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Thread: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

  1. #1
    JK6065's Avatar
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    Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    All my wide angle shots I've been doing since I started photography I shot with my Sigma 18-125mm. Since the Sigma is not really that sharp and not quite specified in a subject of shooting I'm looking for an upgrade for wide angle shots. Most of my shots (and the subjects I'm interested in) are at wide angle focal lengths.
    I have been an are working a lot these holidays so I have €650-€700 (lets say $850-$900) to spend, although this may vary.

    so far I've came up with the following lenses:

    - Canon EF 17-40/4.0 L USM
    It's an L lens, which would stand for great image and build quality according to the review site fredmiranda.com . Though the reviews do vary a lot. Some praise it for great IQ and build quality and more, and some say this lens is quite soft etc. Maybe this is compared with the best L lenses, but I keep in mind that I use lenses with IQ no where near L lenses.
    Also this lens ends at 40mm which is near my Canon 50mm 1.8 (also much higher IQ than the Sigma 18-125mm).

    - SIGMA 10-20/3.5 EX DC HSM
    What draws my attention about this lens is that it starts at 10 mm. Sometimes I feel restricted by 'just' 18 mm of focal length, though this is a rare opportunity.
    I doubt whether the 8 extra mm of focal length at the wide angle side would be a good counterpart of the better IQ of the 17-40 L (I assume it is better...)

    If I buy a lens which 'fits' in my Sigma 18-125mm, speaking of focal lengths, than it would be because of the much better IQ. Otherwise I would buy a lens because of the greater focal lengths, at the wide angle side.

    Are there photographers on the forums who are using or have used one of these lenses, or equal lenses which they would recommend? I would appreciate your answers.

  2. #2

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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    I use an EF16-35mm F2.8L USM II (and occasionally an EF14mm F2.8L II), and am very happy with it. Not a big fan of Sigma to be honest (too many accounts of poor build quality and large variation in optical quality).

    What camera will you be using it with?

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    Sunray's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Hello Jeroen,

    I own a Sigma 10-20mm F4,0-5,6 EX DC HSM. In my opinion it does a good job. The image borders are a little bit soft due to the lower optical resolution there. AF is fast and accurate. Vignetting is about 1 EV down to f/8. At 10mm with f/4 it is even worse. As the 10-20/3.5 EX DC HSM it is designed for APS-C size, not for full frame sensors.

    bye
    Robert

  4. #4

    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    The advantage of the Canon is that it will also work on a FF camera (if you get one in future), and the focal length is better for general landscape. I used to have the Sigma and it was great for distorted close-up shots, but not all that hot for landscapes. I now have the Tokina 11-16 (as does Donald) and it's better for landscapes than the Sigma, but it costs almost as much as the Canon. I'd go for the Canon if I were me (and thank God I'm not!)

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    The Tokina 11-16mm is a very fine lens. If you do photo's by the book, you know the sort of thing; avoid high contrast, then it is brilliant. But for me it is a straight-jacket.

    The CA is awful,(Canon DPP can remove CA from Canon lenses but nothing else seems to work well for any type of lens) but I thought I found the lens in a Tamron 17-50mm SP VC and all the other letters but AF just is total rubbish, which I need for close moving subjects.

    This is a review of the Tokina, but I still think the ef 17-40mm f4 L is the cheapest good lens and the ef-s for cropped cameras non kit 17-50mm IS overpriced at 850 is the best.

    http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/37..._1116_28_canon

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    JK6065's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Colin,
    At the moment I'm using a Canon EOS 400d, but of course this can change in the future. That the 17-40 works also on FF can e useful than.
    Does it matter that the Canon 17-40 L doesn't have IS? I don't know that much about the IS technology, but as far as I know it is there to eliminate camera movements, which wouldn't be that much of a problem since I use about always my tripod for landscaping.

    Rob, The Tokina sounds like a good addition to the 17-40mm, but that's not the case right now.

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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by JK6065 View Post
    Does it matter that the Canon 17-40 L doesn't have IS?

    No - it's not a lens you'll be hand-holding often, and you get away with camera shake more with UWA lenses anyway -- so it's not an issue.

  8. #8
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    I have the 17-40 L lens and I am pleased with the image quality, which is over all very sharp. There is some distortion at the edges when at 17mm but that is easily fixable by zooming in a little. The lens also produces vivid, saturated colors, which is perfect for sunrise and sunsets.

    Here are a few shots with a circular polarizer:
    Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens
    Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens
    Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Hope this helps

  9. #9
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    It is indeed a good lens; I almost got one when a dealer had three and I asked for a quote on a part exchange in a couple of weeks, and it was good news they would let me have one for 270 which I could manage in a couple of weeks, next day they was all sold. So I got a Tamron.

    I think prices are pretty similar around the world so whatever is equivalent to 550 is about the best price for a new or used ef 17-40mm f4 L, but it is worth it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Jeroen,

    Have you looked into any of the Panorama stitching packages, such as Auto Pano Pro ?

    I've found my Sigma 18-50mm lens imparts a slight fish eye distortion when being used down near 18mm, which is sometimes hard to compensate for. When I want to maximize image clarity while covering a wide expansive field of view, I'll shoot through my Sigma 28mm prime and stitch multiple frames together.

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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    This is a review of the Tokina, but I still think the ef 17-40mm f4 L is the cheapest good lens and the ef-s for cropped cameras non kit 17-50mm IS overpriced at 850 is the best.
    Hi, Jeroen;

    I'll agree with Steve on this: I have the EF-S 17-55 IS USM, and I love it. It probably is over-priced, since it isn't an L-series, but it's an exceptional lens. The shot below was taken with this lens at 17mm, uncropped, and I didn't do any correction for corners, just routine postprocessing: curves, levels.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice for a new wide angle landscape lens

    The 17-40mm f/4L lens is not "really" a wide angle for a 1.6x camera. It is more of a mid-range zoom and, as such is neither long enough nor fast enough to satisfy my needs in the mid range category. 40mm (64mm equivalent) is a pretty lukewarm long side while f/4 is pretty slow.

    I like my 12-24mm f/4 Tokina ATX as a UWA for a 1.6x camera. I have not had the flare problems nor CA problems that other photographers sometime complain about. The Tokina proides about the same view on a 1.6x camera as the 17-40L does on a full frame camera. The Tokina can also be used on my my two 1.6x cameras (10D and D60) which are not EFS compatible.

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