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Advice on buying a wide-angle?

This is a discussion on Advice on buying a wide-angle? within the Camera equipment & accessories forums, part of the Education & Technical category; After looking at some of the amazing wide-angle landscape photos in the latest National Geographic (read it! ), I've decided ...

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    masp is offline Senior Member
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    Question Advice on buying a wide-angle?

    After looking at some of the amazing wide-angle landscape photos in the latest National Geographic (read it! ), I've decided I really need a super wide-angle. Does anyone have any suggestions on what would be a good buy for $600 or less? And is a 10mm wide angle the widest available right now?

    I've been eyeing the Tokina 12-24 f/4 or 11-16 f/2.8 lately, though I wonder how Tamron's 10-24 or Sigma 10-20 offerings compare. The Sigma is the slowest of the bunch, while the Tokina is the fastest and not really all that much more expensive or heavy and probably has a better build knowing Tokina. Also I might go with a old manual focus version if I knew which ones to seek or avoid.

    Edit: Sony's wide-angle seems to be a poor performer and rather expensive to boot.

    It seems that the increased depth of field from wide angles makes autofocus less necessary for most subjects (maybe just pre-focus using hyper focal distance?) and besides, landscapes usually won't run away from you.
    Last edited by masp; 03-29-2010 at 04:50 PM.

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    I use a Sigma 10-20mm for my Pentax and it is by far my favorite lens in the bunch. Almost all the shots I took on a recent outing to Banff were taken with that lens.

    I would suggest though that before you go out and start investing gads of $$$$ on lenses, that you first take the time to learn your DSLR camera if you are a beginner. You should have a basic decent lens that can shoot a bit of wide angle shots ..mine came with an 18-55mm kit lens which I still often use for wide angle shots...it is a good all around lens to learn from and I still often use it.

    I think learning the nuances of the camera and how to expose and compose shots will get you far further in photography right now than any lens will. If you are new to the DSLR world learning the basics is far more valuable right now than spending more money on lenses.
    I understand the passion and the enthusiasm and I am not trying to quell it but I know that what makes and excellent photography good is proper composition, exposure and detail and learning the techniques of how to do it.
    That's how I did it anyway.
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    masp is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the tips. I think I have exposure down alright. Composition... well maybe.

    I somewhat regret passing up the 18-55 kit lens in favor of a 50mm, though I really do like the wide aperture and bokeh, but it's kind of weird being stuck at a 75mm equivalent. I think what I will probably do is get a 18-200 or 18-250 zoom to get a feel for the basic focal lengths and one of those super wide angle lens for the rest. It's a little more than I expected to spend, but the convenience may be worth it. So much for optimal optical quality though.

    How much of a difference does the change from 10mm to 11mm make though? My understanding is that the view angle changes much more at the wide end. By the way, do you have any shots from your 10-20mm handy? I'm curious what that lens is capable of. Cheers.

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    ericmark is offline Senior Member
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    Are you sure they use wide angle lenses? Using Panorama can stitch images together very well. And one could take a 180 or more degree shot. Often better if camera used in portrait and it does need far bit of overlap.
    I know Photoshop CS4 will allow Panorama not sure if there are cheaper programs. It will work in both directions.
    This was 12 images in this case taken with a microscope but shows how they can be blended together.
    Of course you can use wide angle lenses but these will not allow anywhere near the 360 degree which you could get using software unless you use very special cameras which scan the image in like a fax machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masp View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I think I have exposure down alright. Composition... well maybe.

    I somewhat regret passing up the 18-55 kit lens in favor of a 50mm, though I really do like the wide aperture and bokeh, but it's kind of weird being stuck at a 75mm equivalent. I think what I will probably do is get a 18-200 or 18-250 zoom to get a feel for the basic focal lengths and one of those super wide angle lens for the rest. It's a little more than I expected to spend, but the convenience may be worth it. So much for optimal optical quality though.

    How much of a difference does the change from 10mm to 11mm make though? My understanding is that the view angle changes much more at the wide end. By the way, do you have any shots from your 10-20mm handy? I'm curious what that lens is capable of. Cheers.
    Go to the thread Here:
    http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f11/alberta-landscapes-5935.html
    I used my 10-20 on pretty much most of these shots in these threads.
    10 to 11mm does not make much of a difference at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by masp View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I think I have exposure down alright. Composition... well maybe.

    I somewhat regret passing up the 18-55 kit lens in favor of a 50mm, though I really do like the wide aperture and bokeh, but it's kind of weird being stuck at a 75mm equivalent. I think what I will probably do is get a 18-200 or 18-250 zoom to get a feel for the basic focal lengths and one of those super wide angle lens for the rest. It's a little more than I expected to spend, but the convenience may be worth it. So much for optimal optical quality though.

    How much of a difference does the change from 10mm to 11mm make though? My understanding is that the view angle changes much more at the wide end. By the way, do you have any shots from your 10-20mm handy? I'm curious what that lens is capable of. Cheers.
    Go to the thread Here:
    http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f11...apes-8391.html
    or here:
    http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f11...apes-5935.html
    I used my 10-20 on pretty much most of these shots in these threads.
    10 to 11mm does not make much of a difference at all.
    "Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives"-anonymous
    My website: www.albertaandbeyond.com

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    Tokina 11-16 has a fast 2.8 max aperture, but not sure what good that would do a person that is buying wide angle primarily for landscapes and such, which are usually shot stopped down. I had that lens for a brief period and although I had a bad copy, it was okay- just too restrictive in the focal range for my taste. It's almost more like a prime with wiggle room than a zoom. I'd prefer something like a 12-24/4. I would gladly give up 2mm on the freaky distorted wide end, compared to say a 10-20, to gain 4mm at the long end. I had the Sigma 10-20 for my Pentax kit for quite a while and loved it. I just found in reviewing my shots that hardly any were under 12mm and that I recall many times wishing I could go at least a little bit longer. But that's just me.

    I've heard good things about Canon's 10-22, so that's another one to consider depending on which brand you go with. But if you are in Canada and want to buy in Canada, I doubt any of those lenses could be found new for under $600. I am not familiar at all with the Tamron you mentioned. The Tokina 12-24 might be right around that price. The Sigma is more like $650 and the Tokina 11-16/2.8 is $750. All the OEM lenses will be well over that: Nikon 10-24 or 12-24/4, Pentax 12-24/4, Canon 10-22, etc

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    I have the Sigma 10 20... Love the lens..If you think about the Tokina 11 to 16 there is not much of a range. Good luck
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    My mistake has been seeking new landscapes. I should have been seeking new light.

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    I can vouch for the older AF 24mm f2.8 primes by Nikon. Mighty fine on a fullframe (no crop factor) or film camera and cheap(ish). awesome sharpness, nice and small.
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