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View Full Version : Wide angle lens advice please


DoleWhipDVC
05-27-2011, 02:06 PM
Hi everybody,
I've been away for a while but hope someone can give me a bit of advice on wide angle lens selection. I'm using a Canon 40D and currently have the 28-135 kit lens and a 70-300 zoom. Both have IS and auto focus and I love 'em both for their various uses. Since I didn't get the original smaller lens with my camera purchase, I have been thinking about buying a wide angle for indoor shots of the family during holidays, etc. Now we are going to London in July and I really want to shoot some buildings, monuments, street scenes and the like with a wide angle to get everything in and play with effects.

I know from research that the width can vary from lens to lens and I'm stumped as to which size of wide angle is considered more "all purpose" if there is such a thing. Is there a size that would be preferable for indoor family shots, but could also do more "panoramic" duty as well (think ALL of Buckingham palace for example). We will be in the parks during August for 3 weeks, and I would love to get wide shots of the various possibilities there as well.

I know some people say that wide angle doesn't really start until 10mm is that true?? All my gear is Canon, and I don't mind paying for a lens if it does the job I envision. I would consider myself a beginner, but I've had a bit of experience from school classes and being in the field. Any wide angle advice you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance:goodvibes

ukcatfan
05-27-2011, 02:39 PM
I do not have specific lens advice since I do not use Canon, but have some general advice. At 18mm the sides of an image can look distorted. It is not that noticeable on scenery, but is with people and straight lines (like buildings). It is also almost impossible to stitch together a panorama with wide angle shots. All that said, i don't know that you are going to get the most out of a wide angle lens for what you want to capture. I still think it would be a good lens to have, so maybe look in the 10-18mm range. There are also fisheye lenses to consider for more creativity.

ChiSoxKeith
05-27-2011, 03:07 PM
I'm a Canon shooter. I don't have a wide / ultrawide lens yet. I've been looking at the Sigma 8-16mm f/4-5.6 ($699) and the Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 ($708.00).

8mm is really wide, which is kind of why I lean towards the Sigma. But then I really like the idea of the F/2.8 on the Tokina.

Lensrentals.com has both, and the one really nice thing is that with the Sigma - they will give you a credit on the rental towards the purchase of a new lens.

WilsonFlyer
05-27-2011, 03:37 PM
I have the Canon 10-22 and I love it. As long as you realize what it is, and maybe even more importantly, what it isn't, it is a great addition to any Canon APC shooter's arsenal.

zackiedawg
05-27-2011, 03:37 PM
You may want to specify whether you think you want wide or ultrawide. Those folks who tell you 10mm is where wide starts are referring to 'ultrawide'. It is generally felt that wide angle begins at 24mm and goes to about 35mm for a full frame or 35mm equivalent camera. So on an APS-C cropped body camera like yours, that's about 15mm to 22mm or so. When you start talking about wider than 24mm, you're getting into 'ultrawide'. For an APS-C camera, that would typically be down as wide as the 10-8mm range.

Wide is a nice, typical focal range useful for regular shooting but when you have to be too close to go any longer, or need to see a little more to the sides. Ultrawide is an extreme focal range with an entirely new and different style of composing and shooting, with ridiculously close proximity to subjects, huge wide perspective, big dimentionality, and wild distortion waiting for you in the corners and at any angles. They're an enormous amount of fun, but really a different type of photography altogether.

WilsonFlyer
05-27-2011, 03:39 PM
Great points, Justin. GREAT points.

My2Girls66
05-27-2011, 09:17 PM
Not so much advice since I am new to ultrawide but I ended up getting a Tamron 10-24mm for my Nikon just before a trip to Paris in April. It is a cool lens, I got a different perspective and I am still amazed at how close you can get to your subject and it focuses! For me it isn't something I will use a ton and I knew that going in, that is part of the reason I went with the 10-24 rather than 11-16 so I would get a bit more use out of it and have to change lenses fewer times(which is a bit of a pain when touring a city with 4 other people and with a million things to see and do). Basically, for me its more of a 'take out occasionally' lens since the 18mm end of my walk around lens is usually wide enough for me. I question why the heck I bought it sometimes but it was cool to have in Paris:) I can see it being fun and useful in London and Disney.

pjacobi
05-27-2011, 09:18 PM
The generally accepted terms are:

Normal: 50mm (full frame) / 35mm (APS-C)
Wide: 28mm (full frame) / 18mm (APS-C)
Ultra wide: 16mm (full frame) / 10mm (APS-C)


-Paul

mom2rtk
05-27-2011, 09:24 PM
I have a Canon and I have the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. I keep thinking I might prefer the Canon 10-22, but it doesn't have the 2.8. The reason I keep second-guessing is that I feel the extra 6mm might make it more of a "walk-around" lens, allowing my to use it at 22 for people without all the distortion. But I love that 2.8 for indoor shots and that Tokina is a really sharp lens. I just think I would use it more if I didn't have to keep swapping out so much.

You really wouldn't go wrong with either. Of course, if the Tokina has the availability problems they had last year, that could decide it for you. I had to order and just wait for them to get one in stock.

Have fun on your trip!

mrcricket
05-28-2011, 08:52 AM
I have a Canon and I have the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. I keep thinking I might prefer the Canon 10-22, but it doesn't have the 2.8. The reason I keep second-guessing is that I feel the extra 6mm might make it more of a "walk-around" lens, allowing my to use it at 22 for people without all the distortion. But I love that 2.8 for indoor shots and that Tokina is a really sharp lens. I just think I would use it more if I didn't have to keep swapping out so much.

You really wouldn't go wrong with either. Of course, if the Tokina has the availability problems they had last year, that could decide it for you. I had to order and just wait for them to get one in stock.

Have fun on your trip!

I'm a Nikon shooter and I have the Tokina 11-16 and it's a very good lens. Tac sharp and very little distortion for an UWA.

C&B Young
05-28-2011, 10:04 AM
I'm a Canon shooter. I don't have a wide / ultrawide lens yet. I've been looking at the Sigma 8-16mm f/4-5.6 ($699) and the Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 ($708.00).

8mm is really wide, which is kind of why I lean towards the Sigma. But then I really like the idea of the F/2.8 on the Tokina.


I've got the Tokina and love it, but we got it before the Sigma was around. The f/2.8 is nice to have when you need it, but the 8mm would be nice to have as an option at all times too. I don't think I'd regret purchasing either one at this point. The Tokina is still extremely hard to find, whereas the Sigma seems to be in stock at most places.

photo_chick
05-28-2011, 11:45 AM
I love the Samyang 8mm fisheye on my crop body (I get to take it to the World next month, wooo!). I don't know if you're interested in a fisheye or not but it's a great lens for the price tag.

DoleWhipDVC
05-28-2011, 03:18 PM
I do not have specific lens advice since I do not use Canon, but have some general advice. At 18mm the sides of an image can look distorted. It is not that noticeable on scenery, but is with people and straight lines (like buildings). It is also almost impossible to stitch together a panorama with wide angle shots. All that said, i don't know that you are going to get the most out of a wide angle lens for what you want to capture. I still think it would be a good lens to have, so maybe look in the 10-18mm range. There are also fisheye lenses to consider for more creativity.

Yes, I saw on a tutorial website distortion can be a challenge if you go out too wide. Is it almost impossible to get a giant panorama with any wide angle, or would I just have to have such a wide angle that the distortion would look silly? Is there a lens that could shoot, say, the facade of Bukingham Palace with one capture? I'm not sure I'm ready for the round effect of a fisheye (although I love that look). So I believe I need to stick with the wide angle. Would the 10-18mm also work for indoor holiday shots, like a Christmas morning in someone's living room for example?

You may want to specify whether you think you want wide or ultrawide. Those folks who tell you 10mm is where wide starts are referring to 'ultrawide'. It is generally felt that wide angle begins at 24mm and goes to about 35mm for a full frame or 35mm equivalent camera. So on an APS-C cropped body camera like yours, that's about 15mm to 22mm or so. When you start talking about wider than 24mm, you're getting into 'ultrawide'. For an APS-C camera, that would typically be down as wide as the 10-8mm range.

Wide is a nice, typical focal range useful for regular shooting but when you have to be too close to go any longer, or need to see a little more to the sides. Ultrawide is an extreme focal range with an entirely new and different style of composing and shooting, with ridiculously close proximity to subjects, huge wide perspective, big dimentionality, and wild distortion waiting for you in the corners and at any angles. They're an enormous amount of fun, but really a different type of photography altogether.

Wow, so confusing (as lots of this stuff can be when you're a newbie). So between your info and Catfan's it seems perhaps a range of 15 to 8mm would do the trick for wide outside shots and indoor captures? I guess I should head over to Amazon and start pricing gear, and then hop over to the camera store to peer through a few choices. Any other advice you can send would be great. I'm all ears (wow, that was corny):rolleyes1

mom2rtk
05-28-2011, 03:46 PM
Just so you know, some of that distortion can be evened out in post processing. I haven't tried it yet, but I know I just finished reading the section in my book on Lightroom3 about doing just that. You can load in a specific lens profile to do it automatically, or you can do it manually.

ChiSoxKeith
05-28-2011, 07:20 PM
Tamron (http://www.tamron-usa.com/lenses/learning_center/tools/focal-length-comparison.php) has this nice little focal length comparison tool (from 10mm to 500mm). You scroll left / right to slide from 10 - 500 and it zooms in / out of a couple of different pictures.

PrincessInOz
05-28-2011, 08:11 PM
I shoot with Canon and I have the Canon 10 - 22.

I did want to get the Tokina purely for the f/2.8 factor. But the Tokina was out of stock last year when I was in the US with the opportunity to pick up either Canon or Tokina lenses cheaper than buying it in Australia.

I've used the 10 - 22 on a few occassions since acquiring it and am really happy with it. I keep thinking I should have waited for the Tokina; but I've shot low light night shots with the Canon, using a tripod, and I've been happy with the results. I guess if you shoot more indoor shots and want to have a faster lens, then the Tokina would be the better choice.

Before I bought the Canon, a friend loaned me his Tamron 10 - 24. It's a nice lens as well.

photo_chick
05-28-2011, 08:22 PM
Another thing on Canon lenses and distortion... the regualr EF lenses were designed for full frame or 35mm and tend to show a lot less distortion on a crop body. It's simply cut off with the crop. It also makes the Canon 15mm EF fish flatten out a bit on a crop body.

kshark
05-29-2011, 11:58 AM
I currently have the Tokina 11-16 but I will be selling it to buy the Canon 10-22. I rented the Canon for our last trip to WDW and much preferred the images over the Tokina. I really do like the constant f/2.8, but the flare and chromatic aberrations are driving me nuts.

The Canon might not be quite as fast or sharp, but overall I liked it better...