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10-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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Ultra Wide Angle Zooms

So long story short... I just wrote a nice well thought out post and my post timed out when I went to post this ones a little rushed.

I am looking for a ultra wide lens. I currently have a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II, which I like for the most part. This goes along with my DA 50 f1.4, DA 30mm f2.0, DA* 50-135 f2.8, Sigma 70mm macro, Tokina 70-210 f2.8 MF mounted to a K20D

I am currently building two websites for general contractors who of course have horrible shots of their work, which will not be going up onto the site I build for them. Which means I'm going to be touring South Carolina and Georgia taking indoor and outdoor architectural shots. Indoor will be using lights and tripod. (though playing with it for personal home use would be fun but not a necessity) I like to believe I'm a Photoshop expert (Color correcting product photography for many many years) and can post edit until the cows come home. I'd prefer to however shoot and get quality lenses to limit and go without my little dependent editing friend.

I think I will need something a little wider than the 17mm for the some shots and just like the idea of having something a little more to play with. So I'm looking at the following:

Pentax 14mm f2.8: Is this enough difference? I like primes and the f2.8 would be nice. Reviews have been good.

Pentax/Tokina 12-24mm f4. I was leaning this way, but it seems like I have a lot of crossover. Image and performance ratings seem very good, but...

Sigma 10-20mm f3.5: Seems like a good choice. Problem is I have problems with Sigma. I'm not a big fan of my Macro and I briefly used the older 10-20mm f4 -5.6 and thought it was ok. The reviews have been good. Is the extra 2mm worth trusting it over the Pentax? I can probably get over my pre 90's fear of Sigma.

Tamron 10-24mm f3.5-4: This is the one that really got me questioning things. It sounds from the reviews to be about the same quality as my 17-50mm which is a safe bet for me. Cost is much cheaper, tough cost is considered but I do want the best if I'm going to be dishing out money.

Any help in direction would be greatly appreciated

10-07-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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I have the 12-24 which is a fine lens. The colors and IQ are up there with some of the better primes. Maybe a bit slow for indoors but if you have a lighting rig that is not so much of a problem. I would defiantly look at the DA15 limited. I have one of those and it's a unique lens that just takes amazing pictures. The extra 2mm width is a fair amount wider than your current lens.

Not sure you really need a zoom for the sort of thing you will be doing though it might save you moving your rig around a bit I guess.
10-07-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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Don't forget the new Sigma 8-16/4,5-5,6 DC HSM.
10-07-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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I just bought the Tamron 10-24mm after studying the reviews, hope to use it next week. The built quality is very good. It will be interesting to see how it compares to my Pentax 12-24mm..

That extra 2mm is a lot on the short end !


10-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #5
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Indeed both the 10-24 and 12-24 lenses are well acclaimed.
Can't see good copies of these lenses disappointing anyone...

I've had the 14/2.8 for a while - didn't use the f/2.8 much and didn't really need it.
So it was a no-brainer for me - 12-24 is more versatile and exemplary IQ and rendition.
10-20 is also accepted to be a good value UWA lens.
10-07-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
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This is a very interesting thread, althought there have been several such posts in the past; but that's OK!

Is there ONE thread or website comparing these lenses for IQ?
The Lens Review database is good to start with but does it have all we need for a good comparison?

By the way, I read lots of good things about the Pentax 12-24, perhaps more than about the others.
Any of the lenses listed above equal the Pentax in term of IQ?

10-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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got the 12-24

I have the 12-24 and like it very much. I have read only about the others, but from the tests this is the best UWW zoom.

Got it quite cheap on ebay.

greetings, Flo
10-07-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flowrider Quote
I have the 12-24 and like it very much. I have read only about the others, but from the tests this is the best UWW zoom.

Got it quite cheap on ebay.

greetings, Flo
Hi Flo,

Which tests do you take the info from?
Just curious and I would like to see them. Photozone maybe?


10-07-2010, 02:20 PM   #9
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I've been shooting with the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 for the last 3 months (on my K10D) and I am quite happy with it. The reviews gave it positive reviews, noting there are some minor compromises because it is ultra-wide.

As with all wide angle lenses with dome-like front elements, you will see more lens flare from nearby light sources than with other lenses. I also have occasionally seen a bit more tendency to have purple fringing than with my primes... but I can't quite pin this down to where and when. It's rare, and I think it occurs mainly when I'm slightly off with my focus on long exposure shots at night... i.e. user error in combination with the weak low-light focus capabilities of the K10D.

As for getting a faster lens with larger aperture, I wonder how useful that would be for architecture shots. When I am shooting 110 degrees in tight areas, there is generally a great amount of variation in distance to the subject... and I want a small aperture and the resulting large DOF to keep everything in focus.

FYI, here are two shots from the same place, one at 8mm and the other at 18mm: This shows you how much greater a view you get with the extra 10mm.


Last edited by bats; 10-07-2010 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Added another thought
10-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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How accurate do your shots have to be structurally? Do you believe that perspective control tools in Photoshop will be sufficient?

10-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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Just a thought; could you try some of these mentioned lenses to see if they will work in your application. I know that some are very much better when it comes to distortion than others. I would think that the lens with the least distortion might be your best bet. What ever distortion is left you could take out with Photoshop. For what it is worth I like the picture rendition of the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 shown by a previous poster.
10-07-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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I highly recommend the DA 15mm Limited. The 12-24 is, indeed, a great lens, but I believe the 15 provides even more detail, and there is very little bending. You will get considerable bending with the 12-24 at 15mm or below. In fact, the only time I notice bending on the 15 Limited is when verticle items are at the edges of the image. At f-11, everything from your feet (literally) to infinity will be in focus.
The only reservation I would have, is there may be times when 24 or so would be applicable. You'll be happy with either lens.
10-07-2010, 05:08 PM   #13
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Got the Tamron-10-24, I use it extensively on vacation last summer
Here a photo in Santorini.
10-07-2010, 06:39 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I've been stuck on this topic too. I'd really like to get a wide-angle zoom, but I can't pick!

Thanks for the comparisons and recommendations folks.
10-07-2010, 07:14 PM   #15
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Since this is about lenses, it would somehow seem a better fit in the LENS forum. Moved.

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