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06-04-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
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super wide angle ? why so pricey ?

I am a newbie to SLRs, now the proud owner of a K200D DSLR.
I only have the kit lens right now which is 18-55mm.
I am looking for a wider lens to be able to shoot indoors in cramped locations.

I am looking at a Sigma 10-20 and see that it costs about $500, nearly the same as I paid for the camera ($575 with rebate).... Definitely not in my budget.

Why is it that wide lenses seem to cost so much more than long telephoto ?
Does anyone know where I can get a super wide lens for $200 or less ?

Or alternately, a *good* wide converter to widen the range of DA 18-55 ?

The very cheap Sakar kit-1358 wide converter I tried at Fry's produced way too much vignetting. I set the K200D on a tripod and compared the shot when zooming in just enough to eliminate the vignetting, and not using the converter, but zooming out. There were nearly identical. Except the one with the converter was blurrier. In other words - no extra range at all. And no, I wasn't using the flash, or the lens hood.
This converter was 58mm, with a very thin 52mm adapter mounted on the DA18-55.
Are all wide converters going to give me the same problem ? What kind of converter would actually work ?

(needless to say, the Sakar went back to the store today)

06-04-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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Wide angle for most DSLR's cost quite a bit in part because of the sensor 'crop'. On a film SLR, 18mm was ULTRA wide. But now it's merely normal wide, as the sensor is smaller than a film plane, and only captures the center portion.

To make something that can emulate that calls for focal lengths down to the 10 & 12 mm range, and to cover that much, there's quite a bit of engineering that goes into the glass to keep distortions down, coloured fringes minimized, and the aperture speed up. The pentax FA-J 18-35 was a super cheap ultrawide on film (like $250 or so), but now it's not so desirable.

Telephotos use the same design as 35mm lenses, and they are comparitively easier to design than wide angles (to a point)
06-04-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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"Most" good lenses cost more than the body - it's just the economics of the hobby. There are some acceptable "budget" lense of course.


Conversion lenses that go in front of the existing lens are fair to poor, as you have discovered.
06-04-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
"Most" good lenses cost more than the body - it's just the economics of the hobby. There are some acceptable "budget" lense of course.
There seem to be many telephoto lenses in the $200 range, even original pentax, like the DA 50-200. I just don't see anything in that price for a wide ...

QuoteQuote:
Conversion lenses that go in front of the existing lens are fair to poor, as you have discovered.
I tried a $30 0.5X converter (half of a $60 pack that had a 2x zoom lens also). I wouldn't call it "fair to poor", I call it completely useless, since it didn't produce any wider images due to vignetting.

What are the options in between a useless $30 wide converter and a $500 sigma 10-20 lens ?

06-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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All I can say is keep your eyes peeled on the Marketplace for the Sigma 1-20 ... it pops up from time to time 2nd hand.
06-04-2008, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quite simply, the longer a lens is, the easier it is to design. A wide lens is much harder to design than a telephoto lens, due to retrofocus and other issues.
06-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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If you don't need or want to go much wider than 18mm, then you might consider saving up for a DA16-45, which would essentially replace your kit lens.

The only other thing I can tell you is to save, save, save, as the Sigma 10-20 will be worth it once you get it.

LBA is a really good motivator for having a yard sale, Fleabaying, and Craigslist selling. I had to sell a good bit of stuff like a madwoman to get my K10D + some other gear, but all the effort has been worth it.

Birthdays and Christmas are a good excuse to ask for cash gifts. My birthday is coming up next month and I usually get at least $200 in cash; that will be going towards another lens--either the 10-20, DA21 or DA70.

My point is to get creative because you may very well have some potential cash that you didn't realize you had.

Heather
06-04-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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One option would be the Zenitar 16mm fisheye. It's a manual lens so you have to manually focus and set the aperture manually, but the times when I want to use a fisheye are generally times when I have time to change lenses and aren't "spontaneous" shots. Anyways, it can be had off of ebay for under a couple hundred.

I bought mine after several members praising it... for indoor shots or areas where a wide field of view is needed, it's been great.

MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fish Eye 16mm Auto new for Pentax K - eBay (item 170179826758 end time Jun-16-08 08:02:27 PDT)

06-04-2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
One option would be the Zenitar 16mm fisheye. It's a manual lens so you have to manually focus and set the aperture manually
YES!

And the great part is (using a smaller physical aperture) it doesn't need to be focused unless you're like 4 feet from an object and want to isolate it.

f/8 and f/11 are owned by this lens

Oh, and ~$150 used is a great price
06-05-2008, 12:36 AM   #10
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Hi,

QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
If you don't need or want to go much wider than 18mm, then you might consider saving up for a DA16-45, which would essentially replace your kit lens.
Well, I would like something much wider than 18mm, otherwise I wouldn't be posting this topic. So I don't think I would go for the DA16-45.

QuoteQuote:
The only other thing I can tell you is to save, save, save, as the Sigma 10-20 will be worth it once you get it.
It's not so much a problem of having the cash available, as much as being able to justify tapping the savings. LBA is just not factored in to my early retirement plan. And hopefully it will never be I have enough expensive habits already.

It sounds like the only option for what I want is the sigma. I was hoping there would be something intermediate below $500.

QuoteQuote:
LBA is a really good motivator for having a yard sale, Fleabaying, and Craigslist selling. I had to sell a good bit of stuff like a madwoman to get my K10D + some other gear, but all the effort has been worth it.
I know what you mean. I have like 12 boxes of A/V & computer cables I don't use. Probably at least 300 items total that I don't use, each worth maybe $5 . I put 40 on CL last week, with pictures, and sold none Discouraging to say the least.

I also have a computer for sale. I guess I will reduce the price. But I was going to use the proceeds to build a better one ...

Priorities...
06-05-2008, 12:39 AM   #11
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Hi,

QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
One option would be the Zenitar 16mm fisheye. It's a manual lens so you have to manually focus and set the aperture manually, but the times when I want to use a fisheye are generally times when I have time to change lenses and aren't "spontaneous" shots. Anyways, it can be had off of ebay for under a couple hundred.

I bought mine after several members praising it... for indoor shots or areas where a wide field of view is needed, it's been great.

MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fish Eye 16mm Auto new for Pentax K - eBay (item 170179826758 end time Jun-16-08 08:02:27 PDT)
Thanks for the tip. Isn't a fisheye a lens with a distortion effect ?
Also, as a newbie to DSLR, manual focus wouldn't be my first choice. If it had a shorter length I would consider it. At 16mm it doesn't seem like it would offer a much wider angle than my DA 18-55.
06-05-2008, 01:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
Hi,

Thanks for the tip. Isn't a fisheye a lens with a distortion effect ?
Also, as a newbie to DSLR, manual focus wouldn't be my first choice. If it had a shorter length I would consider it. At 16mm it doesn't seem like it would offer a much wider angle than my DA 18-55.



You mean the image has a lens correction to be made. This is just one click away when you are resizing your image ( in a few piece of software). The one I am using is Paint shop Pro Ver 8 ( PT lens at around $15)








Manual focus lens for fisheye is even better than AF. Why? Because of its very large field of view for a fisheye. Like the image above, all I need was to set it about 3 ft and everything in 2 ft to infinity would be in focus. Some people call it zone focus.

Zenitar 16mm is a lot wider than the kit lens which at 18-20mm range has its notorious softness issue . That is understandable though.


Daniel
06-05-2008, 01:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
One option would be the Zenitar 16mm fisheye. It's a manual lens so you have to manually focus and set the aperture manually, but the times when I want to use a fisheye are generally times when I have time to change lenses and aren't "spontaneous" shots. Anyways, it can be had off of ebay for under a couple hundred.
FE lens should be use spontaneously. Like this one. I was shooting birds with my long lens and I sensed the bird may come down for some food on my left hand. And I got it just 2 ft away.

repost: 16mm birdie shot in series - Pentax Lenses - Digital SLR Cameras - Steves-digicams.com Forums

A lot of time there was no need for the lens to focus at all



Daniel
06-05-2008, 01:55 AM   #14
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Now Daniel, you are waking up my LBA disease... I love manual focus lenses and I'm searching for a wide angle one... now this one came up. MAD!
06-05-2008, 07:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
All I can say is keep your eyes peeled on the Marketplace for the Sigma 1-20 ... it pops up from time to time 2nd hand.


Yes I know that its a typo error but imagine a 1-20mm would be worth?

I couldnt help it Simon


cheers
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