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Wide Angle Preset Lens
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:15 am    Post subject: Wide Angle Preset Lens Reply with quote

I enjoy shooting with preset lenses and my question is what is the widest focal length preset lens that was available. The widest preset that I currently own is a Pentacon 30, which is fine on my film body cameras, but when I use it on an ASP-C DSLR it becomes more of a normal lens rather than anything wide. Something around 28mm wouldn't make a big enough difference to make a switch. I've been thinking about something around the 20mm range, or at least 24mm anyone know of anything like that?


PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultra wide lenses were hard to find back in the day and when available they were very expensive. And big. If you want something very wide on a crop camera, you are better off buying a modern crop format lens which will be smaller and probably give you much better results anyway.

You don't say which camera you are using for digital, and can't think of any preset models, but the obvious older auto ultra wides are the Flektogon 20/2.8 and 20/4, which will both set you back 200-350. There are also Soligor auto wides in 17/3.5 (also found as Tokina RMC) which you can find for 80-200 depending on mount. There was a Vivitar 19/3.8 auto which is usually under 100.00 and also a Komine made Vivitar 19mm lens which is awful. Then there are the Nikon models 20/4, 20/3.5 and 20/2.8 which start at 150.00.

I shouldn't forget the Tamron SP 17/3.5 which has shot up in value to around 120-200.

24mm lenses are much more affordable and can be found for as little as 40 (Tamron Adaptall-2 for example).

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks for the info on the ultra wides. I was looking for something in M42 mount to work with my Pentax K10/K20 digital. I have a several manual and auto lenses in that range already but for some reason I have become addicted lately to preset lenses with their functionality and multiple aperture blades. I have put together a range of them from 30-250mm and usually when I go out with that kit I throw in a takumar 17 or 20 for the wider end. I like the operation of the presets on the digital but I have never come across anything wider than 28. You're right of course on the quality of the newer glass compared to the older ones in the ultra wide range, I have a few newer auto focus lenses in that range that produce great results.

Thanks again or your help.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't waste your many on old WA lenses, get Pentax DA16-45 instead, if you already don't own it. You won't find better lens in 16-24mm range at it's price.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManualFocus-G did suggest the Flektogons and I believe they can be found in the M42 mount

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does it have to be preset?

How about the 30mm Meyer Lydith? Not massively wide but a great lens.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Wide Angle Preset Lens Reply with quote

I also enjoy preset lenses because of operation and many blades. However I usually don't actually preset the aperture but set it to fully open to have the actual aperture ring run freely from close to open.
If that is enough for you too then simply 'de-click' the aperture of a 'non-preset' wide angle lens which is fairly easy to do and change your question: which wide angle has many aperture blades? Wink

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two inexpensive and relatively good ultrawides come to mind. I have a K-7 and the same issue -- nothing is wide enough. Sure I can stitch images together, but sacrifice rectilinear correction. So I have a Samyang 18-28. On my K-7, that's equivalent to 27-42 or something like that. There's also a Promaster 19-35 which is pretty decent. My Samyang cost me $52. The Promaster sells here in SF for about $100. So both are viable, inexpensive options. Here are some film shots with the Samyang:

So you can see that across the image range it has pretty good IQ and relatively little distortion and color drop-off -- especially for a $50 lens!

Here it is on my K-7, for comparison so you can see the performance on a crop sensor.

All three of the K-7 shots were at 18mm. So even on a 14MP crop sensor, the lens still delivers pretty good image quality. And for $50, it's one of the best new-lens values I've ever gotten.

I will add that it is HARD to focus. On my K-7, for instance, the focus indicator thinks everything is always in focus all the time. And because the focusing rotation is only about 90 degrees, things fly in and out of focus quickly, even through wide-open is f4. That said, on my K2 and KM it's much easier to focus. I suspect the K2 and Km have focusing screens which are better, by happenstance or accident, for this lens. Similarly my 35-70 Tokina is easier to focus on my K-7 than K2.''In a nutshell, I'm very happy with my Samyang. I tested the Promaster and found it to be nice, but with more corner distortion and light drop-off than the Samyang. The Promaster is, I believe, a Cosina lens but don't quote me on that. For crop sensors, the Promaster provides the advantage of going into standard territory having an effective range of 27mm to 53mm.