Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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I do a lot of shots for work (interior design). We use a Pentax KR, which we like, but because of the size limitations of some rooms, it's hard to get a decent photo of them displaying how the room actually feels.

At the moment we use the standard 18-55mm lens that came with the camera. What is a wider lens that we could use? We're looking for somthing that doesn't distort the image at all.

If you could give me a couple of recomendations that would be great. Also what sort of money should I be expecting to pay? I dont really need anything super fancy, really just a wider version of the standard Pentax lens would do.

I'm pretty new to lenses so I just had a couple of general questions about wide angles:

  • how much wider can a lens go before it will begin to distort (like a fish eye)?
  • also what sets apart a normal lens from a high end lens in terms of quality? Is it visable to the average user? Most of our shots go online and are compressed to save space so in that enviroment, I would not think it's super important to have a tip top lens.
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Please limit questions to a single per thread. Each one can easily be its own. Also note, you can edit questions here so feel free to do so. –  dpollitt Jul 24 '12 at 0:58
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Also, feel free to do things like capitalize the first word of a sentence, or finish the word to make it a real English word. I say this because I know you are capable based on your network account and other posts. –  dpollitt Jul 24 '12 at 1:55
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You have quite a few questions here.

The first that you asked was about an ultra wide angle lens for the Pentax KR. Sigma has an option in the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens, Pentax also offers the Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens. If you are wondering why these two cost around $500, see this previous question: Why are wide-angle lenses so much more expensive?

You had a question about why high end lenses exist so this might help you: Why do some lenses cost 10 times as much when the specs are very close?

Distortion

This is already covered by this thread here: How wide can a lens be before it begins to produce distortion? But as far as a bit of detail for your specific question, the lenses in the 50-135mm range usually have very little, that is why they are typically great for portrait work where the lens helps to flatter the subject. Any consumer lens in the sub 18mm range is going to have considerable distortion of some kind. Most of it can be taken care of to some degree with basic software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. For what you are doing, I would just stick with a regular ultra wide angle or wide angle lens and stay away from fisheye lenses and you should be fine.

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thanks for that, when you say ultra wide is that anything typicly <18mm ? –  sam Jul 24 '12 at 12:34
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