My current gear is still doing fine, but the time has come to think about an upgrade. I’m planning to:
a) Move to Full Frame (ditching the “0” on my 60D and going for a 6D);
b) Switch to primes (which I tend to use as “2-way” prime anyway).
The choice for a 6D is mainly a financial one, but for most of my photography (mainly landscapes) it will do just as well as a 5DmkIII. A possible drawback of the 6D is the wildlife shots, but I think I would actually prefer a 70D (or maybe 7DmkII) over a 5DmkIII because of the higher fps and crop factor.
I’ll keep my L zooms (70-200 f/4 and 100-400) for now, but the EF-S lenses need to go. For my new prime lenses it’s hard not to get excited about the new Sigma ART lenses, but:
I’m shooting landscapes most of the time. As such, I tend to use apertures from f/4 and upward.
When comparing the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART to a more moderate priced Canon 35mm f/2 IS, the latter actually isn’t doing that bad:
There is no Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART yet (thus an unfair comparison), but the Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS seems to be dropping the ball a bit:
The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART is rumored to be heavier and more expensive as the 35mm Art.
Although the mentioned Canon IS Prime lenses are not as good wide open, they have some clear advantages:
- They are much smaller and lighter (the combined weight of the 24mm and 35mm Canons is actually less than a single Sigma 35mm ART, a big bonus when hiking);
- They are (much) cheaper (the possible savings could bring a 5DmkIII in reach, but likely be spend on more glass);
- They offer IS (which I don’t care about, but could be good for filming).
Am I missing something, or is this actually a viable option? Any good experiences using these Canon lenses for landscapes?
OP: You are making a common mistake when looking at lenses - looking at only one optical benchmark (sharpness).
You stated you wish to photograph landscapes. Odds are, those landscapes will have a lot of light. They might even have the sun in the picture! Did you investigate lens flare, which will then be your biggest enemy? Using the same site's lens flare test, we can see that the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS that you were skeptical above is actually the best in terms of lack of lens flare at smaller apertures.
Which is another point, your landscape shots will generally be f/8-f/16. The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS while not the sharpest of all at f/2.8 is just as sharp if not sharper at f/8-f/16.
Going back to lens flare,
The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS has significantly less lens flare than the below lenses:
* Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L
* Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
This is largely due to the much smaller front element on the 24mm f/2.8 IS.
And the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART is an utter mess in terms of lens flare so I wouldn't count on the 24mm:
So, sometimes the cheaper option is actually the better option.
If not obvious already, I recommend the Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS for landscape work, due to its classic 24mm landscape focal length, very low lens flare and high sharpness at typical landscape apertures.