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Which Utra Wide Angle Lens Should I Choose?

LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 8:34AM
I have a Canon 5D Mark 2 which I love to bits, with a not-yet-complete collection of lenses. I want to buy and ultra wide angle lens, not a fisheye, but haven't a clue which one to buy. I am told that the Canon EF-S 10-22 is the best on the market, but it won't fit my 5D Mark 2.

It has to have AF (my eyesight is rubbish) and I am prepared to pay for quality. I have read reviews on both the Sigma and the Tamron but confess to being bewildered.


Lynne Joyce

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mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 8:47AM
If price is not a significant factor then I would stay with Canon lenses.

You mention the 10-22 so do you prefer a zoom? The 17-40 (or 16-35) are classed as ultrawides but do you want to go wider than this? Many professionals use the 17-40 though there is plenty of e-chatter about the edge superiority of the 16-35.
Of course, the best quality will be with primes and there you have the 14mm and 20mm, neither of which I have been fortunate enough to use. Or the Tilt/Shift lenses to maintain vertical perspective.
mickrick 14 17 2 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 8:50AM
I have a Sigma 12-24mm and love it. It's a bit prone to flare when shooting into the sun, but I guess that's to be expected. A major advantage is that it will work on either digital or film without vignetting. It's great with my DSLR, but put it on a film camera and it is just amazing. To the extent that I even lugged my old F70 away with me, because I'm hoping to get some rainforest shots, later in the trip
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 8:59AM
Mike, are the 17-40 and 16-35 Canon lenses? I think that I do want to go wider than these though.

I do prefer a zoom though I love my 50mm 1.4 and my whizzy 100 mm macro lenses. I want the lens primarily for landscape work. Edge superiority sounds good and I really hate vignetting (I spend hours in Photoshop getting rid of it) so these are important considerations. Re lens flare, can't this be considered an artistic merit?

Thanks for your help thus far. I'm technically bewildered but learning all the time with the help of others.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
7 Nov 2011 9:05AM

Quote:Many professionals use the 17-40 though there is plenty of e-chatter about the edge superiority of the 16-35.

I think we'd all prefer the 16-35

But the price differential is hard to justify for most uses - 1mm and 1 stop if for "most things" isn't really worth it on a wide lens if you're doing landscape/arthictecture where you're shooting at small apertures.

For weddings, the extra stop would be a godsend in dark churches
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
7 Nov 2011 9:15AM
I (and a few others) are using canon 17-40 with 5D2.
Even though it works well, but the fringing you get from that combination is really annoying.
I was told Canon 16-35 is better.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 9:31AM
Cole try using DPP for your RAW converter it takes that out for you. C1 does so as well but its not as automatic.
mickrick 14 17 2 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 9:50AM
I just uploaded a shot straight into the sun. There's a little blue point low down in the water, caused by lens flare - not excessive, and I could probably blend it out in Photoshop. Also on that first page, the crotons, the little girl at the hot-springs, the volcano and Frank Hurley's darkroom were all shot with the 12-24mm
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
7 Nov 2011 10:20AM

As a total aside:

You say "your eyesight is rubbish".

While not for a moment suggesting you should buy a non-AF lens, there are definitely times when we all switch AF off in order to focus manually for a specific purpose.

My point is that your camera (I assume, as all Nikons have it) will have a dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder which will allow you to set it to exactly match your eyesight.

Remember that when you look through an SLR viewfinder, you are not focussing your eye into a "scene". You are focussing on a two-dimensional plane surface (the ground glass screen of the viewfinder). So, as long as the dioptre control is correctly set so that your eye focusses on this screen, you should have no problems.

Hope this helps.

sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 10:30AM
You need to be careful going too wide as you'll start introducing a vignette - I'm pretty sure this has been a reported problem with the Sigma 12-24. The widest Canon appear to do is the 14mm F2.8 prime. Personally, if I could money was no object I'd go for the 16-35mm, but the 17-40mm is a good alternative. The 17-40 has been my main lens of choice for probably the last 5-6 yrs - its built like a tank and I've always had good results although I go get some flaring when at 17mm in some conditions.


66tricky 11 742 Scotland
7 Nov 2011 10:58AM

Quote:Cole try using DPP for your RAW converter it takes that out for you. C1 does so as well but its not as automatic.

DxO Optics Pro also does this on a camera/lens combination basis as well as correct known aberrations, all with the ability switch on and off and adjust etc.
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2011 3:44PM
Thanks guys. Phew, I have just looked at the price difference. If I go for the 16-35, I have a bit more saving to do!
nexus7 8 12 Australia
16 May 2012 6:49AM
I realise that this is an old post, but, 'PT Lens' is great for fixing vingnetting and also barrel/pincushion distortion.
At $25 download you can't beat it.
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
16 May 2012 8:04AM
Thank you nexus7. I have never heard of this software but will purchase ASAP.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
16 May 2012 8:25AM
Lightroom 3 and 4 has it too, as does the latest versions of photoshop.

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