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03-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
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low budget wide angle lense options?

Recently I bought a K-r with the 18-50 and 50-300 lenses, but I often find myself wanting a wider angle, sometimes so I can be closer to the subject (car shows) as well as the occasional barrel distortion effect. Because I'm a beginner and on a budget, I really can't swing one of the $500+ lenses, and I'm not finding anything that I would consider affordable ($150-200). I do see very cheap wide angle attachments for my existing lense. Are they any good? Is there an affordable 10-20 or so out there?

03-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #2
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Wide-angle attachments generally suck. Those that aren't too bad, aren't cheap, and they still suck. These were designed for video, where moving frames mean you don't notice the suckiness so much.

There are no bargain ultrawide lenses. Closest is maybe the slightly fishy Zenitar 16/2.8 for ~US$200. Its fishiness can be fixed somewhat in PP, but you'll want to shrink the image to retain resolution.

IMHO the most affordable quality UWA is the Tamron 10-24. Tamron sometime issues discount coupons; mine was US$375 shipped last year. All other UWAs cost more and have worse warranties.

The sad truth is that the most cost-effective wide lens is... the DA18-55 kit lens. Going wider costs, and there's just no way around that. Hay, if you're desperate, you an get a 0.25x wide adapter for US$20. The kit lens will be a full-circle fisheye at 18mm, frame-filling around 40mm. But IQ still sucks. Don't use such if you expect results that are photographic. Good luck!
03-16-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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RioRico is correct.

I will mention that the DA16-45 has better IQ than the kit lens (if you are discerning), is constant f/4 and goes to 16mm. The 2mm difference is definitely noticeable, but maybe not the UWA you were hoping for.
03-16-2012, 08:03 PM   #4
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I was in a very similar position recently, found the DA 16-45mm for under $300 and bought it hoping it would satisfy my wide angle craving. It didn't (though it is definitely wider and takes great pictures!), so I soon sold it and followed RioRico's advice and bought the Tamron. There is a $50 rebate on it right now that helps offset the cost a bit. I love the Tamron, and would surely buy it again. It is the only lens I've bought new.

03-16-2012, 09:41 PM   #5
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Do not waste your money on a wide-angle attachment.
03-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Anson Quote
Do not waste your money on a wide-angle attachment.
I wouldn't go quite so far. I'll say, don't buy a WA-adapter expecting anything like 'photographic' image quality. I use such adapters for certain graphic work, where form trumps detail. Besides distortion and lack of resolution, such adapters usually show fairly severe chromatic aberrations like fringing. Shooting B&W, such fringing isn't so bad. Shooting ultra-high-contrast 1-bit B-or-W for litho effects (like silhouettes or image masks), such fringing doesn't matter at all. Just accept that such adapters give cartoonish effects, and you won't be too disappointed.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-17-2012 at 01:49 PM.
03-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #7
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+1 on the Tamron 10-24. I'm sure it's no DA12-24, but I love mine. On the other hand, I love my two DA-L kit lenses too. And all of the junky twenty-dollar M's I've harvested from ebay.
03-18-2012, 07:13 AM   #8
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Here is my Kr with the new DA 40mm F2.8 XS mounted.

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