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01-18-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
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Help with wide angle lenses

Thanks to Pentaxians on this forums, I followed your advice to buy the DA 35 2.4 lens and I am still very happy with it. Now I am considering buying a wide-angle lens and cannot make up my mind between DA 12-24 and DA 16-45. I plan to use it mostly for landscape, travel and occasional indoors.

- I tried the limited DA 15 and found that it is too wide for me.
- I like the range of DA 17-70 but I am concerned about its sharpness

I know that DA 16-45 is much cheaper than DA 12-24; however, I would rather pay more for better image results. Is DA 12-24 performance much better than DA 16-45 to make it worth so much more?

Please advise.

01-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #2
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I'm surprised you find the 15mm Ltd too wide. It's almost an everyday lens in many cases...........very versatile........

If the 15 is too wide, then you might find the 21mm Ltd a better fit. Both the 15 and 21 are such great, small footprint lenses that I hesitate to recommend either zoom if you are looking for best image quality....

my 2 cents
01-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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A wide lens like the DA15 requires different composition techniques to be used effectively, for the most part - such as exaggerating a foreground object by getting very close to it.

It it's truly too wide for the style of shooting you have in mind, then obviously much (or most!) of the range of the DA12-24 would be no good for you either.


24mm is a nice focal length you may like. My suggestions would include the A24/2.8 or the FA20-35/4. The DA21, FA20, and FA*24 are other options. I used to own the first two, have used the DA21, and now own the latter two. They all give nice image quality.

The DA12-24 is probably the best currently available wide-angle zoom for K-mount. However, in reviewing online images from it, it still wasn't quite as good as I was looking for, and it's expensive at that. I personally prefer any of the lenses I mentioned. The only reason I sold the FA20-35 is because I made myself choose between it and the FA20. It has a nice zoom range that might suit you well.
01-18-2013, 08:43 AM   #4
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You may want to view the DA15 lens club on this forum. Some real dedicated photogs show you what can be done with that lens.
I also like the DA21 but I am one of those prime wackos

01-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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I own the Da 16-45 and used to own the DA 12-24. I would not describe the DA 12-24 as "much better" than the 16-45. I would say that the DA 12-24 is a capable of taking better images while the 16-45 is a more consistent performer. My copy of the 12-24 was remarkable sharp corner to corner at close distances, but suffered at longer distances, with virtually no resolution along the edges at infinity focus. I found the 12-24 to be sharper in the 12 to 18 range than in the 18 to 24 range. The 16-45, on the other hand, is very good corner to corner at all distances throughout its zoom range (although it loses a little bit of resolution at the long end of the lens). It also features remarkably little field curvature for a zoom lens. The 12-24, however, enjoys better color rendition and more beautiful rendering.

In practical application there's not a lot of difference between the two lenses. For landscape use, I think the 16-45 covers a more useful range.
01-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
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Landscape photography can be done with any focal length, but I find the 12-24 particularly useful for travel or city shots. As mentioned, if you take a step or two closer than you normally do, you can emphasize the foreground objects.
01-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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Ultimate image quality from a lens won't matter if it's in a range that you have trouble with. The 16-45 at least keeps you in a range where you're already comfortable, at a much lower cost (especially used).

I can identify with your statement about the DA15 being too wide. For me, I can't just pick up a lens in this range and start taking amazing shots. Other people can, so it's not the lens or the range. If you want to work on the techniques, the DA 12-24 might be a good learning tool. The zoom covers a range that should work for you, then gets wider. You could work up to using all of it.
01-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I now realize that a wide angle lens demands different shooting technique. I agree that a zoom lens can be a training wheel for me to learn about landscape photography. Now I am leaning toward 16-45 even though I already got approval from my wife to buy a 12-24 :-)

01-18-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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Luke:

The force will guide you on this one! Both are good for their ranges, obviously, and have their pros and cons. Look through the lens databases here on the forums to see what people have said about each. Both seem to get great reviews. Overall the 16-45 will probably give you more variety to shoot from. Starting out this is SO nice as you get to experiment more at what works best for a given image situation. WIth the 12-24 you are always in the WA world, whereas the 16-45 let's you move between the dimensions of WA through normal and into a slight telephoto. However, once you get used to working down in that 16mm range you may find you want to go down lower. Getting everything, including your feet, in the image can be a real switch to the narrow FOV we normally work with. And the 16-45 can become a great walk around/everyday lens.

Show us some shots once you have it!

Regards,
01-18-2013, 09:38 PM   #10
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I have the 8-16, 12-24 and the 16-45, along with the 10-17, also a 25, 28 and 31. Yes, I like wide angle photography. All the posters have provided great information. I was shooting with the 50 and an 85 the other day, and the amount of telephoto was surprising. I have become very accustomed to WA, and it does take some getting use to. The 16-45 is a wonderful lens, especially for the current price.

As northcoastgreg posted, the 12-24 tends to peak at 18 then drop off by 24. The 16-45 tends to complement the 12-24 by picking up where the 12-24 starts to drop off. Also, I have found that the wider the WA lens, the more color rendering they tend to have.

The suggestions on the primes are also excellent. I don't have the 15 nor the 21, but I like the 24/25 and 28 focal length, and then there is absolutely nothing not to like about the 31. I never really planned to go this overboard on WA - it just kind of happened over time - for various reasons.

01-19-2013, 12:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GDRoth Quote
I'm surprised you find the 15mm Ltd too wide. It's almost an everyday lens in many cases...........very versatile........

If the 15 is too wide, then you might find the 21mm Ltd a better fit. Both the 15 and 21 are such great, small footprint lenses that I hesitate to recommend either zoom if you are looking for best image quality....

my 2 cents
ditto
01-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LukeSkywalker Quote
Now I am leaning toward 16-45 even though I already got approval from my wife to buy a 12-24 :-)
Good! Get the 16-45 and put the rest into some form of savings so you're ready for your next move.
01-21-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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The 16-45 is nice indoors at events etc. It's wide enough to get a good field of view and zooms enough for you to be unobtrusive. It's a pretty quick lens, I used it all the time for a walkaround before buying the 18-135 but won't get rid of the 16-45, it's too useful.
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