UWA suggestions - NOT fisheye
My similar quest led to the Sigma 8-16.
No regrets at all. It is very solid, compact and tightly made.
The manual focus is even better than the DA I sold to get it.
I like the huge cap and the surface finish
As for the range, it is like I got the DA14 back and all the rest is a bonus.
Really liking the long end as well as the ridiculously wide 8
It seems to suit the K-5 with its profusion of megapixies,
did some garden shots with full sun and deep shade yesterday. Very happy with the sharp rich results with no chromatic issues at all.
The DA14 was quite a hard act to follow with its close focus goods, but the sigma gets just as close. I love how linear it is, offering tantalising architecture possibilities.
The only reason not to get this lens is the difficulty of using filters.
I say 'difficulty' rather than the usual 'no chance' as some enthusiasts are already hanging huge solutions off the front
K-5 some Len
David, thanks for the advice on the Sigma 8-16, regading "decentered samples". Being into Pentax, I would be interested in the K-Mount version of the Sigma 8-16. I realize that buying ANY lens is a crapshoot, as I've had a few issues even with Pentax "Limited" versions, but by and large, I think Pentax Quality Control is not bad. Not ever owning a third-party lens like Sigma, I cannot speak to their Quality Control, but judging from the many glowing reviews of the 8-16, I remain hopeful that I would get a good copy, if I go that route.
I've owned a few Sigma lenses and never had any QC issues: ditto Pentax. I think the majority of lenses from any maker are good - the chances of getting a poor copy are probably pretty much the same from any but Leica.
I was debating on the Pentax 12-24 as well, but am intrigued by the extra 4mm of the Sigma! Thanks again.
Sigma 8-16 mounted on a tripod: first shot at 8mm, then zoomed in to 12mm and the zoomed image superimposed.
First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006
I am also looking for a rectilinear UWA and am almost set on the Samyang/Bower/Vivitar/Rokinon 14 (or 13 -- Vivitar's meters are longer). Have you considered it?
The IQ is probably not the very best, and has some distortion, but for me it will be more than enough.
And it's manual focus, of course, but at 14mm, it should be pretty difficult to miss focus.
I am particularly drawn to it because it is FF, and I sometimes still shoot film.
Wow, Gerry! Thanks for your detailed post. I take it your recommend the 8-16 then. The difference between 8 and 12 is quite dramatic indeed! I think I shall enjoy the Sigma 8-16...now only must figure how to finance it!
Totally agree. The 8-16 replaced a Sigma 10-20. Besides not being able to use filter, the next issue is the relatively slow aperture but not a deal breaker though. Here are some pictures taken just in the last two weeks in Spain.
No, NOT Highlander! The 8-16mm!
It outperforms any of its sisters (the Sigma 10-20's) or neighbors (Sigma12-24, Tammy10-24 etc.) in both reach, sharpness and quality. The only contender is Pentax's own 12-24 which at least on paper seems to have better corner and edge performance but a lot less reach on the wide side.
The Samyang 14mm f2.8 is another option but it is not a zoom. It is optically excellent but MF only.
I bought the Samyang 14/2.8 for UWA photos with my K-5 and I think this lens is quite a good performer, and I am happy with it, even if I'm really a zoom kind of guy and have become lazy and has adapted to what autofocus can do for me.
(In this photo I had by mistake set FL for SR to 35 mm, not the correct 15 mm)
Hans, one happy guy behind a Pentax camera
WSSA member #336PX
Another vote for the Sigma 8-16. The only negative I have is that Pentax refuses to register anything less than 10mm in EXIF. That means the excellent lens correction in Lightroom will not work on wide open shots.
The DA 14mm f2.8 seems to get forgotten a lot these days. The DA 15mm, DA 12-24 and the various UWA zooms from third parties get a lot more love. That being said, I love my DA 14, and it's one of my most used lenses. It's recorded some very memorable images for me, too:
Because they're somewhat forgotten, they seem to go fairly cheaply on the used market. Don't let that fool you. It's a good lens, especially if you can stop it down a bit.
Thank you very much!
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