Which Wide angle ?


justa

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 08:15
Hello all

Newbie question here - one of the reasons for me buying an SLR was to get a nice wide angle lens to go with it - i like landscape photos and buildings..

As I am new to this I don't really know what I am looking for - my kit lens is 18-55 but my Panasonic Compact was 27mm - I know there is a conversion somewhere and i know my 18-55 isn't wider than my 27 compact !

My budget is very limited so what should I look out for ? Second hand seems the best way forward but what make/size lens should I be looking for and what should I expect to pay ?

many thanks !

flossie

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 08:33
Hi - we go round this quite often as its a popular topic. The Signa 10-20mm is the cheapest option (keep your eye open for 2nd hand deals).

Alternatively, a no-cost option would be to stich multiple shots together - free software such as Hugin or ICE allow you do this semi-automagically, although results can be somewhat bizarre sometimes, depending on how good your panning was...
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...

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redbusa99

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 11:27
your kit lens gives you a wide angle at 18mm this is wider than your 27mm compact.whether it is wide enough only you can decide. try comparison shots of the same scene. another is the tamron 10-24mm around similar price to the sigma . dont know about IQ between the two though but some body here will.
K3 II and the odd lens or 2

Flickr

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Anvh

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 12:33
justa wrote:
I know there is a conversion somewhere and i know my 18-55 isn't wider than my 27 compact !

There is no conversion at all
A 18mm lens is 18mm no matter what camera you put it on since it's physical feature of the lens.

The angle of view does change when you move the lens on different formats.
If you're use to the 135format than an APS-C format would feel 1.5x longer.
The lens is still 18mm though but it behaves like a 27mm lens on 135 format and if you put the 27mm on the APS-C the smaller image will make it feel like a 40mm lens.

I hope it's all understandable what I wrote.
Stefan


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

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justa

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 13:01
I think that makes sense - I remember reading somewhere that my 18mm lens is about 27mm in compact terms - not sure whether this is true ?

Anvh

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 13:19
justa wrote:
I think that makes sense - I remember reading somewhere that my 18mm lens is about 27mm in compact terms - not sure whether this is true ?

The size quoted on compats is most of the time the 135format (fullframe, film) equivalent.
If so than 18mm on your DSLR will give the same angle of view as the quoted 27mm on your compact.

it depends on the sensor size of your compact but most likely the real focal length is something like 8mm.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 06/09/2010 - 13:21

JonSchick

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 13:21
justa wrote:
I think that makes sense - I remember reading somewhere that my 18mm lens is about 27mm in compact terms - not sure whether this is true ?

Actually, there is no way that a compact would start at 27mm for a wide angle! However, manufacturers often mark their lenses for compacts with focal lengths that are the equivalent of what they would be for 35mm film (or "full frame"). The 18mm of the Pentax kit lens should given an almost identical field of view to what your Panasonic calls "27mm".

If you want to go wider than either of these, you have the options listed by others here:

(1) take several shots and stitch them together in software. By the way, if by any chance you have Photoshop Elements, it already has the ability to do this (Photomerge) built in.

(2) Choose between the Pentax 12-24 (v good but expensive) or the Tamron 10-24 or the Sigma 10-20. I have compared the latter two and feel that although the Tamron is nice and sharp in the centre, the Sigma is much better towards the edges. The Sigma also feels better made. A secondhand Sigma in mint condition with all its original bits is likely to run to around 300. The Tamron is a more recent lens and you don't see them secondhand terribly often.

One other possibility is to buy a wide angle converter to screw into the filter thread of your kit lens. I think "Digital King" is a brand you see quite often, but cannot comment on how good the results would be. My expectation of putting more glass on the front of the kit lens would not be terribly high, however, and I suspect you would have lots of issues with edge sharpness, distortions, and lens aberrations giving coloured fringing. Perhaps others who have tried these converters can comment more?

Finally, Samyang have recently announced a 14mm prime lens. Their lenses are usually surprisingly good and decently-made as well as being exceptional value for money. I have not seen any reviews, but the website that may have one is called "LensTip". I'd expect the new Samyang to be around the same price, or cheaper, than the secondhand Sigma.

Hope this helps,

Jon

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Anvh

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 13:27
About the wide angle lens, how wide do you want it?

The DA 16-45mm is a bit wider it doesn't sound much but it's quite noticeable though.

This wil give you an idea what the difference is. link
Stefan


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

Smeggypants

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 15:30
Well I'd vote for the Pentax 10-17 fish eye.

It's simply great fun. yes the 17mm end is still distorted but if you're a purist you can always do some correction in LR or Ptlens.

However fun prevails AFAIC, that's what I'm snapping for
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

Dangermouse

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:12
One thing to bear in mind with stitching software (which I use pretty extensively):

You need to use a lens with limited distortion for best results. I use an SMC Pentax 28mm f3.5 prime for landscapes now, and pan across the scene taking multiple shots with the same settings.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

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justa

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:21
thanks folks some good stuff there - I use PTGui Pro for stitching panoramas - with mixed results !

Some good some rubbish - mind you have the problem I have is remembering which photos I have taken as panorama's !

Sorry Dangermouse what is an 28mm prime lens ? Do you mean fixed ? ANd I guess that is narrower than my 18-55 ?

Smeggypants

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 17:43
Yes prime means fixed ( not zoomable )
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

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Mike-P

Link Posted 06/09/2010 - 18:00
Although I have the 12-24mm when I want to do landscape I normally go for the 16-50mm which IMO is wide enough for most things. If it's a bit expensive then personally I would look at the 16-45mm f4.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

Dangermouse

Link Posted 07/09/2010 - 23:09
28mm is slightly wider than the mid point of your 18-55mm, the equivalent focal length on film would have been around 42mm. Co-incidentally that's only a mm off the fabled 43mm Ltd, which was created as Pentax decided that 43mm was a better "standard" focal length than the usual 50mm lenses.

The SMC Pentax-M 28mm f3.5 is not too hard to come by, is very sharp, and makes your camera a very compact package at the expense of being manual focus and needing you to use stop-down metering. 50 should get a good one if you watch and wait.

The SMC Pentax 28mm f3.5 (earlier, bigger, and heavier) is even better. Unfortunately it is not a common find, so you'll need to keep your eyes open.

Manual focus and aperture really aren't a problem in a landscape lens. Both of these lenses hit infinity focus very quickly (anything further away than about 3.5m) and can be left on f8. Just compose, press the button to stop down and meter, then shoot. I've had shots like this direct from the camera as JPGs with no post-processing.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

johnriley

Link Posted 07/09/2010 - 23:13
Quote:
Pentax decided that 43mm was a better "standard" focal length than the usual 50mm lenses

Generally, it was traditionally accepted that the "standard" lens for a format was the diagonal measurement of the frame. That is actually 43mm for the 35mm film format. Most standards for 35mm cameras have been long standard lenses, more recently 50mm but before then 55mm or even 58mm. This had more to do with the limitations of lens design than anything else.
Best regards, John
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