Sharpest wideangle Lens on a budget for landscapes?

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by AR76, May 27, 2014.

  1. AR76

    AR76 TPF Noob!

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    "Have a heart and help a noob ;)."

    What I'm looking for: a sharp, wideangle lens for landscape photography.

    What I'm currently using: Tamron AF 11-18mm 4,5-5,6 Di II LD ASL SP // EOS 50D to be replaced by an EOS 5DII (no time soon though.)

    What I could spend: About $400.

    For some years now, I've been dreaming about shooting large panoramic landscape prints. I'm aware that the APS-C sensor of the 50D is not the best choice to do so, but as a mere hobby photographer my budget and wife do not allow me to obtain a better body. So far I've used the Tamron 11-18 on the 50D, mounted on a NodalNinja II and a Manfrotto Silver Jubilee tripod. Maybe there's a better, sharper lens out there I could get. What about a used "vintage" lens, as I see no need for autofocus here? Wouldn't $400 get me an older prime glass?

    Maybe my conceptions is all bs - what would you recommend please?


     
  2. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Welcome to TPF.

    If you're planning to buy a 5D II then you need lenses that can work with full-frame bodies. HOWEVER... since a full-frame sensor naturally provides a wider-angle of view, a 16mm focal length is actually fairly wide (it's the same as using 10mm on an APS-C body).

    The only thing I can think of that comes even close to your budget is the Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro FX Lens. On your 50D this won't be very wide... but on a 5D II it will be rather wide (equivalent to your Tamron at 11mm focal length.)

    Bryan Carnathan at the-digital-picture.com thinks the Canon 17-40 is sharper, but he thinks the Tokina 17-35 has less vignetting and distortion. The Canon, however, costs nearly double the price of the Tokina and with your $400 budget, the Canon is probably out of the question (even with a rebate it's still $739). The Tokina is $485.
     
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  3. jsecordphoto

    jsecordphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you weren't planning on upgrading I'd recommend the tokina 11-16 f2.8. I got mine used and in great shape for $350, used it for a few months and sold it for the same. Depending on when you plan on upgrading, it might be worth saving a little more and going with the tokina 16-28 f2.8. I just upgraded to the 6D and got the 16-28 and WOW it is ridiculously sharp. The one thing I don't like is that I need to get a filter adapter for it because the front element protrudes quite a bit, but as a landscape photographer filters are pretty essential. I paid $650 for it. I haven't seen much about the tokina 17-35, I personally needed f2.8 for shooting landscape astrophotography but tokina does make some great lenses so I imagine the 17-35 is pretty nice.
     
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  4. AR76

    AR76 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your replies! :thumbsup:

    I've taken a look at several sites testing the Tokina lenses and have come to the conclusion: Íf these are the best lenses for $400, then that budget will simlpy not cut it. I had hoped that second hand, older models would allow top performance on a budget. (The Tokina 17-35 sells starting at 530€++ ($722++) here and there are none second hand ones available on ebay or amazon at the moment.

    I don't understand why almost all wide angle lenses are zooms. I've never used the zoom with my current lens. Wouldn't a fixed focal length produce a much sharper, better lens while being faster and cheaper at the same time? An "entry" current model I found was the Canon EF 28mm 2.8 IS USM at about $550 new. If I was to buy a 5D MKI instead of a MKII the money saved could be spent for a better lens. Of course, the 5DI has less MP than the 5DII, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Wouldn't it be best if the resolution of the sensor and the lens pair up, thus not letting one of both going to waste? The sheer amount of possible combinations and information knocks me out and it's the "body-lens-price-performance" sweet spot I'm looking for. I'm sorry for being so irresolute, it's simply my lack of knowledge. All I do know is that I want large panoramic fine-art prints for the least amount of money possible, which could very well be naive thinking. That's what I should have titled this thread instead: What is the minimum needed to achieve this goal?
     
  5. curtyoungblood

    curtyoungblood No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you've already got $400 to spend on a lens, then you're not far from being able to get a high quality wide angle lens. Y
    the Canon 17-40 and 24-105 both go for around $600 on the used market. I would save up a little more and grab one of those.
     
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  6. AR76

    AR76 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reply curtyoungblood.

    If I'm going to buy a zoom lens, it appears to be better to buy the 24-105. I imagine it'll be more versatile. I've checked prices for used lenses starting here at about €550 ($748) and brand new ones for about €670 ($912). The second hand 17-40 runs for about €550 ($748) aswell. If there is no fixed focal length altervative, I'm looking at about $800 for a used lens without scratches. If that's how things are, I'll just have to accept that fact then.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  7. DaninMD

    DaninMD TPF Noob!

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    I have had the 17-40 for a while now and love it. fantastic lens

    where is the OP from, your prices for used 17-40 seem very high.
     
  8. AR76

    AR76 TPF Noob!

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  9. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How wide do you want to go? If you move to a FF camera the Rokinon 14mm is a beast of a lens. Not recommended for architecture, but for landscapes and other odd shots it's great.
     
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  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get rid of the wife and you can have what you want, i did
     
  11. AR76

    AR76 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reply Scatterbrained, that's a very nice avatar!

    I haven't found a single Rokinon lens here, they could be sold here branded as Samyang / Walimex.
    14mm f/2.8 Super Breitwinkel: Amazon.de: Kamera & Foto

    It seems to be a very sharp lens, with some crazy wavy distortion. From what I've read this can be corrected by software, but I fully understand why you would not recommend it for architecture. There are the odd issues with the focus, as the infinity settings are a bit beyond infinity on some of them. There's a mod to fix this by adding custom washers. The resolution however, is awesome. It's a very tempting lens, but the distortion and possible need to modify a brand new lens is somewhat discouraging. Pricing starts at €350 ($475) for the Canon mount and I have yet to find used ones for sale. If I can find a bargain second hand one, I'll pick it up for sure.

    Despite all the issues I've read about, the resolution of approx. 3.7k lines is impressive. I'm not sure what to think about this lens at the moment at full price.

    @GSGary: It's not that I'm not allowed to buy what I want. There are just more important things to spend money on, especially with a baby now.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  12. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you planning to add a filter in the future? i.e. ND filter. I used to have a Tamron 14mm f/2.8 AF lens. Very good for the price, but it is hard to find a filter that work with that lens.


    [​IMG]
     
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