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08-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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Top wide angle lenses?? (vintage)

What are some of the best wide angle lenses?
I'm looking for cheap ones, and I'm assuming that only vintage lenses are actually really cheap! Only looking to pay around 50$.

I'm looking for one that's sharp. I don't mind if it's not THAT fast, f2.8 is preferable. I will mostly be using it to take photos on vacation!

Thanks in advance,

08-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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I'm sure you can find something in the Vivitar 28mm bestiary that will fit your needs. But you won't find anything that is wide angle on APS-C for less than a hundred.
08-21-2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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Wide, good and cheap, you can only pick 2. If it is wide and cheap, it won't be very good. If it is good and cheap, it won't be very wide. If it is good and wide, it won't be cheap.

On APS-C digital, you aren't really getting into wide territory until under 24mm, which was super wide back in the film days and it was expensive. Stuff that was expensive back then is expensive now, so you'll have to be lucky to find something for under $50.

My Super Lentar 21mm f3.8 is not too bad, it is decently wide on APS-C, it was cheap to me at $13, but average going price is many times that. It is also sold under Soligor, Vivitar and Bushnell names, probably more too.
08-21-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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The best you're likely to do is a 28mm lens. Unfortunately, the crop factor makes older lenses less wide, which makes it hard to get cheap wide angle lens. For $50, I'd find a DA18-55, which also does pretty well at 28mm.

08-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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I think the Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm (original version) is underrated and hence good value -- it is very sharp when stopped down (wide open, not so much). It can be found within your budget. As others have pointed out, 28mm isn't actually wide on an APS-C camera. It is, however, an excellent all-purpose focal length. One budget solution for getting high-quality wide shots: stitch, i.e., join multiple shots via software. Then again, the 18-55 kit lens is pretty good too.
08-21-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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Unless you're lucky like elliott, you're not going to find a wide angle for $13 or even $75. To get those deals you have to comb through the garage sales thrift stores, maybe craigslist, or find an ebay auction that is written and photographed so bad that nobody knows what they are selling and bid anyway, and then get real lucky. And as alphanerd pointed out, you may find a 28/2.8, but that's the wide end of normal on APS-C. It can be done if you put the time in. I got a good deal on a Kiron 28/2.0 recently at an "estate sale" and felt really lucky. I found another wide angle once (in a pawn shop lot) that would not work on a Pentax DSLR, but sold it to help fund a new lens. So, search high and low and I hope you find one, good luck! And that 18-55 is a good idea.
08-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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The old Tamron Adaptalls can be quite good and you might be able to find one with an undesirable mount for a good price and pickup a Pentax mount for it.

Buying old stuff comes down to luck, a majority of the lenses listed in my signature have been found at thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. I've passed up tons more because either the price was too high or because I didn't need yet another 50mm or low quality tele-zoom. Some I got luckier on than others, but all were found for much lower than average eBay or forum prices.

Last edited by elliott; 08-21-2012 at 05:10 PM.
08-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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I just recently picked up a mint Tokina 17mm F3.5 lens on Ebay. It was more than you are willing to pay at $150.00, but it is an excellent, sharp, wide lens. There are a few others out there. I'd recommend for you to look into the 3rd party lens reviews on this site, look for the wide angle lenses and read the reviews. Once you find one that sounds interesting, see if you can find a listing on Ebay for one.

That's how I found my Tokina, glad I did too!

08-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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I have a Vivitar 19mm 3.8... Bought it for about £50 (GBP) a couple of years back, they now seem to go for around £80 on ebay...
08-21-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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I was able to buy a Sigma 24mm f2.8 for under $100. It's quite sharp.
08-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #11
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As others before me have already stated, its a challenge to go wide on APS-C, the 1.5x crop factor means that traditional wide angles become normal lens because the borders are cropped off. Eg a 28mm gives you the same picture on the APS-C sensor of today's dslrs covers an agle of view roughly similar to a 42mm on film. Thats why the kit lens starts at 18mm, not 28mm as in the film days. If you have the kit lens already (18-55 zoom) I'd just stick with that, as it will do better than any wide angle lens you get for under $50.
As you dont have the lenses listed in your profile, the only lens I do know that you have is your "radioactive" Super Takumar 50mm. You can also wide scenes with that by taking overlapping side by side photos of a wide scene and stitching it together with free software that will do the stitching automatically for you. With a little effort you can go wider than the widest angle gazillion dollar wide angle lens ever made, even take a complete 360 deg panorama if you please.The 50mm is also going to render each scene in the panorama more naturally than any wide angle, because a 50mm sees like the human eye does, whereas a wide angle crams in more photo into the same area.
08-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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I'm afraid the best cost-benefit wide currently is the 18-55mm kit. The widest vintage lenses you'll find are around 28mm, which is not really wide to begin with.

By the way, where's my full frame, Pentax?
08-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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DaveHolmes mentioned the Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 above. That's probably the cheapest lens that gives you a true wide angle on APS-C. More info...

Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

There are some other old manual lenses that are better, but none are all that cheap.
08-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #14
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Keep your eyes peeled for an Elsinor 24 f2.8, it's also seen badged as Tefnon and Clubman ( and maybe more brands ? ) It's a great lens, not the fastest maybe, but sharp and 'colorful'. I've got this lens in Canon FD and Minolta MD and it shoots way past it's cheap price. There's a Hoya 24 f2.8 that's nearly as good, again it's cheap. And if you're really lucky, there's a very good Soligor 24 f2 which is stunning. Of course all these are manual focus, but I think that's a bonus.
08-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I have a Vivitar 19mm 3.8... Bought it for about £50 (GBP) a couple of years back, they now seem to go for around £80 on ebay...
I just read my review... It didn't cost me £50 it came with a busted up MX I paid £30 for... The MX was sold for parts (I have a beautiful copy wrapped in brown leather now) but still have the Viv-19mm

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