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05-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
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Wide angle: rectilinear or fisheye?

I'm taking a trip this summer with a church group going a trek in the desert (yeah, crazy huh?). I'll be a semi-official photographer for the outing. I've currently got a Pentax K10D with 18-55 kit lens, 50mm 1.7, and 70-300. I also have a cheap tripod. I'd like to rent a super wide angle lens and this trip will a good excuse to do so (Pentax lenses can now be rented from cameralensrentals.com).

My options are these:
Pentax 12-24 f/4
Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6
Pentax 10-17 f/3.5-4.5 fisheye
Pentax 14 f/2.8

I think the fisheye would be a lot of fun, but I've never used one before and I won't have any time to practice with it before the trip to get a feel for what works and what doesn't with fisheye. However, the distortion isn't that great at the 17mm end and I could correct distortion in post anyway and keep the option open for full 180 degree shots.

Among the rectilinear lenses, I think I'd go with the Sigma to get the widest possible FOV. Though the 14 f/2.8 would be tempting for the extra stops, but I'll be shooting 100% outdoors in the summer time so light shouldn't be an issue, but there's always DoF to consider.

Though the focal lengths are similar for these lenses, the field of view is not. The fisheye covers from 180-100 degrees while the 10-20 has a 102-64 degree spread. So even at the "long" 17mm end of the fisheye, it's field of view is just barely less than the wide end of the 10-20. So I guess I need the fisheye, the 10-20, and my kit lens right?

Your thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated.

05-23-2008, 12:26 PM   #2
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Remember that you are using a crop sensor. Meaning alot of the fisheye effect might be cropped. 17mm is 24mm etc.
05-23-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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Even so, I think the fisheye effect is still pretty pronounced, for example:

Monashka Mt. and creek. Kodiak,Alaska on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Wamego - Frontier Cabin on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
05-23-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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If you've not used a fisheye before, I wouldn't recommend it for this application- it really is a special effect lens, and like most special effects if you don't have a specific shot in mind it's usually wasted. I'd get the 12-24 or sigma 10-20. The extra stop on the DA14 is nice for low-light handhold shots, but if you've got a tripod it's not really necessary.

PS- is this an LDS "Treck"?

05-23-2008, 12:39 PM   #5
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clawhammer- You seem to echo what I've read elsewhere. I really would like to play with a fisheye, but maybe this won't be the occasion to do it.

And yes, it is an LDS trek. We're doing Martin's Cove at the end of July.
05-23-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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You know, you could get a cheap prime that does both.

Neither well.
05-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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If you're being asked to provide pictures for the event, I'd stick with something a little less drastic than the fisheye for now, and then play around with the fisheye when you've got time to kill and people arn't expecting anything from you. They're a lot of fun, but you definitely need to practice with them. Have fun on your trek- I did something kinda similar (walked across a desert valley in a day, 100+ degree heat) but I've had friends do the whole trek thing and they liked it. Don't forget to bring lots of water!

PS- welcome to the forum!
05-23-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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DA 10-17 is a very nice lens. I find it much more than just a special effect thing. At 17 mm it is not a fisheye, but a well performing SLR 24 mm equivalent. At 10 mm you have to be careful not to include your own shoes. I find I use it much more than I had expected. It is great for street shooting and landscape. A it can be used to take people by the surprise, since they often wont understand that they are in the picture.

Here's an example:


05-23-2008, 04:47 PM   #9
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Hmmm... I'm very tempted to just use the fisheye. I think I can use the 17mm end to do shots that I want to look normal, and in any case I do have my 18-55 which is reasonably wide.
05-23-2008, 04:49 PM   #10
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Hi mikem

To view a selection of images taken with the Sigma 10-20mm HSM rectilinear wide-zoom, click on the link below and then click on the subsequent links in the thread.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/148508-post19.html

My best advice is to leave your credit-card safely locked away in a secure bank vault when you go to try the Sigma 10-20mm out, because firstly the salesman is going to want the lens back in the foreseeable future and secondly I'll wager that this addictive optic will leave a gaping hole in what remains of your bank-balance....don't say you weren't warned beforehand ! Personally I adore what the Sigma 10-20mm is capable of achieving, but you'll just have to judge for yourself. My other suggestion is to obtain a sturdy tripod ASAP, because inexpensive camera supports are normally a false economy for a very good reason...they're pretty crap at holding heavy cameras completely steady ! If you don't mind me asking, what on earth is the point of purchasing a top-quality Pentax DSLR in the first place, if you're seriously prepared to risk blurring some of your unrepeatable photographs by using a flimsy tripod ????? No sense in that whatsoever. Incidentally, don't forget to click on the 'magnification' tool just above-left of the second image (Gothic Symmetry) to this amazing photo in all it's glory !

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 05-23-2008 at 05:00 PM.
05-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikem Quote
Hmmm... I'm very tempted to just use the fisheye. I think I can use the 17mm end to do shots that I want to look normal, and in any case I do have my 18-55 which is reasonably wide.
It's uber sharp. It's major flaw is purple fringe -- real bad. I have no intention of selling it. I think it's a fantastic lens. *all* lenses distort at these ranges. it's like flattening a globe for a map. What distortion do you perfer?

Rectilinear? (Mercator)



Fisheye? (Winkel)



A bit simplistic, but I cringe when people talk about 'special effect' lens. You *will* get distortion no matter what at these extreme angles. It's just a matter of what you prefer.
05-23-2008, 04:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi mikem

To view a selection of images taken with the Sigma 10-20mm HSM rectilinear wide-zoom, click on the link below and then click on the subsequent links in the thread.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/148508-post19.html

My best advice is to leave your credit-card safely locked away in a secure bank vault when you go to try the Sigma 10-20mm out, because firstly the salesman is going to want the lens back in the foreseeable future and secondly I'll wager that this addictive optic will leave a gaping hole in what remains of your bank-balance....don't say you haven't been warned beforehand ! Personally I adore what the Sigma 10-20mm is capable of achieving, but you'll just have to judge for yourself. My other suggestion is to obtain a sturdy tripod ASAP, because inexpensive tripods are normally a false economy for a very good reason...they're pretty crap at holding heavy cameras completely steady ! If you don't mind me asking, what on earth is the point of purchasing a top-quality Pentax DSLR in the first place, if you're seriously prepared to risk blurring some of your unrepeatable photographs by using a flimsy tripod ????? No sense in that whatsoever. Incidentally, don't forget to click on the 'magnification' tool just above-left of the second image (Gothic Symmetry) to this photo in all it's glory !

Best regards
Richard
Those are some great shots. Though, I'm still leaning towards the fisheye, since at 17mm it's FOV is about the same as the Sigma at 10mm.

The tripod thing is an issue of budget! It's worked well for me so far, though I haven't tried to shoot in any hurricanes =].
05-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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konraDarnok, do you have any examples of the CA? I shoot with a Tamron 70-300 so I am accustomed to dealing with the PF, though if I'm going to rent a top notch lens I might as well get a good one. How does the Sigma do with CA/PF?
05-23-2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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Unknown how it compares with the Sigma in CA and PF. Here's an example (full crop from top right)

But something the 10-17mm DA does that isn't often talked about is its ability to focus down to 1/2" -- shown in the second pic. . with full crop illustrating the sharpness this lens can acheive.

I've never had the Sigma. So Sigma owners stand up!

Last edited by konraDarnok; 06-24-2008 at 01:12 PM.
05-24-2008, 03:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
If you've not used a fisheye before, I wouldn't recommend it for this application- it really is a special effect lens, and like most special effects if you don't have a specific shot in mind it's usually wasted. I'd get the 12-24 or sigma 10-20. The extra stop on the DA14 is nice for low-light handhold shots, but if you've got a tripod it's not really necessary.

PS- is this an LDS "Treck"?
My take is that to correct/straighthen/defish the FoV, it is just a click operation when you do resizing the image.


This is the original Zenitar 16mm shot






This is one click away directing the software to change the FoV from 84 degree to around 74 while resizing it. I am using an ancient version of PSP ve


Ontario Museum staircase.


r 8. Now it is version 13

Daniel
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