APS-C Wideangle Woes...What's a poor man to do?
So I'm absolutely loving my Maxxum 5D, and from info I've gathered around this neck of the woods and various other beats, I've compiled the following lensing so far:
Daily Grind Collection
Minolta 28mm f/2.8
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210mm f/4
Rarely Used/Dangerous Situations (i.e.-Beach) Collection
Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6
Minolta 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6
Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6
The "FRANKENSTEIN" Collection
Custom-made Glass Element MD/MA Converter
Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7
Rokkor-X 135mm f/2.8
eBay M42 Adapter
Asahi Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5
Vivitar 55mm f/2.8
So if you've so kindly and keenly observed, my widest lens is...drum roll...the darn kit lens. Yeah, I know.
The CZ 16-80 is just ludicrously out of my budget (believe it or not, I haven't spent more than $35 on a single lens in my collection so far, since I purchased 'oily apertures' & other 'junked' second hand lensing and fixed them myself), and I've played a bit with other people's 'wides', such as the Tokina 19-35, Sigma 17-35, Sigma 12-24, and some others. It's just that the most affordable (Tokina 19-35) is still roughly $100USD when all is said and done. I know I can get wider with some M42s, but I want an AF lens.
Any suggestions? Or is an affordable, decent performing wide-angle just non-existent at this point in time?
A quick wide-angle converter
Personally, to solve this problem, I also shy'd away grabbing a UWA Zoom lens, mainly due to costs much larger than my budget allowed. So, I went and picked up a $75 Phoenix 0.45x Teleconverter.
I did some field tests and found the light loss to only be 1/3 -f/stop ... effectively nothing, especially since the best you can get on a $500 UWA zoom is f/4, in most cases.
Adding this adapter to the front of your Minolta AF 28mm f/2.8 ... converts it to a nifty AF 13mm f/3.3. "Holy smokes ... that's not too bad," I thought. I tried it on the variable kit lens and was not very happy with the results. It did the best on the fixed focal length AF 28mm f/2.8 lens, which was just fine for what I wanted, anyway. It does deliver a nice indoor shot because of the low-light capability.
To me, this idea sounds like it is right where you want to be, also. I wouldn't worry about any serious optical distortion, because this is right where the breakpoint is for most lenses. It does have a slight bend to it, but it is definitely correctable in software, as most UWA are.
I've got a picture of the rig with this lens combo on it ...
it's mounted on a Canon AF28mm f/2.8, but the beauty of the adapter is that you can swap among all your 52mm or less filter-ring diameter lenses. It has adapter rings for 48mm, 49mm, 52mm and yeah, it might be slightly "Frankenstein" in nature, it does preserve your need for autofocus and a reasonable image. It mounts quite handily on the 49mm filter-ring of your AF 28mm f/2.8 lens, also.
I also have to ask ... what better solution for a mere $75? :cool: I think this one really ticks the lens purists off the most. It beats shooting through plastic lensing like they did in the 70's, thats for sure.