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01-19-2012, 03:30 AM   #1
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Wide angle suggestions

Hello, I am merely a young photo enthusiest and need a replacement for my kit lens, but something that won't destroy my wallet, keep that in mind. I find myself using it almost entirely at 18mm since I have a 50 1:1.7. I also do a lot of low light photography such as astro and night time shooting so I'm looking for something faster than 3.5. What I was thinking is the zenitar 16mm fisheye. I have heard good things about the sharpness and build quality, and even though it's a fisheye the effect is so mild on crop sensors that I dont think I would notice unless I was doing architecture, and I could always defish it if need be. It would also be fun to throw on a k1000 and shoot some film with the full effect. I guess my question is do I have any better alternatives for wide angle lenses that aren't more than say $300? Also, how hard is it to focus this lens? I know since it's so wide the depth of field should be pretty wide even at 2.8.

01-19-2012, 04:30 AM   #2
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All that you have commented about this Zenitar is true - and it is easy to focus - fish effect while mild is noticeable - I quite enjoy it so I haven't bothered trying to de fish images produced.

The DA16-45 is quite a regular second hand item and appears at prices less than $300. It is a DA lens so is best suited to cropped sensor cameras - but it is a step above the standard zoom and has very little fishing at the widest angle. It is large and gets larger as you go wider.
01-19-2012, 04:57 AM   #3
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The Samyang 14mm 2.8 is a superb lens, but costs about $370. You may find if for less here on PF, if anyone decides to sell his copy.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical - APS-C Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
01-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #4
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Yes, the slightly fishy Zen16 is still the low-cost leader for good ultrawides. Its FOV is equivalent to a 12mm rectilinear, about 100 Beware of defishing if edge details are important; I generally need to downsample by 50% to maintain resolution. I like it best just to exploit angles and intersections, and for nice vertical exaggeration in 'scapes and forms. I try not to use it horizontally in my forest -- the trees, they're falling on me! And it's a favorite for not-too-bright tight spaces.

Everything else wider than a DA18-55 costs more, often much more. Except the budget options, which suck. Stay away from screw-on WA converters if you want results that look reasonably photographic. Yes, I recommend the Zenitar-K2 16/2.8. (K2 is PK-M mount.) Have fun!

01-19-2012, 06:00 AM   #5
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I recently got a Sigma 10-20mm zoom. Depending on where you look you may get it in your proce range. On a digital sensor it is a great super-wide zoom. On film you get some fish-eye effect at 10mm, but normal wide-angle at 20mm.
01-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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I am going to suggest stitching also. You can even stitch output from fisheyes such as the Zenitar. You can use the free Microsoft ICE to glue the images together - plus there are lots of other alternatives out there. But free is good for experimentation.
01-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #7
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great thanks for the responses! sounds like the zenitar is indeed the right one.
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