Wide angle prime advice

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by photoflyer, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I need to round out lens collection . I shoot almost everything and have a decent set of zooms and primes (some L glass) that take me from 24mm on the full frame to 672 on the APS-C.

    I would like to have a reasonably fast wide angle prime in the bag Autofocus is not necessary but I am also curious about experiences with manual focus wide angle.

    To stay on budget this will likely be my first non- Canon lens. Are any of the lower cost options worth pursuing?


     
  2. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    There sre some very capable third party lenses available, take a look at amazon and ebay....
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Most dSLRs have screens which are not very good for manual focusing. Well not as good as the old SLR screens.
    You don't say what lenses you do have, and for which camera FF or APS-C are you looking for a wide lens?

    I setup a GP + fast wide, as a 2 lens kit.
    • On my micro 4/3, I have a 12-60 (24-120 on a FF) + 17/1.8 (35 on a FF).
    • On my DX/APS-C, I have a 18-140 + 35/1.8.
      • Nikon (nor Canon) has an APS-C equivalent of a 35mm lens on a FF camera. For me, ideally it would be a 24/2 for DX/APS-C.
    • If I had a FX/FF camera, it would be a 24-120 + 28 or 35/1.8
     
  4. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What do you plan to shoot with this wide angle lens?

    Rokinon makes some low-cost wide angle lenses that are completely manual. But you've really got to test them carefully right away to make sure you have a good copy. Unlike Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc. Rokinon's manufacturing repeatability isn't great... so there are lots of these Rokinon lenses that have "de-centered" optics. This would result in one side of the frame looking good while the opposite side looks bad (rather than symmetric).

    Canon makes a 20mm prime... but that's just a bit wider than your 24mm.

    Canon has a 14mm L series prime... but it's about $2100
    Sigma also has a 14mm Art prime... but it's about $1500

    (btw, 14mm on a full-frame camera is crazy wide.)

    These are not cheap lenses (and I don't see anything around 16mm that isn't a zoom).

    The Rokinon (also Samyang... really the same lens) do have cheap (and completely manual) lenses. They actually have a reputation for decent optics IF you don't get a defective copy with de-centered optics. Unfortunately their quality control isn't great... so there are a lot of copies with de-centered optics. Hence my emphasis that if you decide to go with one of these, make sure you do some quality testing straight away while you still have a chance to exchange it.
     
  5. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have no specific mission in mind. I just think it would round out my bag. Most likely, however, landscapes, astro, and interiors.

    Sounds line I need to by one at the shop to make sure it is OK.

    Even though it is manual focus, doesn't the auto focus beep/flash when it detects the image is in focus?
     
  6. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A few Rokinon/Samyang lenses are offered in chipped vs. non-chipped varieties. The non-chipped has absolutely no electronics (your camera doesn't even know a lens is attached). When using non-chipped, you are completely on your own *and* this can make metering a problem.

    Ordinarily a camera "meters" a scene with the lens aperture at wide-open. Suppose it's an f/2.8 lens... the camera knows it's metering with an f/2.8 aperture. If you wanted to shoot at say... f/8... it would know that's 3 stops down from the metering level and would recommend a correct shutter speed to go with it. But in an un-chipped lens... the camera has no idea that there even is a lens. This means the metering system doesn't have enough information to work. (It has no idea if it's metering through a lens at f/5.6, f/3.5, f/1.8, etc. and that means it can't determine how much light is available.)

    The "chipped" version of the lens has electronics to communicate with the camera. The lens is still completely manual (manual focus, manual aperture), but at least the camera now knows "Oh, I have a 14mm f/2.8 lens attached and I metered at f/2.8". So now it can determine how much light you're actually working with and make practical exposure recommendations.

    What I'm less certain of (because I don't own one of these) is that "technically" this is enough information for the camera to work in Aperture priority mode (you set the aperture, it will take care of the shutter speed) but I don't know if that actually works on a chipped version of the lens.

    I would think it's also enough for the focus confirmation system to work ... but I don't know that it does work (seems like it would).

    Possibly if someone here owns a chipped version they may be able to confirm.

    For astro-images, everything is completely manual and we don't rely on the metering system. But for other uses ... if you go with the un-chipped version of the lens, you might also want a basic hand-held light meter such as a Sekonic L-208 (about $125 - a simple basic meter) or L-308 (about $190 - still simple/basic but also knows how to meter for flash as well as ambient light).

    Good luck!
     
  7. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Tim, This info is great to have on the forum as I am sure that in the years to come others will find it. It reminds me of the challenges I faced when I got the adapter that enabled me to use old legacy lens on my DSLR.

    @TCampbell
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tamron used to make a 14mm f/2.8 prime lens which works with Canon DSLR. I used to own that lens but sold it about 5 years ago.
    The only thing I do not like that lens is the front lens element is too big. It actually looks kind of cool, but hard to find a filter or filter system for it.

    Tamron 14mm f/2.8 Aspherical IF SP AF Review
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know you're looking for a lower cost lens, but I gotta tell ya....

    I once rented a Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon and have been dreaming about it ever since.

    But, hey.... that's an idea. Rent a couple of your top picks and get a first-hand feel.

    -Pete
     
  10. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Good advice. No sense in making an investment with a poor return.

    I was at and open house a couple days ago and there was a professional photographer from USA Today there. He is very senior and has shot 12 Olympics and been inbedded in several different war zones among other numerous interesting assignments. He said he could not remember a time when he used anything lower than 24 millimeters and I have that. Plus, he agreed that in many instances stitching together several images might also be an effective alternative. So, there is no rush but I am interested in hearing what others' experiences have been.
     
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  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    That's what I've done in the past..... rented two lenses and raced them over a weekend of shooting. Sometimes (sometimes!), you can make an offer to buy a lens if you contact the lender before you send it back. You never know if they'll take you up on it, but it's worth a try.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would say something in the 24-28 range (on a FF camera).
    Much wider and you have to deal with wide angle perspective distortion on your interiors.

    The problem with landscape is further defining it, as landscape can mean anything from ULTRA-wide to moderately wide.
     

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