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07-04-2009, 08:51 AM   #1
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Wide and cheap?

I'm looking to go wider than the 18mm on the kit lens, and of course I'm looking to do so with minimal cash outlay! Any thoughts/suggestions on an AF or MF lens?

Edit: or should I just look into creating panoramas?


Last edited by flippedgazelle; 07-04-2009 at 09:00 AM.
07-04-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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I think you'll find it would have been more appropriate to have written "wide *or* cheap". You can't really have both.

The Zenitar 16 is probably the least expensive well-regarded lens wider than 18mm, at under $200. It's fisheye, and manual focus, but being a fisheye means it is rather than 16mm would suggest.
07-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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Welcome to APS-C hell.

With our smaller digital format, we get a free ride on the telephoto end, but end up paying when it comes to wide angles. As Marc notes; wide, good, and cheap are pretty much mutually exclusive. Add in a requirement for low distortion and things get even worse.

I own the Zenitar 16/2.8 and have found it to be a good compromise. The fisheye circular projection is pretty easy to manage in PP. Most of the time I don't even bother. There are several reviews of the Zen here in the third-party review database (PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 16mm f2.8 Fisheye).

Steve
07-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #4
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After some other threads like this, I started thinking about the DA 16-45mm f4. Then one appeared in the marketplace for a great price so I got it. It's going to be on/over the upper limit of "cheap", but for that extra cost, you get a great lens optically and all the features of a DA, including quick-shift focusing. (Isn't that missing from your DA-L? I forget, but it's a great feature.) Here is a photo with it at 16mm, and the red lines show the approximate field of view of the kit lens at 18mm.



The "new" price for this lens, $399, is too close to the Sigma 10-20mm, $479, so I think it only makes sense to find a deal on a used one. B&H has one for $279, individual sellers should be less.

The Zenitar is less expensive and maybe easier to find a deal on. It can be defished for approximately a 14mm equivalent field of view horizontally, losing a bit on the top and bottom. Though it's not AF, you can often put on f5.6 or f8, back off a bit from infinity and the depth of field will cover everything. I was able to sell mine and get a Sigma with KA mount instead, but those are not common.

07-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies, gentlemen.

By "cheap", I was hoping someone would say, "there are old, used MF 15mm brand XXX lenses available on Ebay for $100", and my quest would have a happy ending.

You're right, Just1MoreDave, the DA-L 18-55 lens does not have the quick-shift feature.

The Zenitor is rather intriguing, 14mm horizonally seems pretty swell to me!
07-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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I don't think you would see a cheap MF wide-angled lens below 24 either. wide-angled lens, especially the ultrawide ones are very rarely sold, unless the owner needs money real badly or the lens is in poor condition. the cheapest that I saw was a 24mm f2 being sold at 70 bucks. I didn't get it since it got some specks of dusts inside which could cost me 200 in total including the lens. plus it was soft @ wide open and too narrow for my needs.

school of thought, ultra-wide angled lenses are valued so much by their owners that they are rarely sold at a cheap price.
07-06-2009, 01:41 AM   #7
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I picked up a decently prices Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4(.5??) ... or it is not much wider than the it lens ... but it's IQ is much better though.

If you wat wider for cheap though .... the Zenitar is probably your next best option ... good fun as well (I have one).
07-06-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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I guess I'll be on the lookout for the Zenitar, then... thanks for the advice, guys!

07-06-2009, 10:44 AM   #9
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Wide & *cheap* sounds like a pin-hole lens to me.
07-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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there also is a Tokina 17mm f3.5 and a Vivitar 17mm f3.5 ( serial number starting with 37 ) which is the same lens which is a decent lens, and possibly available used for less than 100 USD
07-06-2009, 02:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
I picked up a decently prices Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4(.5??) ... or it is not much wider than the it lens ... but it's IQ is much better though.

If you wat wider for cheap though .... the Zenitar is probably your next best option ... good fun as well (I have one).
The Sigma is sharper and faster than the kit lens, but it is quite large for its range.
07-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
The Sigma is sharper and faster than the kit lens, but it is quite large for its range.
You should seem my Sigma 15-30mm EX or its brother the 20-40mm I traded for it. Both are very good zooms but small they are not.
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