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06-13-2009, 12:42 PM   #1
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Cheap way to go ultra wide (10mm or 12mm)

I did some location shots yesterday, and my widest lens (at 17mm) just couldn't do it in some of the small rooms. So I need to add something to my bag, that will save me next time.

Now this isn't something I do very often, and the results are probably only going to be fairly low-res web usage, so I'm thinking "cheap" here.

My research suggest the sigma 10-20mm, but I must admit I was thinking about something cheaper, for a lens that will probably be in its box 363 days a year...

Anything?

06-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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Cheap wide angle seems to be a bit of an oxymoron. It's difficult to make light bend that much in a controlled manner. If you really only need to use an ultra-wide lens a couple of times a year the cheapest solution is a) to borrow one or b) to rent one. However, if you pick up a used Sigma 10-20 on eBay I bet you'll find reasons to use it a lot more than just twice a year.
06-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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I agree with Robert that super wide and cheap don't go together. However, there is an alternative that might work for you. Buy a cheap M42 or K mount full frame fisheye and genuine Pentax adaptor. You will be using only the central area, and if you are careful to have the lens exactly half way up the wall in height with the camera absolutely level, you can get some acceptable results. Something like PT Lens can be used to de-fish them if needed.
06-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
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Or try one of the 'cheap' wide-angle adapters for lenses in plethoric quantities on eBay.
0.45X 58mm Wide Angle Lens for Canon EOS 350D 400D 450D - eBay Digital Camera Lenses, Lenses, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 14-Jun-09 17:05:06 AEST)

Check the filter thread size before bidding on any of these.
I must say I've never seen or used one of these so can't vouch for their useability.
For webshot's I'm sure they should be OK, though.

06-13-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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my vote goes for Sigma 10-20, not too expensive and very decent IQ.
I don't use my all that much but when I do, it's very rewarding.

BR
06-13-2009, 05:19 PM   #6
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FREE solution!

The cheapest solution is to shoot two overlapping shots with your 17mm and then stitch them together. There are free programs available for both Mac and Windows to do that. I haven't used them so I can't recommend one, but they generally do a good job, especially if you take care to set up the shot right and use a tripod. It's also possible to do handheld, but it's not perfect.

Sorry that I can't give you an excuse to buy a new lens
06-13-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Nobody mentioned using camera body that we have at home. Use any film body and you will find even a 28mm lens is fairly wide indeed


QuoteOriginally posted by tcdk Quote
I did some location shots yesterday, and my widest lens (at 17mm) just couldn't do it in some of the small rooms. So I need to add something to my bag, that will save me next time.

Assuming your 17mm is a FF lens, it is very very wide already with a film body.


Daniel
06-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
Nobody mentioned using camera body that we have at home. Use any film body and you will find even a 28mm lens is fairly wide indeed

Assuming your 17mm is a FF lens, it is very very wide already with a film body.
Uh! Great idea.... I still have my MZ-5n in working condition.... unfortunately the lens is a Sigma 17-70 DC... The widest FF lens I have is 24mm

I already tried stitching it (I've made quite a few panoramas with hugin), but I had to make both an upper and a lower strip (which is what I'm trying to avoid here), and the white featureless walls, made it impossible to find enough common points, to make it stick.

Okay, so best bet is the Sigma 10-20mm or some fishy (haha) extender of ebay... I'll try if I can find some tests of the ebay thingies and start looking for a used 10-20mm.

Thanks!

06-14-2009, 07:22 AM   #9
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The wide angle add-ons are usually pretty crappy. Lots of odd distortion, soft edges and CAs. If you find a good one you'll be most of the way towards a used 10-20 anyway.
06-14-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I agree with Robert that super wide and cheap don't go together. However, there is an alternative that might work for you. Buy a cheap M42 or K mount full frame fisheye and genuine Pentax adaptor. You will be using only the central area, and if you are careful to have the lens exactly half way up the wall in height with the camera absolutely level, you can get some acceptable results. Something like PT Lens can be used to de-fish them if needed.
If you want something wide and cheap in your bag for occasions when the Sigma 17-70 isn't wide enough, you might be satisfied with the Zenitar 16mm fisheye.
De-fished, you will get you the same FOV as a 13mm rectilinear lens horizontally (14mm vertically) on an APS-C camera. I'd stop down to f/5.6-f/8 and use hugin to correct the distortion; if you don't get the camera level and plumb you can correct for fisheye distortion and fix tilt (pitch and roll) at the same time.


(K20D, Zenitar 16, f/8, de-fished to 84 degree VFOV, black areas on left and right retained intentionally)

FWIW, I usually use a Pentax 12-24 for wide interiors. An ultrawide zoom makes composition much easier and helps avoid a lot of lens changes; however, it's more expensive and much bulkier than the fisheye (especially if you include the lens hood).

If you go with the Sigma 10-20 for interior shots you'll probably want to use PTLens to correct geometric distortion.
UWA distortion test: PTLens
06-14-2009, 10:15 AM   #11
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If you want realy wide and dont mind fisheye, you can go with samyang 8/3.5

Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye for PENTAX - eBay (item 350207778781 end time Jun-28-09 06:44:25 PDT)

test of the lens

Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

sample pictures

Google T?umacz
06-14-2009, 10:27 AM   #12
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I am quite happy with the 10-17 fisheye. I wouldn't say its cheap but shopping the Marketplace or Ebay for a used one makes it much more affordable and the distortion effect isn't very bad if you frame your shot carefully. I will probably get the 12-24 down the road. I haven't heard a single complaint about that lens.
06-14-2009, 11:00 AM   #13
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Personally I am considering a Leica D-Lux 4 aka Lumix LX3 for (fast!) ultra wide angle purposes. Think about it: you get 24mm at the wide end with an awesome, sharp F2 aperture that is incredibly pocketable (attached to one of the best P&S cameras out there). I don't even know that there is something like a 24mm lens that fast but I'd expect a lens like that to be VERY expensive and really huge. I'll admit that this might not be the most appropriate option to discuss in a DSLR lens forum but I've seen a few impressive ultra wide night shots from this camera lately that really made me consider it. Show me a DSLR solution for remotely the same price and usefulness (let alone speed!) that can keep up with those.
06-15-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcdk Quote
Uh! Great idea.... I still have my MZ-5n in working condition.... unfortunately the lens is a Sigma 17-70 DC... The widest FF lens I have is 24mm

I already tried stitching it (I've made quite a few panoramas with hugin), but I had to make both an upper and a lower strip (which is what I'm trying to avoid here), and the white featureless walls, made it impossible to find enough common points, to make it stick.

Okay, so best bet is the Sigma 10-20mm or some fishy (haha) extender of ebay... I'll try if I can find some tests of the ebay thingies and start looking for a used 10-20mm.

Thanks!
Since you have a film body already, how about the Tokina 19-35mm (aka "plastic fantastic")? I bought mine brand new for about $120US from fleabay.
06-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #15
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I just ordered a Sigma 10-20mm.

Thanks for all your help. I was really tempted by going the LX3+Wide adapter route, but decided against it, as it would actually be more expensive then the Sigma.
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