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09-08-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Help I'm wanting to get a wide angle lens

Could anyone please tell me if this lens is worth getting. I only want one that AF and is sharp. I think this is a wide angle lens, but I'm not sure. If not what is a good wide angle lens to get? I only want a lens that I can put on the camera and start shooting. Like the lens that came with it. I have a K2000. Thanks!!!

SMC PENTAX DA 18-55mm zoom lens

09-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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You're speaking of the kit lens, which is a reasonable quality lens, though certainly not exceptional. You also spoke of the 'lens that came with the K2000'... what was that one?

The kit lens (DA 18-55) will give a good wide-angle, but sometimes not wide enough, where a DA 16-45 would do better for a slightly higher cost. The DA 16-45 is also much sharper, esp. at wider apertures (f/4-5.6).

I would recommend the DA 16-45 if funds permit, but if you're looking for an even wider angle, you may need something like a DA 14 or DA 12-24. Review some of these lenses on the forum's lens review database: Pentax Lens Review Database - Main Index

All the best in that.
09-08-2009, 09:43 PM   #3
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The k2000 kit lens is the DAL 18-55mm, which is exactly the same as the one you mentioned, in focal length anyway.

There are also the DA 15mm, the Sigma 10-20mm, and, if you're feeling really crazy, the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye.
09-08-2009, 11:01 PM   #4
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Your camera came with a lens? Was it the DA-L 18-55? If so, the lens you are describing is basically identical. Is there something in particular about the lens that came with the camera you are not satisfied with? That would be starting point for figuring out what lens to get next.

09-09-2009, 03:45 AM   #5
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I like the lens that came with it. But I want to get a wide angle lens for Landscapes. I got a Pentax because I thought there wouldn't be so much confusion about what lens was what. boy was I wrong. I had no idea that my kit lens was about the same thing as the one I was looking to buy. Thanks!!
09-09-2009, 04:09 AM   #6
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If you want a lens for landscape, don't get the 10-17mm fisheye unless you want large fish eye style distortions on your pictures. The Sigma 10-20mm is a much better choice for landscapes - I have both lenses so can advise you on good authority!
09-09-2009, 04:13 AM   #7
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The lens you have goes from wide-angle at the 18mm end to short telephoto at the 50mm end. If you want wider look for something below 18mm: if you want longer, above 50mm. First, though, I'd recommend that you pick up one of those "intro to digital photography" books--I think you'll find it helpful (I know I did ;~)

I agree with Big G, btw: I have the Sigma and am very pleased with it. The Pentax 12-24mm is also well regarded.

Last edited by dadipentak; 09-09-2009 at 04:22 AM.
09-09-2009, 06:23 AM   #8
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Two comments. 18mm is very wide. I use a 12-24mm and like it very much.

Second comment is that I've recently discovered Microsoft ICE as a panorama stitching program and will be doing a lot more panoramas.

09-09-2009, 07:40 AM   #9
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I think patrickt had a great suggestion. 18mm is fairly wide. So, you could just stick with the kit lens until you can answer Marc's question:

Is there something in particular about the lens that came with the camera you are not satisfied with?

Then you can decide if you want to get a wide zoom, prime, or even a fisheye.

In the mean time, use Microsoft ICE and your kit till you learn a bit more and figure out what you want. ICE is a great and easy to use program to stitch together multiple photos of a panorama. Just be sure to use manual exposure and focus.
09-09-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by swirl Quote
I like the lens that came with it. But I want to get a wide angle lens for Landscapes. I got a Pentax because I thought there wouldn't be so much confusion about what lens was what. boy was I wrong. I had no idea that my kit lens was about the same thing as the one I was looking to buy. Thanks!!
Well, it's possible for some reason your camera came with a different lens. Does it not say DA 18-55 right on the lens?

When you say "wide angle", yo are referring to the focal length. Wide angle = short focal length. A lens that says 18-55 means it is 18mm at one end of the zoom range, 55mm at the other end. None of this has anything to do with Pentax versus other brands, BTW - all SLR's label their lenses in terms of focal lengths in exactly the same way.

If you are finding 18mm isn't wide enough, then you need a lens with a shorter focal length. I personally almost never feel the need to shoot wider than 18mm - most of my landscapes are shot around 28mm or so (if you press the Info button on the camera while viewing a picture, it will tell you what focal length it was taken at). But I have occasionally tried wider lenses, and what I'd say is you probably need to go at least to 14mm in order to feel so much wider that you are actually getting something for your money. So I'd be looking at lenses like the Pentax DA 12-24.

Warning - these (and the other alternatives) are not cheap lenses; they'll probably cost more than your camera did.
09-09-2009, 08:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by swirl Quote
Could anyone please tell me if this lens is worth getting. I only want one that AF and is sharp. I think this is a wide angle lens, but I'm not sure. If not what is a good wide angle lens to get? I only want a lens that I can put on the camera and start shooting. Like the lens that came with it. I have a K2000. Thanks!!!
I agree with those who have commented that you aren't very clear about what you are looking for or why you aren't happy with whatever you've got.

It sounds to me like you've got an 18-55 lens and you're not happy with it. Right? If so, then what don't you like about the lens you've got? 18mm is already fairly wide angle - pretty good for capturing a good bit of a room in an inside shot, or for taking a group shot.

If you are looking to an alternative to the standard 18-55 lens that is a little wider, I can make two suggestions.
  1. One has been made already and I'm simply agreeing with previous posters: the excellent Pentax 16-45 f/4. Very good lens. And that 2mm difference between 16 and 18mm is more significant than you might think.
  2. The other suggestion is to consider the Sigma DC 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 Macro. This is an excellent lens, too, image quality that rivals the Pentax 16-45, a stop faster at the wide end and with considerably greater reach at the telephoto end. (Pentax has a 17-70 f/4 but I've never used it. It's more expensive than the Sigma lens and the Sigma lens is so good that I'd be surprised if the Pentax lens was much better.)

The Sigma 10-20 is also a terrific lens, but it's a special use lens - I took it with me (for example) to the Grand Canyon. You have to be careful shooting people up close with an ultra-wide angle lens: you'll make 'em look, um, wider than they really are.

Will
09-09-2009, 08:54 AM   #12
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FWIW, the kit lens at 18mm is really pretty poor.

I used it as a landscape lens in the beginning of my photography days; looking back I wasted so much time with it - soft, distorted and bad CA.
09-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Big G Quote
FWIW, the kit lens at 18mm is really pretty poor.

I used it as a landscape lens in the beginning of my photography days; looking back I wasted so much time with it - soft, distorted and bad CA.
I think that overstates things. Although the version II is better overall than version I, and perhaps you had an unusually bad copy. But mostly, it probably depends on your standard. For my purposes, results like this are more than sufficient:



On the other hand, some might look at that and be seeing flaws I don't. Others may say (correctly) that viewing a larger size version would expose more flaws. But this is about right for a typical sized print. So it would come down to how important larger size prints would be.

Anyhow, the point being, standards of excellence can vary widely, but just because something isn't quite good enough for professional use in producing large prints doen'nt mean it can't be more than adequate for most uses.
09-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #14
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I am so sorry that I wasn't clear about what I was asking. The lens that came with my K2000 is a nice lens. I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to take pictures like the one Marc Sabatella post here. I was looking for a lens that had that capability to take such photograph's. If the lens that I have has that capability then I'm more then happy with the one I have. I just see so many lenses in the Market Place thread that it's easy for a newcomer like myself to get confused. , But I want to thank everyone that replied and tried to help me out. Before I head to the mountains, I just wanted to know if the 18mm-55mm lens I have will work or not. If not and anyone has something else that will work better and it's for sale, please let me know. Lori
09-09-2009, 06:32 PM   #15
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The kit lens is a great starting point. As Marc pointed out, you can achieve very goods results with it. The largest factor here is knowing how to get the shot. Use your lens. Spend time with your camera. When you are mulling over your shots, use the info here to improve. That's the whole point of this group.

Happy shooting,

Adam
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