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12-23-2014, 12:23 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I do nature and landscape shots these days. Since budget was tight, I opted for the Sigma 10-20 F3.5-5.6. The lens is reasonably sharp wide open and it is much better when stopped down to f10 to f13. A friend of mine has the Tamron 10-24 and is very happy with it. I wanted to go with the Tamron but I tried it at one of the photo shows and it was terrible. Perhaps they had a bad copy at the show (Tamron, why would you bring a bad copy of a lens to a major photographers trade show) .

The samples I saw of the Tamron 10-24 a few posts down on this thread are beyond words. I am not sure how much PP was applied but they look sharp and contrasty. My other wide lens is the Pentax 16-45 which oddly enough is sharper than the Sigma 10-20 but it has lots of CA issues whereas the Sigma 10-20 has almost non.

My guess is that for tall trees an ultra wide is a must. Sigma and Tamron are reasonable solutions costing less than $600. My other lenses are the three amigos and they belong to another universe as far as image quality goes. If I stay with Pentax, I plan to get either the DA12-24 or the DA15 Limited.

I would be curious to know which way you decide to go and how you like the results. Good luck my friend.
The Tamron 10-24 can do a really good job, but is very prone to flare so you have to watch where and sometimes the direction you shoot. The example I posted above had the right conditions and may have involved a circular polarizer. I do like the lens, but I'm getting a DA 15 Limited for Christmas.

12-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #17
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Great shots, Ramsey.
12-23-2014, 02:14 PM - 1 Like   #18
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
My guess is that for tall trees an ultra wide is a must. Sigma and Tamron are reasonable solutions costing less than $600. My other lenses are the three amigos and they belong to another universe as far as image quality goes. If I stay with Pentax, I plan to get either the DA 12-24 or the DA15 Limited.

I would be curious to know which way you decide to go and how you like the results. Good luck my friend.
I've just got the first of the amigos (FA 77) and all I can say is "Wow". Having all three might spoil you for any zoom. Looks like you are destined for the DA15 Ltd.

Having said that, in a forest (or inside a building) you can't always zoom with your feet, so a zoom lens is handy. The 12-24 (and the 10-xx zooms even more so) provides a very useful range.

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The Tamron 10-24 can do a really good job, but is very prone to flare so you have to watch where and sometimes the direction you shoot.
See the excellent comparisons of ultrawide zooms: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/187730-ulti...omparison.html
There didn't seem a lot between them in IQ.

The DA 12-24 is prone to flare too (probably common in ultrawides), but it isn't always a bad thing. Can add a little zip.
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Last edited by Des; 12-23-2014 at 03:06 PM.
12-23-2014, 02:49 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
We should start a themed thread.
Des, there is a themed thread for trees...Now if I can just find it!
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/26-mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/21...-trees-49.html

12-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #20
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Thanks Rod, will probably cross-post there.

Enjoying this thread. Starting with an informative "which lens?" discussion it is turning into a masterclass. No-one has said "Pentax is doomed", or "Fuji rules" or whatever. No sledging. PF at its best.
12-23-2014, 03:16 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Trees are notorious for producing chromatic aberration with even high quality lenses. I would pick something that controls it well. The exact focal length doesn't matter too much if you can use your legs to alter the distance. That may not be possible in dense forest though.

The DA 21 strikes me as a good choice if you really can't back up far enough for a 35 or 50. I don't have it, but by reputation it has all the necessary qualities and is in your price range.
I doubt that CA is caused by the trees

And yes, it is possible to take shots of trees with the DA21 :








12-23-2014, 03:21 PM   #22
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Oaks can be as wide as they are tall. Plus, you are going to want to frame them in context with a bit of their surroundings. Given that, it is all a function of where you are standing (how far back / or up close), and your focal length. I think that would be pushing the lens selection to something of a wide angle - probably a zoom to give you some additional framing options. I would venture to guess a 12-24 or 10-20. Something along those lines. The 12-24 has the distortion pretty well controlled, however it has some CA if you are shooting into the sun.

An alternative is stitching. You can then use just about any focal length lens and use something like Microsoft ICE to stitch the individual shots together into a single result. This would probably give you some additional definition of the details in the branch structure, etc.

For shots that are forced up close, wanting to get in everything, the 10-17 fisheye is very good. By keeping a level horizon you essentially dissipate the extreme fisheye distortion.

The 12-24 and the others can be had used for the $600 neighborhood.

12-23-2014, 03:21 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I'm certainly no expert, but tree photos are an aspiration of mine--one thing I've noticed is that some of the best are actually "vertoramas" using a longer FL.
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
An alternative is stitching. You can then use just about any focal length lens and use something like Microsoft ICE to stitch the individual shots together into a single result. This would probably give you some additional definition of the details in the branch structure, etc.
Never tried trees with panorama software, but it makes sense.

Apart from MS ICE, another stitching option is Autostitch (free or cheap depending on the version):
http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/brown/autostitch/autostitch.html
I find it easy to use, but (at least for the free version) you need to use TIFF or jpg files as the input rather than RAW.


Last edited by Des; 12-23-2014 at 03:28 PM.
12-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #24
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Des, which part of Gippsland do you hail from? Your trees look more like Mirboo North to Bulga-Tarra Valley area. (Although it's a long time since I did the Bulga Tarra area!)
12-23-2014, 04:13 PM   #25
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Answering the question of OP from my experience I would say that two lenses could stand up to the task - FA 35mm f2.0 and Super Takumar 8 element 50mm 1.4 - both these lenses offer amazing sharpness and definition with minimum distortions. Edge sharpness is superb after around F4-5.6 - and I mean it - not acceptable, just SUPERB sharp no different than central (on APS-C).

My SMC-F 28mm f2.8 is also amazing sharp but for full edge sharpness you need to stop it down to F8.
12-23-2014, 04:34 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by joebob Quote
Great shots, Ramsey.
Thanks,
QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
I've just got the first of the amigos (FA 77) and all I can say is "Wow". Having all three might spoil you for any zoom. Looks like you are destined for the DA15 Ltd.

Having said that, in a forest (or inside a building) you can't always zoom with your feet, so a zoom lens is handy. The 12-24 (and the 10-xx zooms even more so) provides a very useful range.

See the excellent comparisons of ultrawide zooms: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/187730-ulti...omparison.html
There didn't seem a lot between them in IQ.

The DA 12-24 is prone to flare too (probably common in ultrawides), but it isn't always a bad thing. Can add a little zip.
That excellent photo is not hurt by the flare. I agree about the zooms, although I'm getting a DA15 soon, I think I'll keep my Tamron 10-24. Now that I have a K-30 and a K-50, I can see taking both of them out to compare shots with the two lenses. That could be fun.
12-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
That excellent photo is not hurt by the flare. I agree about the zooms, although I'm getting a DA15 soon, I think I'll keep my Tamron 10-24. Now that I have a K-30 and a K-50, I can see taking both of them out to compare shots with the two lenses. That could be fun.
This is one of the most debated zoom v prime choices, so there would be a lot of interest in the comparison.

I can see a place for both. My 12-24 is not particularly heavy but it is bulky (I gather the Sigma and Tamron UWA zooms are similar), so the compactness of a 15 would be a big advantage in many situations (hiking, street photography, travel, etc). Better flare control in the 15 too. You would expect the IQ of the prime to be at least a bit better, although there seems to be some debate about that (compared with the DA 12-24):
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/185206-pentax-12-24-15mm.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/244543-da-1...yang-14-a.html

Sounds like I am talking myself into getting the 15 as well, but after a spate of purchases this year I need to show some restraint. That's my New Year's resolution!

BTW Tom, I notice you mention using a circular polarizing filter in some of those superb photos above. I recently got a 77mm CPL (mainly for another lens) but haven't tried it on the 12-24 yet. I have seen reports that they don't always play nicely at wide focal lengths. Your experience?

Last edited by Des; 12-23-2014 at 06:05 PM.
12-23-2014, 06:13 PM   #28
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I love the DA15, but it is soft at the edges. That's rarely a concern in practice, but the DA 12-24 seems better in that regard from the images I've seen. Conversely, the 15 has better CA control and flare resistance and is much more compact. There's a new ~12-28 on the Pentax roadmap that is probably destined to replace the 12-24, so I'm suppressing any further ultra-wide ambitions for the moment.

The Sigma 8-16 is the ultimate UWA monster if you really want your toes in the shot.
12-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #29
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I guess if Pentax produces a FF camera it would change the equation. For people who often shoot wide it might be a more attractive option than a new UWA crop sensor lens.
12-23-2014, 06:45 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
This is one of the most debated zoom v prime choices, so there would be a lot of interest in the comparison.

I can see a place for both. My 12-24 is not particularly heavy but it is bulky (I gather the Sigma and Tamron UWA zooms are similar), so the compactness of a 15 would be a big advantage in many situations (hiking, street photography, travel, etc). Better flare control in the 15 too. You would expect the IQ of the prime to be at least a bit better, although there seems to be some debate about that (compared with the DA 12-24):
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/185206-pentax-12-24-15mm.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/244543-da-1...yang-14-a.html

Sounds like I am talking myself into getting the 15 as well, but after a spate of purchases this year I need to show some restraint. That's my New Year's resolution!

BTW Tom, I notice you mention using a circular polarizing filter in some of those superb photos above. I recently got a 77mm CPL (mainly for another lens) but haven't tried it on the 12-24 yet. I have seen reports that they don't always play nicely at wide focal lengths. Your experience?
The CPL works fine on the Tamron. It's interesting but I did some testing with different lenses on full frame. I actually took the photos on film using an SF10, but MPIX lost the film. Anyway, you could see the hood on full frame, take the hood off and the lens covered. I think they have those filter threads just out there far enough at 77mm. It's a not particularly thin filter either.
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