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08-03-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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Help with chosing ultra wide "portable" fast lens

Hi pentaxians!

i would like to ask you for hints and suggestion for my upcoming purchase

I would like to buy some fast, lighweight ultra wide lens for my hiking and reportage/concert shooting

my portfolio so you could check yourself what i am talking about if interested : www.romansolar.com

What i am looking for?
- fast, sharp even wide open lens for concert/indoor shooting.
- ultra wide lightweight lens for my hiking needs
- no need for having AF, could be used M42 lens also
- i have no experience with fisheye, but due to crop factor maybe it could work for me also without corners I know fisheye is not about corners but i saw images from sigma 15mm fisheye and it looks acceptable for my landscape work

My thoughts
- i own M28 2,8 - very light, but not too wide, not so sharp wide open
- i own Samyang 14mm, great sharp even wide open, wide enough, VERY heavy i am going to sell it/exchange it

budget, i think about 400$, around this price. BUT i am welcoming any suggestion folks. APPRECIATE

08-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by romansolar Quote
Hi pentaxians!

i would like to ask you for hints and suggestion for my upcoming purchase

I would like to buy some fast, lighweight ultra wide lens for my hiking and reportage/concert shooting

my portfolio so you could check yourself what i am talking about if interested : www.romansolar.com

What i am looking for?
- fast, sharp even wide open lens for concert/indoor shooting.
- ultra wide lightweight lens for my hiking needs
- no need for having AF, could be used M42 lens also
- i have no experience with fisheye, but due to crop factor maybe it could work for me also without corners I know fisheye is not about corners but i saw images from sigma 15mm fisheye and it looks acceptable for my landscape work

My thoughts
- i own M28 2,8 - very light, but not too wide, not so sharp wide open
- i own Samyang 14mm, great sharp even wide open, wide enough, VERY heavy i am going to sell it/exchange it

budget, i think about 400$, around this price. BUT i am welcoming any suggestion folks. APPRECIATE
Ultra-wide and fast pretty much crosses every legacy lens off the list of potential candidates.

Perhaps you'd enjoy the Samyang 16mm F2 or 24mm F1.4.

Adam
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08-03-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Ultra-wide and fast pretty much crosses every legacy lens off the list of potential candidates.

Perhaps you'd enjoy the Samyang 16mm F2 or 24mm F1.4.
thx Adam, Samyang 16mm looks like big and heavy, which i am not interested in. I know i am picky.

and 24mm is not too wide considering crop factor

thx anyway for suggestions
08-03-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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Fast, wide, small...pick two.

Just look at the difference between the DA14/2.8 and the DA15/4.


Last edited by filoxophy; 08-03-2014 at 02:15 PM.
08-03-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
Fast, wide, small...pick two.
is it necessary ? what about sigma 15mm fisheye? hot candidate i think
08-03-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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Sigma 15mm 2.8. On APS-C, it is not so fishy actually, and the little fishiness can be taken care of with Lightrooms lens profile.
I don't know if it is small enough for you - I really like the lens, and think it is small enough.
Also, it is well below your budget.
08-03-2014, 02:19 PM   #7
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If the fisheye works for your style, go for it. Supposed to be decent.

I don't own any of these lenses, so I should probably have kept my mouth shut from the beginning, lol.

All I know is, I was on a similar quest in the past and I decided that I want small and wide--bought the 21/3.2 and am saving for the 15/4.

Hope you find what you're looking for!
08-03-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
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The DA14 is a bit lighter than the Samyang at ~420g but the DA15 is half that at 212g, so depends if you need the extra speed over weight/size.

I was looking at the DA15 and DA14 and eventually went with the DA14, its a great lens and the f2.8 really does come in handy now and again, close focus is nice too. Its extremely well built too, as good if not better than the FA43 Limited and Voigtlander 90mm APO.

08-03-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
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The Pentax 14/2.8 is slightly lighter but way pricier
The Tamron 10-24 is not that fast, lighter, and over the price range a little. The other UW zooms are pricier.
The 15/4 is out of your range, not as fast as the Samyang but super small and light. Like filoxophy I hope it's my next lens.

If anyone has the lens you describe for the price I'm getting in line. But never say never.
08-03-2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The Pentax 14/2.8 is slightly lighter but way pricier
The Tamron 10-24 is not that fast, lighter, and over the price range a little. The other UW zooms are pricier.
The 15/4 is out of your range, not as fast as the Samyang but super small and light. Like filoxophy I hope it's my next lens.

If anyone has the lens you describe for the price I'm getting in line. But never say never.
I dunno, the DA14 is cheaper over here in the UK S/H than the DA15 (SMC or HD versions). I picked up mine for around 250.

And I have the FA20-35 f4, which is VERY light although not the fastest, it is pretty sharp wide open though! Basically the same size as the DA14 but half the weight

08-03-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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legacy, small, cheap, but lower optical quality: Zenitar 16mm f2.8, Peleng 8mm. These come in m42 as well as K-mount. I think there are some tutorials online on how to fix your Zenitar to improve it. It is relatively easy to disassemble.
Samyang is a good modern, budget compromise. Good optical quality: Samyang 16mm f2, Samyang 24mm f1.4
Pentax FA 20-35mm, Pentax DA 15mm ltd, Pentax DA 14mm, Pentax DA 21mm, Pentax FA 24mm
These are your main options. Thing is, old ultra wides are not very good (but if you work on your technique, use a good lens hood, polarizer, post processing profiles,,.. it can be good enough). Fast lenses are big, always. That is why the tiny DA 15mm and DA 21mm are "slow." But on the other hand, you usually shoot landscapes and such photos with tripod at f5.6-f11, so who needs f2?

Oh, and then there are zooms, like Sigma 10-20mm, Sigma 12-24mm, Tamron 12-24mm.. these are relatively small, not very expensive, but not very fast.
Your other options are Sigma 8-16mm, Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and the Pentax DA 10-17mm and DA 12-24mm. These cost a little more and deliver great quality.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-03-2014 at 03:53 PM.
08-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
so who needs f2
He did mention concert shooting indoors... but you are right. 80% of my 15mm usage will probably be landscape.
08-03-2014, 06:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wullemaha Quote
He did mention concert shooting indoors
I have done this with telephoto lenses at f/5.6 - as long as your camera body handles high ISO well and you have good photographic technique lenses do not really need to be all that fast. There are forum members who do concert photography with the pentax 135mm f/3.5 and DA 15mm f/4 lenses, and get quality results.
08-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I have done this with telephoto lenses at f/5.6 - as long as your camera body handles high ISO well and you have good photographic technique lenses do not really need to be all that fast. There are forum members who do concert photography with the pentax 135mm f/3.5 and DA 15mm f/4 lenses, and get quality results.
I totally agree! I have been on many small gigs though (both as performer and audience), where an ultra wide is needed. And having a fast one is a plus when you want to keep noise down.
But in principal you are right, it is not a must!
08-03-2014, 06:18 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Especially when you take into account the impossible criteria - light and fast. Most f/1.8 lenses especially retrofocus wide-angle lenses* are both heavy and expensive. And rare too considering you need it in pentax K mount**.

*and let us not forget that it has to have reasonable optical performance characteristics.Though faster lenses typically need to be stopped down a bit to eliminate coma, reduce astigmatism ( which can be a big issue with wide angle lenses) and get the best image quality anyway - so there goes your speed advantage.

** Canon and Nikon have a few more options and of course if you have the cash Leica has the extraordinary Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH , though 21mm being a non-standard focal length on a Leica makes it a real nuisance to focus at f/1.4 on low magnification Leica M digital bodies these days....I digress.

Last edited by Digitalis; 08-03-2014 at 11:25 PM.
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