I shoot with the Sony Alpha line predominately and currently have a 24mm Quantary Aspherical that I use on it but want to get something wider, ultra-wide. I'm not sure what to get though.

I have adapters for Nikon F and Pentax K but could always buy another adapter if really need to.

I'm trying to find a good lens wider than 24, still rectilinear lines, and with an aperture ring. Maybe there's a lens from Nikon film days I haven't been able to find yet? Any recommendations would be really helpful.


Ultra-wide lenses typically didn't exist in film days. Anything below 24mm is very hard to find. You might be able to grab an 18mm (like, say, the Olympus OM 18/3.5), but understand these were super-exotic at the time, and are liable to go for high prices. You'd probably be better off saving up for the 16-35, getting the 28/2 with the 21mm wide converter, or maybe looking at the Samyang 14mm f/2.8.

See also: Can I use lens brand X on interchangeable lens camera brand Y?

  • Hmm Ken Rockwell's reviews of that Samyang leaves a pretty low impression. The 16-35 being substantially more expensive from what I'm seeing, over $1,000... is there a Manual version I might find for less? Or do you think I could make use of Nikon 18mm/3.5 which appears to be around $400? – RyanFromGDSE Feb 24 '16 at 23:26
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    Keep in mind that Ken Rockwell a) does not actually use all of the lenses he "reviews" and b) compares his own site to The Onion – mattdm Feb 24 '16 at 23:51
  • @mattdm so the Samyang 14mm is a good lens? – RyanFromGDSE Feb 25 '16 at 1:34
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    For the money, it is an amazing lens. – mattdm Feb 25 '16 at 1:58
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    @Ryan, be aware there are two versions of the Samyang 14/2.8. The second version (UMC) corrected for a lot of the issues in the first version. – inkista Feb 25 '16 at 5:21

Nikkor Ultra-Wide Lenses

Nikon used to make, and still makes, several non-distorting manual-focus prime ultra-wide lenses. Some are discontinued whilst others are still available for sale new to date. Their focal lengths are: 13mm, 15mm, 18mm, and 20mm. Personally I'd buy a 13mm just because it looks and feels awesome.

The 13mm f5.6

Pictured below in its AI-S version, this lens is scarcely available for purchased used online. Expect it to be expensive.

Nikkor 13mm f5.6 AI-S
Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 Ultra/Super Wideangle lens, Fair Use, MIR

The 15mm f5.6

Pictured below in its AI-S version, this lens is scarcely available for purchased used online. Expect it to be expensive.

15mm f5.6 AI-S 1978
15mm f5.6 1978, Fair Use, MIR

The 15mm f3.5

Pictured below in its AI-S version, this lens is sometimes available for purchased used online. Expect it to be expensive.

15mm f3.5 AI-S
15mmAISf35b.JPG, Fair Use, MIR

The 18mm f3.5

Pictured below in its AI-S version, this lens is sometimes available for purchased used online.

18mm f3.5 AI-S
Manual Focus Nikkor 18mm f/3.5 wideangle lens, Fair Use, MIR

The 20mm f2.8

Pictured below in its AI-S version, Nikon still makes and sells new 20mm f2.8 AI-S. B&H sells them for USD619.00 as of February 2016.

18mm f3.5 AI-S
Nikon NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8 Lens, Fair Use, B&H


I have a Sigma 12-24 f3.5-5.6 EX DG HSM for my Nikon D610. It is a full-frame rectilinear lens. There is also a "II" version of this lens. It used to be the widest rectilinear lens for full-frame (until that Canon 11mm zoom). 12mm rectilinear on full-frame is extremely wide.

I can use it, with an adapter that can control the aperture manually, with my Sony APSC e-mount too. I suppose it can be used with a Sony full-frame ALPHA too, with the appropriate adapter.

  • Sigma also makes the lens in the Sony E mount. Only drawback is price. It's about $1000. – inkista Feb 25 '16 at 17:59
  • @inkista Can you link me to the lens? I see variants of it in A-mount. – unsignedzero Feb 26 '16 at 5:39
  • @unsignedzero Whoops. You're right. I misread. A-mount only. – inkista Feb 26 '16 at 16:20

Older Nikon lens do exist, such as the 14-24/2.8, 20-35/2.8, 16-35/4 or related but wide lens aren't that common back in the day.

If you want to get a new one you might consider the Tamron 15-30/2.8. It's a new, cheaper alternative to modern ultrawide zooms. I believe they might also have a A-mount so you would be set there.

I presume when you say "Sony Alpha" you mean A-mount and not the E-mount.

  • E-mount Sony A7. I'm not familiar with any Sony A-mount cameras that are full frame. Sorry for the confusion. – RyanFromGDSE Feb 25 '16 at 0:46

There's also the fairly recent Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 L. It is an incredible lens. It is also about $3K USD.

enter image description here

  • ...and you can't control the aperture on the lens unless you have a $400 adapter ring. – inkista Feb 25 '16 at 17:58
  • Impressive. Is this your rig or just an image you found? Not to mention @inkista point about the adapter ring for aperture, but I would also be concerned about the weight not having a tripod collar built in. – RyanFromGDSE Feb 25 '16 at 20:03
  • Or a Canon body with which to set it and leave it at any of the available settings. photo.stackexchange.com/a/54344/15871 – Michael C Feb 26 '16 at 13:41
  • @Ryan Not mine. But I have seen one. It's not that big nor heavy that I would worry about too much stress on the mount. It weighs less than 2.5 lbs and at max extension is less than 6" in front of the flange. That's about the same as the old EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L (which is a little lighter but extends further). – Michael C Feb 26 '16 at 13:49

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