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04-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Going Wide(r) on the K-01 - Any Advice? (10-15mm, <= $400)

Hi all,

So I'm now up to about 3200 shots with my K-01, and still loving it. I find that I use my Sigma 17-70mm the most, and most of the shots with *that* are in the 17-24mm range. I've also been browsing 500px a lot, and I find that I love urban (and nature) scenes shot in the 10-15mm range.

I currently have nothing wider than 17mm, and would like to explore the 10-15mm range. I don't have a huge budget, but could probably go up to $400, if I must. I am a bit bewildered by the options available. What would you recommend?

My thoughts so far, in order of desirability:
  1. Samyang 10mm F/2.8: The lens I really want, probably. But it will only be released at the end of 2013, or so Samyang says. I don't want to wait 9 months. Unknown pricing.
  2. Samyang 14mm F/2.8: Currently the front runner. A bit large, but good reviews, reputed as very sharp, fast, don't think I'll mind the MF (I have other MF lenses). Got a line on a local one for about $250...
  3. Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6: Current runner-up choice. I like the versatility of the zoom. Reputed sharper than the Tamron 10-24 generally, but also seems to vary from one sample to another. It's slow though - I am worried about possible AF issues with the K-01. Used ones available for around $400.
  4. Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5: That range seems super useful, but reputed soft in the corners, and of highly variable quality. Used ones available for around $400.
  5. Samyang 8mm F/3.5: Veeeery wide. Do I really want to go *that* wide? Good price & well-reputed though.
  6. Pentax DA 15mm: Upper end of my price range for a used copy. Small! But would I really see a difference with the Sigma @ 17mm though, scene-wise (15mm vrs 17mm)?
  7. Pentax DA 14mm: Upper end of my price range for a used copy. Any reason besides AF to go for that rather than the Samyang?
Other choices are over my budget, I think. Thoughts?

04-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Hi all,

So I'm now up to about 3200 shots with my K-01, and still loving it. I find that I use my Sigma 17-70mm the most, and most of the shots with *that* are in the 17-24mm range. I've also been browsing 500px a lot, and I find that I love urban (and nature) scenes shot in the 10-15mm range.

I currently have nothing wider than 17mm, and would like to explore the 10-15mm range. I don't have a huge budget, but could probably go up to $400, if I must. I am a bit bewildered by the options available. What would you recommend?

My thoughts so far, in order of desirability:
  1. Samyang 10mm F/2.8: The lens I really want, probably. But it will only be released at the end of 2013, or so Samyang says. I don't want to wait 9 months. Unknown pricing.
  2. Samyang 14mm F/2.8: Currently the front runner. A bit large, but good reviews, reputed as very sharp, fast, don't think I'll mind the MF (I have other MF lenses). Got a line on a local one for about $250...
  3. Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6: Current runner-up choice. I like the versatility of the zoom. Reputed sharper than the Tamron 10-24 generally, but also seems to vary from one sample to another. It's slow though - I am worried about possible AF issues with the K-01. Used ones available for around $400.
  4. Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5: That range seems super useful, but reputed soft in the corners, and of highly variable quality. Used ones available for around $400.
  5. Samyang 8mm F/3.5: Veeeery wide. Do I really want to go *that* wide? Good price & well-reputed though.
  6. Pentax DA 15mm: Upper end of my price range for a used copy. Small! But would I really see a difference with the Sigma @ 17mm though, scene-wise (15mm vrs 17mm)?
  7. Pentax DA 14mm: Upper end of my price range for a used copy. Any reason besides AF to go for that rather than the Samyang?
Other choices are over my budget, I think. Thoughts?
Going from 17mm to 15mm increases your horizontal FOV by about 7 degrees, so yes, there's a big difference. The Samyang 14mm is very good on APS-C, but I would still strongly recommend the Pentax 15mm. It's simply a fantastic lens in just about every respect!

Adam
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04-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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The Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye is another fine lens that I found in your price range. Not the size of the DA15 but definitely compact for the range and its ability to cover a full frame. It's not for all shots, but software can de-fish those shots that would look best with straighter lines. Supposedly the 15 fisheye field is similar to a 12mm rectilinear lens, but I've done no tests to prove that.

I don't plan to let mine go, but I've said that more than once about a great lens - if a DA16-45 fell in my lap, that might be good enough most of the time.
04-07-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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I have the Sigma 17-70, and picked up a DA15 a few months ago... and was quite surprised how much wider 15 is over 17.

That said, the Sigma 10-20 may be the most flexible (especially in a cost to performance ratio).

04-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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When I was in your situation wanting to explore the 10-17mm range I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my friends Tamron 10-24mm. I realized that this lens would cover my wide angel need/craving. As much as I admire the DA 16-45mm Or the DA 15mm I still realized most of my wide angel pictures is taken within the 10-14mm range. Maybe you can ask around on the forum to see if there is another pentaxian that lives in your town with the one or all the lenses so you might be able to borrow them and see for yourself.

Cheers Yos
04-07-2013, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I have the Sigma 10-20 4-5.6, the DA 15 limited and the Samyang 14 2.8. If the Samyang took filters I would probabably sell the other two ( The sigma is going soon).My copy of Samyang 14 2.8 is sharp wide open. Both the other two need to be stopped well down before they perform well across the frame. IMHO the DA15 is overpriced, although it does have its advantages like its flare resistance, small size and lack of distortion. If you don't need filters I would say go for the Samyang 14 2.8. Apparently it performs well on full frame too.

Here's a shot with it wide open at 2.8. Btw I deliberately softened the lower part where I was standing in Lightroom for effect.


04-07-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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You have a good list of lenses to choose from, however the Samyang 8mm F/3.5 is a fisheye lens (and its 180 degrees wide from corner to corner). The rest of the list are normal (or rectilinear lenses) - a combination of primes and zooms. On wide angle lenses, focal length is probably not the best indicator of actually how wide the lens is.
17mm - 70 degrees
16mm - 73 degrees
15mm - 77 degrees
14mm - 81 degrees
13mm - 85 degrees
12mm - 90 degrees
11mm - 95 degrees
10mm - 100 degrees
The wider you go, the more distortion there is going to be in the image, in particular along the edges, and in the corners. Its just an artifact of the optical designs of the lenses. The engineers have to bend the light on to the sensor. This distortion regardless of how it appears (softness, etc.), is just a compromise that comes with wide angle lenses.

04-07-2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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For UWA, I love my 15mm Limited. It's wonderful having something so small, well built, and the IQ is also really good. It's lack of distortion and it's flare resistance set it apart IMO.

04-08-2013, 12:27 AM   #9
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+1 for the DA15mm.

I have both the DA10-17mm and DA15m Ltd. The DA10-17mm has its use as a combo of fisheye at 10mm and wide angle at 17mm. But the IQ of the DA15mm is superb and this makes that lens apart from many.

In the word of pentax lenses, there are the Three Amigos, that is the FA Limited's (especially the FA31mm and FA77mm IMHO), and ... the DA15mm.

Food for thoughts...
04-08-2013, 12:42 AM   #10
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Save up and get the DA15. It's just a brilliant lens: small, sharp, flare resistant, close focussing, and then there's those 14 point starbursts!
04-11-2013, 05:46 AM   #11
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Thanks to all for the feedback! In the end, I had the opportunity to purchase a practically brand new Vivitar 13mm F/2.8 for $240, and jumped on that. This lens is the same as the Samyang 14mm, only better looking (IMHO), and the price was reasonable, I think. Impressions so far:
  1. It's sharp.
  2. It's not too heavy, but the front element is taller than the K-01!
  3. A lot of distortion, which is sometimes distracting depending on composition. However I found a thread on correcting that in Hugin. Haven't tried it yet.
  4. Will take some learning to compose well with that lens.
Believe it or not, this is the most I've spent on a lens ever! I couldn't get myself to go to the $400+ level when I had this option available. The DA 15 will remain on my wish list, as will the 10mm Samyang, and I might see if I can rent one of the zooms for a weekend to compare... Thanks again!

04-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #12
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BTW, if I may followup on myself, I wanted to mention that the Samyang is often described as prone to flare, but so far that hasn't been a problem for me. The shot below is straight out of the camera (just reduced), with two direct reflections of the sun in the shot.



ps: This is one shot where I really wished for an articulated LCD, as the camera is literally on the ground.

Last edited by Doundounba; 04-11-2013 at 11:24 AM. Reason: add details
04-11-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
+1 for the DA15mm.

I have both the DA10-17mm and DA15m Ltd. The DA10-17mm has its use as a combo of fisheye at 10mm and wide angle at 17mm. But the IQ of the DA15mm is superb and this makes that lens apart from many.

In the word of pentax lenses, there are the Three Amigos, that is the FA Limited's (especially the FA31mm and FA77mm IMHO), and ... the DA15mm.

Food for thoughts...
I have to agree with you on the suggestion for the DA15mm. Very compact and light weight. I have the 21 and I love. It has become my normal lens in combination with the DA70mm.
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