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11-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #1
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Landscapes, is 14mm DA wide enough and does it really suck compared to other options?

Hi,

I am thinking of buying one wide-angle lens for landscape photography. I will be buying used, so all 6 available for now should be a fair game financially (ie 10-20, 10-24, 12-14 DA, 15 ltd, 14 DA, 14 rokinon). I am doing large landscapes with 16-45mm at the moment.

I am tempted by the primes, 15 ltd because of the general look of the images and by DA 14 because of the F2.8 aperture, which will be useful for capturing the night skies.

I am seeing luke-warm reviews of DA 14 for some reason, but I am wondering if it's optical quality really a limiting factor in real life?

The second question is, what kind of photographs I wouldn't be able to take because of lack of the 10-13mm range as compared to 15mm and 14mm focal lengths? I understand the perspective will be a bit different, but is it something really limiting in real world use?

11-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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I've just picked up an 8mm fisheye to go with my 16-45 but no tests yet for you. It will be interesting to shoot the skies with each and see how they compare! In the past I used the Sigma 15 fisheye a few times but not rigorously, and it worked very well.

I think the DA14 gets fewer points for being compared to the amazing DA15, just like the 50-200 cannot get high marks with the 55-300 adjacent to it in the line-up
11-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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In my personal experience, 14 or 15 is great for landscapes. If you go much wider, the sky just sort of gets lost in the far away look of the super wide angle. Now if you have something interesting up close, then the very wide can be an asset. The 15 has a great look, it's one I'm fond of. I do feel the pull of the 10-20 Sigma sometimes, though!

One more to consider is the 10-17. It's a fisheye, but at 17 it's not very fishy. If you want W I D E, that's the lens to get! I have the 10-17 and the 15. They have different strengths and weaknesses.
11-15-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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I use the DA 12-24 mainly, but if I REALLY want wide I also have the Sigma 8-16, which is a terrific lens.

11-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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Landscape photography is a wide field (no pun intended). Almost any focal length could be suitable, depending on the subject and its distance. A wide panoramic vista might require an extreme wide angle, whereas a shot of a distant mountain might demand a narrow field of view, hence a long telephoto.

If you are thinking of a wide-angle lens, the DA 15mm is a good choice.

There is a recent discussion and good examples here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/240601-landscape-lens.html

- Craig
11-15-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
... The second question is, what kind of photographs I wouldn't be able to take because of lack of the 10-13mm range as compared to 15mm and 14mm focal lengths? I understand the perspective will be a bit different, but is it something really limiting in real world use?
What would you be missing in the 10-13mm range - well, distortion would be the big single item, followed by a single shot view. The wider you go, the more distortion you get. It despends on what you shoot, to know how the distortion will present itself. Having a wider shot, you can pull in more view - with the distortion. Going with something like the 15, you can always stitch multiple shots.

Here is a thread that I started a while ago, that talks about distortion and wide angle lenses. In many cases a 10-17 fisheye may just provide a more natural looking image than that from a rectilinear normal ultra wide angle lens when you consider distortion along the edges and corners. It all comes down to application and the view you are shooting along with your composition and framing.Another use for wide angle lenses is their ability to allow you to get close to large objects.

11-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting the recent discussion. I read through a fair number of comparisons.

I think 8-16 looks very appealing, but if I remember correctly, it does not take filters. I would like to put a big stopper on the lens some times. That's what drew me to DA 14mm. I am wondering though, specifically, what would I be missing out by not having a 12mm or 10mm focal length.

I did look at a number of examples, but I am not sure if the same images could be taken by stepping up one foot and using a 14mm instead of 12mm.

For example, a really nice shot with a prominent foreground done 35mm: 500px / The Last Ent by WK Cheoh
Here for example: 500px / Lost in the daily by Carlos M. Almagro and here a shot at 21mm (full frame) http://500px.com/photo/50650496, gives a similar perspective and a similar prominent foreground. For me technically these pictures differ a lot (relative size of foreground and background), but qualitatively, for a viewer, they vary just a little.
11-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
What would you be missing in the 10-13mm range - well, distortion would be the big single item, followed by a single shot view. The wider you go, the more distortion you get. It despends on what you shoot, to know how the distortion will present itself. Having a wider shot, you can pull in more view - with the distortion. Going with something like the 15, you can always stitch multiple shots.


Here is a thread that I started a while ago, that talks about distortion and wide angle lenses. In many cases a 10-17 fisheye may just provide a more natural looking image than that from a rectilinear normal ultra wide angle lens when you consider distortion along the edges and corners. It all comes down to application and the view you are shooting along with your composition and framing.Another use for wide angle lenses is their ability to allow you to get close to large objects.

This is interesting what you are saying about 10-17mm. I didn't look into it. Credits for you and the previous poster who brought up 10-17mm, I will take a look at that lens too.

11-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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I Have the Sigma 10-20 and very happy with it - for landscape however I only tend you use around 15 and have been seriously looking at the Pentax 15 as the photo examples I have seen were very impressive. Reading the reviews of both 14 & 15 would seem to favour the 15 due to image quality - heck of a lot of people like the lens & it gets a high 9.4+ they can't all be wrong.

hope that helps.
Kevin
11-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kev.pride Quote
I Have the Sigma 10-20 and very happy with it - for landscape however I only tend you use around 15 and have been seriously looking at the Pentax 15 as the photo examples I have seen were very impressive. Reading the reviews of both 14 & 15 would seem to favour the 15 due to image quality - heck of a lot of people like the lens & it gets a high 9.4+ they can't all be wrong.

hope that helps.
Kevin
I love the way Ltd 15mm renders, but at F4.0, there will be no star-covered night skies and it is pretty close in focal length to 16-45mm, which is also very good. If it was not for 16-45, i would probably get the 15 indeed.

Last edited by rrstuff; 11-15-2013 at 09:27 PM.
11-15-2013, 09:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Hi,

I am thinking of buying one wide-angle lens for landscape photography. I will be buying used, so all 6 available for now should be a fair game financially (ie 10-20, 10-24, 12-14 DA, 15 ltd, 14 DA, 14 rokinon). I am doing large landscapes with 16-45mm at the moment.

I am tempted by the primes, 15 ltd because of the general look of the images and by DA 14 because of the F2.8 aperture, which will be useful for capturing the night skies.

I am seeing luke-warm reviews of DA 14 for some reason, but I am wondering if it's optical quality really a limiting factor in real life?

The second question is, what kind of photographs I wouldn't be able to take because of lack of the 10-13mm range as compared to 15mm and 14mm focal lengths? I understand the perspective will be a bit different, but is it something really limiting in real world use?
I wouldn't recommend the 14mm- it's not the sharpest tool in the shed. It should be plenty wide, but maybe you should look at the Pentax 12-24mm zoom instead. The DA 15mm is also great.

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11-15-2013, 09:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I wouldn't recommend the 14mm- it's not the sharpest tool in the shed. It should be plenty wide, but maybe you should look at the Pentax 12-24mm zoom instead. The DA 15mm is also great.
Yeah, number of people mention that. Did you have one? I am wondering if it is really not adequately sharp, or is it just for the sake of a pixel-peeping argument. I am just having a hard time understanding why would a Pentax build a poor lens, especially a prime.
11-15-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Yeah, number of people mention that. Did you have one? I am wondering if it is really not adequately sharp, or is it just for the sake of a pixel-peeping argument. I am just having a hard time understanding why would a Pentax build a poor lens, especially a prime.
I think it's not quite just pixel peepers that will notice the difference. Take a look at these samples:
Pentax 14mm F2.8 vs Rokinon 14mm F2.8 - Sharpness - PentaxForums.com

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11-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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I have the DA 15 and while it does good landscapes, I find it a little too wide at times and I end up cropping. That's not bad as the lens is good enough but the 12-24 at the long end might be a good choice. A lot of people claim it's as sharp as a prime. It's also large and quite a bit heavier than the DA 15. One of the difficult things I found in choosing a wide lens is that all of the lenses you list are good. You can look through samples throughout the forum and find stunning shots from all of them. I went with the DA 15 for it's small size and light weight over the DA 12–24.
11-15-2013, 10:09 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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Some people have found this useful. I neglected to shoot the 10-17 at 10 because I was comparing FLs. I have that 10mm shot, taken years later from the same spot, but I'm too lazy to join them now.

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