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05-25-2010, 07:02 AM   #1
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Alternative to 50mm f/2

I already have the Pentax A 50mm f/2 on my k2000. I have a feeling that it's just a tad too long for group shots. I recently attended a baby shower and was asked to take some group pics but I had to stand fairly far away to get a group of 10 people in one shot, which didn't make it easy. I'm wondering if there's a better alternative to the nifty-fifty. I understand my k2000 has a smaller sensor that magnifies the 50mm a bit. Would a 28mm work better for this situation?

05-25-2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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It all depends on the size of the room! You might need even wider than 28mm for 10 people in an "average" room, if there is such a thing.

Plus, even if you can go back far enough at 28mm, there might be distracting elements between you and your subjects, like a coffee table, potted standing plants, whatever.

This is where the 18-55 kit comes in so handy.

And the not inexpensive DA 15.
05-25-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
This is where the 18-55 kit comes in so handy.
Exactly. The kit lens can only open to f4 in this range, so it's not great for low light situations. Because it's in the middle of its zoom range, the optical quality is hard to beat. That's good, because Pentax has a big hole in its lens lineup in this range. The closest match is the DA 35mm f2.8, a fine lens but more expensive, longer and slower than you might want.

Some alternatives:

Pentax-A 28mm f2.8 - manual focus, A setting, works like the A50/2, maybe $100. I think it's a pretty good value, slightly better optically than the Pentax-M version and more convenient to use.

Vivitar 28mm - 37 variations make finding the right Vivitar a little complicated. You need a decoder ring for the serial numbers, and some lens hunting skills to comb through the listings. More information here:https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/34654-vivitar-...placement.html

Sigma 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 - they're not Pentaxes but they are pretty good anyway. If you need AF and low-light performance, they're just about the only choice at a reasonable price.
05-25-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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Thanks, I have the kit lens but it's a bit slow for using indoors without a flash. I like to shoot without the flash as much as possible plus I hate carrying around an external flash too. How's the distortion when you get as wide as 15mm?

05-25-2010, 08:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
Thanks, I have the kit lens but it's a bit slow for using indoors without a flash. I like to shoot without the flash as much as possible plus I hate carrying around an external flash too. How's the distortion when you get as wide as 15mm?
All depends on the lens you will use.
There are ones that have distortion and ones that have controlled or no distortion at all.
The ones that have no distortion are very expensive while the ones that cause distortion (bordering on fish-eye) you can fix with software.
Take a look at photos taken with the Zenitar 16mm so you will get an idea of what a 15mm would do.

An alternative to the DA/L 18-50mm f:3.5 kit is the Tamron 17-50mm f:2.8 or the Sigma 17-70 f:2.8. Be prepared to pay for more though but if you want to upgrade, you might want to take a look at those lenses.

..not sure by the way of the Sigma is a constant f:2.8.
05-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
Thanks, I have the kit lens but it's a bit slow for using indoors without a flash.
A bit, but it beats standing in the next room. I'd try it toward the wide end - between 20 and 24mm, say - at f/4, ISO 1600 or whatever it takes to get to 1/20", ask everyone to hold very still, and lean against to help steady you. You should be able to get decent shots in most settings this way. Yes, they'll be a bit noisy, but should be fine if you're not printing posters.

Beyond that, a 24/2.8 or 28/2.8 can be had for $100 or so, and will help, but with the shallower DOF at f/2.8, you may struggle to get everyone in focus, and you might actually be better off shooting at f/4.
05-25-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
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It's hard to get an entire group in focus at f4, much less f2.8. It seems like the kit lens would be excellent for what you want.

Paul
05-26-2010, 07:59 AM   #8
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The Sigma 17-70 is f2.8 on the short end of the zoom and is reasonably priced and easy to find used. The very inexpensive 18-55 kit lens does a good job with those kind of shots. If price is no object, then the DA14, 15, or 21 would do a wonderful job as would the fast wide angle Sigma primes.

06-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #9
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I second the Sigma 17-70. A bit expensive, but a reliable performer. Very good indoors and the zoom range is wide enough for group shots or a close-in on a particular face.
06-02-2010, 04:08 PM   #10
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First off everyones answer is correct as it works for them.
I wanted something wider than my kit 18-55.
My own answer is the Tamron 10-24mm 3.5-4.5.
06-03-2010, 12:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
How's the distortion when you get as wide as 15mm?
You already received some very good advice. Let me add one comment.

If distortion is an issue, you should consider some post-processing for lens distortion correction. For example PTLens is an excellent lens distortion correction software, that is well-regarded and well-priced. From experience, the developer is prepared to add a new lens to the list if yours is not listed.
06-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #12
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Also, there are two types of distortion: distortion caused by some aspect of the lens design, and "perspective" distortion inherent in the focal length. Even the most perfectly corrected 15mm lens will show perspective distortion - it's inherent in the nature of taking a scene wider than you normally view at once and cramming it onto a screen or print you do view at once. Meaning, object along the edges look elongated. When shooting groups with wide angle lenses, try to avoid having people on the edges.
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