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04-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
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Fast Wide Angle Lens

I am after a fast ultrawide angle lens but can't seem to find both. (they are either Ultra Wide <16mm or Fast <F2 but not both)

A quick google search I found this...............

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/0-45x-Super-Wide-Angle-52mm-photo-Lens-Pentax-camer-/130493108843?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item1e61fed26b

Seems gimmicky but I thought I have found a few lens 30mm & F2 or better so wondered if this might be an option...........

Has anyone used or know if these are Ok ?

Cheers,
Arthur

04-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Those accessories are gimmick at best. While it does widen the image a bit, it comes at a price. Loss of various IQ, light, and odd distortions. It certainly should work as a novelty item when you want to get creative and unique, technically speaking, those generally don't produce good results.

There are a few wide angle lenses at f/2.8, and others a stop or so faster, but those go up in price considerably.
04-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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The type listed are OK for video but suck for still pictures, at least if you want photographic-looking images. I use similar (but not often!) for graphics work where form is more important than detail or rendering.

If you want fast and ultrawide (rectilinear) there are a couple 14/2.8s but they aren't cheap. The closest to an ultrawide bargain is the Zenitar 16/2.8, which is only a fit fishy on an APS-C camera. It can be found for about US$200. Everything else is uphill from there. Good luck!
04-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies........... I am going to the Arctic Circle and will hopefully get the chance to photograph the Northern Lights. I want to have the right setup since it will be unlikely to get another opportunity.

Continuing my research I found this 14mm F2.8 but I will also have a look @ the Zenitar you mentioned.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens for Pentax

Thanks
Arthur

04-20-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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Had a look @ the Zenitar but am trying to stay away from Fisheye if I can.

The Samyang above is Aspherical which I thing will be better than fisheye for photos on the northern lights
04-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Can't wait to see the photos from your trip!
04-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #7
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I don't have any suggestions for fast and wide, but composed properly a fish-eye or slightly fishy lens may not look fishy at all and it can really expand and open up the sky.
04-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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We are going to Rovaniemi, Finland in December (Visit Santa Claus Village for Grandchildren & Northern Lights for Me) so the photos may take a while......

Here is a link I just found where someone has compared the Samyang to other Canon Lens

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/peter.wienerroither/temp/SyCa14_b.jpg

04-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmschrei Quote
I don't have any suggestions for fast and wide, but composed properly a fish-eye or slightly fishy lens may not look fishy at all and it can really expand and open up the sky.
I might see what images I can find from others that have taken photos of Northern Lights.

If the fisheye will do the job, there are quite a few ultrawide fast fisheyes out there to choose from. (I am not experienced and have only seen extreme fisheye photos and was not a fan of those)
04-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Maybe you should consider renting full frame nikon and lens--I believe they were known for wide angle fast (e.g., 14mm f2.8 and even much wider fish eye f2.8 as I recall). If it's a once in a lifetime trip!
04-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Maybe you should consider renting full frame nikon and lens--I believe they were known for wide angle fast (e.g., 14mm f2.8 and even much wider fish eye f2.8 as I recall). If it's a once in a lifetime trip!
To be honest I was just thinking something similar. It may be better to buy a full frame camera to get around the 1.5x APSC. A Nikon mount also makes a lot more lenses available.
04-20-2012, 08:01 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I too can't wait for you to hopefully post some of your images. I have never had the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, I would like to, but may never be able to do it, so I just may need to settle for images.

To the topic of lenses. Wide angle and cheap do not mix - similar to nitro and glycerin. For the price, I really do think that the Samyang is very good, especially with the combination of 14 and f2.8 at the price point. Its a normal or rectilinear lens. Having said that, the Samyang has a corner to corner diagonal field of view of ~90 degrees on a APS-c sensor.

I would also suggest that you not just dismiss a fisheye out of hand. I say this for several reasons. Using something like the DA 10-17 as an example - its a stop slower, but its 180 degrees (@10mm) to 100 degrees (@17). If the Lights are wide, deep and tall - covering a wide swath of the sky, this would be really the only way to capture such an extent. I do not believe that stitching could capture the scene with out some degradation at the least, or just an ugly splice at the most (since the Lights are dynamic and moving over time). The one thing about the fisheye, is depending on how you frame it, you can minimize the bend and/or the distortion to a reasonable extent. Also, if there are very few straight lines in the scene, the distortion can pretty difficult to see or detect. The one aspect I have seen using my 10-17 is that the contrast is high, with great colors and saturation. In many cases it puts the 12-24 to shame. However, you would never really notice, unless you compared them side by side, shot by shot. I went looking for some pictures of the Lights and came across this site....Its a real toss up in terms of how a fisheye would fair. Tall trees that have any prominence in the frame, would most likely have some bend. I also see that a lot of the folks like to include foreground trees in the shot in order to provide some sort of perspective.

With a normal lens, you would know what you are getting in terms of the shots. In terms of a fisheye, it would all depend on the lights and the framing of the shots. Some would possibly come out stunning, while others would probably be a washout.

Hope that helps - and post some images when you get back!!!!

04-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chook Quote
Thanks for the replies........... I am going to the Arctic Circle and will hopefully get the chance to photograph the Northern Lights. I want to have the right setup since it will be unlikely to get another opportunity.

Continuing my research I found this 14mm F2.8 but I will also have a look @ the Zenitar you mentioned.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens for Pentax

Thanks
Arthur
The Samyang is a superb lens, although heavy. One of my favorite lenses.
04-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
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I do not think there is any ultra-wide angle lens (<16mm) faster than f2.8...
something like sigma 10-20 f3.5 is consider pretty fast for a ultra-wide angle lens.

Last edited by liukaitc; 04-20-2012 at 08:33 PM.
04-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Using something like the DA 10-17 as an example - its a stop slower, but its 180 degrees (@10mm) to 100 degrees (@17). If the Lights are wide, deep and tall - covering a wide swath of the sky, this would be really the only way to capture such an extent. I do not believe that stitching could capture the scene with out some degradation at the least, or just an ugly splice at the most (since the Lights are dynamic and moving over time). The one thing about the fisheye, is depending on how you frame it, you can minimize the bend and/or the distortion to a reasonable extent. Also, if there are very few straight lines in the scene, the distortion can pretty difficult to see or detect. The one aspect I have seen using my 10-17 is that the contrast is high, with great colors and saturation. In many cases it puts the 12-24 to shame. However, you would never really notice, unless you compared them side by side, shot by shot. I went looking for some pictures of the Lights and came across this site....
Thank You........That is by far the best site with information on photographing the Northern Lights.

In the article Patrick brings up other information also High ISO required, ISO Noise Reduction, as well as < F2.8 & Ultra Wide Angle lens (Wondering if the K10D is up to all this now so will have to check)

Not too sure how the F Stop will affect it but if I could go F3.5 then I think the Sigma 10 - 20 would be great as it is F3.5 through the whole range & it is Aspherical as well.

Ultra wide-angle zoom lens with a large, constant aperture of F3.5, designed specifically for digital SLR cameras 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM - SIGMA CORPORATION


Happy to share my photos when I get back.......... Thanks for all the replies & information.

Cheers,
Arthur
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