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11-29-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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Wide Angle lens

I'm considering to purchase a wide angle lens for my K-3 for landscape. I'm considering:
  • SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
  • HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4ED Limited DC WR (to be released)
My overall consideration is the quality of the photo. I would appreciate any comments

11-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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The SMC DA 15mm is highly regarded: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html The down is that it is a prime and thus you lose some flexibility. The SMC versions are discontinued and going fast. In the US both Adorama and B&H are sold out.

The 20-40 is new and untested as yet. But the 20-40 focal range would work for a lot of landscapes.

What focal range do you prefer for landscape? 15mm is great but not all landscapes are @ 15mm.
11-29-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The SMC DA 15mm is highly regarded: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html The down is that it is a prime and thus you lose some flexibility. The SMC versions are discontinued and going fast. In the US both Adorama and B&H are sold out.

The 20-40 is new and untested as yet. But the 20-40 focal range would work for a lot of landscapes.

What focal range do you prefer for landscape? 15mm is great but not all landscapes are @ 15mm.
Either 15 or 20mm would work and I can always crop if needed.
11-29-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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+1 for the 15...It's a gem.

11-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geoff Ince Quote
Either 15 or 20mm would work and I can always crop if needed.
Well I think you answered your own question. I would not buy a 20-40 to only use it at 20mm. So get the 15mm and later if you want 20 take a look at the 21mm Limited.
11-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geoff Ince Quote
I'm considering to purchase a wide angle lens for my K-3 for landscape. I'm considering:
  • SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
  • HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4ED Limited DC WR (to be released)
My overall consideration is the quality of the photo. I would appreciate any comments
Primes > zooms for image quality. But both should work well for landscapes!

Adam
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11-29-2013, 10:14 PM   #7
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If you can wait for a few months, the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 will be available in Pentax mount. All reviews (for other mounts) are superlative. It is big and heavy, but for any serious landscape work, you will be using a tripod anyway. It is cheaper than the Pentax 20-40 and a lot faster.

Also, you should consider the Samyang (and all variants) 14 F2.8. It is manual focus and if you master it, it is an amazingly sharp lens corner to corner, something necessary for landscapes. The price is very attractive also.
11-29-2013, 10:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geoff Ince Quote
I'm considering to purchase a wide angle lens for my K-3 for landscape. I'm considering:
  • SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
  • HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4ED Limited DC WR (to be released)
My overall consideration is the quality of the photo. I would appreciate any comments
I recently purchased the K3 (I'm new to Pentax) and have now ordered a lens kit for travel - I ordered the HD20-40 - deciding to sacrifice the width offered by the 15mm for the one stop more light at the 20mm end and FL range that is offered by the HD20-40mm. I purchased the HD35 to get one more stop of light at the 40mm end of the HD20-40 and to have macro when I'd like to get close to smaller subjects while capturing some background.

Having said this, I'm buying based on my need, product specifications and reviews - it will be about a couple of weeks before I have actual experience with these lens. And if later I find a need to be wider, I'll probably be looking at the HD15.

11-29-2013, 10:47 PM   #9
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I assume that your widest focal length currently is 18mm. If you want to go wider than that, DA15 is the way to go as you don't gain anything with the DA20-40 from a focal length perspective. If you want better quality than the kit lens (and not necessarily wider), DA20-40 would be my call (assuming it provides better quality ).
11-30-2013, 02:43 AM   #10
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Thank you to all for your comments and thoughts, you have given me something to think about
11-30-2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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The field of view difference between 16 and 18 mm is night and day for me. I went from 28mm on film to 24mm, and was hooked immediately. (24 on 24x36 is equivalent to 16 on 16x24). If you prefer primes, the 15 is a good choice. I like my DA 12-24 because sometimes the 12mm field of view is what I want. I use it all over the zoom range when it's on the camera to get the look I want for a particular image.
11-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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Other options are FA 20-35mm f4 (a little rare, but some like it. Available as new in Japan and online) and Pentax 12-24mm f4 (some really love it). But the DA 15mm is often hailed as the landscape lens. The DA 20-40mm ltd is an unknown, its completely new and noone has it, so we cannot really comment on it. But its a very interesting lens.

So, simply said, I doubt you would regret any of these lenses, but the DA 15mm is probably the best when it comes to pure image quality. There are alternatives that give you zoom or some other benefits. Also, there are many threads similar to this one, asking about wide angle options, so you can just search the forums if you want
11-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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If you want the best possible image quality for landscapes you should consider using a somewhat longer focal length lens, which can then be used to produce wide-angle photos by stitching together multiple images. With software like Autopano Pro you can get great results with ridiculously little effort. It's amazing how easy this is to do, and you get medium-format quality on a budget! Of course this only really matters for very large prints. For smaller prints, single-image APS-C photos with any decent lens will be fine.

Stitching software has improved a lot in recent years. It has not only become easier (from start to finish), but the stitch quality has improved. Here's a link to my favorite stitching program. While it gives you a great deal of control if you want to fiddle, I find that the default settings work great in most cases, saving time and effort. The program is quite fast, even on my 7-year old Linux box:

Autopano Pro | Panorama software for Windows, Mac, Linux | Kolor

With the 20-40mm zoom you could get very wide angle shots by stitching together a few handheld images at the 20mm setting (shot vertically), or for best quality you could set up on a tripod and go crazy with the lens set at the 40mm setting, shooting a lot of images. I often use the DA40 to shoot wide angle photos. It used to be the case that you needed a special rig to rotate the lens at its optical center, but I find that this is no longer necessary for landscapes given the increased sophistication of the stitching software. Of course for closeup work proper alignment is still necessary.

Dan

Last edited by Dan; 11-30-2013 at 01:11 PM.
11-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The field of view difference between 16 and 18 mm is night and day for me. I went from 28mm on film to 24mm, and was hooked immediately. (24 on 24x36 is equivalent to 16 on 16x24). If you prefer primes, the 15 is a good choice. I like my DA 12-24 because sometimes the 12mm field of view is what I want. I use it all over the zoom range when it's on the camera to get the look I want for a particular image.
Hi am about to get the 12-24 or 15 this weekend at BF sales..is the 12-24 as good as the 15mm..used 24mm for film for many years as main lens,but want more flexibility with with my K5II, and hope th e12-24 will work okish on a FF whenever it may arrive

..
11-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Other options are FA 20-35mm f4 (a little rare, but some like it. Available as new in Japan and online) and Pentax 12-24mm f4 (some really love it). But the DA 15mm is often hailed as the landscape lens. The DA 20-40mm ltd is an unknown, its completely new and noone has it, so we cannot really comment on it. But its a very interesting lens.

So, simply said, I doubt you would regret any of these lenses, but the DA 15mm is probably the best when it comes to pure image quality.
I agree that if you are going to use a single image (rather than stitching) the DA15 is the best landscape lens. It produces contrasty, sharp images (when stopped down), and has amazing resistance to flare. In some cases you also get beautiful starburst images--at least with the SMC version!

Dan
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