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03-09-2009, 07:43 AM   #1
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Finally pulled the trigger on a Pentax 12-24mm f4

So, since I got a coupon from PayPal in my email last week I thought it might be time to spend some of that Microsoft Live Cashback money. I picked up a new Pentax 12-24mm f4 for $460 out of PayPal with the rest on a coupon. It was a great buy that I couldn't pass up.

I really debated on this lens or wait a bit for a 10-17mm fisheye, but the cost was too hard to justify.

Now here is my dilema, my thought is that I will be using the 12-24 primarily for landscapes and a few instances where I cannot manually zoom (run further away) from my subject. I know that this lens is so much more than that and I would like to see if any of the esteemed photographers here would have any other artistic suggestions where they have found the 12-24 useful.

I am looking forward to not only hearing them but trying them out too.

03-09-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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Get a pano-head and use this to create high-quality and (relatively) distortion-free panoramas. At 12mm, you should be able to create a full 360˚ circular panorama with a total of 33 shots (3 rows of 11 shots each). I do this with a circular fisheye with 3 shots. The advantage of a super-wide angle pano is higher image quality and resolution. Just my 2c ;-)
03-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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I like it for much more than landscapes (although I use it for that quite a bit). Here are a few examples:

Dramatic perspectives:





Portraits in cramped spaces (garage):



City walkaround:



Stadium shots:



Todd
03-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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Great shot of the rusted, junk car against that blue sky!

03-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
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Of course superwides can to great landscapes, but also great interiors (architecture) and great product shots, like this chinese super supbcompact delivery van interior and dashboard: (both with DA 12/24)

Shot at 12 mm
Attachment 29783

Shot at 15 mm (landcape added later in PS)
Attachment 29784

Last edited by rburgoss; 04-30-2009 at 08:07 AM.
03-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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I am amazed at how the portrait came out, I would never have thought of using a wide or superwide for this as I had always been told that going shorter than 80-100mm distorted facial features.

I currently use my Sigma 17-70 as a walk around, but can see much value in occassionally walking around with a 12-24.
03-09-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
I am amazed at how the portrait came out, I would never have thought of using a wide or superwide for this as I had always been told that going shorter than 80-100mm distorted facial features.

I currently use my Sigma 17-70 as a walk around, but can see much value in occassionally walking around with a 12-24.
What you don't know is the guy in the picture is only 24 years old!

Seriously though, I've been using wides more and more for portraits, mostly between 20 and 35 (which doesn't sound so wide anymore, but it used to be) and when you get in close you get some great stuff!

Below 20, people start to look weird though!
03-09-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
I am amazed at how the portrait came out, I would never have thought of using a wide or superwide for this as I had always been told that going shorter than 80-100mm distorted facial features.
It's not that the focal length itself distorts features - contrary to popular belief, perspective does not change with focal length. But it *does* change with distance to subject, and shorter focal lengths require you to move in closer to the subject if you want them to fill the frame. And it's those close distances that distort features. If you don't mind the subject being smaller in the frame, you can shoot with a wide angle lens from a more comfortable distance and avoid the sort of perspective distortion you'd get if you moved in closer.

If your point is to show the surroundings as well as the subject, wider angles are great. Consider the picture of the guy in the garage. Even assuming the garage were large enough to allow you to step back so the face didn't fill the frame, if you tried shooting the subject with a 50mm lens, you'd get much less of the background in the shot. Probably not enough to say "garage". Somewhere in the 20-30mm range is actually perfect for shots like that.

03-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
Get a pano-head and use this to create high-quality and (relatively) distortion-free panoramas. At 12mm, you should be able to create a full 360˚ circular panorama with a total of 33 shots (3 rows of 11 shots each). I do this with a circular fisheye with 3 shots. The advantage of a super-wide angle pano is higher image quality and resolution. Just my 2c ;-)
When I had (and still have) my Nikon Coolpix 5700 I actually built a mount specifically for panos, it put the lens back on the nodal point. It was made of flat aluminum stock, assembled with socket head allen screws and painted black, nearly a work of art. With all that I never tried multi-row panoramas.

Maybe this lens will be the perfect opportunity to try it.

@Marc, thanks for the explanation. That was one of those things I heard or read and never cared to investigate further since I thought it made sense at the time. Not having all the facts wasn't important either when I heard this. I am now willing to experiment some since I have a clear, concise explanation that I didn't know before.

Last edited by WheresWaldo; 03-09-2009 at 05:10 PM.
03-09-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
I really debated on this lens or wait a bit for a 10-17mm fisheye, but the cost was too hard to justify.

Don't worry, there will be a place for both in your bag if you succumb to the temptation. From an angle-of-view perspective (no pun) the 17mm end of the fisheye picks up about where the 12mm end of the DA12-24 leaves off:

DA12-24/4: ~61-99 degrees
DA10-17/3.5-4.5: ~100-180 degrees

Anyway, they're both good lenses, but the 12-24 is probably more 'generally' useful.
03-09-2009, 04:23 PM   #11
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My first shot with it



Nightshots as well



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