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06-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #1
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Is there a cheap "landscape" lens that is better than the 18-55 kit I got with K100D?

Just wondering I can find a sharp prime lens like my 50mm 1.4 and in that same price range but for landscape?
Maybe a 18 or even wider but no fisheye or anything like that.
I currently use the Kit 18-55 but I love my prime so much that I wish I had something like that for very wide Utah landscape shots.
I do Panorama shots with a stitch program but that's not always practical.
Thanks!

06-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolin95 Quote
Just wondering I can find a sharp prime lens like my 50mm 1.4 and in that same price range but for landscape?
Maybe a 18 or even wider but no fisheye or anything like that.
I currently use the Kit 18-55 but I love my prime so much that I wish I had something like that for very wide Utah landscape shots.
I do Panorama shots with a stitch program but that's not always practical.
Thanks!
I guess the obvious choice to replace your kit lens for landscapes would be the DA 16-45 f/4 but obviously that's a zoom. Its basically better in every way except that chromatic abberation is a touch worse and it doesn't focus as close (the latter isn't relevant for landscapes).

Wide-angle primes tend to be quite expensive. I am not a landscape shooter myself but I'd say the widest 'affordable' Pentax prime is the 21mm Ltd and that's only just brushing wide-angle on an APS-C sensor. So zooms maybe the best way to go.
06-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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depends what you mean by cheap, and what you mean by better...
f.e.: many people love their Takumars 35mm and or 28/3.5 because of their colour rendition and sharpness. Whether 28 or 35 is wide enough for you that's another question.
All in all DA18-55 is a great performer considering the price and all. IQ is really good, only wide open you may run into soft corners and some vignetting.
If you really want to get something else to give it good run for money have a look at:
DA16-45 - if it ticks the box "cheap"
Sigma 24 super wide II (both AF or MF) - these can be had for relatively cheap money and arond f8 - f11 are absolutely great
If you want to go cheaper, look at M42 takumars but I know not of those so I'll let other people give you advice...

regards
Peter

edi: 24 on APS-C gives you 35mm FOV equivalent which may or may not be wide enough. Other than that there is only 21ltd that can be rated as afordable (but not cheap) and wider...

Last edited by axl; 06-10-2009 at 11:44 PM.
06-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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I am by no means an expert but I have done a dozen panos from 90 to 360 degrees recently and used my DA 16-45mm set at around 20mm each time. My subjects were either rivers with trees on the opposite banks or farms with a mixture of open fields and close-up objects. I had the first couple printed 72" x 24" and the detail was impressive. I had planned on getting a lens for panos but after seeing my first print I am sticking with the 16-45mm. I got it for $265 used from B&H so I dont know if that fits your pano budget or not. For the panos I have done, a 26 would be too big, even my 24-135 looked a little narrow when I tried it at 24mm but with the flatlands here, 16mm just looked like too wide IMO. Now in Utah...with mountains where I have sky, it might be better. I am not saying the quality of the zoom is the same as a prime but in a pano does it matter?

06-10-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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The thing is, the 18-55 is at its worst at the long end, I find - slow and not very sharp wide open. Whereas at the wide end, it's quite a bit better - faster and sharper. Plus for landscapes, you generally stop down to the "sweet spot" of the lens anyhow. Only real problem is a bit of vignetting.

Which is to say, while the a 50mm prime has a very easy time beating the 18-55, an 18mm prime has a much harder time beating the 18-55, especially for landscape, since the 18-55 at in the wide-normal range at f/8 is already very very good.
06-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Define "cheap" and "wide"! The Tamron 17-50, Da21, DA16-45 are all quite serviceable as are the FA20 and FA24. Others are happy with Sigma zooms in this range. Dave
06-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #7
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I'd consider the 18-55 a pretty good landscape lens, especially for the money. Since you're shooting static (probably on a tripod) and stopped down a bit, you should get the sweet spot of this lens. I've had a couple of these and I've always been pleased with it.

Now, if you want to try something else, the 16-45 is supposed to be nice, and it's not that expensive. Plus, you get a constant aperture, which is nice for other types of shooting, but not that important for landscapes.
06-12-2009, 12:05 AM   #8
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the problem with 18-55 is that no matter how much you stop it down, the corners always lack in sharpness and there is some vignetting at any f stop at 18mm. At 35mm the lens performs much better but then 35mm isn't all that wide on APS-C.

my 2p

06-12-2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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short answer: No

The kit lens is a great bang for the buck lens. Are there better lenses out there? For sure. Will they cost a fair amount more? Absolutely. I also agree with Marc that the lens is better at the wide end.

NaCl(nice little lens worth it's price)H2O
06-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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what about you finding the newer kit lens... like 18-55mm II i think it's a lot better than the previews.. isn't? correct me if i'm wrong.. but as far as i hear it's improved for better in many respects.. and it's really cheap and contemporary.
06-12-2009, 01:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mystic Quote
what about you finding the newer kit lens... like 18-55mm II i think it's a lot better than the previews.. isn't? correct me if i'm wrong.. but as far as i hear it's improved for better in many respects.. and it's really cheap and contemporary.
I heard if you already own DA I, trying to get the DA L or DA II isn't worth the hassle, might as well save more for something like 16-45, 17-70 or 17-50/2.8
06-12-2009, 02:31 PM   #12
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I upgraded from the 18-55 to the 16-45mm. The 16-45, iis wider, sharper, contrastier and the price is right.
06-12-2009, 02:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
the problem with 18-55 is that no matter how much you stop it down, the corners always lack in sharpness and there is some vignetting at any f stop at 18mm. At 35mm the lens performs much better but then 35mm isn't all that wide on APS-C.
I agree with all of the above, but I'd still observe that for my money, the *amount* of improvement one gets with a better lens at normal-wide focal lengths for landscape is nowhere near as much as one sees when using a 50mm prime lens (especially when using it for candids, portraits, or other situation where the much large aperture helps).

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-12-2009 at 07:11 PM.
06-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I agree with all of the above, but I'd still observe that for my money, the *amount* of improvement one gets with a better lens at normal-wide focal lengths for landscape is nowhere near as much as one seems when using a 50mm prime lens (especially when using it for candids, portraits, or other situation where the much large aperture helps).
unfortunately, Marc, I have to agree. The difference between fast fifty and kit at 50 is much bigger than between kit at 18 and some cheapish wide angles...
I still think though 21ltd would be better lens for landscapes than 18-55

BR
06-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #15
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EDIT: Never mind.

Last edited by asdf; 06-12-2009 at 04:03 PM.
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