06-08-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TriCon Quote
Damn you guys! I think I might go for the 10-17mm. The creative posibilities are really pulling at my heart strings...but I think the 10-20mm might be more useful.

Anyone with a 10-20mm ever use it at night, is it fast enough for taking pics of groups a people in a darker room? I always thought the 10-20mm was more for brightly lit landscapes, rather than fun indoor type shots. Going on a google hunt for a lot of 10-20mm and 10-17mm shots right now =/
With the 10-20 and a K-x I have no problem with indoor shots by bumping the ISO. And with a WA you can go nice and slow as long as your subjects don't move. I have no problem with 1/15 second shots with SR.

I'd recommend the 10-20 to start with. It took me a while to learn how to use it effectively and the FE is even more restrictive. You'll probably end up with both anyway. I'd go for the most useful one first.
06-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Another option is the Zenitar 16mm F2.8 Fisheye. It is a great little lens and considerably cheaper than the 10-17. Even better (to my mind anyway) is that since it was designed for a full frame sensor, the fisheye effect can be minimized with careful framing/cropping. On the other hand you can get a decent fisheye effect.


Granted the IQ is not what the 10-17 is, but then again you can get two Zenitar's for the price of a Pentax DA 10-17. As far as I know you can only find the Zenitar thru eek bay, but it is a new lens.

NaCl(and, it's a lot of fun!)H2O
06-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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I had both the 10-17 and the Sigma 10-20 at one time. I found that I rarely used the 10-20 since I also had the 17-70 from Sigma. I was hesitant to carry an extra lens just for wide angle shots, however, the 10-17 is another story. It is nice and small and I always have it with me. Great for shots to show the Big Picture . Also, at 17mm the FE effect is not too bad and easily corrected in post if you so choose. I believe the Fisheye will stay with me for the from now on. If I ever get into purely landscape photography, I can always buy another 10-20.

06-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TriCon Quote
Damn you guys! I think I might go for the 10-17mm. The creative posibilities are really pulling at my heart strings...but I think the 10-20mm might be more useful.
I'm in the exact same boat--my next lens is going to be one or the other.

I want the creative possibilities of the fisheye, but I know the true rectilinear is something to have in the bag to earn a few bucks doing straight interiors. (Bars, pubs, and more bars. Maybe a furniture store now and then.)
06-08-2010, 12:05 PM - 1 Like   #10
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When 50mm is too cramped, going all the way to 10-17/20mm is quite a big jump. Framing with such a wide lens is very difficult, keep that in mind.
06-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
When 50mm is too cramped, going all the way to 10-17/20mm is quite a big jump. Framing with such a wide lens is very difficult, keep that in mind.
That's kind of exactly why I want it. I'm still fleshing out my lens stable, so to get something that is so extraordinarily different from what i have seems like a good thing to me...especially if I can learn from it.

I need to win the lottery so i can just buy every lens made and take a year off to play
06-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryH Quote
I had both the 10-17 and the Sigma 10-20 at one time. I found that I rarely used the 10-20 since I also had the 17-70 from Sigma. I was hesitant to carry an extra lens just for wide angle shots, however, the 10-17 is another story. It is nice and small and I always have it with me.
HEY! How did you get inside my head!?

That's pretty much exactly what I went through this winter/ spring, except my DA10-17 FE came in the same box from B&H with my first Pentax DSLR (K10). I've never had a Pentax without it, and hope I never have to! Sharp, small, very well built, and easier to use than a non-zoom fisheye by just that little bit. (Full disclosure, as my name implies, I mainly shoot 360 panoramas like this one, so a fisheye is de rigueur!)

Sold my Sigma 10-20 after 2 months because it didn't offer anything the 10-17 didn't already do (aside from less distortion - still need to correct the Sigma), and the 10-20 was honkin' huge (comparatively) in my bag. But I'll be keeping my Sigma 17-70, thank you...
06-08-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
HEY! How did you get inside my head!?

That's pretty much exactly what I went through this winter/ spring, except my DA10-17 FE came in the same box from B&H with my first Pentax DSLR (K10). I've never had a Pentax without it, and hope I never have to! Sharp, small, very well built, and easier to use than a non-zoom fisheye by just that little bit. (Full disclosure, as my name implies, I mainly shoot 360 panoramas like this one, so a fisheye is de rigueur!)

Sold my Sigma 10-20 after 2 months because it didn't offer anything the 10-17 didn't already do (aside from less distortion - still need to correct the Sigma), and the 10-20 was honkin' huge (comparatively) in my bag. But I'll be keeping my Sigma 17-70, thank you...
That 360 panorama is amazing. How much work goes into one of those?
06-08-2010, 05:59 PM   #14
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Especially if you want low light wide angle, don't discount the DA14mm 2.8 - fantastic lens, excellent sharpness for 2.8, classic Pentax color, it's a good one. To me the only drawback is the size (about the size of the 12-24), but I've put it down as one lens I regret selling & will replace eventually. I compared it to the 12-24, the 10-20 f/4 and the DA15 Ltd. and in my subjective opinion only the DA15 equaled it for sheer picture quality.

The DA14 is a lens that has a small but fervent fan club - and for good reason And one thing I really missed with the 12-24, the 10-20 and DA15, was super easy indoor shots in low light. You just can't get the same shots at f/4. Sigh






Ah - almost forgot, if you're interested in Sigma lenses also, you might check out the Sigma 20 f/1.8. I've certainly got my eye on that one and the reviews are very good I used the 20mm setting on my 10-20 much more than I thought, it was nice for indoor family settings when I didn't want to get every piece of furniture in the house in the shot

Last edited by Ecaterin; 06-08-2010 at 06:13 PM.
06-08-2010, 06:00 PM   #15
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I bought the sigma 10-20 recently and it probably is my favorite lens right now. Although framing can be challenging, I don't think that should be your deciding factor. The lens is just amazing in terms of color reproduction and sharpness (especially when used with a circular polarizer - although you have to be careful with the polarizer due to the wide angle), and it allows for some very creative compositions. I did a 22 mile hike at Cloud's rest, Yosemite 2 weekends back and although I carried almost my entire kit, this was the only lens I used. My backpack would have been much lighter had I just carried this one lens.
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