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03-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
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Confused - What wide angle lense?

I have a K200D camera and want to buy a lense so I am able to take photos inside a room. Do I need a wide angle lense or panaramic? Also, what one? I have been looking online but they are all listed by serial numbers so have no idea what is what.

I want to seek a bargain online but have no idea what lenses are wide angle.

Thank you

03-24-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by molko Quote
I have a K200D camera and want to buy a lense so I am able to take photos inside a room. Do I need a wide angle lense or panaramic? Also, what one? I have been looking online but they are all listed by serial numbers so have no idea what is what.

I want to seek a bargain online but have no idea what lenses are wide angle.

Thank you
What kind of room? Don't you have the Kit lens (18-55)? Not wide enough? The LEAST expensive K mount wide (ish) option I could suggest would be (if you can find one) a Sears 28mm f2.8. There are also Takumar 28mm lenses that can be had for reasonable money. If you want Fisheye, Zenitar 16mm f2.8 (not as inexpensive)..

03-24-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by molko Quote
I have a K200D camera and want to buy a lense so I am able to take photos inside a room. Do I need a wide angle lense or panaramic? Also, what one? I have been looking online but they are all listed by serial numbers so have no idea what is what.

I want to seek a bargain online but have no idea what lenses are wide angle.

Thank you
I'm guessing that you have the kit lens, which is 18-55mm. It is 18mm on the wide end. The lower the number, the wider the lens. If you feel like you need to go with a wider lens, the following are available for Pentax:

Pentax brand:
DA 16-45mm f/4 and DA*16-50 f/2.8. Both of these are standard zooms that offer two extra mm on the wide end.

Wide Angle
DA 12-24 f/4. A very highly regarded wide-angle zoom.
DA 14mm f/2.8. A well-built prime that is fast for indoor shooting.
DA 15 f/4 Limited. A very nice and compact wide-angle prime.
DA 10-17mm Fisheye. A very cool fisheye zoom.

Sigma:
Sigma makes a 10-20mm that has developed a big time cult following and is very wide for being a rectilinear (non-fisheye) lens.

Tamron:
Tamron has a 10-24mm lens available that offers the widest range out of all the WA lenses available for Pentax.

There are other threads on here discussing all of the above lenses. Do a search for them. You should also check out the lens reviews on this forum by clicking "Lenses" on the top of the page.
03-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #4
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If you want an inexpensive solution: take 2 or 3 side-by-side shots each overlapping by ~1/4 of the frame then stitch them. Software now makes it so easy. A free app you can try is Microsoft ICE.

03-25-2010, 12:56 AM   #5
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Wide Angle and bargain usually do not go hand in hand. Also, Wide Angle and low light (or fast lens) also do not go together very well - either. Wide Angle lens are difficult to design and make, since the design essentially has to pull in the light, bend it so as to get it to the sensor (film) for recording, and this is expensive. This requires very good optical engineering - especially without distortion. On top of that, in order to operate in the low light of an interior room (without a flash), you need a fast lens (f2.8 or faster). Fast lens are also more difficult to design, are large, and in the wide angle focal lengths, are few and far between, since wide angle is usually associated with landscapes and fast lenses are usually not necessary.

Stitching is the way to go in this respect since you can use any lens you currently have. As Kguru indicated, the Microsoft ICE utility is free and a very easy way to get started.

Also, another route is using a fisheye lens, and if you do not like the fisheye (FE) distortion, you can use software to defish the image into a rectilinear format. Fisheye lenses are usually less expensive then their rectilinear counterparts.

Another way to compare lenses - other than by focal length (the 10mm or 15mm, etc designation) is by field of view value. This is expressed in degrees, like 60 degrees, etc. However, a fisheye 10mm field of view is very different than a 10mm standard or rectilinear lens.

The 10-17 FE lens has the widest field of view - 180 to 100 degrees
The 12-24 lens has a field of view of 100 to 60 degrees.

hope that helps....

03-25-2010, 02:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
hope that helps....
That's all pretty much what I would have said, if I'd been awake then. I'll note that while moderate wide angles are often used (with good effect) in landscapes, ultra-wides are best for getting close to a subject, as they push the background away. (The 28mm lens mentioned above isn't really wide, not on a dSLR.)

Ultra-wides (rectilinear) are effective in grabbing interiors. Fisheyes too, with the distortion you mention. I do love my DA 10-17. But some lenses that are fisheyes on film cameras, like the Zenitar 16/2.8 mentioned above, aren't really that wide on a dSLR, just distorted. I must be very careful when using mine. The DA 10-17 is neither super-fast nor super-slow; I hand-hold it when interiors aren't too dark, or with a multi-flash setup. Very few (if any) single flashes will light its wide view.

Of course, there are always tripods to put under ultra-wides and fisheyes in darker rooms. And under faster wide-to-normal lenses too, for stitching panoramas. Stitched interior panoramas are tricky -- unless care is taken to rotate the camera around its nodal point, foreground objects may not stitch correctly. Lines won't line up, some objects may appear twice, etc. And people in the room may move between shots. That may be a desired effect, of course.

So, which lens is right for interiors? That depends on 1) how bright, 2) how large, and 3) how stable the interior is, and 4) how much noise and distortion we're willing to tolerate, and 5) how much we want to spend. By how stable, I mean, is there movement in the room while you're shooting?

Besides the other lenses mentioned above, Sigma has announced a (I think) 8-16mm ultrawide zoom, the widest rectilinear ever made for dSLRs. I don't recall how fast or expensive it is.
03-25-2010, 04:56 AM   #7
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Pentax mount might have to wait for a while for Sigma 8-16 lens. Canikonians get it first... I'm patient, tho.
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