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05-03-2016, 09:07 PM   #1
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New to DSLRs and am looking for suggestions on an affordable wide-angle prime lens

Hello! I'll be using the lens I buy to do both landscape and isolation shooting. I am using a Pentax K50.

My budget is around $100.00 USD and I do not mind buying used. I've looked at the Pentax SMC 28mm and Vivitar 28mm, and wondered which version of these work best with my goals and budget? Thanks so much!

05-03-2016, 09:10 PM   #2
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prolly the smc 28.....was goin to suggest a 28 prior to reading the thread itself.....I have a sears 28 and it works great for me
05-03-2016, 09:39 PM   #3
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If you can save up another $50 or so, I'd suggest getting the DA16-45 - it's not a prime, but image quality is great and it will give you a pretty wide image. 28mm on apsc is more like "normal" as it's field of view is 42mm.
05-03-2016, 09:39 PM   #4
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The problem with this is that 28mm on APSC (Cropped) cameras isn't wide. The 28-35 range is similar to 42-52mm. It's a little wider than traditional but not far off the ideal normal lens focal length of 43mm.

There aren't a lot of lenses that do isolation and wide angle. By their nature wide angle lenses tend to have high depth of field so isolation is difficult. Also wide aperture on wide angles is harder to do without distortions and that drives up prices. Personally I would look at the Samyang lenses - but likely well over budget. I can't think of anything wide that won't be over budget - not a prime anyway.

05-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #5
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The kit zoom (DA18-55WR) isn't all bad either, and can be found pretty cheap.
As vagrant10 said above, 28mm barely qualifies as wide on a crop camera. 24mm or below is what you're after.
05-03-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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I like the old Tamron F2.8's in 28mm, and you should be able to find a good used one within your budget, but is it wide enough?
05-03-2016, 09:53 PM   #7
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Taking into account the advise here, I probably should have mentioned that I own the 18-55 kit lens. I'm satisfied with what it does for landscape. Would my variety be better spent investing in a fast auto prime like the 35 or 50 da? I'm just trying to cover bases of variety lol
05-03-2016, 10:18 PM   #8
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On the extreme focal length ends (short or long) the prices are higher, so if you are not sure I would maybe experiment with a few cheaper 28mm or similar lenses to see if they work for you.


If not, then you may need to budget for something in the 10-20mm Fast Zoom range or a 14mm / 15mm / 16mm prime

05-04-2016, 12:01 AM   #9
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What do you mean by "isolation shooting"? When you use the 18-55 lens that you already have, what focal length are you using most often? Landscapes are going to be toward the 18mm end; what else comes up often when you go back through pictures you're happy with? Do you wish you could have a focal length beyond either the 18mm wide end or the 55mm long end?
05-04-2016, 12:28 AM   #10
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Hmm, $100 wide angle prime suggests second-hand, film era, manual focus, no wider than 24mm or 28mm.
05-04-2016, 06:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Hmm, $100 wide angle prime suggests second-hand, film era, manual focus, no wider than 24mm or 28mm.
But to me the 28's aren't even really wide at all. The 24's are modestly wide but many break that budget.
05-04-2016, 06:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Hmm, $100 wide angle prime suggests second-hand, film era, manual focus, no wider than 24mm or 28mm.
I am also looking for cheap wide angle lenses for general landscapes. Any suggestions in film-era lens which will work on k-500 ?

Currently i use the kit lens but was thinking i could change to better lenses within budget.
05-04-2016, 07:21 AM   #13
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Urnamaster13: The problem that both you and the original poster in this thread are facing is that what gave a wide field of view on a full frame film camera will not be all that wide on an APS-C type DSLR like your K-500. Those lenses did exist but they were rare on the ground and I believe give somewhat poor results when paired with a digital sensor.

This plays to your advantage going the long route; that old 50mm that was about-normal on a film camera is almost a short-telephoto on your K-500. An old 85mm portrait lens is the same story only more so. But a 20mm lens that was crazy wide on full frame is now a but more narrow than an 18-55 kit lens.

I think if wide is what you're looking for, you're going to need to shop around for something more modern, and spend more. OR get used to shooting with a tripod and do pano-stitches of multiple images to get a wide field of view.
05-04-2016, 08:21 AM   #14
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The Samyang 14mm is my go to choice for wide angle landscapes. 'Modern, excellent coatings, manual focus (which is fine at 14mm), an A setting on the aperture ring for automatic exposure control. Great value new, probably not many around second hand. It's a FF image circle lens also. Distortions are the main drawback and can need correcting with some subject types.
05-04-2016, 09:37 AM   #15
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I remember there being a great thread with a nice list of Pentax 28mm lenses from the film era ranked quite well.
I don't think any of them are terrible, but I would advise you get one with A on aperture ring, so you get a little more automation.
Some third party 28mm lenses are a bit bad, but it is very difficult to tell, because there are so many. For example, there are many 28mm lenses labelled Vivitar, but they are very, very different from each other; some are great, others not so much. There is another thread (or website, something with "vivitar 28mm bestiary" in title), which has a list of these. You have to look at its appearance and serial number.

QuoteOriginally posted by avoir Quote
Would my variety be better spent investing in a fast auto prime like the 35 or 50 da?
Those are both great lenses, and very affordable. And they have full automation, auto-aperture, AF, even lens CA and distortion profiles. But they are not very wide, at least not on APSC. While I recommend the DA 35mm to anybody (don't have the 50mm myself, but the reviews are good), you might want to look at DA 21mm or FA 20-35mm, or Samyang 16mm f2 for wide angle choices. That Samyang is great, good deal, very bright, really wide, but not awkwardly wide, great for indoors, landscapes, and astrophotography, but it has no AF (it does have auto-aperture, though).

I recommend DA 35mm and Samyang 16mm, and you have a solid wide to normal kit, great for travel and landscapes; blows away the 18-55mm and even most other zoom lenses in that range (pretty much all of them in terms of optics). A second hand Samyang 16mm can be found for a good price. 28mm is a good FoV, but unfortunately Pentax is not producing one at the moment, and neither is any other brand (at least not for Pentax K mount), so your options are quite limited. From the film era, there are many options, but it gets super complicated, so you have to do a lot of research. I don't know the lenses you mentioned specifically, but I do have an M 28mm f2.8 that I am happy with (despite some weaknesses).

Another tip - if you buy an old 28mm, buy a good tight lens hood for it! It will help a lot with the image quality, as lens coatings back then were nowhere near as advanced as now

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-04-2016 at 09:48 AM.
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