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12-15-2015, 04:21 AM   #1
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Landscape lens

Hi,
I have a Pentax K-50 camera with the kit lens and I would like to buy a lens for landscapes. I am tossing up between the Pentax 35mm 2.4 or the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I am leaning to the Pentax because it is much lighter but I would like your opinion. Which one do you recommend.


Cheers Keith

12-16-2015, 12:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

I would go Pentax, as it is lighter and for landscapes you don't need a fast lens as you are most likely stopping down to f/16 or something.
12-16-2015, 12:41 PM   #3
osv
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pentax has several mf legacy 28mm primes that are better for landscapes than either one of those lenses.
12-17-2015, 06:05 AM   #4
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I personally prefer the 21mm. It is wide enough to capture a larger area.

12-17-2015, 06:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bribieboy Quote
Hi,
I have a Pentax K-50 camera with the kit lens and I would like to buy a lens for landscapes. I am tossing up between the Pentax 35mm 2.4 or the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I am leaning to the Pentax because it is much lighter but I would like your opinion. Which one do you recommend.


Cheers Keith
Personally, I don't consider the 25-30 range as being much use for landscape. Your kit lens gives you 18mm which is wide coverage of real estate. You can argue about sharpness, color and contrast, but the focal length is adequate. The DA35mm is more of a typical street-shooting or makeshift portrait lens than a landscape lens. Plus, there's something about detail resolution on that lens for distant objects even when stopped down beyond F8. YMMV and this is just my opinion ... but a standard rectilinear WA from 10/12 to 24/28 is good for landscape, as is the DA16-85 and finally the DA15 as a first choice lens. BTW, the difference between starting focal length of 16 as compared to 18 is surprisingly large and quite useful for landscapes. My DA35 performs best for close-quarter shooting.
12-17-2015, 10:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bribieboy Quote
Hi,
I have a Pentax K-50 camera with the kit lens and I would like to buy a lens for landscapes. I am tossing up between the Pentax 35mm 2.4 or the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I am leaning to the Pentax because it is much lighter but I would like your opinion. Which one do you recommend.


Cheers Keith
I just picked up the DA 16-85. I love the range and the feel of it. I'm also looking at the 15 limited as my first prime.
12-18-2015, 03:36 AM   #7
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I have both the 18-55 kit lens and the DA15 prime.
Ohh the DA15 is a magnificent beauty! I picked it up over Thanksgiving this year and the clarity from this lens is just amazing. I have used it for landscapes and street photography alike - and it just behaves exceedingly well.
I agree with the above comments about the focal length difference - it was very surprising to me too!
12-18-2015, 06:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Welcome to the forum!

I would go Pentax, as it is lighter and for landscapes you don't need a fast lens as you are most likely stopping down to f/16 or something.
I'd go along with this view (and the welcome too ) - you'll get lots of differing opinions on focal lengths, zoom V prime, fast V slow, etc. but you'll benefit most by just getting out there with a good quality lens that will demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of your first non-kit lens.

If after a while you feel it's not right for you, then sell it on for probably not much less than you paid for it.



12-18-2015, 06:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NB650C Quote
I just picked up the DA 16-85. I love the range and the feel of it. I'm also looking at the 15 limited as my first prime.
Welcome NB650C,look forward to seeing some of your pics!
12-18-2015, 07:04 AM   #10
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There is a tendency to think landscape = a very wide lens. But cramming in everything you see can also create bland photos particularly if the foreground has nothing much of interest. I find myself in the 20-35 mm range on APS-C digitals a lot. Eg, with my FA20-35, I don't miss the bit below 20mm too much. Do sometimes have fun with the 10-17 fisheye zoom but it's not my default choice for landscapes.

A 35mm prime on APS-C I would find restrictive for landscape. If I had to compromise on a single prime for landscape, I'd probably nominate 24mm. Coincidentally that's about 35mm on full frame.
12-18-2015, 07:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bribieboy Quote
the Sigma 30mm 1.4.
Don't even think about getting this lens, no matter how much you stop it down the corners and edges of your images will never be sharp, not they way they would be with the DA35mm f/2.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
landscapes you don't need a fast lens as you are most likely stopping down to f/16 or something
Though a faster lens will reach its optimal resolution sooner than a slower lens. If you are shooting landscapes and stopping down to f/16 all the time, you're doing it wrong.

35mm lenses are great for landscapes, I find with extremely wide lenses it is often difficult to produce a strong composition due to the nature of wide, and ultra wide angle lenses.Sometimes landscapes benefit from a bit of scenic compression.


Pentax K10D - SMCP-FA31mm f/1.8 ASPH Limited. 1/500th f/8 ISO100
12-18-2015, 07:31 AM   #12
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I also recommend the DA 35mm f2.4. It is compact, light, durable, fast AF, affordable, and super sharp. Check out this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-f...c-club-51.html

The Sigma is better for low light photos (f1.4) and slightly wider angle (might be good in some scenarios, depends on your needs). But it has some quirks, as well. I think bokeh and AF performance can be iffy with that lens, but check some reviews to be sure. I think the Sigma has its own thread, as well. Its not a terrible lens, but the DA 35mm is pretty great in its own right.

If you want to go one step higher than DA 35mm f2.4, think about the FA 35mm f2.0 (pretty much the same optical formula as the DA, just a little brighter) or DA 35mm limited f2.8 macro (true macro 1:1 magnification, amazing rendering, very compact, but its a little more expensive). The FA can still be found in some stores, but might be easier to find a used copy. DA 35mm macro comes in SMC and HD version; both are pretty great, just different lens coatings and look
12-18-2015, 11:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I also recommend the DA 35mm f2.4. It is compact, light, durable, fast AF, affordable, and super sharp. Check out this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-f...c-club-51.html
that lens is a bad choice for landscapes, the sides are a blurry mess at landscape distances... the heie review clearly shows the problems.

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
If you want to go one step higher than DA 35mm f2.4, think about the FA 35mm f2.0 (pretty much the same optical formula as the DA, just a little brighter)
i don't think that those two lenses take anywhere near the same picture, the fa35 is much better for landscape shooting, and just about everything else, it stands up to 36mp ff use.
12-18-2015, 11:26 AM   #14
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So what kind of landscapes will you be shooting? What is your budget?

I see most have chimed in with a prime, but I find primes to be too restrictive, since "zooming with your feet" is often not an option.

I had the DA15 but wasn't mesmerized by it. I have the Sigma 10-20 but only use it for special subjects/circumstances.

I own the 20-35, but the red fringing kinda became an annoyance. I owned the Sigma 20-40, but you can't shoot with the sun anywhere near the edges because it has horrible flare control.

My main lens at the moment is the Tamron 17-50. It has very good IQ and very good flare control. The lower end of the zoom range is plenty wide for my style and it's good to about f11ish. I say "at the moment" because it's not FF compatible, and I'm actually sad I won't be able to use it once I switch.

I also have a Sigma 24-60 because it's better in low light (maybe it's the 77mm front element versus a 58mm front element) and it has a different "feel" than the Tamron when I'm going for a little more "moody" image. But it's worthless with the sun near frame, like a lot of Sigma wides. It's FF compatible, but I may have to get the Pentax 24-70 because I shoot a lot of sunset/sunrises. Unfortunately the 24-70 is 1200,,, yikes!

What does this rambling mean to you? You are probably going to go through 4-5 lenses over the next couple years as you develop you own style. I'll admit I'm biased toward zooms for a lot of reasons, but in your case, you might think about getting a zoom so you can figure out what type of landscape images you prefer. I started with the sigma 10-20 and sigma 17-70 and over the last 10 years have narrowed down what I need and want in a landscape lens.

I saw the 16-85 mentioned. If you want to stay with a Pentax lens, that might be a great "starter" lens. If you find yourself shooting at 16/17mm and wish you could go wider, there's always the 10-20. If you find you don't like fiddling with a zoom, you could end up with a 15/28/35 prime trio that I experimented with but quickly abandoned. Too many lens changes in less than ideal conditions. And in hotter weather you run out of pockets REAL quick.

I personally suggest the Tamron 17-50, it's about half the price of the 16-85, same or better IQ, f2.8 if you really need it and light enough if you are really stressing about any weight in your bag.

Last edited by nomadkng; 12-18-2015 at 11:34 AM.
12-18-2015, 01:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
that lens is a bad choice for landscapes, the sides are a blurry mess at landscape distances... the heie review clearly shows the problems.
Here is a shot I (accidentally) took at f2.4. Its focused on the front row of the houses:

f2.4 landscape whoopsie

At f2.4 and focused near infinity, I wouldn't expect much from a lens under $220. But it surprised! DoF is way more shallow than at f8 of course, but it is full of detail, sharp. And if you check here, it works on FF as well: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/31629-da-lenses-f...ts-thread.html
In the thread I linked earlier, there are plenty of great landscape shots. They seem to be sharp enough. I think your words "a blurry mess" are too harsh. Lenses like Industar 50-2, now there is a blurry mess.
The FA 35mm has the basic same optical design if you look at the lens formula, but I guess its a little better suited for full frame (ie, might have sharper edges). That's why I mentioned it; some say its sharper.
The non-art Sigma had some kinds of problems: https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/sigma-30mm-f1-4-ex-dc.html
And the Sigma 30mm art has some cons, as well: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/sigma-30mm-f14-art/introduction.html

Is the DA 34mm f2.4 perfectly sharp across frame, free of CA? No. But (for my uses) its adequate and simple lens profiles can fix this really well. As far as I checked DXo, The Sigma 30mm has the same CA and higher distortion. But DXO didn't test the sigma on K-mount, so its difficult to compare CA and resolution directly.

Edit: I take the vast majority of my landscape photos with DA 35mm f2.4 and Samyang 14mm, and sometimes M 28mm f2.8. But of course I'm no pro. There is my bias

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-18-2015 at 02:01 PM.
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