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06-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I still think though 21ltd would be better lens for landscapes than 18-55
I borrowed a 21 for a day and was struck by the noticeably high levels of distortion, but that was for a city shoot. For landscapes, I'd probably not notice, and I do like the size a lot. The fact that the beta of ACDSee Pro 3 adds distortion correction to its non-destructive RAW processing - making it much easier to deal than it would have been previously - has put this back on my radar. But of course, it's not cheap. I do prefer the M28/2.8 over the DA18-55 II for landscape (and I shoot far more landscapes around 28mm than 21mm), but mostly because it is smaller and easier to focus manually, not because of any real difference in IQ once stopped down to f/8. But anyhow, that's the lens I'd recommend first for the OP, if you're into that focal length (as I am). For $50 or so, it's a fine option, but not a wow-inducing one for this purpose compared to the kit lens, which does well enough too.

06-13-2009, 04:50 AM   #17
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The 18-55mm is not a good lens for landscapes, I got fed up with it's lack of sharpness at 18mm, especially in the corners. My 17-70mm (and indeed the 16-45mm when I tested it) are a damn sight better at the wider angles and for corner sharpness.
06-13-2009, 06:37 AM   #18
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Not an easy answer to your question. If you define sheap as a price comparable to the FA50/1.4 (which is how I understand you), there aren't really any options. The FA35/2.0 is basically the only one near this price. That is however supposed to be an excellent lens (though I have only used it briefly many years ago and not for landscapes, so someone else will have to tell you how it works for landscape).

If you can accept manual focus second hand lenses, and can do with something near "normal" focal length on APS-C, I can recommend the SMC Pentax 28/3.5 and SMC Pentax 35/3.5, both razor sharp lenses without a hint of vignetting or distorsion. Either would cost somewhere around 100 USD.

If you need wider second hand lenses problems arrise: there are severall good options, but since they were built for full frame, you need to get to rather extreme focal lengths to get really wide in APS-C. Therefore the lenses are more rare and often have their own problems with distorsion, flare, vignetting, corner softness etc. The exceptions of course are no longer sheap. The SMC Pentax 18/3.5 would probably be a great lens for this, maybe the SMC Pentax or the SMC Pentax-M 20/4 also. Or the A or FA20/2.8. But now we talk something like 500-1000USD, 250-500USD and about 500USD respectively. So not direcly sheap.

In new production probably the DA14/2.8 or DA15/4 ltd are what you would like (I have shifted from considering the former to the later just for size but have not decided yet), but these are no near the price of the FA50/1.4.
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