Wide angle lens for canon

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mtnman2888, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. mtnman2888

    mtnman2888 TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, i've searched the forums and haven't quite found an answer for my question. I have a canon rebel xsi (i think it's 400d) and am looking for a wide angle lense. I have the kit lense as well as the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 is usm. I shoot alot in the mountains when i'm backpacking where there is low light. I was looking at two lenses although i really don't want to spend as much as the more expensive option. I am looking at the 17-40mm f/4l and the 16-35mm f/2.8l. The second is about twice as much but it may prove crucial if i'm shooting in the backcountry. I was wondering your advice on these lenses or maybe even a suggestion for another lense. Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You have to be careful about what are called 'Wide angle' lenses.

    Digital SLRs are based on the 35mm film standard because that was the standard for decades before digital came around. On a 35mm film SLR, a 24mm lens was pretty wide and 16 or 17mm was really wide.

    Now, with digital SLR cameras like yours, the image sensor is a little bit smaller than a frame of 35mm film...and the image from the lens is cropped. The result is that when you use a DSLR like yours (as compared to a 35mm film camera)...the view is narrower. This is the 'Crop Factor'. For you camera is 1.6.

    So when you see that the 17-40mm lens is listed as a 'Wide Angle'...it will only be a little bit wide, not really wide.

    You have the 18-55mm kit lens correct? That should show you how wide 18mm will look on your camera. Either of the two lenses that you listed, will be only the slightest bit wider than your lens at 18mm.

    The crop factor, therefore, makes it harder to get a wide angle view on our digital SLR cameras, as compared to film.
    So...the camera makers gave us ultra wide angle lenses, designed for the smaller digital sensor.
    The Canon lens is the EF-S 10-22mm. I own this lens and it's fantastic. It's a bit expensive though (but not compared to the ones you listed). Some people will recommend the Sigma 10-20mm lens.

    As for why those two are so different in price. The 70-40mm has a max aperture of F4 and the other one has a max aperture of F2.8. That is usually enough to add several hundred dollars. The 17-40mm F4L, is also considered a great deal because you get the quality of an 'L' lens at a 'good' price. Most 'L' lenses are closer to the 16-35mm price.
    'L' is Canon's line of Pro lenses.
     
  3. mtnman2888

    mtnman2888 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick response and i did not know about the crop factor, learn something new every day. So for a wide angle lense to use for landscape shots, would you recommend the 10-22mm?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, absolutely.

    Check out THIS thread. Most of my landscape shots in that thread were taken with the 10-22mm.
     
  5. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    Hey mtnmn, you mentioned low light so I thought I would mention the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, as a possible lense for you.

    It is pretty new on the market, but I have heard some good things about it. The 2.8 will be great for low light as well.

    Cheers

    PS: Big Mike, I can't believe I missed that post from last year!! Amazing shots you all took.
     
  6. Hobbes

    Hobbes TPF Noob!

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    hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread but I have been trying to compare the 17-40mm f4 L to the 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM kit lens that comes with EOS 40D as a walkaround lens so what do you guys say?
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 17-40mm is an L lens...which means it's top quality. It will most likely outperform the 17-85mm in terms of image quality and build quality.

    That being said, the 17-85mm IS, is a pretty decent lens. The build quality is in the middle, rather than on the low end and I'd say the same about the image quality. At smaller apertures like F8 and F11, the images are great. It does suffer a little bit when used wide open. The range is great, I often use the lens as a 'walk around' because of the range and the IS. The max aperture of F5.6 at the long end, is a detriment when shooting in lower light. I would have no problem recommending this lens...if only the price were a little lower.
     
  8. mtnman2888

    mtnman2888 TPF Noob!

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    No problem at all we're all here to learn, hijack away!

    I looked at the tokina vs. the canon and i think i side with the canon. The reviews are slightly more positive plus i would like to stick with the manufacturers brand if possible. Thanks for the suggestion though, i always like to compare you never know when you will find something better. I do like the low light capabilites of the tokina, though.
     
  9. mtnman2888

    mtnman2888 TPF Noob!

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    Also, i'm looking at a wireless remote for my xsi, any suggestions? I think the rc-5 is what is recommended from canon. Thanks and sorry for all the questions.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use a $10 wired remote that I bought on E-bay (from China)...works just fine.

    I haven't used any wireless camera remotes, so I can't offer an opinion.
     
  11. Puscas

    Puscas TPF Noob!

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    Recently I bought my 17-40 f4/L (thread) and I can say that, besides TPF, the site cameralabs.com helped me a lot to make a choice. I love their video-reviews (posted on YouTube). I choose my lens because of quality (built and image) and the possibility of going full frame without having to sell the lens.


    (ok, this was maybe more directed at hobbes than at the OP)



    pascal
     
  12. spako

    spako TPF Noob!

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    Hi there..

    I made the mistake not taking into acount the crop factor when I bought my 17-40mm for my rebelX ... so I ended up buying the sigma 10-20mm which I hardly ever take off my camera anymore.. I'm looking to upgrade to a full frame body (I'm waiting for the 5D replacement to do so) so my 17-40mm won't be useless after all...

    I can only recomend the sigma 10-20mm, it's cheaper than the canon lens and as far as I read around it's just as good... (that's what made me buy that particular lens)
     

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