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05-29-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Help plz. widest pentax lens with lowest distortion?

Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.

05-29-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.
the DA14 does not have fisheye distortion....

and you're pretty much stuck, the wider you go, the more distortion you get, this is just how optics work,

while there are sneaky tech gadgets than can display a wide angle image with little distortion it is not in the cards for us yet

Last edited by Gooshin; 05-29-2008 at 10:33 AM.
05-29-2008, 10:38 AM   #3
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The DA 12-24mm f/4 comes to mind but it has slightly more barrel distortion at 12mm according to the photozone.de tests. I you can detect barrel distortion and it annoys you that much I would suggest a lens correcting software to "de-fish" the picture. The Sigma 10-20mm is good too. See Photozone.de for more info.
05-29-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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The DA16-45mm has minimal distortion (easily corrected) and maximum sharpness even out to the edges. Read the tests and the many positive comments here. Plus, it is inexpensive.

Wider than that, the Sigma 10-20mm is a favourite of many.

05-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.
Both the 14/2.8 and 12-24/4 are good rectilinear lenses.
05-29-2008, 09:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.
You can check out the 12-24 on my Flickr site. I don't find the distortion all that bad for the wide zoom it is.
05-30-2008, 12:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.
Are you sure, when you say "fish eye" distortion i.e. curvature of lines, you are not confusing this with perspective and converging lines?

I can't speak specifically about the 14mm, but I would be shocked if there is major barrel or fisheye distortion.

I have a sigma APO 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC, and while some here seem to dispise sigma, I have found the lens to be excellent quality for the price. I believe the pentax 12-24 may be better, but I can't really comment, the only comparison I can make is with the Tokina 12-24 that my brother in law has for his nikon. From seeing his shots, I would say they compare equally with my sigma.

I have looked at my photo's from the sigma, where I take about 12% of all my shots at 10mm, and have been very hard pressed to find significant distortion.

If you are looking for a good wide lens, with some flexability, I would say any of the current available offerings are excellent, i.e. pentax 12-24, sigma 10-20 and the sigma 12-24 (note this is a full frame lens and quite big)
05-30-2008, 01:14 AM   #8
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I will second Lowell's opininon. For the price Sigma 10-20 can't be beaten! It's a great lens, and certainly cheaper then DA12-24 and DA14. And it's wider then both of them...

05-30-2008, 02:22 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for so many options!

I will try to visit BHPhoto this weekend to test out a Sigma 10-20 and the Pentax DA 14mm again. The 14mm looked distorted to me when I looked at my hand through the viewfinder. I want to try to shoot a portrait body shot from 2-3 feet.
05-30-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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The distortion on the DA14 is kinda weird- it's barrel distortion for most of the frame, but towards the edges it starts to switch to pincushion, which can look kinda odd if you have a line that you know is supposed to be straight. Check out this pic for an example.
05-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #11
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Hi kiamon

I also own the Sigma 10-20mm HSM super-wide and am genuinely blown-away every time I use it. I have heard many excellent recommendations concerning the Pentax 12-24mm, but it has to be said that it is quite a bit more expensive than the Sigma, if budget is an issue.
As ManuH suggested, if you own or have access to a computer, most of the current inexpensive versions of digital photographic editing software packages such as Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 or Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 can easily remove or correct for optical distortions like Barrel Distortion or Pincushion Distortion. Indeed, if your resources are limited, there are numerous FREE photographic editing programs available on the internet for download via broadband connection. What's more, they probably have these facilities included already, so I really wouldn't worry yourself over this matter. Click on the links below, which will take you straight to the sites of some of the best ones. Hope this info helps etc.....

Photo-Freeware.net - Image Editing Freeware Download Source

IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide

FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ...

Picasa

GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

UFRaw - Download & Install

Best regards
Richard

P.S. Try this thread, which should be pertinent to your enquiry:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/28538-super-wide-choices.html

Last edited by Confused; 05-30-2008 at 12:47 PM.
06-01-2008, 06:32 PM   #12
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I am also considering one or two lenses for my camera as well. But it can get SOO expensive so I am also looking for advice. I would like one lens which would be good for portraits as well as landscapes. I think that my answer would be one prime to do everything ie a 21 mm limited or the much admired 50mm/1.4. I am thinking of just getting one really sharp lens and just using software to stitch photos together for that ultra wide look. Here is a sample of a stitched together panorama I recently did using the kit lens:

Please comment if this seems like a practical approach. My goal is to get the sharpest pics possible and not go broke doing it!
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06-02-2008, 04:27 PM   #13
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portraits should NOT be shot from 2-3 feet away with a WA unless you're going for a wide angle effect. it will stretch out and distort the human body, no matter what it is, even the kit lens at 16 will do this. why are you shooting from only 2-3 feet away?
06-02-2008, 05:16 PM   #14
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try the 21mm Ltd.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Hi everyone. a new K20d owner here.

My 18-55 kit lens isn't wide enough for me but I went to the store and looked at the Pentax 14mm prime and the fisheye distortion was too much for me.

Cant you tell me what you think is the widest lens available for Pentax with the least or no distortion?

thanks.
I think I understand the distortion that you are talking about. Does the distortion (or really perspective) of the 18mm bother you sometimes? There are situations where I'm bothered by the appearance induced by my Sigma 17-70 at 17mm. This bothers me because I want the wide end for interior, family gathering shots. Also I get a shadow from the lens when using the on board flash close up or at normal distances with the shade on. I solved my problem with the DA 21mm Limited. OK, so it's not as wide, but the pictures are great. There is no (or very little) distortion and the perspective is OK to my eye. Being a pancake lens, the flash won't be blocked, period. I'm happy with mine.
06-02-2008, 05:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by weaponx525 Quote
I am also considering one or two lenses for my camera as well. But it can get SOO expensive so I am also looking for advice. I would like one lens which would be good for portraits as well as landscapes. I think that my answer would be one prime to do everything ie a 21 mm limited or the much admired 50mm/1.4. I am thinking of just getting one really sharp lens and just using software to stitch photos together for that ultra wide look. Here is a sample of a stitched together panorama I recently did using the kit lens:

Please comment if this seems like a practical approach. My goal is to get the sharpest pics possible and not go broke doing it!
i don't have any experience with pano stitching, but i have the DA21 and i think it's great. it's a great portable walkaround lens for pentax. wide open there is some resolution loss in the corners but, if you're doing UWA photos, you'd probably stop down anyways and by f5.6 to f8, the lens is very sharp. Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Review / Test Report

if sharpness is your absolute priority the FA35 is one of Pentax's sharpest lenses.
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