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11-28-2013, 02:35 AM   #1
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Wide ange lenses

Hi all,

I would like to start off and say I know very little about lenses but someone has asked me to buy them a wide angle lenses for them mainly to capture family portraits and landscape pictures. He currently has the following lenses 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses and his camera is a DSLR Pentax K-r.

In other forums I have seen people recommend the Pentax 15mm, but is this suitable lenses for indoor picture (I know it is highly recommended for landscape outdoor pictures) and if not what would you recommend?

Thanks in advance

D

11-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkr267 Quote
In other forums I have seen people recommend the Pentax 15mm, but is this suitable lenses for indoor picture?
Welcome to PF!

I have found the DA 15 very useful for indoor shots.
A lot of people complain about the f/4 maximum aperture,
but two things on recent Pentax DSLRs are working in your favour:
Shake Reduction (SR), and good performance at higher ISO settings.
With SR, you can use the DA 15 hand-held down to 1/8 or 1/4 sec.
Combined with an ISO setting of 800 or 1600,
this lets you shoot in all but the darkest interiors.
11-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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Hi,

The 15 can be used indoors, but it's not the lens I'd turn to for portraits (or even group photos) of people. Wide lenses tend not to be very flattering in their rendering of human features.

It's wonderful for landscapes, though!
11-28-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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The 15 is a bit wide for people shots as the distortion will stretch their heads if they are near the sides of the image. Many people use the term "portrait" rather loosely so it can mean a lot of things. Usually they really mean "candid" which is mostly catch-as-catch-can with little posing (the opposite of portraits).

You could have the person try using their 18-55 only at the wide end, then 30 or 35, then the long end for a bit to see what focal length is the most useful to them.

A good photographer can use just about any lens for landscape or portraits, but generally speaking, landscapes use wider lens - say 30mm or less, and portraits (1/2-body or head-and-shoulders) a bit longer - say 50-90mm.

I do not recommend Pentax lenses with the SDM motor, but the 16-50mm is just about the right range that can do both types of shots.

11-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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If the request is for a wide angle (i.e., wider than 18mm which they have) and indoor (meaning fast lens) the Pentax option that meets (and is low on distortion) is the Pentax 14mm f/2.8.

Not a lens I have--for me anything wider than 20mm (on cropped sensor) is very wide--but in terms of your given.
11-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
the Pentax option that meets (and is low on distortion) is the Pentax 14mm f/2.8.
The 14mm appears to have the same kind of mustache distortion
that my M20/4 showed on 35mm film.

Not generally a problem for landscape,
but it can be annoying with supposedly straight edges,
and is not even easy to correct in digital.
11-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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To be honest, I don't think your friend knows much about lenses either.

I would suggest getting a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 lens, good for indoor, landscape and family pictures. A nice step up over your friends existing lenses. All at a reasonable budget.
11-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Given the OP's obvious lack of experience, I concur with Twitch: the Tamron 17-50 is the best bet. Make sure and get the one for a Pentax camera.

11-29-2013, 09:44 AM   #9
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Frankly--if your friend asked for wider lens--then going from 18mm to 17mm doesn't cut it. In fact either one could be slightly the narrower angle of view at the wider end (e.g., the 17mm could be 18 or 18.5mm). And the faster lens is less than a stop faster. Just saying.

It seems to me there are two scenarios. (A) If he know very little about lenses then he will not see any difference between the 18-55 and the 17-50 lens. Or (B) If he knows about lenses then he will say: " but I said I wanted a wider angle lens!"
11-30-2013, 04:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkr267 Quote
Hi all,

I would like to start off and say I know very little about lenses but someone has asked me to buy them a wide angle lenses for them mainly to capture family portraits and landscape pictures. He currently has the following lenses 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses and his camera is a DSLR Pentax K-r.

In other forums I have seen people recommend the Pentax 15mm, but is this suitable lenses for indoor picture (I know it is highly recommended for landscape outdoor pictures) and if not what would you recommend?
DA21 would be my recommendation. The DA15 would probably be too wide and the DA35 f2.4 too narrow. And he'd be better off with a wide prime rather than another zoom.
11-30-2013, 05:07 AM   #11
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I think anyone would be very happy to receive a DA 15mm. Its a great lens. Is it perfectly useful for portraits? Probably not, unless you are doing a dramatic distortion kind of portraits (wider angle means more distortion: rounder faces with bigger noses. This is why people don't tend to use wide angles for portraits, only for group shots).
For indoor I would recommend a much brighter lens like the DA 50mm f1.8 (which doubles as a portraits lens), but the 50mm is not wide at all. It is bright, sharp, has fast AF,..
Indoors its usually best to use a flash and tripod anyway.
The Tamron 17-50mm is a safer bet simply because it has a friendly zoom range and its still pretty bright (f2.8). It has both the wide angle as well as some portrait capabilities. Though, its rendering won't be as good as any of the Pentax fixed focal length lenses that I mentioned earlier. It should be noticeably better than the DA L 18-55mm, though.
12-02-2013, 04:02 AM   #12
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Thanks for all your responses. In summary you guys are right my friend has just started in photography and knows very little, so I am extremely grateful for your help.

I am still undecided, I have also been told to maybe look at sigma 10-20mm F3.5, does any one have any experience with this lense?
12-02-2013, 04:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkr267 Quote
Thanks for all your responses. In summary you guys are right my friend has just started in photography and knows very little, so I am extremely grateful for your help.

I am still undecided, I have also been told to maybe look at sigma 10-20mm F3.5, does any one have any experience with this lense?
Great for landscapes, no really suitable for family portraits.
12-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #14
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Is size a consideration for your friend? Many of the options mentioned are noticeably heftier then the kit lenses they have. That might put some people off, especially someone new to carrying around DSLR stuff.
12-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
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By the way, this forum has a sample photo gallery where you can search for photos taken with a specific lens. And it has a lens review section (and for non-Pentax lenses its here), where members post their experiences with a certain lens along with some sample photos.

Simply put, lens for portraits and lens for landscapes are usually very different. For portraits you don't want wide angles. But for landscapes, you usually want wide angle. The DA 15mm ltd and the Sigma 10-20mm are both great landscape lenses. They might even work as lenses for group photos, like of a family gathering. Or for architecture photos, for indoor photos (like for real estate ads). Maybe even for photos of parties. If you want one or two people on the photograph, you probably want the focal length to be 24mm or higher, up to 85mm. For landscapes, you usually want it to be 24mm or wider, all the way down to 10mm. This is why zoom lenses with a wide zoom range are useful - they allow a bit of everything. The image quality might not be as good as a dedicated fixed-focal length lens, but they are easy to use in almost any situation.

Of course, if someone thinks they need a wide angle lens, maybe that is what they need. Its hard to give advice about which lens to buy over a forum without knowing the person. But we can assure you that the DA 15mm is a top notch lens. Here is a DA 15mm thread (just skip down the pages to see photos): https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html
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