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05-29-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Wide zoom or prime lens

I am looking for a wide lens for my K200. Tempted by Sigma 10-20 in either F3.5 or F 4.5-5.6, but both have some significant problems. A 10 or 12 mm prime (not fish eye) would be good - but alas I don't find any. Pentax should do this.

The Q is should I wait for a really good solution or buy a Sigma, and if the latter, the F3.5 or the cheaper 4.5-5.6? Anyone know what might be available in the next 6 months?

Thanks

Jim

05-29-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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The widest Pentax prime is 14mm. What's Pentax-Ricoh to do in the next six months? Those who know, don't talk. Those who talk, don't know. If you buy a Sigma (or any) ultrawide, be sure the seller has a no-questions return+refund policy. I examined the offerings and chose the Tamron 10-24. Good luck!
05-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Evening Jim, I see from your profile you have a 24mm prime and the 16-45. Rico's suggestion of the Tamron is good and complements your current equipment. Looking for mostly interior or exterior shots?

Have you tried stitching? If not take adjoining images with ~25% overlap in the vertical, and then download Microsoft ICE (for free). Just drag in all the images and it does the rest automagically. You can go as wide as you feel the need. The 24mm and the 16-45 would each support this very well. Most commercial landscapes are done with a 28 to 30mm lens as the distortion is pretty non existent. You can give it a try while you are making up your mind as to what you want to do....

05-29-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
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I tried the Tamron 10-whatever, Sigma 10-whatever, and Sigma 8-16 in my quest for ultra-wide. The 8-16 was far and away the best IME.

05-30-2012, 02:04 AM   #5
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I recommend the Samyang (Rokinon/ Bower/ Vivitar) 14mm 2.8. Sharpness is spectacular: corner to corner even at 2.8. Colors are excellent. (I had the Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6. There is no comparison. Much inferior to Samyang in these respects.) There is significant distortion, and the lens is heavy (530 grams). The Sigma is 70 grams lighter and more compact.

The alternative pointed out by interested_observer is the way I intend to go when lugging around 530 grams would be a problem. (Waiting for the 22-28mm for that.) Microsoft Ice is a very good program, indeed. Three vertical pics taken at 20mm which overlap 30% will result in the rough equivalent of a pic taken at 11mm.

Last edited by causey; 05-30-2012 at 02:28 AM.
05-30-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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what do you plan on using it for? if you just want something wide and absolutely sharp, then i second the samyang 14mm f/2.8. I used to own that lens and it was stupidly sharp, had little to no CA, handled flare brilliantly, but did have quite a bit of distortion. reason i don't own it was it was too wide for what i shoot (portraits and events).
if you're looking for a more versatile wide zoom, check out pentaxforum's two recent in-depth reviews:
DA 12-24mm vs Sigma and Tamron 10-24mm Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
05-30-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I tried the Tamron 10-whatever, Sigma 10-whatever, and Sigma 8-16 in my quest for ultra-wide. The 8-16 was far and away the best IME.
Best in what way ? If it is lower distortion then I may well make the change - I have to have an UW for work (interiors) and my current Sigma 10-20 is used 90% of the time at 10mm.
05-30-2012, 02:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Have you tried stitching? If not take adjoining images with ~25% overlap in the vertical, and then download Microsoft ICE (for free). Just drag in all the images and it does the rest automagically. You can go as wide as you feel the need. The 24mm and the 16-45 would each support this very well. Most commercial landscapes are done with a 28 to 30mm lens as the distortion is pretty non existent. :
A BIG +1 for this if it landscapes you require the UW for.

My landscape lens is a Contax Zeiss 28/2.8 (incredibly sharp and lovely colours to say nothing of zero visible distortion) and I stitch with the superb AutoPanaGiga (definitely not free, they do have a cheaper version that does the job just as well though) ! I do have both the Sigma 10-20 and Pentax 15 Ltd (fantastic lens) - but they are not usually used for landscapes.

05-30-2012, 06:35 AM   #9
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but if you check other brand, canon, nikon.
seems they also make zoom ultra-wide too
05-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
but if you check other brand, canon, nikon.
seems they also make zoom ultra-wide too
Too bad those lenses can't be used with his K200D.
05-30-2012, 09:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
but if you check other brand, canon, nikon.
seems they also make zoom ultra-wide too
And they also have huge distortion. It is the nature of UWA lenses.
05-30-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Best in what way ? If it is lower distortion then I may well make the change - I have to have an UW for work (interiors) and my current Sigma 10-20 is used 90% of the time at 10mm.
Best in terms of border/corner resolution - i feltthe two 10 mm's were pretty bad out at the corners (the sigma's better in the center too, and I liked the colors better, and the build better, but I wasn't super concerned about those things). Distortion didn't play into my decision - I'm not taking shots of buildings and I've always had good luck with distortion in post processing. I haven't taken pictures of interiors but might have some test shots that would show it.

You might want to check out photozone's review of the 8, 10, and 10. Unfortunately the 8-16 wasn't tested at 10 mm so there's not a direct comparison.
05-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
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Ah, distortion. I have seen edge distortion on EVERY lens wider than 28mm on my K20D. Not too bad around 24-25mm; rather noticeable around 18-21mm; quite obvious wider, whether fisheye (FE) or rectilinear ultrawide (UWA). FE projection actually distorts less (optically) than UWA when the AOV is in the 100-degrees-plus range, but our visual systems don't the the FE's rounded view as normal. It's the old cartographer's problem: mapping a curved universe onto a flat plane. Too bad we have no lenses giving a Goode's Interrupted Homolosine Projection, eh? (Look in the front of most good world atlases for examples of projections.)

Lens choice in this neighborhood depends on various personal preferences: budget, weight, IQ, flexibility, coverage, tolerance of distortion, and time available for shooting. For minimal distortion in maximum time, shoot a series at 28mm (portrait aspect) and stitch together a pano. For horizon-to-horizon coverage in a single shot, use a 180-degree FE. For flexibility, use a zoom. To keep lines straight, use an UWA. To strengthen the brand, use a Pentax.
________________________________

I use various tools in this vicinity. I *almost* wish for a 14/2.8 UWA prime (Pentax or Samyang) but I don't know if the cost would pay off for me. I currently use these:

* Full-circle FE: Vemar (Sigma) 12/8 on 135/FF; or DA18-55 or DA18-250 with 0.25x fisheye adapter, or FA28-80 with Kenko 180 Degree fisheye adapter. Not for serious use. Fun fun fun.

* Frame-filling FE: Zenitar 18/2.8 on 135/FF; or DA10-18 FE zoom, the lens that drove me to Pentax. Both are very sharp; the Zenitar is good in lesser light. I won't part with these.

* Rectilinear UWA: Vivitar Series 1 (Cosina) 19-35 on 135/FF; or Tamron 10-24, the lens that completes my K20D minimal walkaround kit. I have reasons for not getting the other UWAs.

* Stitch-ups, undistorted: Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA. Stitch-ups, distorted: DA10-17. Stitch-ups, psychotic: wave around a video P&S; extract every 20th frame; glue them with AutoStitch.

Of my lenses that see 90 degrees or more, the Tamron 10-24 and DA10-17 are always in my bag.
05-30-2012, 01:34 PM   #14
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If you're going to shoot below 20mm with any lens, consider getting DxO Pro software. Their distortion correction is probably the best around.
05-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #15
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I suggest the Sigma 8-16mm or Samyang 14mm, which is sold under several names.
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