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02-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #1
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What's a good cheap wide angle lens?

looking to buy a wide angle lens for my K-X. what's the best cheapest one?

02-05-2011, 12:24 AM   #2
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How wide and how cheap ? IMHO kit lens is best cheap lens.

A.
02-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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I was asking myself same question. Now i think i'm more of a "zoom" guy, so i considered the Pentax 16-45 f4 or the Tamron 17-50 2.8, to get some extra compared to kit 18-55. This was the "poor man's best choice" for me, in the near future i'll grab one of those
02-05-2011, 02:31 AM   #4
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1) Doesn't this belong over in the LENS area?

2) How wide and how cheap, indeed? The 18-55 is the best for the money.

3) No indeed, go ahead and 'upgrade' -- keep PenHoya managers and stockholders happy.

You've missed out on an ultrawide deal. The Tamron 10-24 had a US$100 rebate until a month ago. At US$375 shipped it was the best bargain around. Otherwise, here's the horrible truth: AIN'T NO CHEAP WIDE ZOOMS. Cheapest widest prime is the Zenitar 16/2.8, mildly fishy, for under US$200. Everything else wider than 18mm just skyrockets from there. Bother.

02-05-2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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I picked up a 10-20mm Sigma f4-5.6 secondhand for ~US$300. It rarely leaves my camera now!

Highly recommended as a cheap entry point into the fun world of ultra wide angle. If UWA is what you are looking for.

My bet is if he has a K-x already, he probably has an 18-55 already....
02-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #6
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I don't know what you call cheap, and I don't see where you asked about a Zoom. If you want a (relatively) inexpensive wide angle prime and don't mind manual, The Zenitar 16mm f2.8 FE is a decent lens.

Zenitar 16mm f2.8 FE - a set on Flickr

The B&W photos are full frame film (some cropped for effect). On an APS-C sensor, there isn't much fisheye effect.

Based on experience with the Vivitar 85mm f1.4, you might also consider the Bower (and other manufacturers) 14mm option. If you're looking to go Pentax AF Prime, it isn't going to be cheap. Zooms, my only experience is with the kit lens, the DA12-24, the DA16-45, and the DA*16-50. The 16-45 may be your best bet if you're looking to replace the kit lens.

02-05-2011, 05:25 AM   #7
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tamron 10-24
02-05-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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I second the Zenitar, except it's not as cheap as it used to be - now probably about $200 I think. A little wider than it's rated 16mm when you defish (more like 14-15mm, although the aspect ratio is a little different), and the center gets sharper when you defish too (at the expense of the edges).

02-05-2011, 10:07 AM   #9
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Not a direct answer to you question, but multishot panoramas with the lens you have can yield great (and very cheap) wide angle results
02-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 68deluxe Quote
I picked up a 10-20mm Sigma f4-5.6 secondhand for ~US$300. It rarely leaves my camera now!

Highly recommended as a cheap entry point into the fun world of ultra wide angle. If UWA is what you are looking for.

My bet is if he has a K-x already, he probably has an 18-55 already....
yes. this is the correct answer. One of my favorite lenses. If I hadn't replaced it with the new sigma 8-16mm it would still be on my camera...
02-05-2011, 04:00 PM   #11
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IIRC the Zenitar on APS-C defishes completely to 12.5mm with an aspect ratio of 2:1. (I can't tell for sure right now, I'm having problems with my pictures computer.) Oh yeah, there's a way to get a Zenitar pretty cheap: buy a case lot. Guys are selling batches of 10 for ~US$1500. So, buy the boxload, pick one, sell the rest for US$200 each, get US$300 profit and a free Zenitar, heh heh.

We still don't know what OP thinks is wide and cheap. Bother.

And doesn't this thread really belong in the LENSES section?
02-05-2011, 10:29 PM   #12
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Wouldn't an opaque bayonet-mount cover with a pinhole in it make for a cheap ueber-geeky wide angle "lens"?
02-06-2011, 04:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Catalana Quote
Wouldn't an opaque bayonet-mount cover with a pinhole in it make for a cheap ueber-geeky wide angle "lens"?
On a Pentax cam, NO!

The problem is the mirror box. That pinhole can only get just *so* close to the sensor, and that ain't real close. A 24x16mm APS-C sensor coupled with ~45mm register (flange focal distance) means, NOT WIDE. I've an f/180 body-cap pinhole that is essentially 43mm on APS-C (my K20D) or 30mm on 135/FF (my K1000 or ZX-M). To get WIDE, you must put the pinhole much closer to the frame (digital or film). Of ILC's (interchangeable-lens cameras) a Sony NEX with its APS-C sensor and 18mm register is probably the best candidate for body-cap pinholing.

Maybe you're thinking of Ye Goode Olde Dayze, when we'd put a tinfoil pinhole in the side of an oatmeal carton and stick a piece of photo paper inside. So now we've got an 8x10 inch frame with its objective only 5.5 inches away (I just measured an old Quaker Oats box). THAT provides a near-fisheye infinite-DOF experience! To approach that on APS-C, the pinhole must be ~12mm from the frame -- and with a flat camera frame, you'd have significant light drop-off towards the ends and corners.

Get an oatmeal box and have at it, eh?
02-06-2011, 05:00 AM   #14
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Thank you for this explanation. It made a lot of sense and gave me quite an insight. Much appreciated. Just out of curiosity, what would the diameter of a f/180 pinhole be for the body cap. I wouldn't mind experimenting.
02-06-2011, 11:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Catalana Quote
Thank you for this explanation. It made a lot of sense and gave me quite an insight. Much appreciated. Just out of curiosity, what would the diameter of a f/180 pinhole be for the body cap. I wouldn't mind experimenting.
I'll guess that it's around 0.25mm. Normally I would refer to my favorite fat PDF on the subject, Pinhole Photography by Eric Renner, but I can't access that right now, so I'll just recommend this Wikipedia page which has links to pinholing how-to's.

NOTE: making pinholes for 135/FF and 135/HF (APS-C) frames is tricky because the hole's edges must be PERFECTLY SMOOTH to avoid nasty diffraction effects. Laser-punched holes are best. The optical path needs to be PERFECTLY CLEAN or you'll get the same shots I do: prominent dust. And because of the register problem I mentioned above, body-cap pinholes will have focal lengths around 'normal' with 135/HF (APS-C) frames. A 135/FF rangefinder could have have its lens removed and replaced with an inset pinhole for a wider angle... which would probably include the lens mount framing all images. Better to get a pinhole Holga.

Pinhole cameras (PC's) exist in a wide range of sizes, from surveillance pinheads to modded aircraft hangars. I've suggested roofing over Arizona's Meteor Crater, or nuking an iron-nickel asteroid into a giant cylinder, to get large-scale PC's. On a human scale, some people put bits of film into their mouths or fists as make-do PC's. Camera-obscura and pinhole photography really are lots of fun, but I prefer larger formats than our digicams allow. Get thee to an oatmeal box, eh?
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