Focal reducers ?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Amamba, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I am planing a trip to Europe next year, most likely Prague.

    I'd like to get something better than my 16+UWA.

    10-18 is probably out of the question, and I am not yet sure about Rokinon.

    I was thinking of perhaps getting a focal reducer and bringing my Kiron 28/2. It's a superbly sharp lens.

    However, all focal reducers I found so far seem to be .72, which would make it a 20mm lens. I think that's going to be too narrow for these European streets ?

    Are there any decent reducers with bigger reduction ratios ?
     
  2. Sympa

    Sympa TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Sep 19, 2015
    No, the reducers cannot make the lens any wider than it was. And 28 is reasonable on 35mm, but not so wide of APS-C. The focal reducer will bring it back to 'reasonable wide' again. But the 16 mm without adapter already is like 24mm on 35mm. And you have the UWA - is the UWA not wide enough, not sharp enough, or not bright enough?
    I use the Canon 10-18mm on an adaptor. Seems a fine lens, but not overly bright. The Sony 10-18 is better, but the Canon is much better value, even with a $35 smart adapter included. You need a smart adapter or you cannot focus the lens. Autofocus can work but often does not on this cheap adapter.
     
  3. RnR

    RnR TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Jul 23, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Yes, Metabones makes the XL Speedbooster, but only for m43. So that won't help you unfortunately :(
     
  4. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I think if you reduced any more than a standard metabones speed booster you would end up with too much vignetting. You wouldn't have enough coverage for the APSC sensor.

    I do recommend a speed booster though, especially if you have a decent collection of lenses in one mount (and I can see by your signature you do). If you get a decent quality optic (can't speak for the cheapies, I decided to go for a legit metabones one) your image quality actually improves. I see noticably better resolution and contrast, don't use any of my Minolta lenses without it any more.
     
  5. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    28mm wasn't wide enough when shooting film for me with old cities (Tallinn). I purchased Samyang 12mm for that but haven't had a choice to use it there but it worked nicely in Budapest. I have never been in Prague but I imagine it has pretty narrow streets too. Anyway one lens is too few, I will pack Samyang 12mm, Sigma 19 mm, Olympus 24mm for my next trip (if I will have time for travelling) to Tallinn.
     
  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I used to have Sigma 19 and to be honest wasn't very impressed with it, yes it was sharp enough but I would get better results with my manual lenses. I think part of the reason was the crappy manual focus ring. Sigma 30 has the same crappy ring but is sharper overall. In the end, nothing beats good MF as long as your subject doesn't move. Still, getting that Sigma again is an option, they're not expensive.

    16+UWA can produce good results, but it can also produce poor results esp in the corners. It's a good combination overall, and I am definitely going to bring it, but I wanted something better for this trip without spending tons of money. Some of the absolutely best, sharpest city shots I've ever had were done with Minolta 50/1.7 (was in Chicago with a busted AF on my old camera and that was the only manual focus lens I had with me). So for the city shots, I think MF is the best approach.

    I also looked at Rokinon 12/2 but I am finding very conflicting reviews, some people say it's great and some are having problems with soft corners, seems that there's quite a bit of sample variance.

    So, .72 adapter on my 28mm will make it into a 20 mm lens, perhaps that's the best way to spend my money ? I could then use it on all of my other Minolta MD lenses, vs getting the 19/2.8 which I would rarely use after that trip.

    How narrow is 20mm for a city like Prague ?Looking on Flickr I was surprised to see quite a few Prague landscapes done with tele lenses.

    Also, is there a cheaper focal reducer adapter that is still good quality ? Zhonguy seems to be getting pretty good reviews. What about Pixco ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Of course I may just get into panorama stitching... never really tried this.
     
  8. RnR

    RnR TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Jul 23, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    IMHO if you are worried about the Rokinon having soft corners, a cheap focal reducer should not be on your shopping list.
     
  9. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Panorama stitching is awesome, easier to do now than ever. I like the results better than ultra wide angle lenses, which tend to make distant objects look too small
     
  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    What software do you use for stitching ?
     
  11. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I prefer to use lightroom stiching, just because I'm using lightroom anyway and when you get everything right in camera it works really well. Lightroom stitching works with the raw files unlike standalone stitching software.

    I have come across a few things that lightroom couldn't do, that photoshop could. Photoshop can even do stitch panoramas with film photos, lightroom fails on that. And photoshop can allow you to do content aware fill for areas that end up outside the crop, so sometimes it makes more sense.
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Revisiting the old thread.

    We're going to Europe again in a couple of weeks. I sold my 16+UWA combo after the Prague trip - first, very rarely had to use the 12mm, second, it was too much of a crap shoot in poor lighting.

    In Prague, the 18-105 worked for the majority of locations, and I could probably make it work for all with stitching.

    So, I want to try bringing a manual lens along, to see if it is even better. No longer have the Kiron, but somewhat accidentally got a Tou/Five Star 28/2.8 in Pentax PK mount that seems very decent.

    Can someone recommend me a relatively inexpensive (since I am not likely to use it a whole lot) and decent focal reducer ? I can also look at Minolta MD mount (the 28/2.8 is not that hard to come by).
     
  13. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    A 28mm lens with a focal reducer would give you an effective focal length of 28mm divided by 1.5 or about 19mm, which doesn't offer you anything wider than the E 4/18-105mm. You'd have to go to 24mm or shorter to get a significantly wider lens+reducer combo. Also I doubt that a middle-of-the-road legacy 28mm lens would be any better than the 4/18-105mm at 18mm, especially not when combined with a reducer, where often corner sharpness seems to suffer. Or did I miss your point?
     
  14. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Hi Ad,

    Yes, I wasn't clear.

    The 18-105 is in reality a 19-110 or so, the FOV on the wide end is exactly the same as Sigma 19 - I checked them side by side when I still had the Sigma.

    It's decent enough at the wide end, but is really optimized at 105mm.

    The question is then, would a decent legacy prime outfitted with FR offer an advantage over 18-105 in terms of IQ, while still being at least as good in low light situations (trading OSS for shutter speed, basically).
     
  15. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    A month ago the 4/18-105mm went on sale in a local store and I tested 2 samples of it on my A7R2 in APS-C mode, amounting to a resolution of 18 MP. Both were excellent at 18mm and f/8 and a Minolta 2.8/28mm won't come close and, guessing, a Tou/Five Star 2.8/28 will neither. Even at f/4 the E 4/18-105 will easily outperform the legacy lenses. Unless your sample of the 4/18-105 is particularly bad, I'm pretty sure a 28mm legacy lens with a focal reducer won't be better but most probably worse. Just my 2 ยข.

    As an aside, I ultimately decided to forego the E 4/18-105mm because in the end I still need a bag for the NEX-6 with it and once I take a bag, I know I'll fill it with the A7R2. That said, it was my second experience with the 18-105 and I liked it both times.
     
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  16. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks. I will just keep happily using the BMF, then ;)
     
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