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07-27-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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newbie wideangle

Thanks to one and all for their thoughts on newbie macro stuff. The 55-300 and raynox 150 worked great! Takes a bit of getting used to. I need a tripod.
So...what is everyone's thoughts on a newbie wideangle lens?

07-27-2011, 05:16 PM   #2
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What is your budget for a WA lens?

07-27-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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kit lens in the 18-24 range worked pretty well for me as a landscape lens when i started out
07-27-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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Besides budget, you need to have an idea of how wide you want to go. It is a little weird at first, because for telephoto, you can zoom from 270 to 300mm and it's not a big difference. But at the wide angle end, 1mm can be the same difference.

There's a thread here that discusses probably all of the choices.

It may be tough to decide what focal length and speed to buy. First, these lenses don't need to be terribly fast, because the focal length rule of thumb for a handheld shutter speed means you can use super-low speeds. Depth of field is much larger at wide angles too, so it's tricky to get the same narrow DOF look you'd find from a fast 50mm. So don't reject f4 or f5.6 lenses as being worthless, and you might pay a lot extra for 12mm vs. 14mm.

You can try using the kit lens to estimate your field of view. Try stitching two shots at 18mm in portrait (vertical) orientation. I think that's a 12mm equivalent.

07-27-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Dave provides a good link. Here are some things to consider:

* How wide is wide? The 18-24mm range of a DA18-55 kit lens are right at the upper edge of UWA territory. Sigma 8-16 and 10-20, Tamron 10-24, Tokina 11-16, Pentax 12-24 are all UWA.
* UWA isn't for 'scapes. Look at published collections of 'scape photos -- they're mostly shot with lenses equivalent to 18-55mm. My fave 'scape lens is 28mm. I stitch panos from its pics.
* Fisheye (FE) lenses in 8-10-16mm range give rounded distortion at the edges; rectilinear lenses from 24mm on down produce stretched distortion. It may be artistic, or maybe not.
* WA-UWA-FE lenses are good in small spaces, or to close in on something while keeping its immediate context clear and shrinking the distant. UWAs turn mountains into molehills.
* UWA-FE screw-on adapters invariably suck. Better, costlier ones suck a little less, but they still suck. But if you can get one for US$10, you can see if you like the field of view.

Search the forums and you'll find a wealth of information and opinion. Good luck!
07-28-2011, 04:33 AM   #6
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Proper use of an Ultra Wide Angle is something that takes some getting used to. The first thought must be, GET CLOSER. The next thought should be DEPTH OF FIELD which requires something interesting in the foreground and a view out to infinity.

The best way to figure out what you want is to go and view the pictures in the lens clubs. Sigma 10-20, Tamron 10-24, Pentax 12-24, Sigma 8-16. I own (and love) the Sigma 10-20 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM (AF Lens) Lens Reviews - Zoom Lenses - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
07-28-2011, 05:01 AM   #7
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Assuming you have a limited budget, you shouldn't go past the DA 18-55. It does perform very well at f/8. Otherwise you may be looking at the DA 16-45 or faster third party choices such as the Tamron or Sigma 17-50.

All the best in your decision.
07-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
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Shot at 35mm, 14 times.

K5JSPano_DetRiver1_m35105_SiJ_July25_2011 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

A Mono-Pod can be your best friend for things like this. I agree, stick with the kit lens until you have a real notion of what you want to do and what is required. The above was not done with a kit lens though (Pentax A 35-105 f3.5). Even your 55-300 is capable of this from the proper locations. It doesn't have to be 14 shots though nor is it limited to 14. It can be 2, or 3. I have one on flickr that is 24. I think you get the general idea.


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