Phoenix 19-35mm lens, what do you think???

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by stuart_todd, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Quick background info-
    Of recent I've found my 50mm prime and 35-80mm zoom are not getting
    wide enough for me. Getting closer is no problem, but getting further
    away is proving difficult.
    My tutor at university as told since begining of this semester to get
    a 100mm macro and a wide angle, either prime or zoom. I've got my
    100mm macro and love it to pieces, also most as much as my 50mm.
    And after a recent field trip, I almost talked off a tall building
    while trying to get everything in the frame.

    So I went online to do some window browsing. Mainly to look for
    either a Canon 20-35mm or 16-35mm zoom, or maybe a 24mm prime. And I
    came across the Phoenix 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 Lens. At around $150 new it
    seemed bargin, especially for a poor student. However this cheap
    price equally raises alarm bells. Why is it so cheap? Or should I
    stick to Canon, considering so far I've been a good Canon
    user/consumer/sucker and the only items in my 35mm SLR kit that don't
    have the Canon mark on them are the batteries and the bag.

    Stu :)
  2. You can pick up a Canon 22-55 for around $100 if you want to stick to Canon. And yes, the price of either should raise alarm bells.

    Or at least raise the idea of somewhat soft images with dim corners and large amounts of distortion.

    I've got a Canon 24 now and its a much better lens, but when it was all I could afford I was more than happy with my 22-55 just for how wide it could go.
  3. Can you spare a bit more cash and buy a 28mm Canon prime?
  4. I've owned one of the Phoenix 19-35's. It was okay, and I considered it quite good for the price. I eventually sold it & bought something better, but for three times the money.

    The Sigma 17-35 f/2.8-3.5 and the Canon 20-35 are better for sure but, like I said, three times the price.

    The newer Tokina and Tamron 19-35's are supposed to be built better for a bit more money. I think I'd get one of those instead. But as long as you don't expect greatness from a $150 superwide zoom it's fine.
  5. i'd think very seriously about getting a prime lense (24 or 28) from canon rather than any of the zooms mentioned. why? because, like most people, you'll probably use any wide-angle zoom that you have at the widest setting anyway.

    so why not just get a nice wide 24mm (or the much cheaper 28mm) which will give results that you'll never get with a zoom?

    thats just my two cents,

  6. The only way to find out is to go to the camera shop put it on your camera and run a roll of film through the camera. Sharp to one person may not to be sharp to another person.
  7. "At around $150 new it seemed bargin, especially for a poor student."

    I also bought this lens because I am a poor family man! I have used it for over a year and I actually like it. It works on my EOS 3 and my Elan IIe without any problem. I decide on it basically to have a lens wider then 28 mm and not spend a lot of money for it. I am very happy with it and for the price it is a very good.

    You can always buy a better lens when you can afford it but for now try this lens and spend your money for film, processing, and batteries while you are learning.
  8. I owned that lens. It was o.k., but nothing great, especially wide open at 19mm or stopped down at 32+mm. I gave it to a friend when I had the chance to buy a used Sigma 21-35mm lens, which is simply wonderful. It is a bit big and heacy compared to the newer 19-35 and 17-35, but I think sharp at every setting. It is a very underrated lens, which got excellent reviews in Argentina and Spain, which are the publishers of the photo magazines I have access to down here in S.A. It also has an impressive score on the site, and the score might be as good as Canon's lens which is great but I could not afford it with the taxes here in Peru. I have tested my 21-35 against a local reporter's 18-35 Sigma, and at 11x14 the 21-35 wins at every settting. It is a god buy, and built pretty good for a 3rd-party lens. I paid more because of where I live, but I hear that people in the U.S. can buy used ones on the internet for $200 or less, which is unbelievable for this lens.
  9. Good wide angle zooms are hard to manufacture. Let me give you myself as an example. I had the 17-35/2.8 USM L but was never too happy with it. And I am an amateur, not a pro. I sold it and going to get the 35/2 and 24/2.8 primes. As you can understand, I'm another voter for the prime.
  10. I am a die hard true Canon Lens owner and I am weary of just about any off
    brand, especially Pheonix. With the release of the 16-35 f2.8 L Tou will find
    that there are a lot of lenses out there for sale used from other photographers.
    Sniff around E Bay. Check local camera stores. An old Canon 20-35 is going
    to be way better than the Pheonix.
  11. Thanks to all for the information so far.

    From previous usage of a friends 28-80mm zoom, I've found that the 28mm focal length isn't wide enough and the price jump from 28mm to 24mm is scary for a
    student. A 20-35mm was what I was originally looking at, but the cost is still too great. But the 'Catch 22' here is I need to start using a wide angle lens sooner than
    However this 22-55mm Canon looks interesting, and it looks like it actually has a resale value when I decide to upgrade to a 20-35mm or maybe a 16-20mm. And
    it does seem to fit into the focal length I require (24mm+/-) and overlaps another lens of mine (silly as it sounds, I like my zooms to over lap each other in focal
    So any thoughts on the 22-55mm Canon then?

    Stu :)
  12. ky2


    Stu, try the Vivitar 19-35/3.5-4.5; it can be had for around $100 on ebay, and for that price, it can't be beat.
  13. The 22-55 is a peice of crap. It was my very first EOS lens It sucks. if you can get a 28-105 for maybe twice the money it is a much better buy. I too am a student. I am a student of Photography for twenty years now. I started whe n I was 12 with old Minolta and Niukon Probodies(manual) of the time. They were my Grand dad'ssand Uncles. But enough to hook me for life. Canon lenses are the only way to go. The image quality can't be beat. I love my 28-105. The color tone is awesome, and clear. Sharp, contrasty, it is simply the best valley. I live in Oregon, and frame major mountain structures. and 28 is pretty wide. Then buy a lot of film and shoot. then if you need buy a prime. I want a really wide prime. You want the lens to be solid and Canon USM lenses are. The 28-105 is a darn good buy. Thanks just my two cents;-)
  14. Sorry to be so blunt, especially when some people here have said that they have or do own a Phoenix lens, but Phoenix does not make a good lens. The glass is inferior and you'll get pictures of equal quality with a disposable camera.
    If you have to buy a lens, other than Canon, some of the Sigmas are very good.
    Check, they give an unbiased rating of lenses.
  15. I don't know anything about that Phoenix 19-35. I have a Tokina AF193 19-35mm and think it is a real bargain for the price, too.

    I love its sharpness (maybe not as sharp as a 17-35 f/2.8 but that Tokina is much much sharper than what I expected for that price).

    Tokina has excellent build quality too. Metal everywhere, rugged rings and every written text is still there after 2 years.

    On my opinion, its only downside is distorsion which is really moderate but visible on straight lines like buildings. No problem on landscapes.
    Motors are reasonably fast, maybe a little noisy but I don't think it is annoying.
    Flare *is* a problem with super-wides but I didn't get too much problems with that so far.

    Its minimum focusing distance is 0.40m which is good to get nice foregrounds.

    It is actually my primary lens.
    If I had to get a better one, it would *only* be to get f/2.8 instead of f/3.5-4.5.
  16. I just bought the Phoenix 19-35mm lens from B&H in NYC, because that was the only one they had in stock that would fit on my Nikon FM2.

    They assured me it was good quality, great price!....but after reading all of your reviews, I guess this one is going back to the store!

    Does the lens really distort images?

    Anyone have recommendations for a wide angle lens that's compatible with Nikon FM2?

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