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07-19-2007, 02:44 AM   #1
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Best wide angle for architecture - 10-17 or 10-20?

I work for an architects office and they want me to photograph some of our projects for the new web site we're having built. I've also won the job to photograph the hospital I took photos at the other week (Modern Ruins in the photo thread). This means I need a wide angle lens.

Now I realise architecture needs something to compliment the geometry but I really want a fish-eye to use for other things as well.

Now, the lenses I've decided on are:
Pentax 10-17mm Fish-eye.
Sigma 10-20mm.

Now, I realise the only real thing these lenses have in common is that they are wide angle, but they would both suit my purpose.

My question is, what are peoples experiences with fish-eye correction software. Photoshop does it, but there are other programs that do it better. Does this software really work as well as described?

If it did work well I'm essentially getting 2 lenses for the price of 1.

I'm aware there are some fringing issues with the 10-17 but I'm prepared to live with that. But any comments and real world experience will be greatly apprectiated.

Thanks,

Adam.

07-19-2007, 03:28 AM   #2
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Haha Adam you Sig Monster. You shouldn't break the chain. Get the Sigma 10-20.

Hey check out the reviews for the 10-17 and the 10-20 on photozone.de. It will help. The thing is with architecture, its generally prefered that you get a rectilinear wide angle. (Sig 10-20)
07-19-2007, 05:29 AM   #3
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I think you need to decide for yout self.

I personally went for the sigma, because I was not looking for a fish eye, and I enjoy using it

I felt the additional processing to streighten out the images was an additional step I did not want to do. Every time you stretch or distort the pixles you get loss of image to some extent.

Having said that, I find I am using the perspective correction on some of these shots any way,

What I can't comment about is if you want an image which is taken using a fish eye, but the end product is corrected for both distortion and perspective, what it looks like.
07-19-2007, 05:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Haha Adam you Sig Monster. You shouldn't break the chain. Get the Sigma 10-20.

Hey check out the reviews for the 10-17 and the 10-20 on photozone.de. It will help. The thing is with architecture, its generally prefered that you get a rectilinear wide angle. (Sig 10-20)
architecture is usually shot with a tilt/shift lens.

07-19-2007, 05:52 AM   #5
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sigma 10-20 is the way to go.
07-19-2007, 07:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by attack11 Quote
architecture is usually shot with a tilt/shift lens.
This is true for exterior shots, to eliminate "keystoning" perspectice distortion. Unfortunately, there is no shift lens with a wide enough field of view on a Pentax digital SLR camera for this sort of work. A Canon 24mm T/S lens with a full frame camera (e.g., Canon 5D) would be the best choice. You can correct the perspective distortion in software with Photoshop or similar programs, so this is lees of an issue than it used to be.

For interior shots an ultra-wide zoom is usually preferred. Perspective distortion is less of an issue and you need the flexibility of a zoom to compose the photo in a tight space.

For the ultra-wide zoom, I'd suggest the Pentax DA 12-24 f4 lens. It has very little geometric distortion and will work well for this application. I don't have the Sigma 10-20mm, but the test reports for this lens show much higher barrel distortion, making it less suitable for architectural use.

The fisheye is pretty much a special-effects lens. I would not buy a fisheye lens for this application. The "de-fishing" software is ok for occasional use, but the process crops the field of view from the original. So you can't determine what will be in the final image when you take the photographs. Not a good choice for the O.P.'s needs. It is better to buy the correct tool for the job, rather than buying the wrong tool and trying to compensate with a software trick.
07-19-2007, 01:50 PM   #7
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Thankyou everyone for your input. I really like the effect of fish-eye, when used sparingly and properly, which is why I was considering that lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
A Canon 24mm T/S lens with a full frame camera (e.g., Canon 5D) would be the best choice.
This job will by me another lens, not a complete new system


QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
For the ultra-wide zoom, I'd suggest the Pentax DA 12-24 f4 lens. It has very little geometric distortion and will work well for this application. I don't have the Sigma 10-20mm, but the test reports for this lens show much higher barrel distortion, making it less suitable for architectural use.
For the extra 2mm at the wide end I think I'll handle the PP for the Sigma.


QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML;77667F:
The fisheye is pretty much a special-effects lens. I would not buy a fisheye lens for this application. The "de-fishing" software is ok for occasional use, but the process crops the field of view from the original. So you can't determine what will be in the final image when you take the photographs. Not a good choice for the O.P.'s needs. It is better to buy the correct tool for the job, rather than buying the wrong tool and trying to compensate with a software trick.
This was my main concern. I could go and re-shoot it but you can never re-compose as well the second time around can you.

Thankyou all, this was the exact information I was looking for.
07-27-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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There is a tilt shift adapter that will let you use Pentax 645 lenses with thier larger image circles as a tilt shift lens on a Pentax DSLR. I don't know how well it works though. Luminous landscape has a review of it.

07-28-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
There is a tilt shift adapter that will let you use Pentax 645 lenses with thier larger image circles as a tilt shift lens on a Pentax DSLR. I don't know how well it works though. Luminous landscape has a review of it.
Using 645 lenses rules out wide angle since there are no 20mm or shorter 645 lenses.
07-29-2007, 11:13 AM   #10
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Hi Adam

I have been taking both exterior and interior architectural photographs for more years than I care to admit. I'm afraid I can't speak for Pentax's 10-17mm Fish-eye, as I've never had the pleasure of handling one myself.
Although I don't actually own the Sigma 10- 20mm zoom myself (YET !), it will without question be my next purchase !

It's actually quite difficult to explain to someone who's never seen it before just how "w-i-d-e" a field of view the Sigma 10 - 20mm zoom is capable or rendering. It certainly 'blew-me-away' the first time I hooked it up to my Pentax K10D, but the truly astonishing thing about it is the virtual absence of visible distortion in the viewfinder. What little distortion 'there may be' in the images can quite easily be eliminated with modern editing software, from which there is quite a variety to choose, both inexpensive and somewhat more-so.

IMHO I believe the Sigma 10 - 20mm HSM zoom to be quite an extraordinarily accomplished lens, within it's price bracket. Please note that there have been some posts elsewhere on this forum regarding issues concerning sample variation and focusing anomalies, so if I were you I'd strongly advise that you check out the lens very thoroughly prior to purchase at a photographic store ! If using mail order please get some kind of firm agreement in place, should you need/decide to return it. I concur absolutely with GaryML when he states:

QuoteQuote:
A Canon 24mm T/S lens with a full frame camera (e.g., Canon 5D) would be the best choice. You can correct the perspective distortion in software with Photoshop or similar programs, so this is less of an issue than it used to be.
However I imagine that your budget is severely limited and it's highly unlikely it will stretch that far ! Oh well, you can always work 24/7 plus triple overtime !!!!
Do bear in mind that you will need to keep the lens perfectly vertical (parallel) to the subject you're photographing, otherwise the well-known phenomenon of 'converging verticals' will raise it's ugly head ! Once again this can be corrected within software, although you may lose a small proportion at either side of the image in doing so.

I use my Olympus OM1 35mm f2.8 perspective correction lens a great deal when shooting film and also my 50mm f4.0 PC lens fitted to a Mamiya medium-format (6 x 4.5) body. Unfortunately, I cannot presently use the OM lens on a digital body due to mount incompatibility and crop-factor issues on APS-C digital bodies. To the best of my knowledge NO MANUFACTURER has yet produced a commercially available 6 x 4.5 full-frame sensor, so my 50mm PC lens is not seeing much action lately either !!!

Anyhow, best regards and good luck !

Last edited by Confused; 08-01-2007 at 03:49 PM.
07-29-2007, 02:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for the comprehensive response Confused. I've decided to go for the 10-20. I can get if for $615 AUD which is quite good, and that's including good warranty etc.

Just need to save some money now.
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