Inexpensive 20mm or wider lens

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Hi

I realized I want a lens wider than what I have, which means 20mm or wider (but not that much wider, not sure how much). I will use it so rarely that I'm only interested in very inexpensive lenses, which most likely means used and/or manual focus. Having f/2.8 or under is nice but even f/4 is fine for this lens if this gets me to the price I want.

I found the Samyang 14mm but it is a little too expensive (new) and probably wider than I want. I don't really know what else is available. Anything decent in the 16mm-20mm range, with manual focus (old Nikons are fine) for up to about $250?

The lens will be used mostly for wide angle of rooms for posting online (so best resolution is not the most important thing in the world) and also for close ups of e.g. small signs with slightly blurry wide background (so center sharpness is important around f/4-f/8).

Thank you
 
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I use a Tamron 19-35 for UW pix. Like you, I didn't want to spend too much money on it since I only use it occasionally. Primarily for large group shots (50-100 people) at weddings.
 
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Tokina 17 f3.5 ATX PRO
Tamron 20-40 f2.7-3.5 AF
Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14 f2.8 manual focus
Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4.0 AF

It is all depend on what your budget is and what kind of lens do you prefer.
First, do you want auto focus, or manual focus is OK? Do you want small prime lens or zoom? Do you want to use a filters on it? Do you want to shoot it wide open or at f8.0?
 
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  • #5
Thank you.

It is all depend on what your budget is and what kind of lens do you prefer.
First, do you want auto focus, or manual focus is OK? Do you want small prime lens or zoom? Do you want to use a filters on it? Do you want to shoot it wide open or at f8.0?
I prefer to keep it under $300, preferably around $200 if possible.
As mentioned in the first post, manual focus is fine.
A small prime is better, especially if it means better quality for the price. If a zoom is decent and doesn't cost more that is fine also.
I will use all apertures but I can't say how important sharpness (or anything else) is at each aperture. It all depends on what the lens is and what it gives me for a certain price.
Not using any filters.

I'll look at all the lenses suggested (the Samyang 14mm is too expensive for this lens).
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
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Atlanta, GA
I had the Tokina 19-35mm, and it was a good lens. I recently switched to the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and it is good also. Both are inexpensive.
 
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Mar 10, 2008
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....the Samyang 14mm is too expensive for this lens).
:smile:
Just take a look at the price of Nikon 14mm...:eek:
Ultra wide lenses get very expensive the wider you go.

You can take a look at Voightlander 20 f3.5 manual focus lens. It cost much more than $200, but it is very small and high quality.
Also...
Vivitar 19 f3.8 Ais ~ $200 used
Nikon 20 f3.5 Ai used ~ $200
Sigma 17-35 f2.8-4.0 AF used
Tokina 19-35 f3.5-4.5 AF < $200 used
Tokina 20-35 f3.5-4.5 AF used < $200
 
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What camera are you using? Also, what format? There are some great 3rd party zooms wider than 20mm that fit in your budget for DX cameras, but things get expensive fast when you move to FX.
 
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What camera are you using? Also, what format? .....
Good point!
I was assuming we are talking FX, because on DX just get 18-55 for wider than 20mm and cheaper than $200 :smile:
Most DX zooms start from 18-....
Also, not every DX body will be able to AF with older screw driven lenses (most of them don't).
 
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Jun 12, 2012
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  • #11
It's an FX camera.

Care to share the reasoning behind this statement?
Maybe it was unclear (English is not my first language). By "this lens" I meant the lens I am going to buy, not the Samyang lens. The Samyang 14mm costs more than I am willing to spend on this lens and it is too wide anyway.

I'll look at all these suggestions. So far the ones I found cost significantly more than $200 (e.g. $300 for a poor condition Nikon 20mm f/3.5 which is not worth it to me).
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
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USA
It's an FX camera.


Maybe it was unclear (English is not my first language). By "this lens" I meant the lens I am going to buy, not the Samyang lens. The Samyang 14mm costs more than I am willing to spend on this lens and it is too wide anyway.

I'll look at all these suggestions. So far the ones I found cost significantly more than $200 (e.g. $300 for a poor condition Nikon 20mm f/3.5 which is not worth it to me).
OK, thanks. I'm on a similar search myself and have considered both the Samyang and the elusive Nikon 20mm 2.8 AI-s. The former is perhaps too wide for my use too, and the latter seems to be a bit rare on the used market at the moment.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
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If you can find a Tamron 17-35 2.8-4, you should give it serious consideration. Mint used copies go for around $300, which was the price point when new. It's wide, sharp, and lightweight. I picked up one of the last new copies from B&H a few years ago and I liked it so much that I sold my 14-24. It's not as good as the Nikon lens, but it's good enough for my purposes.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
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Perhaps you should consider 24 F2.8 SIGMA MACRO SUPER WIDE II
It is not 20mm, but close enough. Sigma 24 f2.8 is very sharp and nice lens and it cost less than $200 in good condition.
20-40 F2.7-3.5 TAMRON ASPHERICAL INTERNAL FOCUS SP
17-35 F2.8-4 SIGMA ASPHERICAL D EX

There are no miracles, if you want to have a wide lens with good IQ in good condition it will cost you a lot more than $200. In less than $200 category it will be well used, old, third party lens. Never the less, there are many real gems in that category if you know what to look for and get a good copy.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Israel
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Thanks. I'll keep looking. I asked mainly because I didn't know what options there are, like the Tamron and the Vivitar which I didn't know about.

Perhaps you should consider 24 F2.8 SIGMA MACRO SUPER WIDE II
It is not 20mm, but close enough.
Thanks, but it's not close enough since I have a 28mm lens.

There are no miracles, if you want to have a wide lens with good IQ in good condition it will cost you a lot more than $200. In less than $200 category it will be well used, old, third party lens. Never the less, there are many real gems in that category if you know what to look for and get a good copy.
Yes, that's why I'm considering used, primes, manual focus, smaller aperture, etc. which are things that generally reduce price but not quality for what it is.
 
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