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06-02-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Need advice for a new wide-angle lens

Well, as the title says, I need your help for choosing a wide angle lens.

After some months of compulsive LBA (buying and selling) I ended up with a nice collection of lenses. But something is missing, I have the DA16-45 and FA43 as my wide choices and I noticed DA16-45 f4 is not very useful for indoors shots (slow lens). I am in love with the 43 limited but sometimes it is too long for my needs. The rest of my lenses go beyond the 50mm so I would like to fill that feeling of emptiness...

The lens I am looking for must be AF. I would consider primes and zoom lenses. These are some of my thoughts:

- FA31mm limited: Obviously I have considered that wonderful lens but can not afford it right now.

- FA*24mm: There are so many different opinions about it that I dont know if it will be a good choice for me, some people love it and some others use to report that it doesnt work good on digital.

- FA35mm f2: Possibly a nice one but I would like to go a bit wider, since I find it too close to my FA43mm.

- DA35 limited: I think it is great but same as above.

- FA*28-70mm: I find it too expensive, probably it is just awesome but I would probably buy FA31 before this one.

- DA*16-50mm: Uhmmm, I am happy with my DA16-45 and I dont think it is better than mine (just faster).

- Tamron 28-75mm: Not too wide and reviews about it are so different that I dont think I would consider it.

Maybe I should just wait and save money for the FA31 since it is a safe bet... I am also considering DA35 limited...

I would like to hear your opinions. Thanks in advance.

06-02-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
cooldude14es:

1) I noticed DA16-45 f4 is not very useful for indoors shots (slow lens).

2) DA*16-50mm: Uhmmm, I am happy with my DA16-45 and I dont think it is better than mine (just faster).
I think you need to examine your thoughts a bit more and regroup. On the one hand, you want a faster lens than the 16-45 and, on the other hand, you do not want a faster lens than your 16-45.

It is hard to give advice to this mindset.

QuoteQuote:
cooldude14es: Tamron 28-75mm: Not too wide and reviews about it are so different that I dont think I would consider it.

I do not know what you are referring to here--the lens gets consistently excellent reviews everywhere. You will never get %100 agreement on anything in life, but there is an average score of 8.71 at our forum here:

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - Macro SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD

There is one vote for a "2" which I would take with a massive grain of salt--if you notice, that reviewer only has one post at our forum---HMMMMMMMM! There are 103 reviews here:

FM Reviews - AF 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)


with an average score of 8.8--I would say this is excellent. I do not agree with your assessment that the "reviews about it are so different."
06-02-2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I think you need to examine your thoughts a bit more and regroup. On the one hand, you want a faster lens than the 16-45 and, on the other hand, you do not want a faster lens than your 16-45.

It is hard to give advice to this mindset.
Thanks for your answer, you are right about my mindset... yes, I want a faster lens, but since I am happy with my 16-45 I would rather buy something different instead, DA* is faster but almost the same focal range, maybe I should sell mine and try that one but I prefer looking elsewhere first.
06-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooldude14es Quote
Well, as the title says, I need your help for choosing a wide angle lens...
The lens I am looking for must be AF. I would consider primes and zoom lenses.
Of all the lenses you suggest, I would consider only the FA*24 as a wide angle.

28 / 31 / 35 are all in the "normal" range.

A good candidate might be the DA21 Ltd. I like mine.
(I know its "only" f3.2).

06-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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I have been participating in another thread where someone is having to choose between their 16-45mm and their 16-50mm. Its not a no brainer, cost aside. If you are considering the 16-50mm, please check this article and maybe find the thread on our forum as i dont have a link to it at the moment.

Pentax 16-45mm and 16-50mm zoom lenses compared
06-02-2009, 02:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bart Quote
Of all the lenses you suggest, I would consider only the FA*24 as a wide angle.

28 / 31 / 35 are all in the "normal" range.

A good candidate might be the DA21 Ltd. I like mine.
(I know its "only" f3.2).
I would agree that 28 isn't "wide", but depending on what one wants it for, it might well be wide "enough". I actually find my 40 pretty good for "most" indoor candids, but not so much groups. 28 covers that quite nicely. It's also great for putting a person in the context of the room they are in, or for taking pictures of a "section" of a room. I only feel the need for anything wider when I am taking shots of the room itself, which isn't something I personally do a lot of - but then, I don't shoot for an interior design magazine.
06-02-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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A couple of other lenses to consider:
I really like the Sigma 24mm F1.4; It's a big lens, as would be expected from that focal length and it does quite well. It's a bit prone to flare, but put a "norma" lens hood on it and problem solved (and no vignetting).
The other I'd promote is the FA 20mm F2.8. It's not "real" fast, but I find it fast enough. And it has one of the highest ratings here 9.67 with 6 reviews. The only lens in it's class that ranks higher is the FA 31 ltd. It's one of my favorite primes.

NaCl(either prime will get you great inside shots)H2O
06-03-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Sounds like you're looking for a wide-angle lens for indoor duty, but your 16-45 is "too slow". If this is true, then my suggestion would be to pick up a flash, rather than a lens. Here's why:

1) If you're shooting anything candid or fast-moving (kids qualify here), you'll need a shutter speed north of 1/250. To get that kind of speed at an ISO of 1600 or less, you usually need a very large aperture (say 1.4), at which point your depth of field is nil, and can actually become a distraction from the subject of your image (assuming you can nail the focus bang-on, which is far from certain).

2) With a flash, you can control the mix of light from the flash vs ambient light. This allows you to balance indoor light with outdoor light to avoid blown highlights and silhouettes in situations where your subject is between you and a window on a sunny day. No lens (no matter how fast) can do this.

3) You can freeze motion much more easily with a flash, even a relatively slow shutter speeds, because you can set your camera so that most of the light for the exposure comes from the flash. For example, my "indoor candid" set-up is manual exposure mode, 1/60, F5.6 (!), ISO 200 with the flash set to either P-TTL or A mode (and ISO/aperture set to match the camera). The results are great, with minimal blurring due to subject motion. Also, any blurring is usually more subtle - like a short, faint ghostly shadow following a crisply in-focus moving object. BTW, my lens is the Sigma 17-70, which is basically an F3.5-4, if you ignore the marketing silliness at the extreme ends of the zoom range. So, I would expect your 16-45 F4 to perform similarly.

4) A flash gives you greater control over where the light is coming from. I generally bounce the flash off of the ceiling for my indoor shots (mostly family events in houses with white 8-foot ceilings).

5) Flashes have many other uses and most are less expensive than the lens options you are considering. I use a Pentax FGZ-360, although I sometimes wish it had a swivelling head like the FGZ-540.

I know it's sort of counter-intuitive to get a flash suggestion in response to a lens question, but I think it's a worthwhile option to consider. Best of luck with your decision.

06-03-2009, 02:07 PM   #9
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go for FA* 24

For me wide on digital with 1.5 crop means 24mm or less.
I have FA*24 and DA 12-24. DA is used always when I need versatility and don't want to loose some occasions to use its wider part. FA*24 is preferable when I have more time and want to have real fun. It is very good with my K20d & *istDS. Great colors, 3d effects, sharp. It is one of my favorite lens - regardles of fact that that I bought it in very bad shape and AF does't work nearly at all.

Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-FA* 24mm f/2.0 AL IF
1/40s f/5.6 at 24.0mm iso200


Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-FA* 24mm f/2.0 AL IF
1/125s f/5.6 at 24.0mm iso400


Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-FA* 24mm f/2.0 AL IF
1/1600s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso200


few more shots Pentax SMC FA* 24mm 1:2 Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at pbase.com
06-04-2009, 12:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
Sounds like you're looking for a wide-angle lens for indoor duty, but your 16-45 is "too slow". If this is true, then my suggestion would be to pick up a flash, rather than a lens. Here's why:

1) If you're shooting anything candid or fast-moving (kids qualify here), you'll need a shutter speed north of 1/250. To get that kind of speed at an ISO of 1600 or less, you usually need a very large aperture (say 1.4), at which point your depth of field is nil, and can actually become a distraction from the subject of your image (assuming you can nail the focus bang-on, which is far from certain).

2) With a flash, you can control the mix of light from the flash vs ambient light. This allows you to balance indoor light with outdoor light to avoid blown highlights and silhouettes in situations where your subject is between you and a window on a sunny day. No lens (no matter how fast) can do this.

3) You can freeze motion much more easily with a flash, even a relatively slow shutter speeds, because you can set your camera so that most of the light for the exposure comes from the flash. For example, my "indoor candid" set-up is manual exposure mode, 1/60, F5.6 (!), ISO 200 with the flash set to either P-TTL or A mode (and ISO/aperture set to match the camera). The results are great, with minimal blurring due to subject motion. Also, any blurring is usually more subtle - like a short, faint ghostly shadow following a crisply in-focus moving object. BTW, my lens is the Sigma 17-70, which is basically an F3.5-4, if you ignore the marketing silliness at the extreme ends of the zoom range. So, I would expect your 16-45 F4 to perform similarly.

4) A flash gives you greater control over where the light is coming from. I generally bounce the flash off of the ceiling for my indoor shots (mostly family events in houses with white 8-foot ceilings).

5) Flashes have many other uses and most are less expensive than the lens options you are considering. I use a Pentax FGZ-360, although I sometimes wish it had a swivelling head like the FGZ-540.

I know it's sort of counter-intuitive to get a flash suggestion in response to a lens question, but I think it's a worthwhile option to consider. Best of luck with your decision.
Thats it, I am looking for a wide-angle for indoors. Thanks a lot for your post, having another point of view is very interesting, I will consider the flash option... thanks.
06-04-2009, 12:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Piotr Quote
For me wide on digital with 1.5 crop means 24mm or less.
I have FA*24 and DA 12-24. DA is used always when I need versatility and don't want to loose some occasions to use its wider part. FA*24 is preferable when I have more time and want to have real fun. It is very good with my K20d & *istDS. Great colors, 3d effects, sharp. It is one of my favorite lens - regardles of fact that that I bought it in very bad shape and AF does't work nearly at all.
Thanks for the pictures, this lens is a possible target...
06-04-2009, 05:25 AM   #12
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don't forget the fast sigma primes 24/1.8, 28/1.8, 30/1.4. Heavy though.
06-04-2009, 05:35 AM   #13
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Go for Da 15mm

I love this prime so far
06-04-2009, 06:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Go for Da 15mm

I love this prime so far
I'm lusting after that lens as well. I don't know if it counts as the ideal solution for indoors. You would need to love it wide open.
06-04-2009, 07:02 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I would agree that 28 isn't "wide", but depending on what one wants it for, it might well be wide "enough". I actually find my 40 pretty good for "most" indoor candids, but not so much groups. 28 covers that quite nicely. It's also great for putting a person in the context of the room they are in, or for taking pictures of a "section" of a room. I only feel the need for anything wider when I am taking shots of the room itself, which isn't something I personally do a lot of - but then, I don't shoot for an interior design magazine.
I use that combo indoors a good deal as well. The 40/2.8 for individuals and 28/2 for context. However, I've wondered whether a fast 35 wouldn't save me some lens changes.
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