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03-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #1
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Searching for wide angle lens option

Hi all,
I did some night and interior photography the last weekend and again i was at the limitation of the kit lens. The 18-55 WR is not wide enough for a small hunting cabin and also for wide sky photography (see forum critics section). So now i am looking for my options for wide angles on the cheap side. I have the K-30 with the 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR and the 50mm 1.8, all low cost lens. I am in Canada by the way. Here are my conclusions so far:

- DA 35mm cheap but not wide enough
- Pentax 8-16 fisheye: Wide but i do not want fisheye.
- Rokinon 14mm f2.8 Non zoom and almost the same price as the other option
- Sigma 10-20mm DC Seems like the best option. Man it is more than the price of my 3 actual lens!

What are your opinions/ suggestions?

Thanks!

03-07-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
Hi all,
I did some night and interior photography the last weekend and again i was at the limitation of the kit lens. The 18-55 WR is not wide enough for a small hunting cabin and also for wide sky photography (see forum critics section). So now i am looking for my options for wide angles on the cheap side. I have the K-30 with the 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR and the 50mm 1.8, all low cost lens. I am in Canada by the way. Here are my conclusions so far:

- DA 35mm cheap but not wide enough
- Pentax 8-16 fisheye: Wide but i do not want fisheye.
- Rokinon 14mm f2.8 Non zoom and almost the same price as the other option
- Sigma 10-20mm DC Seems like the best option. Man it is more than the price of my 3 actual lens!

What are your opinions/ suggestions?

Thanks!
What you have listed as the Pentax 8-16 fisheye, is actually the Sigma 8-16 and it is not a fisheye, nor is it cheap, runs about $800 new, but it has been discontinued in the Pentax mount by Sigma. I have no idea as to why they discontinued it.

Wide angle and ultra wide angle and cheap are somewhat an oxymoron.

Have you tried stitching with the kit lens and then using Microsoft ICE (its free) to create a panorama?

03-07-2014, 05:51 PM   #3
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Wide and cheap is tough. The various manual Pentax 28s IMHO are the widest that are affordable and available. If zooms suit you, the no-longer-made 16-45 f4 has a decent reputation around here.

Edit: As I reread your post, sounds like you really want a super wide. Get the Sig 10-20....the variable aperture version can be found used for $300 or so. I had fun with mine for the time I owned it, but in the end I swapped it for the 21 Ltd and haven't looked back.

Last edited by filoxophy; 03-07-2014 at 05:59 PM.
03-07-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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I am getting a Sigma 10-20 very soon so I'm biased a bit. I don't know what your budget is so it's kinda hard to give sound advices.

The problem I ran to with super-wide lenses is the APSC sensor... back in film days 28mm was wide, so wide (for APSC) used manual lenses are pretty much non-existant.

One thing to remember is that at the low end of the focal length (10,12,14,18..) every millimetre will make a big difference. Unlike with tele where 50mm difference doesn't look all that much.

There is a great review on the main site regarding wide angle lenses, with the Pentax 12-24, Sigma 12-24, 10-20 f3.5, 10-20 f/4-5.6, Tamron 10-24) But all of them are above $400 ... $800 for the top dogs.

I am going for the Sigma 10-20 not sure yet if I'll go for the 3.5 or the 4-5.6 since Sigma updated the slower one to include HSM and quickshift (the review covers the older generation)

If you want to go wide, it'll cost you...

03-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
Hi all,
I did some night and interior photography the last weekend and again i was at the limitation of the kit lens. The 18-55 WR is not wide enough for a small hunting cabin and also for wide sky photography (see forum critics section). So now i am looking for my options for wide angles on the cheap side. I have the K-30 with the 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR and the 50mm 1.8, all low cost lens. I am in Canada by the way. Here are my conclusions so far:

- DA 35mm cheap but not wide enough
- Pentax 8-16 fisheye: Wide but i do not want fisheye.
- Rokinon 14mm f2.8 Non zoom and almost the same price as the other option
- Sigma 10-20mm DC Seems like the best option. Man it is more than the price of my 3 actual lens!

What are your opinions/ suggestions?

Thanks!
The Pentax DA 15mm Ltd is your ticket to glory!
03-07-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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You can probably find a Zenitar 16/2.8 for around $100 or so. It's a completely manual full-frame fisheye, that isn't terribly fishy on APSc. With careful framing, you can eliminate much of the fisheye effect. I recently acquired one & have been having tons of fun with it.
03-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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I've had the Sigma 10-20 for a few years and I really like it. The focal length range meets my needs quite nicely and it would fit in well with your 18-55. It's definitely not a small or light weight lens. I also have the Pentax DA 15 and I prefer it due to it's sharpness and nice sunbursts, but 15 mm doesn't always give me the width I need so I end up taking both with me much of the time. And I agree with an earlier poster about the difference in focal lengths in the wide range. I'm glad I didn't get a 12-X as the 10 mm end really makes quite a difference when you want a really wide view.
03-07-2014, 06:15 PM   #8
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My mistake, i was referring to the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye.

As for the stiching, i wonder how well that would work... have you seen the picture int he Critics forums? Moonless in the cold. Also i am on a iMac. Maybe the Canon stiching software could work...

I also looked at the 15mm limited. Both are in my basket at henry's. 550$ for the 10-20 and 700$. I am leaning towards the sigma because of the range it gives me.

As for the 300$ price point for the sigma, tell me where i'm buying. Must be US price, add taxes, shipping and duties (fair trade agreement my ass).

03-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #9
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The Sigma 10-20 turns up regularly here in the PF Marketplace for around $350 or so (used of course).
03-07-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
(fair trade agreement my ass).
Yeah... it only apply for stuff made in the USA

Sure sucks though... Ended up paying $150 taxes and customs on a $700 used lens... which brought the price to near what I could have gotten new here. Sometimes it sucks to be a Canuck...

---------- Post added 03-07-14 at 20:37 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
As for the stiching, i wonder how well that would work... have you seen the picture int he Critics forums? Moonless in the cold. Also i am on a iMac. Maybe the Canon stiching software could work...
Photoshop works wonders for stiching. Using Automate/Photomerge. The big advantage is that you can go as wide as you want without ill effects
03-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
Yeah... it only apply for stuff made in the USA

Sure sucks though... Ended up paying $150 taxes and customs on a $700 used lens... which brought the price to near what I could have gotten new here. Sometimes it sucks to be a Canuck...

---------- Post added 03-07-14 at 20:37 ----------



Photoshop works wonders for stiching. Using Automate/Photomerge. The big advantage is that you can go as wide as you want without ill effects
Maybe ill stay away from the 600$ software. Maybe Lightroom has something, since I have it. Let me Google that for myself!
03-07-2014, 06:55 PM   #12
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I just bought a Pentax SMC 17mm fisheye that reviews pretty well, so I know it can be found for under $300. Full-frame fisheye lenses like this one and the Sigma 15/2.8 are not very fishy with aps-c sensors, but distortion will still be there. The cheapest wide-angle lens below the 18-xx kit lenses is the DA16-45, often around $200 and usually pretty decent (but not prime-like excellent) at 16mm. Whether that is wide enough is your call.
03-07-2014, 07:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
Maybe ill stay away from the 600$ software. Maybe Lightroom has something, since I have it. Let me Google that for myself!
I like this one myself AutoStitch and it is free.. barebones.. but free and tends to function rather well.

I'm in the same boat as you though.. hunting (pun intended) for a good superduper ultra wide. I think I want the Pentax 12-24 f/4 but it costs the most out of the bunch.

The Sigmas 10-20mm have a bit of a moustache distortion to them that could be bothersome.. the Pentax not so much and tends to rate as sharper... but again costs way more.

If I was doing mucho panoramas though, I'd not get a ultrawide as they inherently seem to all have some degree of vignette and a distortion effect... which is really bad if you're stitching together a bunch of images side by side. The stitching software today can account for a variety of issues but why introduce more factors into the equation? Plus zoomed way out with a bunch of stitched images would mean not a whole lot of detail from the subjects in your image; you'd want a slightly more narrow lens like a 21, 35mm, or even 50mm and as flatfield as possible IMO.
03-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperSyx Quote
My mistake, i was referring to the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye.

As for the stiching, i wonder how well that would work... have you seen the picture int he Critics forums? Moonless in the cold. Also i am on a iMac. Maybe the Canon stiching software could work...

I also looked at the 15mm limited. Both are in my basket at henry's. 550$ for the 10-20 and 700$. I am leaning towards the sigma because of the range it gives me.

As for the 300$ price point for the sigma, tell me where i'm buying. Must be US price, add taxes, shipping and duties (fair trade agreement my ass).
As far as stitching, I would just give it a quick try in the environment that you are concerned with. It costs nothing. Just set the kit lens at 18mm, overlap the images by 25%. Give the Canon software a try. I had the an old canon software utility from point and shoot, and if I remember correctly it worked. Be sure to shoot in JPG, this way what ever software you use should understand JPG. I have had good luck overall with stitching. All the stitching software if not free have trial versions available for download. PTgui is good and has a MAC version. Hugin is also free and runs on the mac.There are also some review sites..Here is a quick comparison of ultra wide angle lenses that may help a bit. It looks at distortion across the lenses.Adam did a comparison of the Pentax, Sigma and Tamron here a while back. The conclusion was that the Sigma was the best. That said a past forum member - Rio Rico, used the Tamrom 10-24 and though that it was the best bang for the buck, especially considering the image quality. If it was good enough for Rico - that would be good enough for me - especially at the price.

Over the years I have accumulated a set of wide angle lenses. Here are some posts with some opinions....The big problem with wide angle lenses is the distortion that you get. The wider the lens, the greater the distortion. That is one reason why I like the 12-24. The distortion is reasonably well controlled. I even wind up stitching with it.

As I said before, I think that the best option would be a used Tamron 10-24. You get the greatest width at the lowest possible price.

03-07-2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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The Tamron 10-24 is a bit cheaper than the Sigma, it pretty sharp, flares a bit if bright sunlight gets on the lens.
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