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09-01-2014, 06:15 AM   #1
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What's the best Super Wide angled Lens

Hello

I'm looking to get a super wide angled lens. Preferably 10-16mm and the lowest f stop available. I'm not interested a fish eye at all.

I know Pentax does a 12-24mm f4 but I've been leaning towards the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 lens, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this lens or if there is another faster lens out there with such a wide angle.

I have looked at the Samyang 10mm f2.8 prime, but it doesn't have any filter capability.

I want a wide angled lens mostly for landscape, hence the interest in filters, but I equally want to do some Astrophotography so a faster lens would be great for that too.

Anyone know of anything as wide as the Sigma but faster, the Tamron 11-24mm f2.8 would be ideal but I believe they don't do a K-Mount version?

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

Mike

09-01-2014, 06:42 AM   #2
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I think the Pentax 12-24mm is better than the Sigma 10-20mm, optically. The Pentax is "oh noes only f4" but it is sharp
Samyang 16mm f2.0 takes filters, I think, and it appears to be pretty good overall, and not as massive as the Samyang 14mm.
Keep in mind that ultra wide angles are not necessarily useful for landscapes, unless you are really close. Anything a couple meters away becomes really small in the frame, but things nearby are in the frame. the things one meter in front of you will fill the frame. Things 10 meters away are tiny. With 10mm you have to watch out to make sure your feet aren't in the shot. I have the Samyang 14mm and find it awkwardly wide for many landscapes.
Also, for landscapes, why do you need fast aperture? You will be stopping down to f5.6 - f9 to get a decent depth of field. People don't take photos of landscapes at f2.8. Unless you want to do astrophotography, but that takes more than a lens
09-01-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for this, I think I'm leaning towards the Pentax or the Tamron. I really have no idea what the best option is.

I want to do Landscape and Astro but would prefer not to have to buy two lenses hence the ideal fast aperture option. Which comes back to the Tamron 10-24 or the Sigma 10-20 but I want the best Glass I can get and the trend seems to be that the Pentax gives that :-)
09-01-2014, 07:08 AM   #4
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For that, I would suggest the Samyang. No zoom range, no AF, but fast aperture and good optics (sharp, almost no CA, ultrawides usually suffer with this). Just make sure you have warranty and exchange the lens if it is not equally sharp across the frame or has any other problems.
Here is someone using the 16mm for astro and wide angle.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/270926-samy...0-14-16-a.html

And here is a general Samyang thread, so you can see differences between 10mm and 14mm:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/137335-samyang-lens-club-34.html

Edit: Also, I heard that second hand Pentax DA 14mm f2.8 can be cheap. This doesn't happen in my region, but maybe you have better luck with local websites/stores. The DA 14mm has fewer QC issues than Samyang, plus it has full automation (Samyang lenses have no autofocus and the ultra wides can be difficult to focus, because the distance scales on the focus ring are often miscalibrated)

09-01-2014, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Good Morning,

Let's start off with "Photography is an exercise in compromise". We are playing a game of "wack a mole" here. To solve for A, B and C breaks. To fix A, B and C at once - all of a sudden T, V and Z pop up as problems. I sorta of wanted to start out with this, especially with Pentax.

I have been playing around quite a bit with Astro over the last few months, and it is nearly impossible to get everything in line. Go for fast lenses, loose the wide focal length. Go with the O-GPS1 to solve the wide focal length and fast aperture - you pick up blurring of the static landscape items - but pin point stars without trails (for up to 5 minutes of exposure time - and you can mask in the blurred landscape from another image taken without astrotracking).

To put everything together, focal length as wide as possible, largest aperture possible, all with the lowest ISO possible and you get the new Sigma 18-35 f1.8 - but be prepared to have your checking account dinged for about $900+. Oh yea, right now there seems to be some optic / image quality problems.So, where does that leave us. The difference between f4 and f3.5, really is not that much. I have been doing astro with the Sigma 8-16/f4.5-5.6, Pentax 12-24/f4, and the Voigtlander 20/f3.5. Actually I like the Zeiss 25/f2.8 ZK (or Zeiss Contax 25/f2.8 the older version with a mount swap). Actually the stellar performer is the 31/f1.8 Ltd (but you give up the wider focal length). However, with the wider aperture you loose the wider focal length. The only real way to go wider and faster (or just as fast) is with the Ronkin, Bowler or Samyang (all the same lens) 10, 14, 16 at f2.8. Bringing in the versatility of zooms - adds weight and complexity to the optics and pushes the aperture smaller.

A note with the Ronkin, Bowler or Samyang lenses. Infinity focus is not at the end of the physical (mechanical) focus range, as they focus beyond infinity. So, you are always trying to focus - in the dark on something that you can't see. Essentially there are operational aspects to using the glass.

The Pentax 14/f2.8, although a bit large can be a real winner here. Probably not as wide as you want - but it has the 2.8 aperture. For Pentax, its probably the best compromise available.

Another lens to consider is the Zenitar 16/f2.8. Although a fisheye, its VERY mild on the APS-C sensor size, so you wind up with out the bulk of the fisheye effect, but gain on the fast aperture and the price is around $200 +/-.

The other approach is to move away from Pentax. Tokina has the 11-16/f2.8 for Canon, Nikon and I think Sony. Also the Ronkin, Bowler or Samyang. Nikon has the 14-24/f2.8 which is said to be the hands down best wide angle made - but lighten your check book by $2000 - just for the lens. Also, by going full frame, you gain 1 full f stop in sensor noise reduction (and $2000 to $3500 or so for bodies). Also, the Zeiss lenses in the Canon and Nikon mount go from f2.8 down to f2 - which is a bonus (also the price goes down a bit, with their availability increasing).

However you choose to solve the problem, there is no absolute perfect solution. At best its a make due....


Last edited by interested_observer; 09-01-2014 at 09:41 AM.
09-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Well, there is the DA14/2.8 and some Samyang MF lenses under several different labels. An f2.8 lens would be helpful in astro and a 14mm lens has a very large depth of field so focusing isn't terribly critical if you're stopped down to f8 for a landscape although having an AF lens is helpful for things like car shows and motorcycle shows. I have seen some pretty stunning milky way shots posted from the DA15 and DA 12-24 which are slower then f2.8 but very capable. The Samyang 10 has some good reviews and its lack of filter threads aren't really an issue because there really isn't much use for a filter on a lens that wide.
09-01-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for the replies they have helped me in some ways and of course thrown some spanners in the works too.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the Pentax 12-24 F2.8 as it's 77mm will take my Lee Filters with no further expense. Yes I loose 2mm of super wide but the reviews of other 10mm lenses that fit what I want don't seem to come anywhere near the Pentax 12-24.

The Astro will likely be a later priority, although living on a small island away from major cities gives a fantastic opportunity to photograph some wonderful stars. It's the landscape that will probably take center stage for me if I had to pick between landscape and astro. Which again leads me to the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 but then reading the reviews I'm given mixed views and this leaves me undecided! I really don't want to spend money unless I know I'm getting everything I want and need from it.

To be honest I don't know what I want, a Full Frame Pentax with some new line lenses to match would be ideal, but I'm not sure if that will be an option anytime soon. I'm fairly new to photography and the more I consider investing in Pentax the more I consider waiting until either a Full-Frame Pentax is produced (or the Aliens return it) or I sell everything I have and move to a Canon or something like that.

I grew up with Ricoh and still have all my grandfathers original Camera's and I bought my first Pentax K5 as way to continue to use some of his old lenses. However as I evolve I find that sadly (at this time) Pentax is unable to provide me with everything I currently want :-( I'm loyal to Pentax, but there seems to be much more available out there for the other "Big" brands.
09-01-2014, 12:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdshooting Quote
Thanks to everyone for the replies they have helped me in some ways and of course thrown some spanners in the works too.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the Pentax 12-24 F2.8 as it's 77mm will take my Lee Filters with no further expense. Yes I loose 2mm of super wide but the reviews of other 10mm lenses that fit what I want don't seem to come anywhere near the Pentax 12-24.

The Astro will likely be a later priority, although living on a small island away from major cities gives a fantastic opportunity to photograph some wonderful stars. It's the landscape that will probably take center stage for me if I had to pick between landscape and astro. Which again leads me to the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 but then reading the reviews I'm given mixed views and this leaves me undecided! I really don't want to spend money unless I know I'm getting everything I want and need from it.
The Pentax 12-24 is a f4 not a f2.8 lens. Also, in terms of filters - a CPL may disappoint in that the full polarization is not able to be uniformly applied across the full lens face due to its width. That is just plain physics. Beyond about 24mm the lens is just too wide.Also, the wider you go the more distortion it incurred. More scene is pulled in to the lens - top, bottom, sides and corners. Yes, additional mm's pull in more scene, but it becomes more difficult to keep everything aligned. This may help a bit...The 8-16 is a fantastic lens, but it can be a bit too wide at times. The 12-24 is a bit narrower, but it also is able to hold the distortion in check to a degree.

Landscapes - tend to suffer with ultra wide angle lenses along with wide angle lenses, in that you have a lot of foreground to contend with. Folks like to find something interesting to place in the foreground in order to anchor it. In pulling in all the additional scenery around the edges, the center gets pushed back in order to accommodate the additional viewing area. In order to not contend with the foreground, folks tend to shoot with longer focal lengths in order to shoot over the foreground and to pull the background back in. You can also use the longer focal lengths and stitch the scene together (actually adding pixels). Microsoft ICE is free and works well (TIFF and JPG - just convert your RAW to TIFF for stitching, saving the result in TIFF). Until you really know what you want - try stitching, using what you have. Its free and easy, plus useful too.For astro, if you are in a really dark area, don't just give up. Use what you have - f4 is fine. With the darkness, you are already recovering at least a stop of light over an area with light pollution.



09-01-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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Sorry I meant F4 with the 12-24

Thanks for that. I know exactly what I want, but maybe I'm asking too much. I want a Canon 5d mark iii with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens but I want it produced by Pentax hehe. I know that probably a lot to ask of them. I'm an Adobe Creative Cloud member so I use Lightroom and Photoshop a lot for stitching :-)

I would agree totally that Ultra/Wide angle lenses do indeed push the foreground forwards and the background back but the right composition appears to help massively.

As for the Astro, I'm waiting for my Pentax 16-50mm to come back from being fixed and then I will be out, once the clouds have dispersed :-)
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