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01-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
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Wide-Angle Lens

Hi all,

I currently am planning a rather large trip where I'm likely to take a lot of photos. Typically, I enjoy taking landscape & wildlife photos. My lens collection right now consists of Pentax 18-250 f3.5-6.3, Pentax 55-300 f4-5.8 and the Sigma 50-500 f4-6.3. I expect that I will probably leave the 55-300 at home, given that the other two overlap it well. The 18-250 is a good versatile lens for things like hikes, but I'm considering adding a quality lens on the wide angle side. Having talked to a few people, the recommendation I keep getting is that I should be looking for something with a large aperture for low light. It appears the best Pentax has in that range is f2.8, and most of the 3rd party lenses I've looked at are about the same.

Any recommendations?

01-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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You don't really need a wide angle lens for landscapes. Look for a 28mm or 35mm lens. If you need to shoot something wider stitch a panorama.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/78589...light=panorama
01-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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DUPLICATE, please ignore

Last edited by AdamfromCanada; 01-06-2012 at 02:13 PM.
01-06-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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I'm very fond of my Sigma 10-20. It isn't fast but the very wide angle and the extreme depth of field have given me shots I don't think I could have obtained with anything else in my kit, e.g.,
http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/landscapes%20flowers%20plan...ecticutoct.jpg
http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/landscapes%20flowers%20plan...itgalerydc.jpg
http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/landscapes%20flowers%20planes/tstreet.jpg
http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/landscapes%20flowers%20plan...tonemapped.jpg
http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/landscapes%20flowers%20plan...tonemapped.jpg

01-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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Some thoughts...

So why do you recommend that focal length?

For that matter, I'm still not entirely clear on the advantages of a prime over a camera with a little more range.

If I was going that route, here's a couple of the options:
PENTAX - smc PENTAX FA 31mm F1.8 Limited
PENTAX - smc PENTAX DA 14mm F2.8
PENTAX - smc PENTAX DA 35mm F2.4 AL

I've done the side-by-side comparison at dpreview (Side by Side Comparison: Digital Photography Review) but I'm really not sure of the pros & cons from reading that.

I assume that I'm getting a lot more quality in the images from these over my 18-250, which I'm sure has sacrificed some image quality for versatility. But how much better is it (realizing these things can be hard to quantify, but asking all the same...)
01-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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If you are serious about landscapes, you should consider using a tripod all the times or at least when feasible. That way you get a stable image no matter what the lighting conditions are.

Unless you are planning for special effects, a large aperture lens will not help you much on landscapes. You should try to use your lens at its best f-stop (usually between f/5.6 to f/11 depending on the lens) for the best overall image quality with sharp centers and edges, low vignetting and reduced aberrations. Also you should use as low ISO as possible for the least noise.

Using a tripod allows to use both low ISO and to close down the lens for better quality.
01-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
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+1 for tripod. And I vote for the DA 15 f4 limited
01-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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You already received some good suggestions.

An interesting lens is the DA10-17mm. At 10-12mm, it is a fisheye lens, while it is a wide angle at 14 to 17 mm. It complements nicely the DA18-150mm and the FA31mm f1.8 IMHO.

Hope that the comment may help.

01-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Take a look at both the pentax pancacke lenses 15mm and 21mm !!!
Superb build and will take up no room at all. great performing lens when stopped down a couple of stops and usable wide open.
01-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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Can you handhold the Sigma 50-500? If not you'll probably get more wildlife with the 55-300.
01-06-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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Sigma 50-500

The Sigma 50-500 has a hand-grip and image stabilization. It's not bad for hand-holding considering the size (I think it weighs 1.9 kg), and I've even taken it on some short day hikes in search of animals. Certainly, at full length, I'm taking several pictures, because you do get some that aren't as sharp.

I've taken the 55-300 to Africa a couple of times, and love it, but I like the idea of getting even closer and my travels this time are going to take me to a few places where there will be lots of opportunities for wildlife photos (Galapagos, Australia, Sumatra, Uganda, Kenya). I think in Galapagos, I may be able to use a much shorter lens, but it's nice to have the big one available.
01-07-2012, 03:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdamfromCanada Quote
(Galapagos, Australia, Sumatra, Uganda, Kenya).
Sounds like a fabulous trip! Do you need someone to carry your photo gear???
01-07-2012, 04:45 AM   #13
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I can also recommend the DA 15mm F4 limited lens.
01-07-2012, 06:17 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdamfromCanada Quote
The Sigma 50-500 has a hand-grip and image stabilization. It's not bad for hand-holding considering the size (I think it weighs 1.9 kg), and I've even taken it on some short day hikes in search of animals. Certainly, at full length, I'm taking several pictures, because you do get some that aren't as sharp.

I've taken the 55-300 to Africa a couple of times, and love it, but I like the idea of getting even closer and my travels this time are going to take me to a few places where there will be lots of opportunities for wildlife photos (Galapagos, Australia, Sumatra, Uganda, Kenya). I think in Galapagos, I may be able to use a much shorter lens, but it's nice to have the big one available.
Sounds like you have a good deal of experience on that and you're ready on the long end. I would second demp's suggestion of a tripod. Have a great trip!
01-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #15
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The only quality Pentax wide that is landscape worthy is the DA12-24/4. DA14/15 are more suitable for snaps where corner to corner sharpness isn't important. If budget is not a concern, look for the Zeiss ZK18 which will put any Pentax wides in shame. But for what you have already had, a good quality tripod might be more beneficial. I second that you don't need very wide for quality landscapes. The "wide for landscape; tele for portrait" suggestion is just a myth.
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