landscape lens suggestions please


adwb

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 00:47
I have a few lenses, but no prime wide angle to use for landscapes.
I have tele and zooms all of which are fine, sharp at certain focal lengths and apertures but the only wide angle I have is the kit 18-55 mk2
which is at its best does a good job but due to the tiny focus movement is very hard to try to set to hyper-focal distances, so what is a alternative, any brand , M or A is fine to use on my K10d
Alistair
Assorted Pentax bodies and lenses as well as Sony and Olympus kit

womble

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 01:07
How wide do you want to go, and how much do you want to spend?

The DA 12-24mm lens is stunning, and breath-takingly expensive. I know it isn't a prime but it is sharp and suffers from minimal distortions. My only issue is that generally 12mm is too wide for landscapes unless you get down low with lots of foreground interest.

Personally, I love my S-M-C Tamumar 28mm f/3.5 and it is actually easier to use on a K10D than the K and M series lenses. Others have commented on the M 28mm f/3.5 as being pretty sharp too. Wider than that, I have the K24 which is pretty good. The K15 is wide but a real monster of a lens. Wonderful on film, but eclipsed by the 12-24mm on digital (which vignettes too much for film).

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Anvh

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 01:07
A bit of a side question on your question Alistair, if you don't mind.
You said "M or A is fine to use on my K10d" but I wonder if there are Pentax A or M zoom lenses with that range or am I wrong to think you are mostly stuck with DA lenses?
The only Pentax lens I could find was the FAJ 18-35/4-5.6
Don't know what the other brands might have.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

Anvh

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 01:10
Oh forgot a suggestion.
Do you want something wider than 18mm if so how much?
The DA 16-45 is regarded as a great lens and relatively (what a word) cheap.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

simonkit

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 08:11
I've just purchased a used Sigma 14mm F2.8, as it's for full frame it also has a distance scale. I haven't had chance to use it yet but I'll post some thoughts when I do.

The 12-24 mentioned is very highly regarded, unfortunately prices of Pentax lenses have now become a little ridiculous so personally I couldn't justify the cost for a lens that I'm not likely to use that often, I think the 17-70 will still be the main lens I use

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

Steve Chasey

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 09:18
Alistair - for most landscapes, a DA*16-50 or DA16-45 will give you the width you'll need.

The only times where the extra that a DA12-24 will be useful is in mountain or fjord country (ie from a boat on Milford Sound in NZ) or high rise urban areas - that's my experiance anyway. You will find sometimes in other uses that an extreme wide angle is helpful - see my gallery shot on the SS Gt Britain with a DA14. Could have been done with a DA12-24 (or a Sigma equiv).

It boils down to whether you want to invest in a lens whose range you may not use in full very offten versus one you will use a great deal but might not be OK in some settings. I'm v fortunate to be able to ignore the opportunity cost element of the equation.


Steve
In the Pack - Gripped K5 (SE),K7 & K20, Gripped MZ-S(SE)& MZ-S,DA10-17, DA12-24, DA14, DA*16-50, 50-135, 60-250 & 300mm; FA31mm/43mm/77mm Ltds; Sigma 8-16, 135-400 & 150-500
Half Backs: K10+BG,DA16-45, DA50-200
Backs: LXs,Super As and lots of A, M & K lenses
Impact Subs: 28mm Shift, K 135-600 (the Banahan of Pentax zooms ), 400-600 Reflex

kerrowdown

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 09:47
I could recommend the SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5 which is a rectilinear lens i.e. which still maintains relatively straight lines at the edges, which I find ideal this type of work.

It may not be the fastest kid on the block, but at F3.5 still quick enough to be hand held, but I always tripod mount for this work anyway.

Just bear in mind it is very wide on FF cameras but not so much on today’s DSLR’s.
Kerrowdown... Aka Romantic Highlander.

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand... William Blake.

"Mistress" Pentax-A 15mm F3.5, "Good Lady" Pentax-A 20mm F2.8, "Friendly Lady" Pentax-A 24mm F2.8, "Deviate Lady" Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift, "Street Lady" Pentax-A 28mm F2.8, "Retro Lady" SMC Pentax-M 40mm F2.8, "Special Lady" Pentax-A 50mm F1.2, "Femme Fatale" Pentax-A 50mm F2.8 Macro, "Sweetheart" Pentax-A*85mm F1.4, "Lady Luck" Pentax-A*135mm F1.8, "Gorgeous Lady" Pentax-A*200mm F2.8 ED, "Duchess" Pentax-A*300mm F4.0, "HM The Queen" SMC Pentax 500mm F4.5

adwb

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 11:41
Thank you every one for the replies I perhaps did not express my thought to well, so to clarify,I have a pentax 18-55 kit lens an old pentax 100mm prime M series / macro; a old pentax 80-200 a series zoom, a Sigma 28-300 zoom and a Auto Chinon manual 50mm prime [which I bought to put the dcr150 on and it works jolly well for that]
So I use the 18-55 for my attempts at landscape, The 18-55 is at its sharpest at about 35 mm and while it is usable at 18 or slightly more,
say 20/28 but what I find is to get my foreground sharp is often potluck despite measuring distances as I find the focus helix in the kit lens is to fine and it is difficult to set accurately.
What I don't want is a fish eye type effect and due to the crippling prices of pentax lenses I am quite content to look for a older fully manual lens with adecent focus throw that has resonable spaces beteen the distance marks and which does not have to be fast as I would mostly be using f8-f16 anyway on a tripod and often low down hence the interest in as great a depth of close up field as possible.
I hope this makes sense , I know what I want but not sure how to put it over.
Alistair
Assorted Pentax bodies and lenses as well as Sony and Olympus kit

johnriley

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 11:45
If you are having trouble with manual focus, first check that the dioptre setting on the eyepiece is set correctly.

Point the camera at a blank wall or sky, out of focus is fine, and adjust the dioptre until the etched lines on the focusing screen are sharpest.

Many photographers try to set the eyepiece whilst looking at a subject, which causes the eye to compensate and leads to an incorrect setting.
Best regards, John

adwb

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 12:04
John,
thanks I have the dioptre set OK, done with the lens off and I have a Katz eye split that is crystal sharp and spot on if I focus on a subject, but what I find is the helix on the kit lens is so fine that at the infinity end of the scale there are tiny movements required to get from say 3 meters to 5 meters. on my 100mm and 50mm primes the focus helix is much coarser and the distances between marks much great and easier to set.
one other thing that confuses me is that 27mm seemed to be a popular focal length for 35mm use but for dslr this equates to a low power tele lens , hence me looking at lenses with focal length in the teens, have I got that wrong?
Alistair
Assorted Pentax bodies and lenses as well as Sony and Olympus kit

johnriley

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 12:17
I think this confuses lots of people.

If you take a 28-80mm lens on a 35mm film SLR and put it on a DSLR then the small sensor means that the camera only sees the centre part of the image projected by the lens.

Therefore, you need a wider lens for the smaller digital format, to get the same effect. The equivalent would about 18-55mm.

So, to understand what a lens produces as an image (if you are more familiar with film) then you mutiply by 1.5, give or take this means an 18mm lens on a digital camera gives a similar effect to a (18x1.5) 27mm lens on film.

Look at it another way. A "standard lens" for 35mm film was 50mm. For the same standard view the focal length needed changes. So a Minox sub-miniature needs a 15mm standard lens, the Pentax 110 needs 24mm, the Hassleblad needs 80mm, and so on.

The only reason now for messing about with "35mm equivalent" figures is that with digital there are lots of different formats (sensor sizes) whereas with film there were a small number of clearly defined ones.
Best regards, John

simonkit

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 12:24
Hi Alistair,

I have little experience of using manual focus, I only became interested in photography during the digital era.

I use the Pentax DA 17-70 for 95% of my landscapes and find it excellent, usually using F11/F16. I always use auto focus and to be honest only rarely have any issues achieve the focus/DOF I require. I experimented with Hyperfocal Distance but had little success, mainly I think for the reason you mention - lack of accurate scales - I may well try it out again now I have the Sigma

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 12:40
I find myself using the 12-24 a lot for landscapes. I really like the width and it is a brilliant performer. I even use my DA10-17 for landscapes (see eg. link).

Yes, at 12mm or under it's important to get your f/g right, but if you do you can get some nice images. I've often read comments that under 16mm isn't so useful for landscapes, but I think it all depends on your style of shooting. So from my experience I'd encourage you to go wide.
Mhuni

500px

adwb

Link Posted 20/05/2010 - 12:58
Simonette wrote:
Hi Alistair,

I have little experience of using manual focus, I only became interested in photography during the digital era.

I use the Pentax DA 17-70 for 95% of my landscapes and find it excellent, usually using F11/F16. I always use auto focus and to be honest only rarely have any issues achieve the focus/DOF I require. I experimented with Hyperfocal Distance but had little success, mainly I think for the reason you mention - lack of accurate scales - I may well try it out again now I have the Sigma

Simon

Simon thanks , your comments equate to why I don't want another albeit wider zoom, I will be interested in your results from the sigma as I was thinking on those lines,but I want a 16mm or under prime for mountains etc.
I think I will see what comes up on eb or for sale here.
Alistair
Assorted Pentax bodies and lenses as well as Sony and Olympus kit

adwb

Link Posted 22/05/2010 - 21:09
Well after all of the fore going suggestions and considering the ever present budgetary constraints , I am going to risk a Tamron 10-24 as it seems to get better reviews http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_10-20_4-5p6_n15/page4.asp re resolution and distortion. It helps that it is cheaper then the Sigma 10-20 , best price I have found is £369 and its alocal dealer so no postage,and Tamron have 25 quid rebate on as well.
Thank you to every one for their input and suggestions.
Alistair
Assorted Pentax bodies and lenses as well as Sony and Olympus kit
Last Edited by adwb on 22/05/2010 - 21:10
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