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10-11-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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Sigma Super Wide Angle 10-20mm or Pentax Fisheye?

I'm going to Arizona to visit the in-laws next summer, and we're going to see the sights in northern AZ. I'm going to splurge before we go and get one lens. I already have the Tamron 18-200MM lens, but I was hoping for something with an even wider angle. I was leaning towards the Pentax Fisheye, but...I don't know....it seems like such a specialty lens i'm wondering if I will use it much. And I don't want to be changing lenses much. However, i'm thinking that a couple of good fisheye shots of the Grand Canyon would be awesome...

So, opinions please. My third choice would be one of the wider-angle prime lenses. How do those compare to the Sigma?

10-11-2007, 08:55 PM   #2
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I think it depends if curved lines bother you. For landscapes, if you keep the horizon centered, distortion may not be too noticeable or distracting. I love my fisheye, perhaps best of all my lenses, because it is different, and curved lines do not bother me. Oddly, the slanted-but-straight lines of the 12-24 look un-natural :-)

Here are some fisheye samples...
10mm - minimal apparent distortion
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/2005%20and%202006%20Pictures/061118-23Park.jpg

17mm - minimal apparent distortion
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/2005%20and%202006%20Pictures/061118-35Boats.jpg

10mm again - obvious distortion
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/070901-8817ArtPeople.jpg

10mm again - minimal apparent little distortion
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/070901-8834Fountain.jpg

The 12-12 at 12mm showing slanted-but-staight lines
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/071006-9220EngineSection.jpg
10-11-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Here are some fisheye samples...
10mm - minimal apparent distortion
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/2005%20and%202006%20Pictures/061118-23Park.jpg
HAha! Is that your shoe in the bottom left corner? Anyhow, its a great photo. I should take my Zenitar out more often.
10-11-2007, 10:06 PM   #4
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I demo'd a Pentax fisheye for about a week and loved it.

There's a good chance that I'll own 1 one day soon.

I haven't tried the Sigma.
If I buy a Sigma fisheye it'll probably be for the Sigma camera I might be getting soon.

10-11-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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I have used both. Well I own the Sigma and Roentarre (James) has the Pentax fisheye..

They are both great lenses IMO, it depends what your after.. If you want a great quality super wide angle then the Sigma 10-20 is VERY good in my opinion (and I am fussy).. The Pentax fisheye is also a great little lens (smaller than the Sigma) but it is obviously a fisheye so more of a specialty item..

So decide if you want fisheye or rectalinear (sp?) and base your decision on that, both lenses are very high quality for their design and shouldn't cause buyers remorse!

If you go for a wide angle prime, then stay away from the Sigma 14mm it has focus issues. The Pentax 14\2.8 is good, and gives you a brighter lens but being so wide you may not need that? The zoom of course is more convieniant. I use only primes accept, ultra wide where I use the 10-20. I find it is plenty sharp enough with only very slightly more CA to the Pentax 14 prime lens, and great colour and contrast. The only fault with the 10-20 is vignetting (which the Penatx 14 has too), but that is about the easiest thing to fix.

Last edited by joele; 10-11-2007 at 10:22 PM.
10-12-2007, 05:21 AM   #6
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From memory there was a previous post about this choice, and all the same arguments were made,

In the end, it depends whether you want to have the barrel distortion of the fish eye or not.

It can be corrected in most photo editing programs, but if your intent is to take interior or archetectural photos, you are better going for the 10-20 and reducing the post processing..

Additionally, I think someone has posted that if you correct for distortion, the useable square image that remains is more like 12-14 mm with the 10-17 fish eye (but don't quote me)

I own the 10-20 and used it extensively on a trip to france this summer. I was very pleased with the results and while there is some distortion, it is not excessicve

If I get a chance I will look up the previous post, and add a link to this.

EDIT Found the previous link https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/11523-sigma-10-20-a.html

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 10-12-2007 at 05:27 AM.
10-12-2007, 08:02 AM   #7
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For AZ, you should probably go with the corrected super-wide. Fish-eye lenses are fun, but if you're only buying one for a trip, get the corrected one in my opinion. I have the 12-24 Pentax, and love it. I hear the 10-20 sigma you're refering to has distortion problems.

Here's a 12-24 shot from AZ, since I was there not long ago!

A Stone's Throw on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



With a fish-eye, this probably wouldn't have worked, and I'd be changing lenses, or missing the shot.
10-12-2007, 08:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_Watso Quote
For AZ, you should probably go with the corrected super-wide. Fish-eye lenses are fun, but if you're only buying one for a trip, get the corrected one in my opinion. I have the 12-24 Pentax, and love it. I hear the 10-20 sigma you're refering to has distortion problems.

Here's a 12-24 shot from AZ, since I was there not long ago!

A Stone's Throw on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



With a fish-eye, this probably wouldn't have worked, and I'd be changing lenses, or missing the shot.
While I own a Sigma and accept there may be some distortion, it is generally within acceptable limits. See my post for an example.

The photo you show, while nice, is not one that you can use to judge distortion. I don't think a similar shot with the sigma lens would appear any different than the one you show.

10-12-2007, 08:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_Watso Quote
For AZ, you should probably go with the corrected super-wide. Fish-eye lenses are fun, but if you're only buying one for a trip, get the corrected one in my opinion. I have the 12-24 Pentax, and love it. I hear the 10-20 sigma you're refering to has distortion problems.

Here's a 12-24 shot from AZ, since I was there not long ago!

A Stone's Throw on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



With a fish-eye, this probably wouldn't have worked, and I'd be changing lenses, or missing the shot.
For that shot I'd forget the fisheye and make a pano
Yes panoramics are still distorted, but show a lot more of everything.
10-12-2007, 09:24 AM   #10
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Love the Sigma 10-20mm!








It's a little tricky to use though. If you're not careful, you'll end up with something like this -
10-12-2007, 08:14 PM   #11
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Love the last shot!! hahahah, ah, it's good to be able to laugh at mistakes.
10-13-2007, 01:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_Watso Quote


With a fish-eye, this probably wouldn't have worked, and I'd be changing lenses, or missing the shot.
This is just the kind of picture that would make the fisheye distortion totally unnoticeable: no straight lines and the horizon line right in the middle.

A fisheye is much more versatile than most people think. On many pictures, the distortion is not very noticeable, like on this one (no crop, taken with the Pentax 10-17 at 10mm, that's 180 degrees FOV):



Cheers!
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