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01-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
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Super wide for people photography

I own a Sigma 10-20 f4-5,6 and while I find it to be decent for architectural stuff, the distortion is too severe at the edges and corners, for people related photography - especially @ 10mm.

What, if any, are the alternatives. I'd very much prefer a faster and naturally a sharp lens as well.

01-12-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
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Enough not to put people toward corners to much and I'm good with this lens on my D70 ;-)
01-12-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
I own a Sigma 10-20 f4-5,6 and while I find it to be decent for architectural stuff, the distortion is too severe at the edges and corners, for people related photography - especially @ 10mm.

What, if any, are the alternatives. I'd very much prefer a faster and naturally a sharp lens as well.
I have the Pentax 10-18 fisheye lens, and can certainly see that people on the outside of the group will appear distorted. I presume that any fisheye-wide lens would cause the same problem, and that this distortion is inherent in the lens width. I have no experience with it, but I am wondering whether the distortion could be corrected using Lighthouse or Photoshop?
01-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #4
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Petrus One: Myeah, but that's not always possible. I sometimes use it to do candid shots such as the one below - there are often going to be people close to the corners more often than not

ivanvernon: Photoshop can fix anything, but I'd prefer not to do too much manual labor after stuff like wedding photography - it's not that I use the 10-20 *that* much, but still. But yes, it might be an option. Haven't tried it.

@ 10mm:


01-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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In this focal length, there will always be significant distortion of one type or another towards the edges, no matter whether you use a fisheye or a linear optical formula. So, you can have upright people with bulging toward the frame edge, or boomerang-shaped people with no bulging. There's no magic solution here, unless you go for a true panorama camera.
01-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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RoBa Oz: I see from time to time some lenses are better than other in that regard - so I was thinking perhaps there might be a wide angle lens that produced a bit less distortion. I wasn't expecting completely distortion free photos.
01-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
but I'd prefer not to do too much manual labor after stuff like wedding photography
Lightroom has lens correction profiles for many lenses, no work at all, just set lens correction in the import dialog and you are done. I don't have anything that wide so I cannot say from experience how much correction is applied but I do have DA*16-50 and LR corrects that to my satisfaction.

You might find some good info with comparison of UWA lenses: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - The Bottom Line - PentaxForums.com
01-12-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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The Lens Correction option in LR doesn't do enough. If I really had to, it would be along the lines of local transformation or using the liquify tool in Photoshop.

The lens is fine from 15mm and above. The distortion gets unpleasant when I approach 10mm.

Thanks for the link - I'll have a look.

01-12-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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Never had any issues like that on my 16-50, but that's 60% tighter of a frame. Perhaps this is one of the few situations where full frame is indeed needed. Can go to around the same focal length before distortion goes nuts. Medium format even? Who knows.

Maybe Tamron's 10-24 has less distorted edges, but I doubt it.
01-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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Distortion is very well controlled on the DA15. I'm always amazed how I can frame a shot with someone in the corner and they end up actually looking like a person instead of a misshapen blob...
01-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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Agree it is easy to get distortion in this focal range. There is perspective distortion for a start.

I kind of like the distortion on my Sigma 10-20 f3.5, makes for some unique photos. Yes it does distort significantly at the edges but the center is not too bad.
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01-12-2013, 03:26 PM   #12
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Sure, it can give interesting results. I've so far found I need to keep vital parts such as heads far away from corners, because more than often it just wont look good.

This is one of my favorite photos shot with the Sigma @ 11mm


It's slightly cropped because I was aware of the distortion so I wanted to avoid having people too close to the edges. I think I got away with it OK - still, when I showed it to a non photography related friend, his first comment was: Couldn't you have had fixed the distortion in PS? Bummer :P

I generally don't like super wides - they are trickier to use and the distortion factor is the least of my concerns in that regard. Too much clutter can get in. But when it does work, it works superbly. Standing further away minimizes distortion but I have to be close many times because of space limitations or because I want to fill the frame - and that's where the distortion really kicks in.
01-12-2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
RoBa Oz: I see from time to time some lenses are better than other in that regard - so I was thinking perhaps there might be a wide angle lens that produced a bit less distortion. I wasn't expecting completely distortion free photos.
The distortion you see is about 1% due to lens defects and 99% due to simple perspective. That is, the most distortion-free lens in the entire world as measured objectively would still show what you perceive extremely distorted people in the corners, because that's what happens when you take a frame that is considerably wider than the printed/display image itself and distort it to fit. If you want a large group of people to not look distorted, you need to shoot with a longer lens from farther away (or distort the image in PP to counteract the natural and correct perspective the lens is showing you).
01-12-2013, 04:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
So, you can have upright people with bulging toward the frame edge, or boomerang-shaped people with no bulging. There's no magic solution here, unless you go for a true panorama camera.
This and Marc's note above pretty much say it all. If you are close to your subject and also want huge FOV, you have to become a slave to the laws of physics and perspective.


Steve
01-12-2013, 04:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The distortion you see is about 1% due to lens defects and 99% due to simple perspective. That is, the most distortion-free lens in the entire world as measured objectively would still show what you perceive extremely distorted people in the corners, because that's what happens when you take a frame that is considerably wider than the printed/display image itself and distort it to fit. If you want a large group of people to not look distorted, you need to shoot with a longer lens from farther away (or distort the image in PP to counteract the natural and correct perspective the lens is showing you).
Yeah, I actually know this but I can't tell what's lens related distortion and what's perspective related - I was hoping a good portion of it was lens related.

But but but - when I use the Lens Correction feature in LR, I often find that it makes the photos with people in them look worse. Yes, straight lines gets straighter, but I don't care about that - I don't do much architectural stuff anyways. It's more important to me to have people appear a bit more natural.

Group photos are at times easier but not always - I had a multi platform huge a** wedding cake just behind me during one of my last events, when people started to ask about family and friend group photos. I said sure, but requested to have the cake moved so I could stand further back - but that was not an option. I'm often in tight spaces - also because at times, I'm actually competing with (rude, I might add) guests taking up crucial space so I have to get in close. I hate that because of the perspective distortion Getting low so I can shoot straight is the best I can do as this minimizes perspective distortion.

Steve: Yeh, I suppose so
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