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01-15-2012, 02:56 AM   #1
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Greetings from South Africa

I recently purchased a K-R as my 1st digital SLR. Up to now I only used a 35 mm film camera. DSLR seems to be quite a different ball game and getting to know all the settings will take some time. This is a far cry from a hand held light meter an manual settings.
I plan on travelling to the Namib desert and Richtersveld in a few weeks and need some advise on a wide angle lens.
I viewed two alternatives:
- Sigma 10-20 mm and
- Pentax 10-17 mm fisheye

The lens will be used mainly for landscape and architectual photography.

Do you have any advise.

01-15-2012, 04:04 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to another SA member. There is a group of about >20 registered already from SA, so good to see Pentax still selling in a fringe market dominated by N&C.

As you've probably figured out, DSLR is different to SLR, in so far as you have more electronics to play with. But, switch to M and everything should be pretty much the same. K-R seems like a very nice camera, and has a great sensor in it. Enjoy.

On the Ultra Wide Angle options, I can recommend the Sigma 10-20 for landscape, and the fairly good rectilinear perspective and lowish distortion should do architectural (although some say the distortion present can sometimes be difficult to correct.) Can't comment on the Pentax 10-17, but seems to be a good lens as well.

What also works very well for landscapes is stitched panoramas. I use Hugin (free internet download) which has some very sophisticated options, but also simple 3 step operation works for me. For this I like using my DA35f/2.4 prime because it has no distortion and vignetting. But almost any lens will work so long as the perspective distortion is not too great to make stitching difficult. Also, make sure to overlap generously (I do about 1/3 to ), and preferably same exposure for all and manual WB (but Hugin will fix these a bit as necessary).

Namibia and Richtersveld sounds great. Can recommend Norotshama resort at Aussenkehr, and the route from Noordoewer to Sendlingsdrift. Easy gravel along the river in Namibia.
01-15-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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Welcome from a semi South African (already here 10 years on temporary permits )

It's my understanding that the DA10-17 is a fisheye at the wide end. It's an effect that you like or you don't like (I usually don't like it). I'm also looking for a wide angle lens (for architecture) but I do not consider the DA10-17 at all. DA12-24 is a far better option in my opinion if you want to stick with Pentax and there are plenty of happy Sigma 10-20 users.
01-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Thank you for the advise - I'll try the stitching method.
After searching the forum it seems that the Sigma 10-20mm is quite popular.
It such a pity that the local photography shops will not loan a demo for more than a photo of the car park.

KevinR & Sterretjie I'll keep you posted on my DSLR success - shutter speed & aperture used to be my main worries, now i White balance and ISO has been added to really confuse the matter and then I have not mentioned file format.

01-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum!

The two lenses are quite different. The Sigma is a rectilinear lens while the Pentax is a fish-eye. A rectilinear lens is a normal lens, where the optical design attempts to keep straight lines straight. The fish-eye, in pulling in as much view as possible, distorted the view, and no attempt is made to correct the distortion - hence straight lines comes out curved. As such their field of views are very different. Also, the Pentax fish-eye is somewhat unique since it is a zoom fish-eye. Corner to corner its 180 degrees wide at 10mm and then 100 degrees wide at 17mm.

Here are some threads on the same topic that explain a bit more...Here are two threads - on for the Sigma (rectilinear) and the other for the Pentax fish-eye...If you are going to use the lens for architecture - you will be more interested in the rectilinear - the Sigma.

01-17-2012, 02:52 AM   #6
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Your advise is much appreciated. I viewed some photos of both lenses and decided on the Sigma 10-20 mm. I ordered a lens this morning, and the local supplier will deliver on friday. I'll post a photo or two when I've mastered the lens.
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