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02-13-2011, 08:14 PM   #1
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filer recommendation

I am finally getting the Pentax Zoom Super Wide Angle SMCP-DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL (IF) lens but worried about what 77 mm filters will fit without limitiations or vignetting. I take a lot of seascapes and waterfalls so want a neutral density and polarizer in the mix. Any recommendations? I understand in reading the reviews a thin filter may be better.

I have never had a wide angle this low. (18 is my lowest with a 20 old prime) so looking forward to having fun with this.

02-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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The thinner the better with this lens. My CPL is not as thin as I would like, and I cannot use it at the shortest focal lengths of the DA 12-24 because of vignetting. I am unsure if any filter will be thin enough for this lens at 12mm. That is quite a wide field of view.
02-14-2011, 12:57 AM   #3
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I chose the Sigma over the Da, but that doesn't matter for this thread. The Sigma 10-20 has a 77mm front filter too. I shoot it @ 10mm, with a linear polarizer from B & W with no problematic vignetting. It is a thin filter, but not very thin--it really does the job at 10mm, so I'm sure it would work for you @ 12mm on the Da.
02-14-2011, 03:42 AM   #4
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why the sigma ? Are you part of the PSRI in RI? I have not yet met another pentax person in RI.

02-14-2011, 06:09 AM   #5
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My cpl is ~5mm thick on this lens, and I do see vignetting @12mm. The UV filter is <3mm and fine.
CPL is not so useful for this lens. The blue sky is not even with cpl due to WA. However the ND8 is very useful to get longer shutter speed, also vignetting @12mm.
02-14-2011, 10:34 AM   #6
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I use two filters with the DA 12-24: an ND Fader and a Murami slim polarizer. I haven't noticed any vignetting problems with either. Of course, it can be kind of tricky to use a polarizer on an wide angle lens, because of banding issues and proneness to flare. I don't find either filter all that useful for seascapes unless there are a lot of clouds. The ND Fader, though, is very useful for waterfalls, but you have to be careful when using it at the wide end of the zoom because of the aforementioned banding problem.

I've also tried, with less success, to use cokin P size filters. The wide angle holders vignette from 14mm. Worse, because of the thickness of the lens barrel, it can be tricky to attach and detach the holder: I've already broken two of them.

In general, I don't find the 12-24 a great lens for using filters. It works best with multi-coated ultra slim filters that cost +$150. However, one thing to note about the 12-24: the microcontrast and color rendition of the lens is so good that you don't necessarily need any kind of filters, such as polarizers, that change or deepen colors.
02-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
weatherwise2 Jewelltrail why the sigma ?
Weatherwise, I carefully researched these 2 lenses, for over a month, before I bought. The Sigma was the best choice for me, for many reasons. Firstly, I prefer its awesome colors over the Tokina 12-24 lens. But, also, I find the 10-20mm focal range a better fit for my system because I own the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8. You see, the 12-24 starts to falll off @ the long end, which is precisely where my Tamron 17-50mm shines 24mm is my favorite Focal length on crop sensor. So, in a nutshell, the long end of the 12-24 was of no use to me, which is often cited as one of the advantages of the Tokina over the Sigma. Also, if one is going UWA, one might as well go all the way--at the time I bought, 10mm was all the way. There is something very special about this lens, something which evades words, but which is powerful nonetheless.

Anyway, the only real problem with vignetting on the 12-24 is wide open, @ 12mm, otherwise it is well controlled. The 10-20 has a tougher time with vignetting, which is why I recommend my B & W F-Pro Linear Polarizer. It is a beautiful filter, and seems to not add at all to vignetting on my Sigma. BTW, I often get even blues, throughout the frame, @ 10mm, with this filter. However, I try to always use the Hyperfocal Distance with this filter on in particular to get proper focus.
QuoteQuote:
weatherwise: Are you part of the PSRI in RI?
I have not heard of this acronym--can you uncode it for me. BTW, I have bumped into at least 2 other RI posters here @ PF.
02-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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Good explanation on the choice of lens. Since I have not yet order the lens might just relook again. PSRI is the photographic society of RI. We meet 3 tuesdays a month and a pretty good group with lots of new information.

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