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11-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #16
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Yeah, I'm not going to be cutting up this Nikons because I want them to preserve their value and will probably sell them after a while unless I totally fall in love with them. (Unless the market from Pentaxians is actually greater than from Nikonians with old cameras and it would instead increase the value.) However, I am keeping my eyes open for an Exakta mount lens to try out your method on.

11-03-2011, 01:24 PM   #17
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Thank you all so much for the feedback!
11-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #18
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Vivitar sold a 19mm f/3.8. If you can find one it will probably be under $100.

Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
11-03-2011, 04:27 PM   #19
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One alternative I haven't seen mentioned is the DA 16-45 f/4. There's currently one in The Marketplace for $235.

11-03-2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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You have received excellent technical advice here from all who have posted. However, I want to add something that I have found in my wandering here in photography. Yes, I have, over the last 5 years, picked up the 10-17 FE, the 12-24, the 16-45 and I do use all of them and enjoy them very much. I have also taken one of the best images I have ever taken of two ships at sea with the 10-17, and it was the only lens that could have done it. Stitching was impossible due to all of the movement within the scene.

Given that little bit as a lead in, you need to ask yourself - why do you want a wide angle lens and how do you expect to use it (not trying to talk you out of it at all). What I have found is that most landscapes are taken at the 24 to 28mm focal length. No real distortion there. As you go wider, you start to pick up distortion, because the lens is having to pull the view from the edges into the frame. In order to accomplish this, the center of the images (the shot that you are actually going after) tends to get pushed back - reduced, so as to accommodate the pulled in edges. Now, as the edges are pulled into the frame, the top and bottom is pulled in also. What this does, is to essentially draw the viewers eye to the foreground of the image. However, you are picking this wide angle lens in order to pull in more of the view - now all of a sudden the close foreground is gaining importance, possibly detracting from the scene you are really after. Sometimes, you do want the interesting foreground to complement the stunning scene - the lake with the reflections of the landscape, etc. That is one of the main reasons why with landscape images, you see something of interest in the foreground - otherwise you would need to crop it down to a long skinny picture.

Because of this, the 24 to 28mm focal length gives you the reach over the foreground and does give you access to the scene that you may be after. Stitching with these lenses gives you the width you may be after. Then again maybe just stitching with the 50 gives you both the reach over the junky foreground and provides a stunning landscape. Other times, its the 85mm, or the 12mm or 20mm, etc.

What it comes down to is the tools in your bag at the time when you are at the location. This is just like real estate - what counts is location, location, location (and opportunity). You need to see what it looks like and what it CAN look like. Then make the appropriate selection and shoot.

What I am trying to say, is just because you have a wide angle lens in your kit, it may not be THE best lens to use for all occasions. This has taken me a while to learn. You may want to shoot the location with all the focal lengths you have and then see what looks best back at the PC. One of the reasons why I am posting is that you have a wonderful kit lens that provides you with an excellent range of focal lengths to use, so that you can test ideas out with and see what works (for you), thus helping you make a good selection for what you need/want. No one can really make the best decision for you other than you. Go out and shoot and experiment, test ideas, and see what the results are.

11-03-2011, 10:21 PM   #21
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Good, cheap, wide; buy the 16-45mm f4. It's simple
11-03-2011, 10:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
You have received excellent technical advice here from all who have posted. However, I want to add something that I have found in my wandering here in photography. Yes, I have, over the last 5 years, picked up the 10-17 FE, the 12-24, the 16-45 and I do use all of them and enjoy them very much. I have also taken one of the best images I have ever taken of two ships at sea with the 10-17, and it was the only lens that could have done it. Stitching was impossible due to all of the movement within the scene.

Given that little bit as a lead in, you need to ask yourself - why do you want a wide angle lens and how do you expect to use it (not trying to talk you out of it at all). What I have found is that most landscapes are taken at the 24 to 28mm focal length. No real distortion there. As you go wider, you start to pick up distortion, because the lens is having to pull the view from the edges into the frame. In order to accomplish this, the center of the images (the shot that you are actually going after) tends to get pushed back - reduced, so as to accommodate the pulled in edges. Now, as the edges are pulled into the frame, the top and bottom is pulled in also. What this does, is to essentially draw the viewers eye to the foreground of the image. However, you are picking this wide angle lens in order to pull in more of the view - now all of a sudden the close foreground is gaining importance, possibly detracting from the scene you are really after. Sometimes, you do want the interesting foreground to complement the stunning scene - the lake with the reflections of the landscape, etc. That is one of the main reasons why with landscape images, you see something of interest in the foreground - otherwise you would need to crop it down to a long skinny picture.

Because of this, the 24 to 28mm focal length gives you the reach over the foreground and does give you access to the scene that you may be after. Stitching with these lenses gives you the width you may be after. Then again maybe just stitching with the 50 gives you both the reach over the junky foreground and provides a stunning landscape. Other times, its the 85mm, or the 12mm or 20mm, etc.

What it comes down to is the tools in your bag at the time when you are at the location. This is just like real estate - what counts is location, location, location (and opportunity). You need to see what it looks like and what it CAN look like. Then make the appropriate selection and shoot.

What I am trying to say, is just because you have a wide angle lens in your kit, it may not be THE best lens to use for all occasions. This has taken me a while to learn. You may want to shoot the location with all the focal lengths you have and then see what looks best back at the PC. One of the reasons why I am posting is that you have a wonderful kit lens that provides you with an excellent range of focal lengths to use, so that you can test ideas out with and see what works (for you), thus helping you make a good selection for what you need/want. No one can really make the best decision for you other than you. Go out and shoot and experiment, test ideas, and see what the results are.


I was also asking this same question not so long ago about a good wideangle lens. And for me I was thinking cheap as I dont do landscape that much. But I once wanted to shoot a huge tree and I couldnt get it.

The explanation that was given me is has been written above. Really if you think about it, the kit lens at 18mm could be the one to use. A 2.8 fast lens at 16mm can not be that much better than a 3.5 fast lens at 18mm (kit lens). The optics and other stuff like that is another topic for discussion.

So the advice that i got that I can also give is that unless you are going to do alot of wideangle shots, stick with the kit lens, and use a tripod if 3.5 is not fast enough.
11-04-2011, 03:24 AM   #23
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Back to the original question:

QuoteOriginally posted by tvance85 Quote
Now I'm looking for a wide angle, with the largest angle of view that I can get for under roughly $200.
The answer: Zenitar-K2 16/2.8 is the widest lens for US$200 or less. (K2 means it's PK-M mount.)

On FF cameras the Zen is quite fishy. On APS-C cams it's only slightly fishy; AOV is 100 degrees. Depending on how it's used, fishiness can be emphasized or minimized. (Small changes in angle and distance really matter.) Images can be defished in PP to an effective FL of 12mm, though you'd want to downsample to maintain good resolution. Yes, it is noticeably wider than the DA18-55, whose widest FOV is 80 degrees. Before I bought a Tamron 10-24, the Zenitar was my second most-used travel lens after the DA18-250.

Current price for the Zen is now up to US$200 shipped. Occasionally I see an eBay offering of ten of them for US$1500. So: buy the lot. Keep one. Sell the others for US$200 each, for a gross of US$1800. Now you have the lens *and* US$300 profit! Such a deal!

11-04-2011, 05:34 AM   #24
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I would agree that the zenitar is probably the widest new lens at $200, but there are 2 other excellent options, although more expensive that are much more useable.

if you are going to go for a little more, look at the samyang 8mm fisheye and 14mm UWA lenses.

what makes these lenses much better than the zenitar is the KA mount, which permits all auto exposure modes and P-TTL flash.

I have both and there are 2 things to point out with these lenses.

FIrst, CA is virtually non existant (by this, i mean maybe 1 pixel width on my K10D) and the coatings are excellent, with almost no flare. This is important, especially with the fisheye, because with 180 degree FOV it is almost impossible to keep the sun out of the frame.

they cost more than the zenitar, but may be worth considering.

As for other options, I have been looking at the offerings from vivitar and others in teh 17-20 mm range, they do come up from time to time in the 100-200 range. I have also been looking at modifying other UWA lenses notibly nikon and minolta MF lenses, If I get one cheap, I may modify it to fit pentax using a flanged K adaptor (I have done a kiron 24F2 Nikon and 28F2 Minolta mount this way already)

The problem with nikon glass is that unlike canon where the MF lenses simply can't mount, Nikon lenses all mount, it's just that on most bodies you can't meter. BUT that is changing, and newer nikons have more metering capability with legacy lenses. As a result, nikon lenses are disappearing quickly
11-10-2011, 11:48 AM   #25
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I have a 19mm Vivitar thats ok and cheap and a 28mm 'M' lens that ain't as wide but tends to get nicer images... However to be honest I tend to mainly use my FA50-1.4 and Tamron 17-50mm-2.8 despite owning a bag full of other AF and manual lenses (which I may sell soon)
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