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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: FunPhotons on June 03, 2012, 11:07:32 PM

Title: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 03, 2012, 11:07:32 PM
OK I'm sick of trying to find a walkabout camera. None of them work for me, tried the Fuji X100 (want to buy one?), the Canon S100, a G12, etc. I just end up wishing I had my 5DMKII. Now there are situations where for weight and threatening considerations a smaller rig is preferred. So ... I need a small lens for my DSLR, ideally a wide angle.

I have a 50/1.4, which isn't that great. Slow to focus, IQ ... maybe my version has problems, it got touchy after some sand grains got in it, probably not worth trying to fix. Plus it's 50mm and too tight for me.

My dream focal length is 20mm but Canon seemingly has no good primes in that range. I don't like to rent, I prefer buying and deciding as it takes me months to figure out a new lens. So ... recommendations?


Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 04, 2012, 12:37:22 AM
In the USA, Canon has a flat rate to repair the 50mm f/1.4, about $133 plus tax.  Its definitely worth a repair, selling used for about $350.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Wild on June 04, 2012, 02:47:22 AM
How about the old EF 24mm f/2.8?  It's small, decently sharp, and reasonably priced. However, it doesn't have usm, so it's got noisy AF and it's built like the 50 1.8.  If you don't mind waiting, and paying significantly more, the new 24mm f/2.8 IS will probably be much better and still be small enough for you.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: briansquibb on June 04, 2012, 03:10:18 AM
An alternative, if you are happy with f/5.6 or slower, maybe the 17-40
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: koolman on June 04, 2012, 05:31:35 AM
I use the voigtlander color skopar 20mm MF lens on a t2i. Super sharp and great colors from f/5.6 and smaller.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: crasher8 on June 04, 2012, 06:17:07 AM
I'm not a risk taker on bad copies but soooo many folks are getting the Siggy 30 1.4 just for what you are talking about. I think there are more good than bad copies out there but it's always a gamble with Sigma.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: 7enderbender on June 04, 2012, 07:31:44 AM
Hm, that's a problem. I would have suggested the 50 1.4 but you rule that out. If you go wide angle and want a fast lens it'll be bigger and heavier again unless you might want to consider something like a Voigtlander Nokton with an adapter? Wouldn't be AF obviously and you'd have to set aperture manually I guess.

Or this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676623-REG/Voigtlander_BA229DC_Ultron_40mm_f_2_0_SL_II.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676623-REG/Voigtlander_BA229DC_Ultron_40mm_f_2_0_SL_II.html)
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: DJL329 on June 04, 2012, 08:36:03 AM
Check out the EF 28mm f/1.8 USM.  It's obviously not as wide as 24mm, however it is small, light and fast.  It also has the same feel as the EF 85mm f/1.8 (nice and solid), and is my go-to lens when I need something wider than 50mm.  It's great for landscapes:  the 7-blades make great sun-stars and it is quite resistant to lens flare.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7227/7168092714_f0611530d0_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7168092714/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7168092714/#in/photostream)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6111/6381214971_e39505c404_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/6381214971/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/6381214971/#in/photostream)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7095/7335203604_4c1455fecf_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7335203604/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7335203604/#in/photostream)

One drawback is shooting individuals close-up as heads tend to bulge out (see below), but it can be corrected with Photoshop (+1.25) or DXO Optics Pro.  This shot was taken with only the sunlight coming in through the window, as she rolled across the floor.

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4110/5055249807_131a722037_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/5055249807/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/5055249807/#in/photostream)
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 08:37:38 AM
Aieeee! Great help folks, thanks!

Mt. Spokane (my parents live in Spokane BTW, I visit there often) thanks for the info. I will definitely send this lens in for repair. I had thought it was much more expensive.

On the Voigtlander, I didn't know these lenses existed! The Voight 20mm looks like the bomb, my dream focal length! Pancake! A little slow and MF but I can deal with that.

How is it with a FF Canon 5D? My credit card is practically out on this one!!

EDIT: Or the zeiss 18mm! It's not too big, and close to my ideal focal length, thoughts on these two lenses?

PS. The Sigma 30mm isn't for FF.

Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: preppyak on June 04, 2012, 10:00:34 AM
EDIT: Or the zeiss 18mm! It's not too big, and close to my ideal focal length, thoughts on these two lenses?
Well, the weight there might be getting away from your "light" classification, but, if you're at the 18mm Zeiss, consider the 21mm as well (even heavier though). Every review I've read says its the best lens in that focal length range.

Voigtlander weighs about a 1/3rd of the Zeiss lenses...
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: codewizpt on June 04, 2012, 10:42:41 AM
35mm f2

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6515738159_e042bbece4_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/)
White Bull Terrier (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/#) by MFV.pt (http://www.flickr.com/people/mfvpt/), on Flickr
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 11:08:46 AM
35mm f2

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6515738159_e042bbece4_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/)
White Bull Terrier (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/#) by MFV.pt (http://www.flickr.com/people/mfvpt/), on Flickr

Nice shot, I see heavy vignetting though. Full Frame?
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 11:09:40 AM
EDIT: Or the zeiss 18mm! It's not too big, and close to my ideal focal length, thoughts on these two lenses?
Well, the weight there might be getting away from your "light" classification, but, if you're at the 18mm Zeiss, consider the 21mm as well (even heavier though). Every review I've read says its the best lens in that focal length range.

Voigtlander weighs about a 1/3rd of the Zeiss lenses...

Yeah, the Voigt is looking like the one to check out ... funny I never knew about that brand.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: IIIHobbs on June 04, 2012, 11:23:19 AM
If its a prime you must haven then nothing will be sharper or faster than the 24 f1.4.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: codewizpt on June 04, 2012, 12:46:40 PM
35mm f2

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6515738159_e042bbece4_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/)
White Bull Terrier (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfvpt/6515738159/#) by MFV.pt (http://www.flickr.com/people/mfvpt/), on Flickr

Nice shot, I see heavy vignetting though. Full Frame?

It was intentional (Post Production). But yes, 5D II
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: RLPhoto on June 04, 2012, 05:18:03 PM
OK I'm sick of trying to find a walkabout camera. None of them work for me, tried the Fuji X100 (want to buy one?), the Canon S100, a G12, etc. I just end up wishing I had my 5DMKII. Now there are situations where for weight and threatening considerations a smaller rig is preferred. So ... I need a small lens for my DSLR, ideally a wide angle.

I have a 50/1.4, which isn't that great. Slow to focus, IQ ... maybe my version has problems, it got touchy after some sand grains got in it, probably not worth trying to fix. Plus it's 50mm and too tight for me.

My dream focal length is 20mm but Canon seemingly has no good primes in that range. I don't like to rent, I prefer buying and deciding as it takes me months to figure out a new lens. So ... recommendations?

  • Lens ideali around the size of the 50/1.4
  • Prime
  • Ideally wide, at least 24mm

Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...

35mm F/2

35mm f1.4L

28mm 1.8

24mm 1.4L

All logical choices. I prefer the 24mm 1.4L.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: wickidwombat on June 04, 2012, 07:17:26 PM
i consider the 16-35 small and i love it as a walkabout
(I really like 20mm focal length too) if canon made a 20 f1.4L I would be all over that
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Razor2012 on June 04, 2012, 07:56:10 PM
i consider the 16-35 small and i love it as a walkabout
(I really like 20mm focal length too) if canon made a 20 f1.4L I would be all over that

Or a 14-24L.  ;)
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 08:01:42 PM
I have the 16-35L, 70-200/2.8, 24-105 and 8-16 fishy. I wouldn't call the 16-35 small, or any L lens small, certainly not unobtrusive. Too hard to take candids, people notice when one of those cannons is pointed at them.

My daily kit is the 24-105 and 16-35 in a top loader, and I love them dearly, but it's neither light nor unobtrusive.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: kdsand on June 04, 2012, 09:06:10 PM
Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II Aspherical Compact Pancake Manual Focus
Its on my short wish list.
If auto focus was crammed into it then I think this would likely be in everybodys day bag but even without its sweet.  :D
 ;D
http://www.adorama.com/VT402EOS.html (http://www.adorama.com/VT402EOS.html)
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: elflord on June 04, 2012, 09:47:39 PM

  • Lens ideali around the size of the 50/1.4
  • Prime
  • Ideally wide, at least 24mm

Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...

The 35mm f/2 is a contender. Pros: good optics, very small. Con: old design, 5 blade aperture, noisy AF. Wide on full frame, normal length on crop (maybe you want wider).

I tried both this and the 28mm f/1.8. Didn't care much for the latter, was pretty bad wide open though got much better stopped down a bit.


Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: EOBeav on June 04, 2012, 09:53:13 PM
You mentioned that you got some sand in your 50/1.4. Had you tried to open it up and clean it out? I did the same thing to mine a few years ago, about 2 weeks after I bought it. I dropped it on the beach, and had that sickening feeling of picking it up out of the sand. There's a tutorial around somewhere that shows you how to do that when that exact lens. I just used a small screwdriver and my trusty Giotti blower. It worked great, and I haven't had any problems with it since then. Well, just problems related to operator error, but that's a different story...
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 10:09:01 PM
You mentioned that you got some sand in your 50/1.4. Had you tried to open it up and clean it out? I did the same thing to mine a few years ago, about 2 weeks after I bought it. I dropped it on the beach, and had that sickening feeling of picking it up out of the sand. There's a tutorial around somewhere that shows you how to do that when that exact lens. I just used a small screwdriver and my trusty Giotti blower. It worked great, and I haven't had any problems with it since then. Well, just problems related to operator error, but that's a different story...

Thanks for the tip, but it was just a few grains in the blowing wind at the beach. Darn lens wasn't out for more than a few minutes but that's all that it took. Ever since then I only buy weather sealed L lenses. Anyhow I cleared it out by turning upside down then jiggling and whatnot until it cleared. But now the motor is crap, it works, sort of, until it decides to freeze after a few minutes. Manually moving it around will get it to lock in again.

Anyhow I'm not sure what to do with the lens, delicate and IQ doesn't compare to my better lenses.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: funkboy on June 04, 2012, 10:10:55 PM
My APS-C street lens is the Voigtländer 20mm Color Skopar.  I just set it to hyperfocal stopped down 1/3 stop and forget about needing to focus; everything beyond 2m is in...
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 04, 2012, 10:13:26 PM

  • Lens ideali around the size of the 50/1.4
  • Prime
  • Ideally wide, at least 24mm

Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...

The 35mm f/2 is a contender. Pros: good optics, very small. Con: old design, 5 blade aperture, noisy AF. Wide on full frame, normal length on crop (maybe you want wider).

I tried both this and the 28mm f/1.8. Didn't care much for the latter, was pretty bad wide open though got much better stopped down a bit.

Yeah not sure I want to mess with those old designs, too much of a compromise. Plus 35mm is the beginning of the telephoto range for me, I like to shoot wide :)

Only exception is when I want a classical headshot.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 04, 2012, 10:34:40 PM
Aieeee! Great help folks, thanks!

Mt. Spokane (my parents live in Spokane BTW, I visit there often) thanks for the info. I will definitely send this lens in for repair. I had thought it was much more expensive.

On the Voigtlander, I didn't know these lenses existed! The Voight 20mm looks like the bomb, my dream focal length! Pancake! A little slow and MF but I can deal with that.

How is it with a FF Canon 5D? My credit card is practically out on this one!!

EDIT: Or the zeiss 18mm! It's not too big, and close to my ideal focal length, thoughts on these two lenses?

PS. The Sigma 30mm isn't for FF.

Its a small world, Drop me a line next time you are planning to be in town.  Have you lived in Spokane?
 
 You might want to try youur hand at capturing some of those rolling hills of grain to the South.  They are impressive in person, but I'm far from skilled enough to capture the feeling they give me.
 
I even went so far as to buy a new D800 with capturing wide angles in mind, I also need a wide lens.  I was going to buy a 14-24mm, but I've found that many users can't easily get away from flare or distortions, so I'm still thinking about it.  My vision is not good enough to manually focus, but pretty much everything in the distance will be in focus, its the foreground that I can't focus on manually.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: wickidwombat on June 04, 2012, 10:55:24 PM
wow that 20mm voigtlander looks sweet, if you get it keep us updated on how it goes. I'm keen to see some samples of the IQ from it too, sooo tiny only 200 grams
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: keithfullermusic on June 05, 2012, 12:45:50 AM
I have the canon 20mm 2.8 on my 50D and I love it.  I picked it up used for a good price, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. Either way it's way sharper than my buddies 11-16 Tokina and my other buddies 10-22 canon lens.  It's an amazing lens for people, but only if you get right up in their face.  It's roughly equivalent to the 35 on a full frame.

Either way, I don't think wide angle lenses are good for walk around lenses.  Anytime I go walk around I either take the 100-400 if I'm taking nature shots, or either the 50 1.8 or the 100 2.8 for general use.  I find that the 50-100 range with a nice wide aperture are the best for just walking around.  Your choice, but I don't see why you don't like the 50 1.4.  My buddy has it and he loves it, and not to mention that he takes superb pics with it all the time.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: DigitalDivide on June 05, 2012, 05:14:10 AM
Maybe I am off base here, but if compact and light is what you want have you considered buying an APS-C body?  A T2i plus the highly regarded 10-22mm would come in well under what you'd pay for the 24L f/1.4.  The 10-22 is only 3.5in long and weighs 13 oz, not as light and compact as the 50 f/1.4 but the smaller lighter body should more than make up for it.  I'm always amazed when I pick up my daughter's T3i how little there is to it compared to my 5D2. :)

The IQ of this combo should be pretty good as long as you are not looking for the speed and DOF of an f/1.4 lens.  The Rebel doesn't have the low light and AF capabilities of your 5D2, but it has the same sensor as everything up to and including the 7D.  The AF might not be an issue if you are using the camera for landscapes and street scenes.  The flexibility of a zoom might be a plus for a walkaround lens.  If not, the 14L f/2.8 is another option, but say goodbye to light and cheap. :o

Just a thought...
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: FunPhotons on June 05, 2012, 08:53:58 PM
Mt Spokane, Thanks, I surely will. No never lived there, but my sister and parents did/do live there. I like Spokane, very relaxed compared to California. Those grain fields are pretty wonderful. I can see a clear deep blue sky with polarizer, the grain and a disaffected woman in the foreground. Just an idea!

DigitalDivide, good ideas, but for me the issue is more the lens than the body. I'm happy with the 5DMKII and 50mm/1.4, if only my 50mm worked and I liked that focal length better.

wickidwombat, I'm feeling pretty sold on the 20mm. It is my souls focal length, the only issue is for $600 what else could I do with that? Maybe step it up and get the Zeiss 21mm?
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: wickidwombat on June 05, 2012, 09:28:50 PM
that zeiss 21mm is massive compared to that little voigtlander though  :-\
still ive had my eye on it for a while too
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: koolman on June 06, 2012, 04:53:23 AM
Voigtlander 20mm + canon t2i


(http://)
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: iaind on June 11, 2012, 02:55:13 PM
Check out the EF 28mm f/1.8 USM.  It's obviously not as wide as 24mm, however it is small, light and fast.  It also has the same feel as the EF 85mm f/1.8 (nice and solid), and is my go-to lens when I need something wider than 50mm.  It's great for landscapes:  the 7-blades make great sun-stars and it is quite resistant to lens flare.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7227/7168092714_f0611530d0_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7168092714/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7168092714/#in/photostream)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6111/6381214971_e39505c404_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/6381214971/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/6381214971/#in/photostream)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7095/7335203604_4c1455fecf_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7335203604/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/7335203604/#in/photostream)

One drawback is shooting individuals close-up as heads tend to bulge out (see below), but it can be corrected with Photoshop (+1.25) or DXO Optics Pro.  This shot was taken with only the sunlight coming in through the window, as she rolled across the floor.

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4110/5055249807_131a722037_m.jpg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/5055249807/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/43086792@N03/5055249807/#in/photostream)

+1
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: EOBeav on June 11, 2012, 03:46:33 PM
My dream focal length is 20mm but Canon seemingly has no good primes in that range. I don't like to rent, I prefer buying and deciding as it takes me months to figure out a new lens. So ... recommendations?

  • Lens ideali around the size of the 50/1.4
  • Prime
  • Ideally wide, at least 24mm

Maybe the new 24IS? Dunno ...

Shorty forty?
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Daniel Flather on June 11, 2012, 10:41:49 PM
How about the old EF 24mm f/2.8?  It's small, decently sharp, and reasonably priced. However, it doesn't have usm, so it's got noisy AF and it's built like the 50 1.8. 

It's built like the 50 1.8?  Do you own this lens?  I did once, and its build is better than the 50 1.8.

I recommend the 24Lii, I have it and it is just awesome.  They say the 24L is the wide 85L.
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: kdsand on June 12, 2012, 03:36:30 AM
I have a better one for you: The iPhone  :P

Booo!

Hiss!

Lol
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: briansquibb on June 12, 2012, 03:38:08 AM
I have a better one for you: The iPhone  :P

iPhone is rubbish - the 42mp Nokia is far better than even the D800  :P :P :P
Title: Re: A small walkabout lens - lay it on me!
Post by: Razor2012 on June 12, 2012, 10:59:31 AM
I have a better one for you: The iPhone  :P

iPhone is rubbish - the 42mp Nokia is far better than even the D800  :P :P :P

The new MP leader!  ;D