Ultra Wide Angle as Walkaround Lens - too much?


Jan 31, 2010
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#1
Hi all,

I'd just like to gather some opinions from experienced users, is it plenty ridiculous to use a UWA lens as a walkabout lens?

I like taking landscapes, and I've read that UWAs can give you creative angles with it's converging verticals with other sorts of portraits, and advantageous for indoor shots too.

But if I leave on this lens, is it wayy too restrictive? Have anyone tried before? =\ I've searched and there has not been much comment on this, or rather most people I've read from insists it's too restrictive.

My main use is for touring actually, that's why I'm asking if it's suitable for a walkabout lens coz I dont intend to carry too many (maybe my kit lens). I do enjoy taking landscapes a lot.

Thanks in advance!
 

Feb 12, 2011
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#2
Well, if it's going to be your ONLY lens on your travels, unless you're only going to take landscapes, this will be a very restrictive lens.
I've personally tries using this as a walkabout lens, trying to see if it'll work…
Went to the Botanic Gardens with it..to simulate a walkabout lens..

It worked great for the waterfalls and the scenery etc..
But i could not do close up on flowers, could not capture people etc..
Granted, you could go as close as possible to the flowers and take..i did that..BUT you'l have to end up post processing every single shot and crop..too much work and you won't get a nice bokeh as you would a zoom lens.

So personally, I myself am not convinced that as good as this lens is, it's not an all-in-one…and you will still need another walkabout lens
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#3
Hello eventidephoenix.
I think you have raised a perfectly valid question.
Of course, there will be many members who will begin to question you on your style of shooting and what you hope to achieve and such...
But sincerely, my wife and I are one of those who walk around with the UWA firmly mounted on our cameras.
If we only could mount one lens on my camera for an event, for a trip, for recording purpose, it would be the UWA (16-35mm in our case as we use FF cameras).

If you have seen many of the lovely shots by expert shooters in this forum, you will find that many of them shoot beautiful shots of both landscape as well as moments and events on UWA.
Look around, and explore. Personally I love to use the UWA to shoot people. People walking in the streets of far-away lands, people walking in the market place of little ancient towns, children playing games high up in remote villages, friends having a meal together in the remotest of destinations... the possibilities are endless.
And in the process of which, discover who you are as a photographer.

My humble opinion, eventidephoenix.
 

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Jan 31, 2010
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#4
Thanks for your opinions!

Yea it's a difficult lens to use =\ and me just starting out, I'm afraid that I might end up screwing up a lot of shots. So the question for me now is whether or not I dare to leave it on as a walkabout...

I'll be bringing along my kit 18-55 and primes (50mm, hopefully can borrow a 30mm) as they're light and don't really add much weight. Given this entire range, do you guys reckon it's enough for travelling?

I know I don't have the tele end, which may not be a good idea? But after much reading I can appreciate the power of a UWA lenses, especially when I'll be off to somewhere this time with a lot of landscapes! o.o (Arizona)
 

Feb 12, 2011
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#5
Well, i saw you asked the same question on the Tokina 11-16 thread so i naturally presumed you were asking if THAT lens is sufficient.
Even at 16mmx1.6 it's 25.6mm, way off the 35mm on a FF camera..so you are indeed short of focal length there..

Maybe you might want to look at the Sigma 12-24 or something like that..at least that one you can get 24mmx1.6=38.4mm…which is equivalent of 35mm on a FF camera..that should be sufficient for a walkabout camera.
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#6
rather than restrict yourself to a UWA... use your 18-55mm first.

discover what you love to shoot best and at what focal length, and that in itself will roughly determine which lens you would require.

rather than limit yourself, discover what you like to shoot.

i love to use the 24-70 for streets, but others might want to use a 70-200 or 50mm.

some might like the fish-eye for landscape, while others the 10-22. it all depends on what you like best.
 

Jan 31, 2010
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#7
Well, i saw you asked the same question on the Tokina 11-16 thread so i naturally presumed you were asking if THAT lens is sufficient.
Even at 16mmx1.6 it's 25.6mm, way off the 35mm on a FF camera..so you are indeed short of focal length there..

Maybe you might want to look at the Sigma 12-24 or something like that..at least that one you can get 24mmx1.6=38.4mm…which is equivalent of 35mm on a FF camera..that should be sufficient for a walkabout camera.
Right on, it's one of the better UWAs for Sony =\

kei, understand what you mean. I'm just feeling a little desperate because this is one of the few times I'll get to travel, so my "kiasu" mentality has kicked in full force, urging me to make sure I've got enough before leaving. ><
 

CamInit

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Nov 3, 2009
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#8
One of the more challenging things when using a UWA as a walkabout is photographing people. The more close-up (UWA demands that for details) and nearer to the frame edge, the greater the distortion at the wide end.

UWA is one of those lens that needs some getting use to and practicing before you actually use it. You can't expect to buy it today, use it tomorrow on your tour and get satisfactory shots.
 

kingpin8

New Member
Nov 18, 2010
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#9
CamInit said:
One of the more challenging things when using a UWA as a walkabout is photographing people. The more close-up (UWA demands that for details) and nearer to the frame edge, the greater the distortion at the wide end.

UWA is one of those lens that needs some getting use to and practicing before you actually use it. You can't expect to buy it today, use it tomorrow on your tour and get satisfactory shots.
Could not agree more to above statement. It's a diff "breed" of special lens tat require a fair bit of getting use to achieve even a basic satisfactory result...

My wife was frustrated abt not getting a descent shot on her 1st attempt using it while on our trip.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#10
A lens is just a lens. There is nothing ridiculous for selecting whatever lens as walkabout. In the end it is all about what you are trying to achieve.

And I love to switch lenses... but when shooting the following pictures, I prefered not to switch and left the UWA on, only because the temperature is -25 degC with wind, and it is tough to change lenses with gloves on.

UWA shooting walkabout (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting people (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting street scene (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting more street scene (Tokina 11-16)
 

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Feb 12, 2011
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#11
I agree that UWA lenses need getting used to.
I myself made that mistake thinking it's just like a regular zoom lens and started using it like one and boy was I wrong to assume that….You really need time to get used to it.
IF you like taking candid shots, then the UWA isn't going to work..It does well for portraits BUT you gotta get really close to your subject..and i do mean CLOSE…so much for candids then hehe….
BUT, because UWA works so well close up..you can actually take unexpected shots, the only thing that will give you away is the loud shutter noise…if only DSLR can turn off shutters like mobile phones…then no one will know you're taking candid shots up close.
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#12
Not all candid shots need to show people's faces. It's a different style of shooting when you use a UWA, and it either suits you or you don't. When I still had my 18-55, I always used it in my walkabouts, and seldom ever touch the tele end. Most of my shots are between 18mm and 24, sometimes 35mm. But that's me.

Do you use the wide end of your current lens/lenses a lot? If so, I don't think you will have a problem with using a UWA for walkabouts.
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#13
A lens is just a lens. There is nothing ridiculous for selecting whatever lens as walkabout. In the end it is all about what you are trying to achieve.

And I love to switch lenses... but when shooting the following pictures, I prefered not to switch and left the UWA on, only because the temperature is -25 degC with wind, and it is tough to change lenses with gloves on.

UWA shooting walkabout (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting people (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting street scene (Tokina 11-16)


UWA shooting more street scene (Tokina 11-16)
Lovely lovely shots, daredevil123!
Classic example and most appropriate demonstrations of UWA shots!
 

Jan 31, 2010
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#14
Not all candid shots need to show people's faces. It's a different style of shooting when you use a UWA, and it either suits you or you don't. When I still had my 18-55, I always used it in my walkabouts, and seldom ever touch the tele end. Most of my shots are between 18mm and 24, sometimes 35mm. But that's me.

Do you use the wide end of your current lens/lenses a lot? If so, I don't think you will have a problem with using a UWA for walkabouts.
I do use the wide a lot. Problem is the lens I'm considering is between 11-16, meaning it's gonna be even wider.

But I do agree with most of the comments above, you cannot use it like you normally do. And you need to learn. That's why I'm considering whether to get it now and hopefully my learning curve isn't steep enough so I can get some decent shots when I go =\

I'm the type who doesn't like to change lens halfway through my day, would like to decide "okay today I'm gonna be using this" and unless really necessary, I would rather not change lens in the middle of a street or sth =\
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#15
You could consider the Tokina 12-24 also, so you have a UWA to semi-wide lens, and don't have to worry about it being too wide.
 

2evans

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Nov 8, 2007
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#16
DSLR give you the advantage of switching lenses, but its up to the individual to select the right lens for what and how they like to shoot. Your kit lens is pretty light so I don't see why you can't lug that and a UWA lens around.
 

Jan 31, 2010
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#17
You could consider the Tokina 12-24 also, so you have a UWA to semi-wide lens, and don't have to worry about it being too wide.
Hmmm but I read some reviews which were pretty critical of the distortion and softness of the lens =\

DSLR give you the advantage of switching lenses, but its up to the individual to select the right lens for what and how they like to shoot. Your kit lens is pretty light so I don't see why you can't lug that and a UWA lens around.
-_-" I did mention I am lugging both around, I just dislike changing them on the go
 

Sep 15, 2008
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#18
have u ever tried to use UWA lens?
how do u feel?
do u like to use it?
im the 1 who lives with tele and UWA lens only (sigma 50 150 + canon 10 22) and never look back for normal zoom lens.
many ppl like 17-55 on crop body...but i'm the 1 who hate it..hahhahaha

about distortion, that's the reason i'm in love with UWA lens..
at the end, it depends on your preferences..

there is "no standard" for art...
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#19
about distortion, that's the reason i'm in love with UWA lens..
at the end, it depends on your preferences..

there is "no standard" for art...
I think he referred to the barrel distortion, rather than perspective distortion. The kind of distortion that kind of gives a fisheye effect to your photos but it's not severe enough to look like it's done on purpose.
 

digitalpimp

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Oct 25, 2008
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#20
My advice is go around SG first with an UWA, simulate whatever you're planning to do on your trip and see how it feels. If it's too wide, ditch it. If it triggers some kind of 'newfound artistic approach' then by all means.

Personally, I love UWA for walkabouts. I go about shooting street at 8mm. Love it.
 

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