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07-01-2009, 12:36 PM   #46
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I love the Pentax-DA 14mm!

The Pentax-DA 14mm is my most used lens. Contrary to what everyone is saying, I think it is the most versatile of the lenses you mentioned.
  • They will all take great landscapes stopped down, but at f/2.8, the DA14mm is great for sunset/sunrise shots and interiors. I guess the others are usable at f/4, but the Sigma goes to f/5.6 at the long end. Most of my keeper landscapes aren't taken when the bright sun is overhead, but during unique or low light conditions, that is when the 14mm excels.
  • The DA14mm is great for portraits. It focusses down to 7 inches, which gives you a unique perspective. It exaggerates facial features and brings out emotions. It makes adults look crazy and kids look adorable. Great for kids, bad for spouses. I also love it for street candids. It is fast enough to freeze the action and wide enough so people won't know they are in the picture.
  • The DA14mm is a unique gem of the Pentax lineup. The Canon/Nikon equivalents will set you back over a grand. This is one of the primes that makes Pentax Pentax.
  • Lastly, the 14mm is a bit shorter than the others, making it acceptable to carry around as an occasional use lens. I wouldn't consider it small, but if I use my homemade collapsible foam hood instead of the original, I can fit it into my smallest camera bag, making it not too much of a burden to carry around all day for the occasional shot.

10mm or 12mm at the wide end sounds great in theory, but in my opinion, it is very difficult to properly compose ultra-wide shots. 14mm is hard enough, imagine shooting at 10mm and trying to keep your shoes out of the picture .

Seriously though, lack of zooming has never been a problem for me. I have never felt the need to go much wider, and have always been able to crop my way out of problems afterwards if 14mm was too wide. I guess you can always stitch photos together if you really need to. But, I am biased because I shoot almost exclusively with primes. As with all my primes, as soon as I throw the lens on, my eye adjusts to 14mm and that's all I look for.

In the end, I would go with whatever you get the best deal on. They are all great lenses and should serve you well. Just don't discount the versatility of the DA14mm. I think it is Pentax's most underrated lens.

07-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
The Pentax-DA 14mm is my most used lens. Contrary to what everyone is saying, I think it is the most versatile of the lenses you mentioned.
  • They will all take great landscapes stopped down, but at f/2.8, the DA14mm is great for sunset/sunrise shots and interiors. I guess the others are usable at f/4, but the Sigma goes to f/5.6 at the long end. Most of my keeper landscapes aren't taken when the bright sun is overhead, but during unique or low light conditions, that is when the 14mm excels.
  • The DA14mm is great for portraits. It focusses down to 7 inches, which gives you a unique perspective. It exaggerates facial features and brings out emotions. It makes adults look crazy and kids look adorable. Great for kids, bad for spouses. I also love it for street candids. It is fast enough to freeze the action and wide enough so people won't know they are in the picture.
  • The DA14mm is a unique gem of the Pentax lineup. The Canon/Nikon equivalents will set you back over a grand. This is one of the primes that makes Pentax Pentax.
  • Lastly, the 14mm is a bit shorter than the others, making it acceptable to carry around as an occasional use lens. I wouldn't consider it small, but if I use my homemade collapsible foam hood instead of the original, I can fit it into my smallest camera bag, making it not too much of a burden to carry around all day for the occasional shot.

10mm or 12mm at the wide end sounds great in theory, but in my opinion, it is very difficult to properly compose ultra-wide shots. 14mm is hard enough, imagine shooting at 10mm and trying to keep your shoes out of the picture .

Seriously though, lack of zooming has never been a problem for me. I have never felt the need to go much wider, and have always been able to crop my way out of problems afterwards if 14mm was too wide. I guess you can always stitch photos together if you really need to. But, I am biased because I shoot almost exclusively with primes. As with all my primes, as soon as I throw the lens on, my eye adjusts to 14mm and that's all I look for.

In the end, I would go with whatever you get the best deal on. They are all great lenses and should serve you well. Just don't discount the versatility of the DA14mm. I think it is Pentax's most underrated lens.
I don't disagree with the idea of a non-zoom, as I was happy with my 17mms on full frame. However, from a marketing standpoint Pentax has decided to start some of its most popular zooms at 16mm. I think that's good and actually one reason I went with Pentax when I looked for a digital camera. However, there just isn't a lot of spread down to 14mm. Yes, I had a 28-55mm FD and then bought a 24/2.8FD, and it definitely was useful, but I only bought it after the 17/4 at the lower end.

An 11mm-ish fixed might be interesting, especially if it was small enough - maybe f4 or something. And not too expensive. I have only used between 10 and 12mm in the few months I've owned the Sigma, so 11mm would probably be a good compromise.

I'll add one comment on the Sigma: the lens hood detent isn't as crisp as on the Pentax lenses, thus it's more prone to falling off. Based on my experience with the FD lenses, a slightly weak detent when new means a really, really weak detent in 30 years.

Paul

Last edited by tibbitts; 07-02-2009 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Add comment on lens hood
07-01-2009, 05:11 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
They will all take great landscapes stopped down, but at f/2.8, the DA14mm is great for sunset/sunrise shots and interiors.
You take interiors at f/2.8? How do you keep everything in focus? I guess it's ok if nothing is in the foreground. I can't really think of a wide angle application where that stop would make a difference, and believe me I am a fast lens kind of person!

As for sunsets, you've just given me a reason to post the following. Hand-held with the DA12-24mm with even the foreground sharp! Not sure why I'd want a faster lens for landscapes, though I sure can think of good reasons to want a tripod.

Lough Derg Sunset



QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
14mm is hard enough, imagine shooting at 10mm and trying to keep your shoes out of the picture .
I have a solution for that: go barefoot!

Good post, BTW.
07-01-2009, 09:45 PM   #49
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I think you should try FA*24. It's not so easy to find a new one. But this lens is definitely beautiful.

07-02-2009, 08:27 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by springtian Quote
I think you should try FA*24. It's not so easy to find a new one. But this lens is definitely beautiful.
That's not even wide angle on digital, let alone "super wide" as the OP wants. It is a gorgeous lens, but is a normal/semi wide lens on digital.
07-02-2009, 09:27 AM   #51
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I have been using the Sigma 15-30mm but it isn't in production and is a bit rare in Pentax mount. I traded its big brother the 20-40mm f2.8 for it due to overlap with and size although this one is a beast as well but not inordinately heavy.

Edit: Both of these siblings are very usable in manual focus and work on film bodies including my SuperProgram.
07-03-2009, 11:17 PM   #52
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So i sold mine Pentax 12-24mm and bought Sigma 10-20mm yesterday, and i also bought Sigma 70mm/2,5 macro at same time
Both were only 399 , so they were pretty cheap..
Now i only need K-7!!! Hope its here in finland soon so i can post samples of those 2 lenses


ps: i have to say that im a Huge sigma fan
07-04-2009, 02:56 AM   #53
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Hi,

Can someone post pictures taken with the Sigma 10-20 and their Pentax dSLR? I'm very curious about the lens distortion at the edges.

Can something like DXO or PTLens perform some lens correction?

07-04-2009, 05:43 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by slrl0ver Quote
Hi,

Can someone post pictures taken with the Sigma 10-20 and their Pentax dSLR? I'm very curious about the lens distortion at the edges.

Can something like DXO or PTLens perform some lens correction?
here is an example i took last year in alberta. you can see the distortion in the lower portion of the photo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pxpaulx/2650873495/

(p.s. how do i add an image so that it shows up directly in my post?)

I certainly am not saying the 10-20 isnt a great lens, just that those rocks did not look like that!

Last edited by pxpaulx; 07-04-2009 at 05:49 PM.
07-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by slrl0ver Quote
Hi,

Can someone post pictures taken with the Sigma 10-20 and their Pentax dSLR? I'm very curious about the lens distortion at the edges.

Can something like DXO or PTLens perform some lens correction?
I find that when I am shooting at 10mm to around 12mm that PTLens can't correct the extreme distortion entirely. See the photo attached shot with a K10D & Sigma 10-20 at 11mm and correction attempted in PTLens. It looks okay but notice the barrels etc still look off. I tried, but I couldn't get them to look proper. Once you get to around 14mm+ though it is fine.
Attached Images
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PENTAX K10D  Photo 
07-05-2009, 09:01 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by slrl0ver Quote
Hi,

Can someone post pictures taken with the Sigma 10-20 and their Pentax dSLR? I'm very curious about the lens distortion at the edges.

Can something like DXO or PTLens perform some lens correction?
How about these shots - all at 10mm:



or


or



or



or my favourite



This lens is a lot of fun - and you can make it look distorted or almost normal if you get the correct angle. The secret is that small changes in position will result quite a different perspective.

Compare these two images as an example:


Note the difference in curvature of the light poles on the edges - all down to a height change (ie I ducked down for one and stood up straight for the other) when I took the images.

Have a read of this Ken Rockwell article on ultrawide lenses......it explains a lot.

Enjoy!
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