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01-05-2012, 09:52 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Joe - you beat me to it, and I have not been able to find it, but it appears that we were both thinking of the same thread.
It's like the thread disappeared

01-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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Found It!!!
01-06-2012, 02:36 AM   #18

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I personally have two UWA lenses. At first I preferred mild fisheye (first the Zenitar 16, then the Pentax DA10-17) to the elongated prespective in rectilinear UWA, but I've come to change my mind recently. So I purchase both the Pentax DA15/4 limited and the Sigma 8-16.

The DA15/4 is a beautiful lens. I love it. Since I had a full collection of limiteds (all three FA limiteds plus the DA21), the DA15 nicely complemented this series so I now cover from 15mm to 77mm in limited glass. I should add that I always loved 24mm on my 135film cameras, so the DA15 giving approx equivalent FOV on APS-C made me love that little lens even more. However, I wouldn't really call it UWA. For me it's a versatile WA.

For real UWA I got the Sigma 8-16. It's a large one, and as such found its place in my bag of DA* glass. The limiteds are for when I have time for careful photography but don't want to carry too much. The DA* kit is for when I need fast flexibility and bulk is less an issue. Don't care too much about weight. The Sigma fits in that last category for me.
Other downside of the Sigma is as you noted its front element not allowing for filters to be mounted. Note that CPL are the only filters I use regularly. However, the Sigma's optical quality is such that it has great contrast, which sort of partly compensates for my not being able to use a CPL onto it. The images I saw from this lens compared with other lenses, was really what persuaded me not to hesitate and buy this one. So far I have not been disappointed, to the contrary!!

hth, Wim
01-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #19
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I have several lenses that I use in slightly different ways...
  • DA 10-17/3.5 Fisheye - is the ultimate ultrawide. Corner to corner it is 180 degrees at 10mm and 100 degrees at 17mm. Side to side its about 135 - 140 degrees wide at 10mm (I measured this, since Pentax does not publish any information on side to side). For its width it is very sharp, extremely contrasty, wonderful color. By framing the shot, you can control where the bend is applied. Several of my best shots are with this lens.
  • DA 12-24/4 - I find that this lens has a little distortion as any, at times too wide, and other times too narrow. It complements the Fisheye very well in that its Angle of View is 99 degrees at 12mm to 60 degrees at 24mm. Very sharp, good color. It is at its sharpest at around 18mm.
  • DA 16-45/4 - This lens complements the 12-24 in sharpness and view. It has better sharpness at 20-24mm than the 12-24.
I also have some primes that I uses that complement the zooms. These two lenses are essentially equal, however each has their own unique character.
  • K28/3.5 Shift - This is a shift lens and can shift left and right (actually at each of the major 12 points of a clock), taking images that then can be stitched together. Also used to control perspective in architectural shots.
  • Contax CZ 28/2.8 - Excellent lens, extremely sharp, high contrast and great color. All manual. Has little to no distortion.
  • FA 31/1.8 Limited - Again excellent lens, extremely sharp, high contrast and great color. Automatic Focus and aperture. Has little to no distortion.
  • A 50/1.7 - Very good, excellent lens - can be had at a very reasonable price
  • Contax CZ 85/2.8 - Very sharp, excellent contrast and wonderful color.
You might ask why I included a 50 and 85mm lens (and to some extent the 28mm) here in an ultrawide discussion. As I posted previously, with a UWA lens, you push back the center and pull in the edges, there by needing a good foreground to make the shot interesting. Without a very uninteresting foreground, or not wanting to push the center of the image back in to the background, with longer focal lengths you can shoot over the foreground and highlight and frame the actual distant shot that you probably are after.

01-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #20
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Have Sigma 8-16 and DA12-24, both are very good, each has its own use.
DA12-24 has some CA in edges, esp white/bright objects.
The only thing I wish is a shift option for UWA - to have perspective control.
These lenses may be too wide sometime, and vertical lines curved inward.

MF lenses are many many more and also good choices - M20 f4 is tiny, very sharp.

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