Help: how to get the best out of Sigma 10-20 4.6


Technoblurb

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 12:13
I need some advice, having just purchased a Sigma 10-20 4.6 from those fine people at SRS. I took this lens for its first outing yesterday, unfortunately the weather was very poor and dull giving me no stunning vistas to show for my eight mile walk, so instead I fired off some test shots on random rocks and landscapes, the resulting images were poorly lit and soft. I don't thinks this is the Sigma's fault, but my lack of experience with this type of lens. So I would appreciate any top tips for shooting this with this lens, what are the best settings, what is the best focusing and metering method for landscapes and any other suggestions.

Graham

chrism_scotland

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 12:22
Graham,

Have you got any shots you've taken?

Technoblurb

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 12:34
chrism_scotland wrote:
Graham,

Have you got any shots you've taken?

I must confess that the images I took are so poor I am reluctant to upload them for fear of the question getting diluted into an image critique. What I am looking for is some advice on the best techniques for using this type of lens and what the best settings are. It is such a different type of lens compared to my Pentax 16-45.

henryk

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 12:39
I bought a 10-20 last year and my shots are lousy, too. I'm highly interested in this thread.

JonSchick

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 12:51
My one biggest hint: don't use ultra wide angle lenses simply to fit more stuff in - you simply end up getting a shot of everything and nothing. They're at their best when you have something of significant foreground interest, and you need to be not far off touching that to get the best effect. I seem to recall that Ken Rockwell did a reasonable piece on how to get the best out of ultrawide lenses, even though most of his stuff is deeply irritating!
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link

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Technoblurb

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 13:37
JonSchick wrote:
My one biggest hint: don't use ultra wide angle lenses simply to fit more stuff in - you simply end up getting a shot of everything and nothing. They're at their best when you have something of significant foreground interest, and you need to be not far off touching that to get the best effect. I seem to recall that Ken Rockwell did a reasonable piece on how to get the best out of ultrawide lenses, even though most of his stuff is deeply irritating!

I have not encountered Ken Rockwell before, his web site is quite a mine of information though. I will give your suggestion of picking out a significant subject in the foreground a go, if it ever stops raining today.
Last Edited by Technoblurb on 23/01/2011 - 13:37

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:00
Live view is helpful for focussing. I find the normal AF with this lens a bit hit and miss.

As Jon says its a good lens for shots with significant foreground interest, or shots taken in confined spaces. My first outing with the lens was in a little rocky valley with a waterfall, with good light, so my first impressions of the lens were good. But I've had experiences similar to yours since then!



[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

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Technoblurb

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:12
Pentaxophile wrote:
Live view is helpful for focussing. I find the normal AF with this lens a bit hit and miss.

As Jon says its a good lens for shots with significant foreground interest, or shots taken in confined spaces. My first outing with the lens was in a little rocky valley with a waterfall, with good light, so my first impressions of the lens were good. But I've had experiences similar to yours since then!

A great example of the lenses capability and a nice photo, it has provided me a good starting point to work from, my pending trip to the Lakes should provide me with plenty of subjects of this style.

So what are the best settings for this lens, what F-Stop provides the sharpest results?

Snootchies

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:19
My 10-20 is currently one of my favourite lenses, though I've not had it long I've been tremendously satisfied with the shots I've taken with it.

I've pretty much always used F13 (it's sweet spot) and the advice I've read here already (not an excuse to try and pack in EVERYTHING - still consider composition as you usually would) is great advice.

I also find shots converted to black and white seem to be more vibrant than I tend to get with other lenses.






Bob

My website (Hadfield Photography)

Pentax Gallery Artist page:link

Flickr Photostream: link

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Pentaxophile

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:20
Probably around f8 to f16, to get a reasonable depth of field. Hyperfocal technique would probably help - I don't truly understand hyperfocal distance but I think on the shot above I focussed in front of the rock in the middle distance in order to get the background and the foreground rock in focus. Perhaps someone can explain hyperfocal technique a bit more scientifically lol!
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

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johnriley

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:33
Hyperfocal distance can be used very effectively with this rule of thumb:

Set a small aperture and focus on a point one third of the way into the scene. This will maximise DOF.
Best regards, John

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snappychappy

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:46
I love this lens, it's extreme angle's really appeal to me. For architecture and landscape's it's invaluable. As mentioned before in confined spaces it's unbeatable, see examples.

Monday Morning Blues.





Breakfast Time.






Last of the Christmas Cheer.




My piccies.

snappychappy

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:47
And of course the most important thing you need to get the best out of any lnes, imagination. Now that don't come easy.
My piccies.

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Algernon

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:52
If it's on a K-7 try to avoid shutter speeds around 1/100th sec.
Use 1/60th with SR on or try 1/250th with SR on and off.

The K-7 suffers from shutter-induced blur around 1/100th sec.
Surprised no one else has mentioned this. See this
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

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sorted78

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 15:32
Quote:
My one biggest hint: don't use ultra wide angle lenses simply to fit more stuff in - you simply end up getting a shot of everything and nothing. They're at their best when you have something of significant foreground interest, and you need to be not far off touching that to get the best effect.

Excellent advice - I have a Tamron 10-24 and am also on the early bit of the ultrawide learning curve. I found that it doesn't work how I thought it would - for shooting wide open landscapes I find I'm always at the long end, but it works really at the wider end for either shooting in confined spaces or up close against something, showing lots of the background.

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