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12-10-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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World Cup 2010 South Africa, which lens?

Hello!
Guys, I have a k10D. I have tickets to see some World Cup games in South Africa and was hoping to get some photography done while I am there. I currently own the kit lens, 18 to 55, which I am not very fond of, and I also bought myself a FA 50mm 1.4. I find the 50mm to be a great portrait lens and pretty quick in low lighting... works amazingly well in a lot of situations but is difficult in some. I lent my kit lens to a friend who bought a used K100 body without a lens to save him money and get him started. I have not missed it.


I think I should get a wide to superwide angel to take with me to Africa... I am interested in landscapes/cityscapes, as well and getting really wide angle shots of all the stadiums from the outside and the inside, close up crowd shot and easy walk around shooting.
Which wide to superwide angle lenses would you guys carry to South Africa if you could only take one? I am considering size and weight to be a concern, smaller is better but its not the only factor. I am also not afraid of carrying only a prime, and some zoom is OK, but again, don't want it, or need it, to be too long. I am interested in capturing large landscape shots and close up action shots around me from within the stadium in the surrounding crowd, not the actual game or players. I would like to get nice big shots of the stadium and field though... so that's where the wide to superwide angel stuff comes into play. Perhaps even a fish-eye lens...


There is a fish-eye lens with a zoom that allows you to zoom out to a non-distorted superwide length: PENTAX DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED (IF)
Anyone have any experience with this lens? Can you really get great fish-eye and good wide angel results in one lens?


Am I better off with the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL? Short, small, light... no fuss... or maybe the Pentax 14mm f/2.8 DA ED (IF)?
Suggestions and ideas appreciated!

Cheers,

xminer


Last edited by xminer; 12-10-2009 at 07:57 PM. Reason: formatting
12-10-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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Here you can see what others do with the lenses.
I think the 21mm is not wide enough for you.
Maybe you should consider the 12-24mm.

DA 10-17mm
PENTAX Photo Gallery

14mm
PENTAX Photo Gallery


21mm
PENTAX Photo Gallery

DA 12-24mm
PENTAX Photo Gallery
12-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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I have the 10-17 and love it. However, it does have a little fisheye effect throughout the full range. If that concerns you then maybe the 12-24 would be a better choice. For what you describe as your trip plans and the shots you want to take, the 12-24 would work well. If you have the money to spend, get both.

You might want a tele/zoom for game shots also unless you have really good seats.
12-11-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Oh wow, this site is great, thanks for helping a new guy out!

12-11-2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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Xminer,

Congrats on the trip and tickets.

The 12-24 would be a nice all around lens for your travel. If it is not wide enough to accomodate all your wide field views in the stadium you might wish to do multiple overlapping images panning the stadium and stitch them together at some time in the future through a software app. Of which there are many.

If you are looking to do any close up imaging of the players on the field with the 50mm range you mentioned... it won't happen. I covered professional soccer from the sidelines at Giant Stadium and covered the US Olympic team for a national soccer publication back when Pele and Beckenbauer were playing for the Cosmos in the late 70's. The minimum focal length I used at that time was perhaps a 135mm (~200mm on a DSLR sensor) and only went up from there. From the lower stands a 200-300mm focal length may well allow you to recognize individual players well enough. Just a consideration for you in case this was on your agenda too.

Enjoy and stay safe and don't forget to post on your return!

EDIT: If you decide to do the panning method to create wider images than the lens allows, make sure that you shoot your images in manual so that the exposures stay constand during the panning porcess. This will insure, to a greater degree, more consistant exposure and color balance throughout the final assembly.

Stephen

Last edited by SCGushue; 12-11-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: facts
12-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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So price is a concern and I think you guys have both hit the nail on the head... the DA 12-24 and DA 10-17 are both the lenses I should be considering... I don't think I can afford both...

For this trip I am not planning on taking an shots of the soccer action, just the crowd, stadiums and city/landscape stuff... after I get a nice wide angle, a longer lens will be next... I would like to limit my load, so the 50mm prime will stay at home, its is a great lens for the money, but not wide enough to do the job, not long enough to do other stuff... its good for portraits and low light shots, IMO. For this trip don't want to haul a of gear, the camera is enough already, so just one good lens.

I would love to have a fish eye lens, and then again, I might not want to shoot the whole trip that way. I would be really curious to see a cityscape or similar shot with the DA 10-17 full in and full out and perhaps somewhere in between to see the difference in the amount of distortion you get... perhaps the full zoom in would be OK... sounds like there will still be some fish-eye effect, though... maybe that's OK, I'd like to see it... ;-)

The DA 12-24 sounds like a great lens... this is a tough choice... I would like a cool fish-eye, but perhaps its better to have a solid versatile wide angle first... I am leaning towards the DA 12-24 at the moment...

Thanks for your suggestions, more welcome, especially thoughts on the practicality of the 12-24 against the 10-17 fish-eye, or perhaps the 10-17 is more versatile than one would think? (Me fishing for more thoughts about the 10-17!).
12-11-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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I think a fisheye lens will get boring fast if it's your only lens. You'd probably be better off with a wide-angle zoom from either Pentax or another brand (sigma has a few nice offerings too). For getting pictures of the crowd you may actually want to bring your FA50, a wideangle has such a broad view which makes it hard to single out a subject.

I've been to a football/soccer match once, and I mainly used the DA50-200 (a very cheap lens nowadays, and also very good in my opinion) to get shots from the people in the crowd (as well as the people on the pitch). See this photo and beyond. If you click on details you can see which focal lengt the picture was taken with.

Also, I own the DA12-24 myself, and it's a great lens that will not let you down (which indeed it shouldn't, considering the pricetag). But I don't think it's that well suited for taking interesting pictures of people in a crowd. I'd either take the FA50 along, or find a ~50-~200 zoom (which can be bought for pretty cheap in the marketplace on this forum). Also, a cheap solution borrowing the kitlens from your friend, it isn't all that bad at 18mm as long as you stop down to F8 or so.

In any case, all pentax's wideangle offerings offer great image quality. The DA14 gives you F2.8, but is rather large. The DA15 is very small, but 'only' F4 (it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me). The DA12-24 gives you a great range, but you pay the price for that and it's a big lens.

You could also look at getting a better normal zoom, such as the DA17-70, which gives you both wideangle, and the ability to take pictures of people in the crowd, at the same price as a wideangle prime.

Hmm... somehow I get the feeling I've not really been helpful, only confusing
12-11-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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uh ha!!! now there is some food for thought... you were able to get pretty close wit the 50-200mm. Hmmm... thank you for the input, have not made my decision any easier but you have enlighten my thinking a bit... lol... I had no idea I'd find so much help here... this is a great resource for new photographers and Pentax owners...

I love that shot of the linesmen Kevin... pretty neat... I have a feeling even with a 200mm I may not be able to get that close in a 50,000+ seat stadium with wild crazy fans all round me... I did not spring for the best seats, lucky just to get some seats at all! But I didn't think you could get a good action shot from the crowd with a 200mm, now I know!

Perhaps you are right about bringing along the 50mm, its small, it will fit in my shoulder camera bag without displacing anything else I need... I just can't see myself changing lenses in the chaos of the crowd... last thing I need a beer or food falling into my camera or lens when trying to change it... LOL... well going to more than one game, so I can try them out on different days...

good suggestions, thanks!

12-11-2009, 02:41 PM   #9
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The stadium I was in was rather small, so in a much larger one you may indeed not get as close. Still though, getting a cheap zoom that goes to anywhere between 200 and 300mm should allow you to make some decent enough action photos.

Also, your question reminded me I still had to 'redo' these photos: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/83027-sports-north-korea...qualifier.html
12-11-2009, 02:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xminer Quote
Thanks for your suggestions, more welcome, especially thoughts on the practicality of the 12-24 against the 10-17 fish-eye, or perhaps the 10-17 is more versatile than one would think? (Me fishing for more thoughts about the 10-17!).
The DA 10-17 can have a far wider field of view. You can also reduce or eliminate the fisheye distortion in software, crop the edges a bit and end up with a rectilinear approximation. Doing this works best with high-megapixel cameras and/or an image where the center detail is more important than the edges.
12-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #11
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As I mentioned, I love my 10-17 fisheye but would never bring it as my only lens. The 12-24 might be a better choice if you can only bring one.
12-16-2009, 07:01 PM   #12
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You can get the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 for a lot cheaper than the Pentax 12-24...

Something to keep in mind.

I had the Sigma before the Pentax and the difference between them is not that great.
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