Versatile L-series wide-angle zoom

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by milan.ilnyckyj, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. I am in the process of building up what I hope will be a light and flexible dSLR system, to shoot all kinds of subjects. If you want to get a sense of what kind of projects interest me, you can take a look at my photos. Of course, I am open to trying new kinds of photography when the interest or opportunity arises.

    Once I get another lens or two, I will start saving for a 5D.

    I started with a Rebel XS body and the kit lens. I also have the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-200 f/4L.

    Next, I want to get a L-series wide-angle lens. The 24-70 f/2.8L seems like an obvious choice. People also seem keen on the 16-35mm f/2.8L.

    Which lens is more worthwhile and versatile, both on a crop-sensor and a full-frame body? Is the range from 16-24mm more useful than the one from 24-70mm? I know it would be easy to put a 50mm prime in the middle there, but I don’t like changes lenses too often.

    I want to end up with a kit with 2-3 lenses and one body, suitable for travel and carrying around without the need for a massive case.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Milan
     
  2. Milan
    The 16-35 makes more sense on your crop body for now.
     
  3. I only want to buy one of the two, ideally. Either one is a financial strain for a serious amateur with no prospect of selling work for profit.
    I expect the lens to ultimately spend a lot more time on a full frame body than on my current interim APS-C body.
     
  4. The 17-40 is more affordable than the 16-35. I'm having the same debate, trade 10-22 and 17-85 for 17-40 and 50 prime. I don't use the 10-22 much at all. I thought about the 24-70 too, but everyone says and they're probably right, that 24 isnt wide enough on a crop body if its your widest lens.
     
  5. There is a LOT of difference between 16mm and 24mm. Either you need it or you don't.
    If you don't, the two-lens set of 24-70 and 70-200 sounds appealing. Keep in mind that the 24-70 is big and heavy, though.
    For a set of lenses, it's common for people to take one of two approaches. Either they get some combination of the f/4 zooms (17-40, 24-104, 70-200) for daylight and some fast primes for low light, or they predominantly use the f/2.8 zooms -- the combo of 24-70 and 70-200 is very common, but 16-35 is by no means rare.
    Kaa
     
  6. For general-purpose shooting with a 5D, it's hard to beat the 24-105/4L IS for a light weight and flexible solution. I have both the 24-105L and 24-70L. My '105L' gets used more often, because it's lighter and more flexible. OTOH, when I need a fast AF zoom for shooting indoors or outdoors with low light, the 24-70L is the one I use, especially for moving subjects .
     
  7. Some other comparisons of these lenses:

    16-35 vs 24-70
    http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00Clu8

    Which Lens next? mainly architectural + landscape
    http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00UVw1

    16-35 or 24-70 for weddings and portraits
    http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/007gfq
    None really focuses on someone planning to go from an APS-C body to a full frame (though I will have to save up for a couple of years).
     
  8. If you buy a wide angle lens for FF, it will not be wide angle for APS-C. That's just a fact, and there is no way around it.
    I know lots of people who bough APS-C bodies with wide angle lenses for FF cameras with the plan to 'upgrade' to FF soon, but they still shoot with their EF lenses on APS-C bodies. When they look at my images, they are always amazed by the shots I get with my 10-22 on a Rebel XT. They could have shots like that too, but they'd have to buy their lenses to match their camera.
    My choice for 3 lenses for APS-C would be 10-22, 17-85, and 55-250. Three lenses for FF would be 16-35, 24-105, 100-400. With two lenses you are going to limit your range considerably. Most people will forgo the wide angle range, but I reckon that's a mistake which never lets them fully appreciate the advantages of using an SLR camera with interchangeable lenses.
     
  9. Where are you mostly shooting at with your kit lens? Are you closer to 18 or 55? I think generally speaking a 24-XX is more versatile if you plan to go full frame since it goes wide to short tele where the 16-35 is basically just wide. As others have said the 24-70 is pretty big and heavy. Maybe consider a Tamron 28-75 2.8 and save up for that 5D.
    You can compare them here.
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-70mm-f-2.8-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
     
  10. I want to end up with a kit with 2-3 lenses and one body, suitable for travel and carrying around without the need for a massive case.​
    As you want a 5D my recommendation is 17-40, 50/1.8 and either 100/2.8 IS or 70-200/4 IS.However, 24-105 and 50/1.8 also sound good and will cost much less.
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  11. “There is a LOT of difference between 16mm and 24mm. Either you need it or you don't.”

    It’s hard to know whether I would ‘need’ 16-24mm. The widest lenses I have generally used are 28mm.
     
  12. “Where are you mostly shooting at with your kit lens? Are you closer to 18 or 55?”

    I almost never use the kit lens. 99% of the time, I use my 50mm prime or my 70-200 zoom.

    I only use the kit lens on the rare occassions where I want a really wide-angle shot.
     
  13. [[It’s hard to know whether I would ‘need’ 16-24mm. The widest lenses I have generally used are 28mm.]]
    Which is why renting lenses is such a wonderful option. :)
     
  14. Rob,
    That's a good idea. I should try renting both before committing to either.
    Your photos are gorgeous, by the way.
     
  15. I almost never use the kit lens. 99% of the time, I use my 50mm prime or my 70-200 zoom.​
    Based on that, I'm not sure it even makes sense for you to plan to switch to full frame. A 50D or 7D might work better for the kind of shooting you do.
     
  16. There is a lot of difference between 28mm and 24mm. Down to 24mm IMHO is useful for general purpose photography - group shots and situation were you need to cram more into the frame without being able to back up more. Below 24mm is were the super wide angle realm begins, and for that you have to compose differently - you need to think about what you put in the foreground of your image or else things are just too small to be noticed and the images become boring. 28mm is hard to use in this latter way, 24mm can be but doesn't have to. Maybe you want to start with 24mm and see how you like that. If you don't, you can safe quite a bit of money, because you won't need a super wide angle.
    For reference, I shot for years with a 50mm only, and my first wide angle was a 20mm. Frankly, I found that overwhelming and was much happier when I bought a 28mm. Somewhat later I bought a 24mm, and with the practice I had had with the 28mm, I loved 24mm immediately. Once I had warmed up to 20mm, I also bought a 17mm, and eventually a 16mm fisheye - again a huge difference in angle of view to the 17mm rectilinear. That was before zooms became popular, and in a way it was nice to be able to explore each focal length on it's own for a while.
     
  17. “Based on that, I'm not sure it even makes sense for you to plan to switch to full frame.”

    One major attraction is being able to increase the ISO to absurd levels. I also think it makes more sense to invest in lenses that can be used on a wide variety of bodies. I still have some film SLRs that I use from time to time.
     
  18. Also, one major reason I stick to the prime and the 70-200 is because the photos from them look better than those from my kit lens. That's why I am thinking seriously about a wide-angle zoom.
    I see this as the lens that will mostly be the default for me, once I get it. The 70-200 would be there for nature stuff and some portraits, and a 50mm lens for dark places, but I would expect this to be the default in most situations.
     
  19. how about a wider prime. 28 1.8? 24 2.8?
     
  20. The thing is that no lens over 17-18mm in focal length is really an "ultrawide" on an APS-C body, it's only a wide angle at best by today's standards. It takes a 10mm lens like the Sigma or the EF-S lens to equal the 16-mm lens on a 35mm-sized sensor. Even a 16mm lens on a APS-C camera is equivalent to a 25mm lens on a APS-C camera. In the old days, that would have been super, but it's not so wide by modern standards.
    I'd say that unless you are really determined for some reason of your own to go to the 5D as quickly as you can, you'd really do better to stick with the kit lens at 18mm and get a Sigma 10-20mm (the older one) used. Then when you do decide to "up-grade" (I'd simply say "switch to the different format"), you can either keep the old camera and its lenses as a backup, or sell them for what will be not too much of a burden in "difference" from what you paid at the time when.
    Canon has just introduced a bunch of new EF-S lenses and a super new APS-C camera (the 7D) so you can be pretty sure that the world is not going to suddenly decide that APS-C is to be abandoned like a dead skunk.
    Oh-- and if you want "light and flexible" then APS-C makes more sense than ever.
     
  21. Milan - the 24-70 is a good lens - better than the 16-35 between 24 and 25mm but it is very large on a Rebel body - I will add a photo of it on the kids Rebel (the shot was taken with a 16-35 F2.8 II). I cannot speak to the crop lenses as I have never shot them but I can talk to the full frame ones. The 16-35 F2.8 Mark I was not a great lens - I bought the 17-40 f4L over it as it was cheaper and the quality as good - possibly better. I have since replaced the 17-40 with the fairly new 16-35 F2.8 mark II. This is a much better lens and better than the 17-40 F4. however on an APS-C body I suspect that there will not be a significant difference in quality between the two lenses as the 16-35 is noticibly better at the frame edges (but still not great) than the 17-40. With an APS-C body you do not use this part of the lens. The other advantages of the 16-35 are it's F2.8 aperture which is great in low light or for shallower DOF (although wide angle DOF is never than small) and it's Bokeh which is better than the 17-40 F4. The disadvantage of the 16-35 is filters - it really is a pain for filters - you need an 82mm filter, all the screw on filters (Skylight, Circ pol) need to be narrow and you can only use one to avoid vignetting at the 16mm end. Using Cokin filters is even more of an issue as even with a wide ange adaptor using P series it will vignette from about 20mm. You have to use X or Z series to avoid vignetting and these are very expensive unless you have them for MF.
    I use the full F2.8 zoom set (16-35, 24-70 and 70-200) but i find if i only take two lenses it is the 16-35 and 70-200 and the 24-70 gets left behind. Your big question is do i want wide angle on my APS-C body or do I want the option to go full frame. If you want wide angle then you really have to get an EF-S lens of 10 or 11mm. I am told the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 is very good. Otherwise it is the Canon 17-40 or 16-35 mark II depending on budget.
    00UdWF-177305584.jpg
     
  22. The 70-200 is also unbalanced on the Rebel XS - so much so that it makes the bottom of the camera/tripod plate really dig into your hip when it's at your side.
    Still, the photos are worth it.
     
  23. "how about a wider prime. 28 1.8? 24 2.8?"
    Definitely an option, but I would probably eventually get a wide-angle zoom anyhow, and I doubt I would use them much then (of course, they would have weight and low-light advantages). I am trying to assemble a small set of lenses that will serve most purposes and provide high quality images for decades ahead. I don't want to be replacing any of these again (perhaps barring some marvellous new technology).
     
  24. "Canon has just introduced a bunch of new EF-S lenses and a super new APS-C camera (the 7D) so you can be pretty sure that the world is not going to suddenly decide that APS-C is to be abandoned like a dead skunk.

    Oh-- and if you want "light and flexible" then APS-C makes more sense than ever."

    All good points. Perhaps it's wrong to think of EF-S as a stopgap format. It is fundamentally expensive to make cameras with big sensors, and the camera companies are getting better at making lenses to accompany small sensors (which have some advantages of their own).

    Many things to ponder, clearly.

    I think renting a few lenses, as suggested above, is a good idea. I will give them a weekend each and decide which, if any, are worth getting. That being said, further information is definitely welcome.
     
  25. Milan, there are so many good choices out there, its just finding what works best for you. I have found its all a bit of a trade off.
     
  26. Milan my point was that the 17-40 16-35 or 24=104 will feel better balanced on the rebel body.
     
  27. I think the 16-35 on crop is an extremely expensive semi-standard zoom for crop. Do you really want a 2.8 super wide when you go full frame? Remember it only goes to 35mm, not ideal for portraits and not super wide either on crop. The 17-55 is much better for crop, longer (goes to 55) and IS. You could buy the 17-55 used and sell it later for not much less. If you are planning on going full frame soon, might as well just buy the lens that you feel is ideal for full frame. It's up to you which one really is. The 16-35, 24-70 and 24-105 are all rated very good. It's more of the type of use you plan on.
     
  28. Hi Milan,
    I did what you propose to do and am very happy with the result. That is, I started with a crop camera [the 300d] and the kit lens. Over several years rather than upgrade the camera body I purchased the 24-105, 16-35, 70-200 2.8 IS and 50 1.4, and then got the 5dII when it came out. Overall I find this combination very satisfactory. To your question, I would not want to be without the 16-35 as it provides a unique vantage point compared to the others. As to the 16-35 vs. 17-40 I don't have an opinion as I've only used the 16-35. I do like taking advantage of the background blur and lower light shooting that the 2.8 aperture permits, but that may not be a priority for you. However, as was pointed out above, shooting with such a wide lens is challenging, but I was especially keen to learn how to use such a lens - and someday I may figure it out. As I shoot mostly landscapes and not a lot of sports or BIF the 5dII is perfect for me and this group of lenses is provides a very flexible setup that is easy to take on trips. Indeed I myself am by a large margin the weak link in the system.
    Cheers and good luck with your decision.
    Phil
     

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