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How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:24 pm
by sury
The widest lens I have is 24 (both FF and FF equivalent) and am wondering if I am missing something
not having a wider lens. If so, can you recommend a lens? It would be a a new area of photography
for me and certainly a learning experience at the least. I am brand agnostic and my
camera bodies are A100 (still working), A700, A900 and A77MII. As of now, not planning to move to
E-mount.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:31 pm
by Dusty
Sury, You are missing a bit. My widest ever was a 21mm on my old x700, and it really showed the difference!

Now days, I sometime use the panoramic feature on my a580, but that's not quite the same as a wide angle. You'll miss the top and bottom, but then again, many times that's just sky and ground, unless you're inside some interesting architecture.

I was planning on getting the Sigma 8-16, but I'm holding off as I may switch mounts since I have EVFs and would like more pixels and better DR that newer sensors have. That's for APS-C. On FF David likes the Sigma 12-24 just about as well. 12mm on APS-c still gives you a tremendously wide 18mm perspective, so it would do you good on the a77 as well.

Of course, if you want a cheap way of looking at the results, Rokinon, etc. have screw on 'fisheye converters'. On wide lenses they distort quite a bit, like a fisheye would, on a bit longer lenses mine doesn't seem to distort, just really wide the perspective.

Dusty

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:08 pm
by sury
Thank you Dusty. Let me take a look at Sigma 12-24. Not keen on screw on converters.
I used to think Pano was the solution to not having a UWA lens and do realize it may not
be so all the time.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:10 pm
by the_hefay
To answer your question, I suppose it really depends on what you're photographing. The Tokina 11-16 is as wide as I've ever needed except for a few rare instances. In my experience there was only once, maybe twice that I wished I had wider than that for landscape. For interior shots, there have been a few more times, but overall, this lens has filled a spot in my photography that I didn't know existed. Keep in mind that I use crop sensor cameras, therefore 11-16 would be similar to a FF with a 17-24.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:29 pm
by sury
From what I understand, the UWA is primarily for landscape and architecture. I have taken those pictures with
my existing lenses but wondering having right tools would have made them better. Tokina 11-16 could nicely
complement my 16-80 on A77M2 as well with 70-400 complementing the long end. Thanks for the input.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:37 am
by Edward
I think Sigma makes an ultra wide for crop sensor cameras. I have the 12-24 and its a great lens. For the 70-400 I have the Sony lens, but the similar lens from Sigma is probably great too -- and I say that because I had the Sony 24-70cz and if I set it to 24mm I can't tell if a picture was taken with the Sony or the Sigma.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:52 am
by sury
Edward,
Thank you for your input. Looks like Sigma 12-24 seems to be a good candidate.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:47 am
by peterottaway
I do own the Tokina 11-16 and a Sony 16-35 which I do use wide at times, but to be honest many of my landscape work in the past was done using 28-70 or 24-85 lenses.

OK the wider lenses are useful for some architectural photos and cityscapes especially in Old Towns but that is it for me.

If I use my Nikon D750 kit then I have the 28,35,60 and 85 for certain plus on occasions my now rather elderly 180. With the A7 cameras I haven't so far splashed out on any new wides so it is usually the 24-70 followed by the 70-200 and in last place the 16-35.

Yes I do have adapters for my various Contax lenses which include the 18 and 21 primes but these are very much special purpose lenses. The most used of the Contax lenses is the 24=85 AF lens which is a brute of a thing in comparison to older lenses, but these days its 82mm filters don't seem that silly any more.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:05 am
by bakubo
Sury, 24mm as your widest is fine for landscapes. Even 28mm. You can shoot landscapes with pretty much any focal length, even telephotos. Just depends on what kind of shot you want to make. An UWA (wider than 24mm) for typical landscapes is most of the time going to disappoint you, I think. They can be very cool for somewhat unusual perspectives, something close in the foreground with the background receding, etc. Just having an even wider view for the run of the mill type of landscape shots though will probably make you unsatisfied.

I have always had one for various mounts since 1991 when I got a Tokina 20-35mm. For digital APS-C I have had a 10-20mm and an 11-18mm. Now with m4/3 I have a 9-18mm. I don't use them for typical landscapes though. I don't use an UWA much, but it is good to have for certain kinds of shots so I always carry one when I travel.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:43 pm
by sury
Thank you Henry for your perspective. I have seen people gushing over wider than 24 (my reference point),
and that piqued my curiosity. One underlying nagging is that do I want to buy another A-mount lens.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:22 am
by bakubo
sury wrote:Thank you Henry for your perspective. I have seen people gushing over wider than 24 (my reference point),
and that piqued my curiosity.


If you don't know how you would specifically use it then I suggest not getting one. You can probably search around for photos, good ones, taken with UWA lenses to get an idea of what they are good for and what they are not good for. You will likely find lots of very uninteresting photos along with some very nice ones. I do understand that sometimes one just wants to get something though and if that is the case here then go ahead. :)

sury wrote:One underlying nagging is that do I want to buy another A-mount lens.


Yes, I hear you.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:38 pm
by classiccameras
In my 35-mm SLR days 24-mm was considered ultra wide and any thing wider was almost in Fish Eye territory. A 28-mm and 35-mm wide was my usual lens for landscape and vintage motor cars etc, but we were always concerned about wide angle distortion, so careful camera position was important and of course we never had Photo Shop. I never liked converging verticals, especially on tall buildings unless you wanted that for artistic effect. So use ultra wide's carefully.

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:27 pm
by sury
Thank you classiccameras. Since I have not done any wide angle photography (at least knowingly), the intent is to
explore the genre, for want of a better term. Essentially learn what to do and what not to do. I always used pano
stitching as my answer to UWA lenses or lack thereof, and that is not always desirable especially with moving objects.

Sury

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:32 pm
by Cogito
Sury, if you haven't made your mind up yet, why not check out the lenses on http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results.asp?chbLensType=3
The lens marks out of 5 are much of a muchness and most lenses have entries in the Dyxum sample images so you can judge for yourself......

Re: How wide is wide enough?

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:58 pm
by Birma
Hi Sury, I suggest the Sigma 12-24 (current or previous marks). This will work on your full-frame and aps-c bodies. The 12mm end is plenty wide enough to experience UWA. If you just want more room left and right then panos might still be the best option. The UWA is for me as much about near and far perspective; how things close to you, and far away from you, look.

Perhaps rent one for a trip?