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bmyates

WA prime lenses - if, which and why?

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I've used (on my full-frame camera) Canon 16-35mm and 17-40mm zooms, and have been reasonably happy with the results (soft corners notwithstanding).

 

I recently acquired (have only used a few times thus far) a 15mm FE, which seems to be the most common WA prime for uw use.

 

However, I want something "less wide" than the 15mm for shooting sharks, mantas, etc. What are your reasons for purchasing (or not) wide angle primes to use instead of a zoom? Note: the same question applies to cropped cameras (just different lens specifics).

 

Likely candidates (for full-frame):

20mm f/2.8

24mm f/1.4L

 

Pros relative to zooms:

- faster (need less light)

- sharper (especially at larger apertures)

- no zoom gear needed

 

Cons relative to zooms:

- less flexibility of subject/framing

- cost of yet another friggin' lens

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I used to have the EF 20mm F2.8, the 16-35L is better. I do not have problems with soft corners with my 16-35L. I was shooting film with that lens and did the obligatory newspaper shot, at F8 using MLU on a tripod, you could read the classifieds, corner to corner. I will see what happens after I order my 5D.

 

With such WA lenses, I find that focussing on the closest object in the frame and letting the great DOF possible with these lenses take care of the rest of the image seem to work best. So instead of focussing on a diver or shark, I focus first on the reef nearer to me...this removes most soft corners.

 

S.

 

p.s. memorizing the hyperfocal setting of your lens at 5.6-11 helps! :D

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With such WA lenses, I find that focussing on the closest object in the frame and letting the great DOF possible with these lenses take care of the rest of the image seem to work best.  So instead of focussing on a diver or shark, I focus first on the reef nearer to me...this removes most soft corners.

 

S.

 

Thanks for the tip Stu.....makes total sense :D

 

Karl

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On my last trip I used the 24/1.4L as my standard wide lens. Its corners aren't bad, but the real reason that I like this lens so much is because it has a brilliantly bright viewfinder image and focuses well in poor light. I also have the 20/2.8 (works fine too) and the 17~40 (which works well enough, slightly softer corners, but I don't particularly like using and it has a duller viewfinder image).

 

I really enjoy using the 24/1.4L and will add in the 35/1.4L when I get the chance.

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