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11-13-2012, 02:39 PM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 309
Hmm ok well now that you mention the position of the sun, I'd probably try to shoot the photo at some time of day where the sun isn't directly behind the kids. This shot has that washed-out white sky which is kind of boring. You also don't want the sun directly behind you because then it'll be in their eyes and they'll all be squinting. Alternatively you could use a polarizing filter to get some blue sky in there, but polarizers on really wide angle lenses are a little tricky to get a uniform effect.

You have multiple options that will go wider while also lowering distortion compared to the Sigma 17-70 at 17mm, but none of them are going to give you significantly higher peak resolution at f/8. So if those improvements at the very least will be worth it to you, I'd look at:

Pentax DA 15mm f/4 Limited
Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 (or the f/3.5 if you really want HSM focus and the faster max aperture--otherwise they perform very similarly)

Some folks like the Tamron 10-24 but its distortion only really evens out at the longer end of the range which doesn't help your purposes.

There's also the Sigma 12-24mm which is a full-format lens so bigger & heavier, and also has a curved front element so no filters.

Based on price/performance, I'd probably go for either the 15 Limited or the Sigma 10-20/4-5.6.

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