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01-31-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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Wide Angle Needed

I was trying to shoot a large building a few days ago and found out I'm in need of a wide angle lens. I was using a Pentax 18-250mm (travel lens) and it was tough to get the whole building in the frame. I couldn't get further away as the Persian Gulf was in the way.

I thought about a fish eye such as the Pentax 10-17mm but I have a question. How easy (or hard) is it to fix the fish eye distortion at 10mm in PP if I wanted to?

I'm also looking at normal wides as well but it would be interesting to have a fish eye I'm thinking if the distortion can be fixed.

Slick

01-31-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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You have a few choices. In the rectangular lens area the two major players are the Sigma 10-20mm and the DA Pentax 12-24mm, but are well regarded and have pretty good shape control on the wide end. I opted for the Pentax and love it. Other choices are the Sigma 12-24, the Tamron 10-24 (not sure if that one is out for the Pentax ount yet), and the Pentax DA 14mm (very well regarded, but might not be wide enough for you). The lens review database on this site has most of these lenses. Also check out Photozone to get an idea of the amount of distortion you might get for each lens.

As for correction 10mm on a fisheye is pretty dramatic, but you can correct for it. If you need that wide for a building I'd just go for the Sigma 10-20mm or see that the Tamron produces for an image. You'll still have some distortion, but not as much as with a fisheye. Check the examples for the PTLens program/plug-in which would be a very good correction program option for you.
02-01-2009, 10:02 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Slick Quote
I thought about a fish eye such as the Pentax 10-17mm but I have a question. How easy (or hard) is it to fix the fish eye distortion at 10mm in PP if I wanted to?
It's easy to do but doesn't work very well. Doing a rectilinear transformation (straightening all the bent lines) from a 10mm fisheye image compresses the center and stretches the corners excessively.

Also, the image from a 10mm fisheye lens has a much wider angle of view than a 10mm rectilinear lens; possibly wider than you want.

I'd go with an ultrawide rectilinear zoom (Pentax 12-24) or maybe de-fish from a Zenitar-K 16mm (used copies are cheap, and it has the same angle of view as a ~13mm rectilinear lens horizontally/~14mm lens vertically).
02-01-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Hi Slick,
I too have the DA18-250 for my walk around travel lens. But also like you, I wanted something for architecture that didn't distort to badly. I chose the Sigma 10-20. It's got quite a cult following. Check out some images here.
Cheers

02-01-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I kind of thought the fish eye wouldn't be the best choice but it is tempting. I'll probably go with a Pentax 12-24 or maybe the Sigma 10-20. I'm still debating...
02-01-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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It's rough shooting architecture/buildings even with an ultra-wide angle as it often looks like the building is falling down backwards if you shoot it straight on. I would suggest a wide angle and an image editing program that can correct for perspective distortion.
02-02-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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I've noticed that tilting effect before. The one I was trying to shoot recently was curved to begin with so I didn't really notice it.
02-02-2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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you should really look at a ultra wide zoom, like

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC
Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 EX DG note this is a full frame lens
Tamron 10-24
Pentax 12-24


or perhaps a good ultra wide prime

this is the one disadvantage of the ASP-C sensor, the need for ultra wide lens, your present lens with 18mm minimum focal length is equivelent to 28mm on film, that was never wide enough for me

02-03-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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I'm finding out that 18mm isn't really all that wide when it comes to big buildings. I thought about a prime but I travel a lot so I try to take a minimum number of lenses. I've been getting by this trip (Saudi Arabia) with the 18-250 and the 40mm so far. If I'm going somewhere long term I take the whole bag.

I'm going to try some night shots of the Kingdom Center and the Al Faisaliyah Center here in a little while. Wide won't be a problem this time, they're too far away to get close and I'm too lazy and tired to walk that far.

Last edited by Slick; 02-03-2009 at 08:15 AM.
02-03-2009, 08:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharko Quote
It's rough shooting architecture/buildings even with an ultra-wide angle as it often looks like the building is falling down backwards if you shoot it straight on. I would suggest a wide angle and an image editing program that can correct for perspective distortion.
This is an effect you have to live with in the ultra-wide rectilinears - anything wider
than 24mm starts to show this effect, and it's really visible at 12mm.

Personally, I think it adds to the WA goodness, and I find it pleasing.











(But to the OP, yes, 10 or 12mm is much wider than 18mm.)


.
02-04-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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It does add something to the photo, I agree, but I'm having trouble getting used to it. I don't shoot that many big buildings so when I see the results I try to figure out what I did wrong. I just need to remember that's part of the allure of wide angles.
02-04-2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Slick Quote
It does add something to the photo, I agree, but I'm having trouble getting used to it. I don't shoot that many big buildings so when I see the results I try to figure out what I did wrong. I just need to remember that's part of the allure of wide angles.
Here's a very good set of tips for using ultra-wide lenses

Mastering Wide-Angle

I like jsherman's images, well done. I've got the Sigma 10-20, and can't bear to part with it, but i'm not using it much at the moment. I have never got much positive reaction to the photos from a photo club i attend, except when i took some images of a spiral staircase. I think one has to embrace the distortion and go for it.

I sell some images at a local shop. I'd be interested if any of the posters have been able to sell these images to the general public. If you do take these images, do you have any of them on the wall of your home :-)??? Thats a sign of how well you like them. Truth in advertising, i have 3 framed images of mine on walls at home, none ultra-wide.
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