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Wide angle Lenses with focal lengths shorter than 14mm.

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  #1  
Old 14th January 2017
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12mm lenses...too wide?

I have always had a fast prime wide-angle lens as part of my kit since the 1980s. In those days, a 28mm lens was considered as "standard wide" for 35mm film cameras and that was what I owned. But more recently, I had no equivalent for my MFT system till I bought the PanLeica 15mm f1.7 and am very happy with it.

A friend who is also an MFT user is visiting us at present and he has an Olympus 12mm f2 with his OMD EM5II. I had considered and rejected that lens as a bit too wide to suit me. Yesterday we went out in the sticks and were playing with our cameras and those WA lenses mentioned above. Comparing notes (or pictures) with my friend, I felt that I had made the right decision because the 12mm seemed wider than I needed and there was that much more barrel distortion compared with the 15mm.

What do the others think?
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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I don't have the 12mm prime but find that a surprisingly high proportion of my images are made at the 12mm end of my 12-50mm. I liked as 24mm lens on my OM kit as well. Mostly it depends on the type of image you like taking, I like the perspective a wide lens offers.

The "OM System Lens Handbook" had this piece of advice about very wide lenses - compose the picture, then take a step forward and recompose. I think that's best bit of advice I've ever read about using wide lenses. I'm surprised the MFT 12mm f/2 suffers from barrel distortion, but that can easily be corrected in software such as DxO Optics Pro.
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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I have had, for many years, an OM24 mm shift and a Tamron SP 17mm. They are tricky to use. More recently, I obtained a Pentax 15mm of good reputation. All of these are rectilinear.

I am considering the Laowa 12mm which is also rectilinear and there is a shift adapter for it. (It will remove the frustration of not being able to cover such wide angles on m4/3).

These are mostly used for travel photography, mainly for buildings. I don't use any of them very often but they can do what other lenses will not without distortion.

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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

For me 12mm is on the limit of being wide enough. I had the 9-18 and wanted wider so got the Panasonic 7-14. Clearly it depends on what you take images of and the look you're trying to achieve. It's important when shooting wide to have foreground features that fill a lot of the frame.
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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I have the Olympus 7-14mmtoo but as it is a large, heavy lens, I keep it for planned landscape, cityscape and such photography. But I sometimes go around with a wide-angle lens during parties, family gatherings and such where a 'standard' lens such as the 25mm might be a bit narrow if you want to include several people in the frame, which is often the case with my lot. I should have clarified my point - what I really meant was that to use as a "general purpose wide-angle lens" (if there is such a thing), I found that 15mm is more practical than 12mm.
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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

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Originally Posted by Loup Garou View Post
But I sometimes go around with a wide-angle lens during parties, family gatherings and such where a 'standard' lens such as the 25mm might be a bit narrow if you want to include several people in the frame, which is often the case with my lot. I should have clarified my point - what I really meant was that to use as a "general purpose wide-angle lens" (if there is such a thing), I found that 15mm is more practical than 12mm.
Ah - in which case I agree. I think 12mm is too wide for this sort of thing. The Panasonic 15mm (or 14mm) would be better. I use the 17mm for that sort of photography and that usually works too.
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Old 14th January 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

Harold '''Quote:: I obtained a Pentax 15mm of good reputation. All of these are rectilinear.

Harold - yes a true rectilinear is the best, IMHO. I think I have got one to sell if anyone is interested?
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Old 20th April 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Ah - in which case I agree. I think 12mm is too wide for this sort of thing. The Panasonic 15mm (or 14mm) would be better. I use the 17mm for that sort of photography and that usually works too.
I would say the 17mm would be my choice which is about the same as fixed lens compact would have generally.


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Old 20th April 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

With "sweep panorama", in camera stitching etc., wide and ultra wide lenses are not needed unless you want the effect that you get from these lenses.

I find myself using the W/UW a lot less than I did.

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Old 20th April 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I still think they can be convenient and they can produce useful results

I had a picture used on a book cover (wrap around) that was taken with my 7-14 at 7mm and the publisher was very happy with the quality. yes if you pixel peep in corners there is a slight amount of distortion but unless you get a magnifying glass out on the book you are not going to see it

It is less fuss than stitching
I can see it in camera

So I'll keep using mine when i feel like it

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Old 12th July 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I have just posted some car images from the Laowa 12mm in Foto Fair.

Harold
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Old 12th July 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

I often shoot at 12mm and sometimes needed a bit more which is why I now have the 7-14mm. There are occassions when you just can't step back and still take the picture you want, either due to crowds or the size of the subject (tall buildings, trees etc). Stitching is not an option if it will introduce perspective distortion.
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Old 12th July 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
Stitching is not an option if it will introduce perspective distortion.
If you are rotating the camera & lens around the nodal point you won't get any perspective distortion from stitching.
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Old 12th July 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
I often shoot at 12mm and sometimes needed a bit more which is why I now have the 7-14mm. There are occassions when you just can't step back and still take the picture you want, either due to crowds or the size of the subject (tall buildings, trees etc). Stitching is not an option if it will introduce perspective distortion.
The images with my 7.5mm were from within arm's reach of the bumper.

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Old 13th July 2017
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Re: 12mm lenses...too wide?

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Originally Posted by Petrochemist View Post
If you are rotating the camera & lens around the nodal point you won't get any perspective distortion from stitching.
Actually you will on any camera rotation as the focal plane for each shot will be different from each other and different from the focal plane of a very wide angle rectilinear lens (even though the latter would have some continuous curvature to it). Imagine a sequence of shots, taken from the ground, going up a tall building - the converging verticals would be a series of lines at different angles. I prefer to put on a 7mm, point it horizontal, and crop off the bottom half.
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