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Thread: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

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    Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Hi to all, my first question on this forum. J have a 50D with a 15-85 on the front. I feel I need more ability to take photos in darker light, subequently I have come up with two lenses. (1) Canon 28mm 1.4 USM or a Tokina
    11-16 which I realise is a very popular, good quality lens at 2.8 . However the low magnification of the Tokina
    concerns me.
    I would appreciate some comment from anyone who may have the Tokina particularly, so I can decide which one to purchase, and what use it is put to. Is it suitable for landscape photography
    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    I can't comment on the lenses as I don't know them, but I think they could be quite difficult to compare - a very fast prime lens versus a zoom.

    A 28mm lens on a 50D gives the same view as a lens of about 45mm on a full frame 35mm. I'm not sure I'd feel this was a very useful size - not quite the equivalent a standard but too long to be a wide angle, IMO. The Tokina covers the equivalent of about 18mm to 26mm on a FF 35mm, which I would find more useful, but that is just my feeling.

    I'm sure others who know these lenses will be along soon and can give you more specific advice.

    Dave

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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    Hi to all, my first question on this forum. J have a 50D with a 15-85 on the front. I feel I need more ability to take photos in darker light, subequently I have come up with two lenses. (1) Canon 28mm 1.4 USM or a Tokina
    11-16 which I realise is a very popular, good quality lens at 2.8 . However the low magnification of the Tokina
    concerns me.
    I would appreciate some comment from anyone who may have the Tokina particularly, so I can decide which one to purchase, and what use it is put to. Is it suitable for landscape photography
    Many thanks
    Are you looking to stop action in low light or are you looking to handhold in low light? To stop action, go with a fast prime. To handhold, go with something like the 17-55 f/2.8 IS (will also give more DOF to your images and be less critical focus than an f/1.4 lens).

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Hi Gazza,

    Cant comment on the 28mm, but the Tokina 11-16 i have a copy and its one of the lenses i enjoy the most, its super crispy sharp ken rockwell has a good review have a read of it. its not a focal length that will live on your camera though because its so wide. so if your after a more usable focal length the 28 or 35 might be better. im not a cannon shooter so im not to familliar with their lense range but nikon has a very sexy 28-70 f2.8 zoom for about 4k maybe cannon have something similar!!!

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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    We all have our personal choices when it comes to lenses and if the lenses we choose fit our shooting styles, they are the correct lenses for us. However, they may not be the best choices for other photographer's shooting styles and budgets.

    I have found that the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is an excellent choice as my go-to, mid-range zoom on a 1.6x Canon camera. I replaced the 24-70mm f/2.8L with my 17-55mm, not because I did not like the image quality of my 24-70L (mine was superb) but, because, IMO, the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens fits my needs better...

    1. The 17mm vs. 24mm on the wide side is night and day difference. I no longer need to carry a wider lens for general shooting since the 27.2mm equivalent gives me the coverage I need for most of my shots. After all, I shot for years with a film camera using 28mm as my widest glass. The combination of 17-55mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses on a pair of 1.6x cameras is the nicest combination I have ever used...

    2. The 17-55mm is quite a bit lighter in weight than the "brick"! The 17-55mm lens weighs 2/3 of the 24-70L weight or: 1.4 lb (635 g.) against 2.1 lb (953 g.). IMO, that is a significant difference, especially towards the end of a long day of shooting. The old adage that "every ounce feels like a pound at the end of the trail" was coined by backpackers but can pertain to a long day of walk-around photography equally as well. I often spend 8-10 hours carrying my cameras and the difference in weight between the 17-55 and 24-70L is "almost" half the weight of my second camera. Combine that with not absloluetly needing a wider lens and my two-camera, two-lens combination is lighter in weight than many single camera, 3-lens combinations. Note: I don't like extended focal range lenses because their apertures are not fast enough (f/5.6 is too darned slow for my style of shooting), and their A/F and I/Q is not quite up to my standards...

    3. I never thought that the IS capability in a lens of this short focal range would be of any significance. However, the constant f/2.8 aperture combined with the 17-55mm lens' excellent IS capability makes this a very viable low-light lens. I no longer carry my 50mm f/1.8 Mk.I, nor my 28mm f/1.8 Sigma since, IMO, the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS will out perform both of these lenses in low light conditions. Given the decent ISO capability of either my 40D or 7d and the fact I that I very often use flash creatively, my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens provides me with all I need for available light shooting. (As an aside: I think that if Canon came out with a 28mm f/1.4 IS lens, especially in an EF version, it would be a hit with low light shooters). Neither of my f/1.8 prime lenses have optimum IQ when shot wide open. I most often stop them down anyway; both for better IQ and to gain some important DOF. I suspect that the f/1.4 lenses from Sigma and Canon would be better in really dim conditions but, IMO, the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS satisfies my needs adequately. And, I prefer to use zoom lenses whenever I can because I enjoy "cropping in the camera" as often as possible.

    Remember, my lens choices are simply tools which I use for my style of shooting. They may not suit you and your style of shooting but, as mentioned above, if they fit my style; they are the correct tools for me...

    All lens selection is a series of choices and compromises and the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is not perfect. IMO, it is too short to perform as an only lens. Combine it with my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and it shines but, 55mm is not long enough for much of my work, especially portraiture.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 31st October 2011 at 03:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    I fully agree with Richard.
    And I also belong to a group, that believes a Canon body needs Canon lenses.

  7. #7

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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Thanks for the above replies, partly what I needed to know. I have read Rockwells review of the Tokina, it is a very
    impressive lens. I might give it a run. Although I find it hard to move away from Canon.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Gazza ken shoots canon as well, you dont need to move from canon the lens is available in both mounts. even though as we all know Nikon is much better gear !!

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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Gazza ken shoots canon as well, you dont need to move from canon the lens is available in both mounts. even though as we all know Nikon is much better gear !!
    If you look at Ken's homepage you'll notice that he's using a very rare left-handed Nikon

  10. #10
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Need some expert advice on a couple of lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    Hi to all, my first question on this forum. J have a 50D with a 15-85 on the front. I feel I need more ability to take photos in darker light, subequently I have come up with two lenses. (1) Canon 28mm 1.4 USM or a Tokina 11-16 which I realise is a very popular, good quality lens at 2.8 . However the low magnification of the Tokina concerns me.
    I would appreciate some comment from anyone who may have the Tokina particularly, so I can decide which one to purchase, and what use it is put to. Is it suitable for landscape photographyMany thanks

    A few points:

    Which Canon lens?
    Canon don’t make a 28F/1.4 USM. So, assuming a simple typo we are discussing either: the 24/1.4; the 28/1.8 OR, assuming a complex typo, we could be discussing the 24/2.8 or the 28/2.8.

    Low Light
    If we are discussing either the F/1.8 or F/1.4 lens, then both will allow for much greater ability to shoot in low light than using the 15 to 85 you presently have: at around FL = 24~28mm the zoom lens you have will be at a maximum aperture of about F/4.5 and that means an aperture speed increase of about 3 to 3½ stops which is very significant.

    For example in typical night-time room incandescent household lights we are at F/2.8~F/4 @ 1/30s @ ISO1600, to have an F/1.4 lens available bumps that shutter speed to 1/125s – which in most cases is suitable to arrest subject motion.

    The Primes – the focal length:
    Both the 24 and the 28 are about a normal lens on the 50D so depending upon what low light situation you are in that focal length might be suitable. I shoot in clubs and music/jazz bars and shoot Available Light sometimes, and my most used lens on an APS–C camera is the 24/1.4.

    The Tokina and is lens speed:
    Is a zoom and a very wide angle zoom, and yes suitable for landscapes I am sure that’s what a lot of the time it is used for, but, as a low light lens, it does not give you any real advantage over what you have at present. The 15 to 85 has a maximum aperture of F/3.5 at FL = 15mm, which is only ⅔ stop slower than the Tokina – so whilst the Tokina is faster, ⅔ stop gain in lens speed is not a reason to buy it “for low light work.”


    Decide between the two?
    Both the lenses you are considering are different and, in summary, each will be a worthwhile addition to the 15 to 85 – the Prime for low light shooting and the Tokina as an addition wide angle view, to improve the scope of you landscape work.

    You specifically mentioned you wanted to improve the ability of your kit in these two areas: neither lens will provide both for you.

    Addendum:
    It is unclear what the “low magnification of the Tokina” means – if you mean that it is a UWA zoom and it longest FL is 16mm, well that’s because it is an Ultra Wide Angle Zoom and that should not concern you – that Focal length range fits nicely as a mate to the 15 to 85 you already have.

    The “Magnification” of a Lens is something different.
    In simple terms, it is how close to life size a lens can reproduce an object on the sensor or film. And yes as I understand the Tokina zoom does have quite low Maximum Magnification, compared to other lenses.

    But that would be of concern if, (as one example), the Tokina lens were being used for Wedding Photography and you wanted to double its uses for something like “Close Up” work taking images of the Cake or Rings etc.

    WW

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