July 25, 2014, 12:23:53 PM

Author Topic: Help with choosing a wide angle lens  (Read 2444 times)

Hallvardk

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Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:41:53 AM »
Hi,
I just switched from Nikon, and I'm looking into rebuilding my lens collection. A 70-200 2.8 is coming in as we type, and a fifty of some sort is also taking place in the bag. That leaves me with the wide angle stuff. I'm now shooting on a 1D mark iv body, and I find it hard to find a decent wide angle lens given the 1.3 crop. I don't need to go wider than 24mm, but I would like to.

I shoot a lot of surfing, and I need to be able to attach a filter on the lens (excludes sigma 12-24mm, canon 14mm). I also need a lens that is good at handling CA and has quick focusing. Cost is not a big concern. I'm eyeing 17-40, 16-35 and the 24mm. What route to go?
Thanks

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Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« on: April 10, 2014, 04:41:53 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 06:37:21 AM »
When you say you don't need wider than 24mm, are you including the 1.3x crop factor (as your inclusion of the 24mm prime suggests)?  If so, the 24-70/2.8L II is the way to go, IMO.

If you actually mean you need 18mm (24mm FF equivalent), the 16-35/2.8L II is best if you'll be shooting wide open; if you're usually going to stop down to f/8 or so, the 17-40/4L would be similar.
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jdramirez

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 12:21:37 PM »
I'm not a wide angle guy, but I would agree with everything nuero said.  If I were to make an addition, I might consider a rokinon 16mm.  The wide angle lens itself well to not having auto focus, and if you stop down, the image quality is very good.  But that is just an alternative... which Mau afford you to get another lens on top of that one.
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cid

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 12:24:51 PM »
What about Zeiss glass?
15/18/21mm

Of course, no AF...
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 12:53:19 PM »
I don't need to go wider than 24mm, but I would like to.
Cost is not a big concern.
I'm eyeing 17-40, 16-35 and the 24mm.

I think you've answered your question: 16-35 II.
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mackguyver

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 01:12:16 PM »
I don't need to go wider than 24mm, but I would like to.
Cost is not a big concern.
I'm eyeing 17-40, 16-35 and the 24mm.


I think you've answered your question: 16-35 II.

+1 on your & Neuro's comments.  The 16-35 II isn't the greatest end all be all lens, but it is extremely versatile and nowhere near as bad (in actual use) as you'll read on the web.  It may disappoint compared to the 14-24, but you can (easily) attach filters to it, it has great color and contrast, and the zoom range is really practical.  the 24 f/1.4 and 24-70 f/2.8 II are both considerably sharper (at 24 or 24-35mm) but obviously don't go as wide.  Also, I'll share my wide/ultra-wide thoughts from another post:

I am afraid you ask too much: 2.8, Auto focus, Zoom.

Yep, it's like the old saying - good, fast, cheap - pick two.  Welcome to the Canon owner's ultra-wide lens choice hell. 

After too many years and posts on this, I've come to the following conclusions:

- If you need the most versatile lens (f/2.8, AF, zoom, with low distortion) the 16-35 II is the best compromise.  Yes, compromise.  It's a nice lens if you use its strengths, but it will disappoint if you expect too much of it.

- If you shoot landscapes and don't need f/2.8, the 17-40 is the way to go, but again, is a similar compromise

- If you need the best IQ from a zoom, order the Nikon 14-24 and a high quality (Novoflex) adapter

If you find yourself gravitating towards a single focal length:

- If you need the best IQ with AF, get the 14L II

- If you need the best IQ buy the Zeiss 15 f/2.8 or the TS-E 17, depending on your needs (filter compatibility vs. T/S)

I've left out the other lenses like the Zeiss 21 that are in this range to focus on the widest lenses, but same advice goes for them if that's your favored FL.

Personally, I settled on the 16-35II.  It's not my best or favorite lens, but it's probably the most flexible lens I own.  The low distortion is great and with the help of DxO / Adobe lens profiles, it's works very well for me.  If I shot at 14/15/17mm all the time, I'd buy the 14L, Zeiss 15, or TS-E 17 in a heartbeat, because it would make a difference on large prints.
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Hallvardk

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 02:26:15 PM »
When you say you don't need wider than 24mm, are you including the 1.3x crop factor (as your inclusion of the 24mm prime suggests)?  If so, the 24-70/2.8L II is the way to go, IMO.

If you actually mean you need 18mm (24mm FF equivalent), the 16-35/2.8L II is best if you'll be shooting wide open; if you're usually going to stop down to f/8 or so, the 17-40/4L would be similar.

Maybe a bit unclear on that point, but yes, I can go with a 24mm lens, which would turn into a 29-30mm on the 1D.
Thanks for all the other answers. It seems like the 16-35 is the way to go. Can anyone comment how the autofocus on the 24mm holds up to the 16-35 or even the 24-70?

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 02:26:15 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 03:27:54 PM »
Thanks for all the other answers. It seems like the 16-35 is the way to go. Can anyone comment how the autofocus on the 24mm holds up to the 16-35 or even the 24-70?
I've never done any testing, but I use all three quite a bit and I would say that they're all about the same in terms of speed & accuracy.   They are all "Group A" lenses in terms of using all AF sensors in the 1D X & 5DIII, and the only difference from my experience is that the 24 1.4 II focuses better in low light, given it's 2-stop light gathering advantage. 

I'd choose between them based on your needs - if you'll be shooting wide a lot, the 16-35, if you'll be shooting above 24mm and can live without the 16-23, the 24-70, and if you want a smaller, lighter lens with a f/1.4, get the 24.  For astrophotography, the 24-70 is the only choice as the coma on the other lenses will kill the stars in the corners.  Build quality is about equal among them, distortion on the 24 is low, 16-35 & 24-70 are pretty close.  I love the 24, but the other two are so versatile.  The 1.3x crop shooters I know seem to prefer the 16-35 over the 24-70, but I guess it depends on what your needs will be.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 11:05:26 PM »
All responses have been great and I really like mackguyver's detail and depth to his answers on this.  I lack his experience with the whole lens range but I will say that the 16-35 has been one of my favorite lenses for years on both APS-C and FF cameras.  I've never used the APS-H (1.3) camera.  Personally I have the 16-35 v1, not the v2 but it's still a great lens.  Keep in mind that the v2 has a 82mm filter, the v1 has a 77mm filter, FWIW.  I personally own the 24-70 (both ver), 24-105, 70-200 and 24 f/1.4 (among others) with respect to this discussion and the 16-35 is almost always with me.

So I would vote for the 16-35 in your situation.  24-70 as the second choice.

Another lens I love to have fun with is the the EF 15mm/2.8 FishEye.  It's not too expensive and makes wonderful images for the price.  (I'm not suggesting this lens as a alternative to the others mentioned, just a fun lens to get someday.)
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

privatebydesign

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 11:32:32 PM »
16-35 no question. Even that is only moderately wide on the 1D MkIV.

I gave up on the 1D series and switched to 1Ds's completely because of the lack of support for wide and ultrawide with the 1.3 crop.

I have an SPL housing for the 1D too (soon to go on eBay) as I shot surf photography for years in the Caribbean,  don't know of a single surf photographer that doesn't have a 16-35, the other must have is the 15mm fisheye, it works really well on the 1.3 crop and can be defished with very high quality results.
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Hallvardk

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 12:10:29 AM »
Super, super, super feedback, guys. I don't like how the wide angles distort, so I love to stay around 20-30mm. But I guess that a 1.3 crop will take care of the worst in the 16-35.
Last thing, while you're at it: can anyone comment on the difference between the 24 1.4 I vs II? Is it worth the extra $500-600?

TexPhoto

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 12:25:09 AM »
16-35 is a fantastic lens.  I have a Tokina 11-6mm f2.8 I shoot on my 1D Mark IV.  Crop lenses from 3rd partys generally work great on the Mark IV.  But my favorite lens for close up Sports on the Mark IV is the 8-15mm fisheye!

« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 12:29:41 AM by TexPhoto »

CarlTN

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 03:44:06 AM »
Hi,
I just switched from Nikon, and I'm looking into rebuilding my lens collection. A 70-200 2.8 is coming in as we type, and a fifty of some sort is also taking place in the bag. That leaves me with the wide angle stuff. I'm now shooting on a 1D mark iv body, and I find it hard to find a decent wide angle lens given the 1.3 crop. I don't need to go wider than 24mm, but I would like to.

I shoot a lot of surfing, and I need to be able to attach a filter on the lens (excludes sigma 12-24mm, canon 14mm). I also need a lens that is good at handling CA and has quick focusing. Cost is not a big concern. I'm eyeing 17-40, 16-35 and the 24mm. What route to go?
Thanks

Even with full frame and no crop factor, 24mm is a good wide angle focal length, but it's not extremely wide (equal to 15mm on a 1.6x crop camera, and 19.5mm on your 1.3x crop).  I'm considering the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, as for the money (a good price is under $300) there just is nothing else.  Read the reviews of it, you'll be surprised.  Yes it's manual focus and aperture setting, but at this wide focal length, that is manageable much of the time.  A friend of mine has the Tokina 16-28, it appears to be very good for the price...but the reviews say it is notorious for having decentering issues...and also it has a bit of strange flare, which is very likely related to coma.  From the images I've seen online, the Rokinon has extremely low to almost non-existent coma, even wide open.  The Canon 17-40 is really the only other wide angle lens that appears to be a good value.  At 17mm the tests I've seen, are not great, but it's usable if closed down a lot.  The Zeiss 18mm f/3.5, is probably the next best value in wide angle lenses, especially if you can get one discounted or used, but still in good condtion.  But this will still cost around $900 to $1000, used.  It easily has the best color and contrast of all the others I mention above...but it's also not exactly sharp wide open...and is still manual focus.  But aperture is set in camera, a plus.  It's a shame Sigma hasn't made an "art" wide angle lens yet, will probably be a year or two, it seems...if at all.  I have my Sigma 24mm f/1.8 for sale now.  It's not perfect, but it's a very unique lens with very low barrel distortion, autofocuses well...and my asking price is not much higher than the Rokinon 14mm.  If 35mm is wide enough for you, then both Sigma and Canon have very good f/1.4 lenses at that length.

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 03:44:06 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 03:47:06 AM »
16-35 is a fantastic lens.  I have a Tokina 11-6mm f2.8 I shoot on my 1D Mark IV.  Crop lenses from 3rd partys generally work great on the Mark IV.  But my favorite lens for close up Sports on the Mark IV is the 8-15mm fisheye!



Nice shot, was this done at around 14mm on the 1D4?

jprusa

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 08:23:28 AM »
I have the 17-40 but it has not been used since I purchased my 24-70. One of the local surf photographers has a Fisheye and gets great results.

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Re: Help with choosing a wide angle lens
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2014, 08:23:28 AM »