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Wide angle lens for Canon


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#1 Marco P

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 02:16 AM

Hi!
Im looking for a non-fisheye wide angle lens for my rig, Canon 5D and Aquatica housing with 8" dome. Im not a big fan of zoom lenses so Id like a prime lens.
I have been looking at these lenses:

Canon EF 20/2,8 USM

Canon EF 24/2,8

What do you think about these, will they be a good choice for underwater use? I have read in reviews that Canon 20/2.8 have problems with soft corners, but is it only when shooting in f/2.8? I use strobes so I would be happy if it performes good between f5.6-f22. If anyone have samples made with one of these lenses or both it would be nice to see.
I already have a FE-lens but sometimes its too wide.


/Marco
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#2 Paul Kay

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 09:26 AM

I used to have a 20/2.8 - its soft in the corners above water at most apertures as far as I can remember - basically I considered it to be unusable and sold it off. It gets poor reviews consistently. The 24mm is, I am led to believe, better but you need to get feedback from someone who has used on. I really wouldn't go for the 20!
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#3 Drew

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 10:12 AM

I tried the 20mm from Canon and Sigma, and even the 17-40 outperformed it @ 20mm. You may want to reconsider the zooms.

I did buy a Zeiss 21mm and it's awesome in the corners even @ 2.8, but no AF and I haven't found a focus gear that fits properly without getting it custom made. I'll probably throw a dive and set it @ a fixed distance just to see how it works behind a dome.

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#4 Paul Kay

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 10:50 AM

Drew

I've been wondering about the Zeiss 21mm for an above water application - what's it like close-up?
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#5 Drew

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 12:44 PM

When you mean close-up, do you mean like bokeh background? I don't have any pics I can share right now but I remember Zeiss has a Flickr account for the 21mm. The bokeh itself is very nice
Maybe it's the micro contrast, sharpness and the color (or the fact I bought a lens I hardly use because of the 16-35) but I think it's the best lens in my collection looks wise. Skin tones are beautiful, especially with video. There is certainly a bit of distortion (barrel) and the vignetting @ 2.8 wraps your subject very well :)

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#6 errbrr

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 09:41 PM

Hi Marco,

24mm is not terribly wide for wide angle - have you considered the Canon 14mm 2.8? This is different from the Canon 15mm fisheye lens. I use the 14mm with my 5DII and 8" dome port, and get good results. It's a lovely piece of kit, with great DOF, and with the full frame sensor and resolution you can crop the photos down if need be. You do have to get close to the subject though, and strobe coverage can be an issue.

Some of my shots with this setup are here: http://flickr.com/photos/errbrr

Liz

#7 Drew

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 11:06 PM

Liz, are you using the 14 I or II? I tried the 14 I and compared it to the Sigma version, and the Sigma version was sharper and had slightly better corners. However, neither had good corners before f7 with a 230mm dome. What kind of corners are you getting with the 8" dome?
I have tried the II but it doesn't impress me as much as the Samyang, but the Samyang is manual EVERYTHING, which makes it difficult to use in quick shooting circumstances.

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#8 echeng

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 11:59 PM

Love the Sigma 20/1.8. It's slow to autofocus, but it is sharp by 2.8.
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#9 Paul Kay

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 12:21 AM

Thanks Drew

Its the sharpness at close-up which interests me - most lenses use 'Close-range correction' which shifts the focal length but Zeiss have told me that this lens does not shift its focal length and I need a lens which offers good close-range performance whilst retaining the same focal length/field of view. Looks like I'll have to try one!
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#10 MJvC

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 05:53 AM

Liz, are you using the 14 I or II? I tried the 14 I and compared it to the Sigma version, and the Sigma version was sharper and had slightly better corners. However, neither had good corners before f7 with a 230mm dome. What kind of corners are you getting with the 8" dome?
I have tried the II but it doesn't impress me as much as the Samyang, but the Samyang is manual EVERYTHING, which makes it difficult to use in quick shooting circumstances.

Hi Drew
What about that 17mm Tokina (fixed focal length) that you were using on the Run last year. What was your opinion of it's performance.
See you on the water. :)

#11 Drew

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:28 AM

The Tokina 17 with +1 diopter I used because it was at about the right focal length for the shots I wanted. It's sharp enough and some of my best shots were taken using it. But sometimes it was too inflexible and I ended up cropping some shots. I do think I'm going to go back to the 16-35 though. The brighter VF and zoom flexibility just makes for better framing.

Eric's happiness with the 20mm brings back the QC issue Sigma sometimes has. I've been wanting to buy the 12-24 again and the 2 stores I went to to test 3 copies of the lens all came out with issues with lenses or that were just mediocre quality. My copy of the 20mm certainly sucked, and I tried 2.

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#12 echeng

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:39 AM

I use the Tokina 17mm as my standard huge-animal lens (whales, mostly). All of my best whale shots were taken with it. I don't use a diopter with it.
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#13 MJvC

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:56 AM

What sort of field of view do you get on that 17mm without a diopter and what length extension ring are you using.

#14 Drew

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:11 AM

I use a 25 or 30mm I think... I don't have my housings so can't check until after ADEX. I think the lens is about 100 or so.

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#15 BWL

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:57 AM

I think the Canon 24mm f/1.4 is a superb wide angle lens to use UW. I use it with a Canon 5D and a Zen 200mm domeport and get extremely good resolution across the entire field. I had debated between getting that lens or the 16-35mm f/2.8 zoom, but ultimately decided on a prime lens to get slightly better corners.

#16 errbrr

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:00 PM

Liz, are you using the 14 I or II? I tried the 14 I and compared it to the Sigma version, and the Sigma version was sharper and had slightly better corners. However, neither had good corners before f7 with a 230mm dome. What kind of corners are you getting with the 8" dome?
I have tried the II but it doesn't impress me as much as the Samyang, but the Samyang is manual EVERYTHING, which makes it difficult to use in quick shooting circumstances.

I'm using the 14mm II. The reviews for the I weren't particularly good, although I haven't tried it. The autofocus for the 14mm II is relatively good in the (very) low light underground. I do find that the corners on the II can be soft before f8, but I think this is caused more by the dome than by the lens itself The shot below was taken at f6.3 and not cropped...although my determination last year to shoot everything at a low ISO meant I had to lighten it up a bit in Lightroom. My butt is almost against the opposite wall to get this angle, and the diver in blue is about 1.5m away from the dome from memory....20mm wouldn't have worked for me.

Posted Image
Bathtub by Liz_Rogers, on Flickr

On the other hand, I often/usually crop the very edges off my shots. And in the ocean there may be more opportunities for backing up to frame your picture.

All of this can be taken with a grain of salt - I haven't experimented with much else except what I'm currently using, and I love my rig. Good luck with picking something that works for you!

#17 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:01 PM

I've recently stopped using my 16-35L, to start playing around with a 15mm sigma fisheye with 1.4x kenco convertor, giving a resultant focal length of around 21mm (also using Canon EOS 5D Mk II). I've been very happy with the results, you're retaining the close focal length of the fisheye, whilst increasing the the focal length to decent wide state. Auto focus performs well, even in low light and when in tight. Max F stop is reduced to 4.0, so you do lose a bit of low light performance, and DoF at 4.0 is quite tight when up close (and I've not managed to get in really tight yet, currently using the Seacam superwide dome port). But all in all, I can see my 16-35 gathering a bit of dust....

A couple of pics;

Posted Image

1/160th, f14, ISO 200

Posted Image

1/160th, F11, ISO 200

Posted Image

1/160th, F6.3, ISO 100

Edited by bottlefish, 20 April 2011 - 11:22 PM.

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#18 Marco P

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:31 AM

Thank you all for your answers. I will go for the 15mm FE + 1,4x TC, it seems to be the cheapest and best solution. I tried it yesterday and it worked out very nicely, no soft corners or vignetting and the FOV was just what I was looking for.

/Marco
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