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12-08-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
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Ultrawide Predicament

A major weakness in my (mostly cheap) lens line-up is at the ultrawide end. I have the DA10-17 and Zenitar 16/2.8 fishy's for my K20D, also a Kenko 180 full-circle fisheye adapter. Rectilinear ultrawide beacons to me, luring me like the Sirens of the Odyssey. Buy me, buy me, buy me...

I have right now, in this very hour, let a deadline slide by. One of those Major eBay Sellers has the Bower-Samyang 14/2.8 at US$349 shipped. I could afford it. But do I want/need it? The Zenitar has a wider AOV and can be defished easily in PP. The only disadvantage of the Zenitar is that it needs M-mode Green-button action to stop down. The major advantage is, I already own it.

So 14mm doesn't seem wide enough to lure my $$$ away. The much-lauded DA12-24 is out of my budget range right now, and the Sigma 10-20/3.5 is right up with it, price-wise. The Tamron 10-24 and Tokina 12-24 are closer to my comfort zone, but I still need to sell more stuff before I could buy either. (Actually, Amazon has a deal right now on the Tamron -- US$474 shipped, with a US$100 rebate, or US$374 total, which I can afford. But since Amazon dumped WikiLeaks I thought of boycotting, so I am conflicted... Principles or greed? Which wins?)

So, my question: Given that I have fisheyes, and that a 14mm rectilinear isn't wide enough, what is the price/performance winner in rectilinear ultrawides? The low-cost leader? The affordable gem? And should I let desire trump conscience?

12-08-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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Where it matters, few would argue that the DA 12-24 is the group leader for performance at the wide end. Nevertheless, the Tamron is a decent contender and for half the price, it's got all the value for money boxes ticked. I see no better option in your circumstance. Get over the need to boycott Amazon and buy the lens you 'need' for the price you want.
12-08-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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I've been researching UWA's too and have added the Sigma 8mm to my list. Anyone have it?
12-08-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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I have the Kenko 180 adapter as well.

If you pair it with a 28-80 zoom made for a film camera - my current one is a Takumar-F - you can get anywhere from full circle to full frame. Full frame is around 55-ish or so. Full circle is around 35 if I remember correctly.

The lens it is used on makes a huge difference in IQ as well.

I currently only have the 58mm adapter for it but would really like to get/make 55, 52, and 49mm adapters.

And from what it looks like if you use a step-up or step-down adapter with the adapter you have for the Kenko lens it will most likely kill the IQ completely.

I also have a Spiratone 12mm fisheye which gives full frame on DSLR. Mine is the f5.6 version. The f8.0 version is a lot more common.

Both don't have very good IQ but are still fun to play with.

12-08-2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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cyclone3d,
Like I said, I have the fisheye situation covered. With the Kenko on a M28-80 I get full-circle around 43mm, frame-filling around 60mm. On the DA18-55 I get full-circle around 35mm. I'll have to try it with my RMC Tokina 35-135, see how that range of fishy projections works out. For other fishy work, the DA10-17 is great, and the Zenitar 16/2.8 defishes to good results.

Rectilinear is what call me now. I just may swallow deeply and bite on the Tamron at Amazon. I am very nearly persuaded. Plus my other says I don't have to obliterate my PayPal account to get it. Temptation, thy name is ultrawide...
12-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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Do it. You know you want to.
12-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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I've got a Sigma 14mm f/2.8 rectilinear, but the flexibility and quality of the 12-24 is a very good option for you. Do you have anything else at the wide end (10-17 aside)? I like to avoid overlap, but then again, the 12-24 is popular for a very good reason.
12-08-2010, 05:00 PM   #8
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Your biggest problem is that you want to pay 20 bucks tops, right?

12-08-2010, 07:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Rectilinear...
I'm glad to see you use this term. It's the one I grew up with for a fisheye that makes a rectangular image as opposed to circular. I'm pretty sure it is how Canon described the 15mm I bought nearly 35 years ago.

I used the term yesterday and was asked if I meant "diagonal fisheye". This seems to be the way they are described now. Actually, "rectilinear" (straight) is the opposite of "fisheye" (curved)...

I'm pretty happy with the 12-24, but I suppose I'd like any of the others as well.
12-08-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Just food for thought, but my belief (personally) why LBA is so rampant (with me) is I see, I want, I buy to cover the short term - then figure out it wasn't exactly what I needed for the long-term.

If you don't NEED it right now, then save the cash for the DA 12-24. It's a wonderful lens and well worth the money. I use it as much as any other lens I own. I've owned 20-30 lenses since I got into this a few years ago and find myself going back to several that I simply love to use. Granted, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted, needed, and what worked for me - but now that I know I buy quality instead of quantity so I have it for the long run.

Just my 2c...
12-08-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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What's wrong with the Sigma 10-20 f4? It's not to terribly expensive and the quality is great.
12-08-2010, 09:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Do it. You know you want to.
Ooh. Ooh. Me want. Me need. Ooh. Ooh.
[/me grunts, scratches, belches, reaches]

QuoteOriginally posted by MSD Quote
Do you have anything else at the wide end (10-17 aside)?
The Da10-17, Zenitar 16/2.8, and Kenko 180 adapter are it right now. And a stupid adapter that supposedly turns my DA18-250 into a 9mm. Ha. What a fool I was...
[/me slams head against wall again, trying futilely to knock sense into it]

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Your biggest problem is that you want to pay 20 bucks tops, right?
Ira, were you ever a mind-reader at Coney Island? (If you were West Coast, I'd substitute New Pike.) Naw, I know better. I already have my twenty-buck Lentar-Tokina 21/3.8. I expect an ultrawide to cost at least US$50. But not much more.

QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
If you don't NEED it right now, then save the cash for the DA 12-24. It's a wonderful lens and well worth the money.
I've thought about that too. I don't know how much "long-term" time I have left. And, having no discretionary income but from what I sell on eBay, I don't know how long it would take to accumulate the necessary amount, or how I'd keep from eating away at it when I see some cute little Zeiss Exakta or something. For me, "self-control" generally means not shooting myself in the foot. [BANG!] Ouch...

QuoteOriginally posted by mtroute Quote
What's wrong with the Sigma 10-20 f4? It's not to terribly expensive and the quality is great.
What's wrong is that the 4-5.6 is US$100 more and the f/3.5 is nearly US$300 more. And I get real nervous when lens prices approach and exceed US$500. I really liked getting a Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 for two bucks. Elevated prices make me swoon.
[/me swoons, collapses, makes big hole in floor]
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