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10-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #31
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Even at 1.7 iso 100 shooting in the dark like that will be somewhat noisy.

My advice is to just get one of the wide angles used so that you can find out what you really want. The Sigma 10-20 or 8-16 is a good start imho.

10-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Even at 1.7 iso 100 shooting in the dark like that will be somewhat noisy.

My advice is to just get one of the wide angles used so that you can find out what you really want. The Sigma 10-20 or 8-16 is a good start imho.
Of course, every picture has some noise, difference is in the amount. Your advice is the best advice. I need to get a lens and find out what I really want after I have tried it in practice. I think a zoom lens like the ones you suggested might be what I need, because then I can see the difference between the different FL in practice and find out which one I prefer. Thank you. I hope my lens list will help someone, I didn't just make it for myself. Although I have to add: after seeing the 21mm Ltd in action, I think that's a lens I couldn't possibly be disappointed in no matter what, and it's not expensive considering the quality. I'm really thinking about buying it.
10-24-2013, 06:01 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by tripodquest Quote
I'm the first to admit that I have almost no experience using wide angle lenses. I acquired an interest for them just recently. I have been mostly shooting 40-300mm before, with the occasional 18-35 photos only when I've happened to have a kit lens and use it, which has not been often. Can you give me examples of night shots at f/3.5 on a 20mm? (i can check flickr myself, but if you happen to think of examples...) I might just change my mind about how fast I really need. For now. I know I will be getting the 18/20mm sub-f/2 at some point anyway. The reason for me is that i never want to think ''I could have taken that photo, if I had the lens I could have bought but didn't, because ;;you don't need it''''. You say ''small amount of scenarios'', but I like to push the limits, because that's the only way you ever get better. First you need to learn the basics of course... But starting out with the fast lens saves you from buying two lenses. Otherwise you will buy two lenses, even without LBA. About night time photography, whenever I read those leica noctilux 50/0.95 reviews, I always think "yes, that's the kind of photos I want to take". (Some of them are actually a little too bright for night time photos, which always makes me think 1.2/1.4 is the perfect aperture.) And the photos in those reviews are of pretty ordinary situations, not something "you come across once in a lifetime." And if it is a situation you only come across once in a life time, and it's dark... You just saved a few hundred dollars and missed something priceless.

edit: you were faster than me. Thank you for the example. It does look rather noisy compared to f/1.7 or f/2.8, but I don't know if it's high ISO or your k-30. In any case, it shares the mood wonderfully. Did you use a star filter or is that just glare?
When I bracketed, the k-30 dropped the aperture down to f/5.6 for the dark shot - what you're seeing is a starburst from the aperture blades that carried through the HDR process.

Perhaps a better way to view the speed vs width situation is this - more often than not, you'll be using a wide angle for large, expansive outdoor scenes. In pretty much all these cases, you'll want to be stopped down both to help with sharpness and to counteract the sunlight that's probably going to be involved. If you're going to be forced out of necessity to crank the aperture down, then any low f-stop below a certain point is going to be wasted un-used anyhow.

The only situations I can think of offhand where you'd want a really wide aperture would be for action shots in a darkened area. Outdoor activities at night, a badly lit theater, etc. The other situation would be for astrophotography.

If you're doing astrophotography, you *probably* will be incorporating a tripod, which offsets the need for a wide aperture somewhat. That said, I went for 'wide and fast(ish)' myself because I like taking night landscapes (for lack of a better term). I also tend to stay down near the 10mm end of the lens when I take shots like that though - the 20mm is more for 'chasing the kids' and getting quick family snaps (at which point there is a definite need for faster speeds since I'm sliding into 'action' territory)

Again, I could probably have fared as well with a slower lens, but when shooting stars the need for speed definitely comes into play.

FWIW, these are all shots I've taken with the 10-20 (albeit at the 10mm end or close) and are basically the main reason I bought the lens I did. Note all are tripod/long(ish) exposures.

If you notice most were stopped down because despite it being dark out, the rule of 'you need to stop down if you want to get sharper' still applies - at which point those faster apertures kind of go by the wayside.

16mm, f/3.5, 29 seconds



16mm, f/5.6 (stopped down!), 20 seconds



10mm, f/4.5 (again, stopped down...), 30 seconds



13mm, f/7.1 (stopped way down), 15 seconds



Now THAT said, it doesn't mean I haven't had fun playing with a fast(ish) aperture with an UWA. The main reason you want a fast aperture other than shooting in the dark (negated with my landscape stuff) is when you want to start throwing bokeh and bringing a bit of separation to your shots, in which case the wider the better as with any lens.

Most of these are wide open, close to 20mm











10-24-2013, 06:09 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
When I bracketed, the k-30 dropped the aperture down to f/5.6 for the dark shot - what you're seeing is a starburst from the aperture blades that carried through the HDR process.

Perhaps a better way to view the speed vs width situation is this - more often than not, you'll be using a wide angle for large, expansive outdoor scenes. In pretty much all these cases, you'll want to be stopped down both to help with sharpness and to counteract the sunlight that's probably going to be involved. If you're going to be forced out of necessity to crank the aperture down, then any low f-stop below a certain point is going to be wasted un-used anyhow.

The only situations I can think of offhand where you'd want a really wide aperture would be for action shots in a darkened area. Outdoor activities at night, a badly lit theater, etc. The other situation would be for astrophotography.

If you're doing astrophotography, you *probably* will be incorporating a tripod, which offsets the need for a wide aperture somewhat. That said, I went for 'wide and fast(ish)' myself because I like taking night landscapes (for lack of a better term). I also tend to stay down near the 10mm end of the lens when I take shots like that though - the 20mm is more for 'chasing the kids' and getting quick family snaps (at which point there is a definite need for faster speeds since I'm sliding into 'action' territory)

Again, I could probably have fared as well with a slower lens, but when shooting stars the need for speed definitely comes into play.

FWIW, these are all shots I've taken with the 10-20 (albeit at the 10mm end or close) and are basically the main reason I bought the lens I did. Note all are tripod/long(ish) exposures.

If you notice most were stopped down because despite it being dark out, the rule of 'you need to stop down if you want to get sharper' still applies - at which point those faster apertures kind of go by the wayside.


Now THAT said, it doesn't mean I haven't had fun playing with a fast(ish) aperture with an UWA. The main reason you want a fast aperture other than shooting in the dark (negated with my landscape stuff) is when you want to start throwing bokeh and bringing a bit of separation to your shots, in which case the wider the better as with any lens.

Most of these are wide open, close to 20mm











You make very good points, I'll weigh my options. I really like those photos! And the stop down to sharpen up is a good rule to remember, it's obvious but sometimes you might get so caught up chasing the light that you forget about the sacrifices. There are incredibly sharp fast lenses though, that are sharp wide open... But the DOF is still small, so that doesn't help with landscapes and cityscapes because you need to stop down. Right now I'm really considering the 21mm Ltd which is f/3.2 so kind of a compromise. The quality is amazing... And, I would like my lens to be as versatile as possible, meaning, for example, if I shoot people with it, they shouldn't look distorted, even though I don't plan on using it as a portrait lens. Then again I think 18mm might be just wide enough for "everything", but there is no 18mm Ltd... I'm in no hurry, I will keep looking.

edit: another thing to remember is that longer shutter speeds can detiriorate image quality and add noise worse than high ISO depending on the situation. Choose your compromise... I don't do astrophotography so I rarely need really long shutter speeds. I mostly use the bulb mode for high speed photography (oldest trick in the world)

edit2: the shorter your focal length, the deeper your DOF and the harder to get OOF areas and bokeh... so speed is also needed for that. You can get wonderful bokeh with a 135mm @ f/8. I think you have to open up quite a bit to get the same on a wide angle.


Last edited by tripodquest; 10-24-2013 at 06:30 PM.
10-24-2013, 06:56 PM   #35
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Scanning the original list, I didn't see either 24mm that I've owned: Vivitar f/2 (Kiron, I believe) and SMC-A f/2.8. I did not get along with the Vivitar at wide aperture, it glowed a bit too much for my taste. The A24/2.8 is quite good, grabbed from the KEH Ugly bin; very talented but the old coatings do allow some veiling flare.

Of the numerous 28mm options I was very impressed with the Rikenon-P f/2.8; very inexpensive and very good results, again just watch for flare in tough lighting.
10-24-2013, 07:02 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
Scanning the original list, I didn't see either 24mm that I've owned: Vivitar f/2 (Kiron, I believe) and SMC-A f/2.8. I did not get along with the Vivitar at wide aperture, it glowed a bit too much for my taste. The A24/2.8 is quite good, grabbed from the KEH Ugly bin; very talented but the old coatings do allow some veiling flare.

Of the numerous 28mm options I was very impressed with the Rikenon-P f/2.8; very inexpensive and very good results, again just watch for flare in tough lighting.
I'll edit the list.
10-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #37
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I added links to most of the lenses, then I got tired of it. Time to go to bed anyway. I will add more links later.
10-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #38
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Zeiss Distagon T* 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon T* 28/2. There's an 18/3.5, too, but I guess you'd think that's unbearably slow. They're all discontinued in k-mount, of course, but can occasionally be found second hand.

10-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #39
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You can research them if you want but there is a Vivitar 19mm f3.8(not "fast" but oh well) and a Spiratone(Soligor) 20mm f2.8
10-25-2013, 01:03 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by tripodquest Quote
edit2: the shorter your focal length, the deeper your DOF and the harder to get OOF areas and bokeh... so speed is also needed for that. You can get wonderful bokeh with a 135mm @ f/8. I think you have to open up quite a bit to get the same on a wide angle.
You need to go closer to get bokeh when using a wide angle.
For wide angles, there are no need for faster than 2.8, but nice to have.
I use mostly at f4 or 5.6 for bokeh, or f11-f16 for landscape. Close range is more important than f-stop if you want bokeh.

You list is missing many m42 wide lenses.

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm f2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25mm f4.0
Smc Takumar 15mm f3.5
Smc Takumar 24mm f3.5
Zenitar 16mm fisheye, m42 or K mount

Other in K mount:

Ensinor 24mm f2.8
pentax M 20mm f4
pentax K 28mm shift
Must have: Pentax K 28/2

Tokina pro-x af 20-35/2.8 is also very good. Big and heavy, AF screw drive.

Tamron adaptall-2 lenses:

Tamron24-48f3.5-3.8 model 13A


Olympus OM lenses swap to K mount:

OM 21mm f3.5
OM 24mm f2.8
OM 24 shift too will fit when swapping mount, but very costly.

and Nikon force fit in pentax body:
28mm f3.5 PC . It is a shift lens and does not have communication with body, and it fits on pentax body with few mm turn.
No click hole, so you need to be very careful when using it with pentax body.

Last edited by hoanpham; 10-25-2013 at 01:12 AM.
10-25-2013, 09:49 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
You need to go closer to get bokeh when using a wide angle.
and Nikon force fit in pentax body:
28mm f3.5 PC . It is a shift lens and does not have communication with body, and it fits on pentax body with few mm turn.
No click hole, so you need to be very careful when using it with pentax body.

I will not add these, the list is only for pentax mount lenses and lenses with mounts that you can buy and use an adapter for without taking anything apart (m42, adaptall, T2, Nikon F, and MD) If you have lenses in those mounts, please suggest.

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
For wide angles, there are no need for faster than 2.8, but nice to have.
I use mostly at f4 or 5.6 for bokeh, or f11-f16 for landscape. Close range is more important than f-stop if you want bokeh.

You list is missing many m42 wide lenses.

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm f2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25mm f4.0
Smc Takumar 15mm f3.5
Smc Takumar 24mm f3.5
Zenitar 16mm fisheye, m42 or K mount

Other in K mount:

Ensinor 24mm f2.8
pentax M 20mm f4
pentax K 28mm shift
Must have: Pentax K 28/2

Tokina pro-x af 20-35/2.8 is also very good. Big and heavy, AF screw drive.

Tamron adaptall-2 lenses:

Tamron24-48f3.5-3.8 model 13A


Olympus OM lenses swap to K mount:

OM 21mm f3.5
OM 24mm f2.8
OM 24 shift too will fit when swapping mount, but very costly.
I will add some of your m42 lenses (this list is also for fast wide-angles. Anyone can still read your comment with the slow lenses here, but the slower lenses won't go on the list (including the Tamron).
Thank you for your contribution and thank you for reminding me about the Flektogons. I was looking at the prices last night for myself, but forgot to add them on the list.
QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Zeiss Distagon T* 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon T* 28/2. There's an 18/3.5, too, but I guess you'd think that's unbearably slow. They're all discontinued in k-mount, of course, but can occasionally be found second hand.
A little too expensive.
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