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11-16-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
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UWA - Please Help Me Decide:

So, I have been looking at purchasing an UWA lens, And it's simply the hardest choice and I cannot decide! So this has been my shortlist:

*Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 - $500AUD (Local Warranty)
I basically have ruled out the Sigma 10-20mm, as i do like the sharpness of the others more.

*Sigma 8-16mm - f4.5-5.6 $700AUD (Local Warranty)
The Sigma 8-16mm would give me the nice 8 and 10mm wide end, with great sharpness and perhaps some distortion which could be fun to use. The lack of filter ability is the only disappointing thing with this lens IMO.

*Pentax 12-24mm f/4. $800 (Delivered US Import)
The Pentax 12-24mm is expensive, it does give me more on the tele end, but the CA and flare is apparently not good. It is sharp, and the colors seem good.

Pentax DA 15mm $570 (Delivered US Import)
The DA15 rocks because it's a prime lens, it also has a better magnification and MFD compared to the 12-24. I generally like more magnification and closer MFDs. It also has a 49mm thread, which would mean saving on filters that suit at least 2-3 other lenses i have. The images i see from it are generally very good.

I had decided the 12-24mm was a good compromise, It's sharp and i have seen some good images from it. It's not as wide as I'd like, but it can take filters (I would like to play with some ND filters) The 24mm end may also work well for me sometimes. I did actually order one from Adorama, but it was back ordered so i canceled.

Ultimately the 8-16mm for width in addition to the DA15mm prime for filters etc, would be great, but also expensive and possibly overkill as I'm not sure as yet how much UWA stuff intend to do. So do i go for the 12-24 or perhaps buy the 8-16mm or DA15mm now, and perhaps look at getter the other one later?

Any ideas, suggestions would be most appreciated on this one.

PS... If Pentax would release the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 this would be a much easier decision.! GRRRR!

11-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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For versatility, the 12-24.

For wow, the 15.

As much as I respect what I've seen from the other lenses you listed, and if the Pentax lengths and prices can work for you, I would have to go with the Pentax.

And remember that the 15 isn't merely a lens. It's a magical portal into another, more beautiful dimension of photography.

With Xmas coming up. I've been trying to hint and explain this to my wife, but I don't think she really understands it all.

I WANT THAT 15!

And I also want their 10-17 fisheye, but who am I kidding? It ain't happening.

I'm Jewish, so all I'm getting is coal.
11-16-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
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Can the 15mm even take rectangular grad ND filters? On the other hand, can you use HDR and forgo the need for filters?
11-16-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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UWA -- Uzbekistanians With Attitude?



I can only speak towards the 12-24mm "ultra-wide angle" (you didn't think I knew what it meant did you ) . I've taken some amazing photographs with it:
070815 - [In&Out o/t Dust-Bowl - REDUX] Ngorongoro Crater Conservation album | m8o | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy.

I've also taken photographs of events and considered the entire series of several dozen photographs a useless fail due to CAs and fringing (not processed and published so can't point you to them of course).

And then the previous weekend I took a series of photographs that came out great.

I think the lens hates gray, overcast days, and very much prefers direct sunlight days; but keep that sun behind you usually; though not always as I have a bunch of successes with the sun in the frame.

So, I dunno, that lens is definitely a "love/hate" thing for me.

11-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
For versatility, the 12-24.

For wow, the 15.

As much as I respect what I've seen from the other lenses you listed, and if the Pentax lengths and prices can work for you, I would have to go with the Pentax.

I'm Jewish, so all I'm getting is coal.
Lol!

Thanks... I really am hoping i could get that same WOW from the 12-24mm, but not sure. I'm really hating this choice honestly.

QuoteOriginally posted by curiouspeter Quote
Can the 15mm even take rectangular grad ND filters? On the other hand, can you use HDR and forgo the need for filters?
I was wondering if for example 3x3sec exposures could be done together, like what is done with with long exposure star shots? Would this work for sky/water shots?

I'm not sure what settings and how long exposure i could do dawn or dusk shots with @ say f/5.6 or f/8 with these lenses. I was going to do a quick test with my 18-55mm lens @ 18mm to see how many seconds would be possible say @ dawn without an ND.

I would assume the Lee Big Stoppers for example work with the DA15.

I do think the UWA angle i could live without a CPL or UV, but i do believe i would like to try some ND's, If i would use them a lot is debatable, as the UWA is likely to be one of my least used angles. So I really don't know.
11-16-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by curiouspeter Quote
Can the 15mm even take rectangular grad ND filters? On the other hand, can you use HDR and forgo the need for filters?
There are filter solutions (square) for the 15, but you make a valid point. Once you get into this FL, you're getting into more difficult territory with filters.

But that's the same for the other lenses mentioned above, and even worse at their wider ends.

I guess you have to spend a few hours on the "15 Limited Blows My Mind" thread to really appreciate what this thing can do in the hands of a talented photographer.

I'm not saying that's ME, but that this lens is more than capable of creating magic from the most boring of scenes.
11-16-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
UWA -- Uzbekistanians With Attitude?



I can only speak towards the 12-24mm "ultra-wide angle" (you didn't think I knew what it meant did you ) . I've taken some amazing photographs with it:
070815 - [In&Out o/t Dust-Bowl - REDUX] Ngorongoro Crater Conservation album | m8o | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy.

So, I dunno, that lens is definitely a "love/hate" thing for me.
Lol..... Thanks for the input, much appreciated..... And i did enjoy your shots, will keep them as a reference. Cheers! And yes the CA thing is an issue, i hope to avoid it as you have, but it's something the 8-16mm and to a lesser extent the DA15 don't have much issues with.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
There are filter solutions (square) for the 15, but you make a valid point. Once you get into this FL, you're getting into more difficult territory with filters.

I guess you have to spend a few hours on the "15 Limited Blows My Mind" thread to really appreciate what this thing can do in the hands of a talented photographer.
And i do agree, I have been right through the various threads and i agree the images from the DA15 are consistently good.

However the DA12-24 can likely achieve very similar results (with skilled hands) i think. I have been right through the respective various flickr groups as well.

I think it's either get the DA15mm now, and see how I go with it for a while, try some landscapes and arch and some ND's and then perhaps the Sigma 8-16mm would be a choice next year sometime, if i still felt the need to go wider. (Hopefully the price continues to fall on that one in the meantime)

Or get the 12-24 and be done with it, and accept the compromises of not owning the DA15 or the wider 8-16mm.

I keep going round in a circle, I think i might have to flip a coin on this one..
11-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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Hey Freak: the 15mm Limited will literally freak you out. There's real magic in this lens, no matter which direction you point it. If you get it, don't waste your money on a polorizing filter. The 15 renders as if it has a great polorizing filter built in. The detail is awesome, so don't put any other glass in front of it. ND and GND filters can be used, but they are troublesome.
The 12-24 is a great lens as well, but from my POV, nothing beats the DA 15mm Limited, not even Zeiss. Sweet spot is around f-11!

11-16-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
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I don't know what it is about the DA15, but I can't seem to connect with that lens. It's the only lens in my kit that I'm disappointed with. Sure, there have been some nice images posted with it, but most of them do nothing for me and I much prefer the Sigma 10-20.
11-16-2010, 09:36 PM   #10
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Now, I have the Pentax 12-24 and have no problem with its size and weight. But, then again, I'm used to mounting the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 on my K200D.

It is true: The DA 15 does have some magic pixie dust in it and I might eventually pick one up myself. But the DA 15 really isn't sharper than the 12-24. It's magic is in other areas - such as color and other parts of image rendering.

Ira is right... the 12-24 is what you want if you need versatility. The 15 is what you go for if you want the wow factor (and portability).

Here's a suggestion: Get the DA 15 for $500 and, for another $270, get the Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower/Opetka/Pro-Optic (same lens under all those names) 8mm f/3.5 fisheye:

Amazon.com: Rokinon FE8M-P 8mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens for Pentax (Black): Camera & Photo

It's manual focus... but at f/8, everything beyond a foot or so is in hyperfocal distance. Plus metering and aperture priority will work on this lens. Together, both lenses will total only about $70 more than the Pentax 12-24.

Finally... Freak, you say you're in the market for an UWA lens... but you have the 12-24 listed as part of your kit in your signature. What gives?
11-17-2010, 05:27 AM   #11
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Freak, a definite important factor you may want to consider is the size. I use to own both the Sigma 10-20 & DA 12-24. Both offer what I wanted but I prefer the sharpness of the DA 12-24 more and ended keeping that lens the longest.

Eventually I wasn't using it enough because of it's size so I sell it off to get the DA Limited and currently I'm in the process of acquiring the DA 15mm. If it is easy for me to carry it with me, I'll have no excuse for leaving it at home.
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