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View Poll Results: What focal length is wide enough for you?
I want a lens as wide as reasonably achievable 4420.47%
Not longer than 10mm 3918.14%
Not longer than 12mm 4922.79%
Not longer than 15mm 4621.40%
Not longer than 18mm 188.37%
20mm or more is fine by me 198.84%
Voters: 215. You may not vote on this poll

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07-03-2009, 03:16 PM   #1

How wide is wide enough - and why?

My widest lens is the 18mm of kit lens v. II and that's not wide enough. I feel I can't get enough of landscape and buildings in the picture. Unfortunately I don't think there's a way I could try locally wider options and yet I feel I need to buy something wider. But what's wide enough in your opinion? I know many here for example feel that a Sigma 10-20mm is a better option for them than a Pentax 12-24mm due to the 2mm difference (not suggesting it's miniscule in angle). On the other hand many are just happy with the kit lens's 18mm - or longer like 21mm or even more.

So I'm starting this poll to see what is wide enough for you. Feel free to post reasons why you need that FL and what can't you do with something longer. And rectilinear only, no fisheyes please.

07-03-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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Having a 14mm, I'd love something wider, but to make it a usable difference, I'd need at least 12mm for it to compliment my current WA selection as opposed to replacing it.
07-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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Peking 8mm.......ON FILM!!!
07-03-2009, 03:45 PM   #4

QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
Peking 8mm.......ON FILM!!!
Naughty Cosmo, Peleng's a fisheye and that's a no-no here.

EDIT: yet another typo

Last edited by emr; 07-03-2009 at 04:51 PM.
07-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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Haha, Yeah, I meant Peleng.
07-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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My widest is the DA* 16-50mm and I've yet to encounter a situation where I really wanted wider. In fact, in most situations my 31mm Ltd is wide enough for me. However, this is probably due to the fact that I live in Central Indiana where there are few wide open spaces other than corn fields so I don't do much landscape stuff, and I also don't do much architectural photography.
07-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #7
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My favour focal length is always 24mm for film, that means 16mm for aps-c. Anything wider is difficult to be used well, to me anyway.
07-03-2009, 05:58 PM   #8
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I like 30mm on film = 20mm on APS-C
I find it to be the most natural focal length , its also perfect for shooting from the hips

with a normal lens what your eyes see is what you get just with a frame.

a 30mm lens I feel gives you the real natural illusion of what you see ...
to me it gives more realism to your photos especially if its a good lens with no distortion .
which makes it for me the best focal length for documentary.

wider then that is getting in to surrealism which can be also very cool in some situations

07-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #9
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24mm is wide enough for me on film, which means the 17mm is next on my wish list for my DSLR (I only shoot with older primes, so my choices are limited).
07-03-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
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I'll take all I can get, but I've had two different Sigma 10-20mm lenses that I was less than enthusiastic about. I know that they work best at f/8 and beyond, but I've been happier with the images from my Pentax 12-24. I guess it's just wide envy, but I do wish Pentax made something a little wider. In my perfect world there would be a DA* 10-24mm, weather-sealed with an SDM motor and a constant aperture of f/2.8. Until then I'll content myself with the 12-24. Maybe I'll run some tests of the 12mm vs. a de-fished 10-17. Anyone else ever compared these two?
07-03-2009, 08:48 PM   #11
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15mm is wide enough for me, even though I have had some fun in the past with the 10-17FE. Quite honestly, and this is talking about me more than about others, I am often of the opinion that when you go really, really wide (say wider than 14mm), I often wonder if it is the photographer (me) taking the photo, or is it the lens? I just have this habit with the really wide lens that I make photos where the extreme perspective becomes more important than what I am actually taking a photo of.

Others can make it work and not get into this rut, I know. However, I have to say that those who do are outnumbered IMO by those who let the lens/perspective take control.
07-03-2009, 09:04 PM   #12
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I voted "not wider than 12mm". This is from seeing 10mm samples from the Sigma 10-20 and not liking them; they just seemed too wide, full of angles that don't make sense. These images could just be bad usage of 10mm but they stick in my mind.
07-03-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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My 16-45mm would cut it except for the times i wish for a faster than f/4 16mm or 20mm setting.

Yes, a f2.8 16mm would hold off my LBA for a while.
07-04-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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I answered 20mm or more. Of course, *sometimes* one wants 18mm or even wider, but really, most of the time the widest lens I have on me is my M28/2.8 and I seldom feel constrained, except for that 1% of the time when I do. When I know I'll be in a situations where I'll want wider, I take the 18-55 II, and virtualy never feel constrained - except for that 0.03% of the time when I do. Who knows how wide I'd need in thsoe rare cases when 18 isn't enough, but they are rare enough that it just isn't a priority.
07-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #15
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I don't shoot landscapes, buildings, or anything that requires a wide view...

For shooting people my FA 35 is plenty wide enough. I have the DA10-17FE, but only use it sparingly for some fun distorted shots when shooting large groups of people.


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