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bertschb

5DII upgrade dilemma - 16-35II is messing me up!

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I have a complete Ikelite setup for my 20D and use the EFS 10-22mm with the 8" dome port. Great combination and works fine. But, I just bought a 5DII and want to use that UW instead. So, I was about ready to list my 20D, housing, 10-22mm etc on eBay when I learned from the Ike site that the 16-35 Mark II is not supported in an Ike housing. That stopped me in my tracks. I wrongly assumed that most all Canon FF shooters would be using the 16-35II for a WA zoom. I don't want to buy the Mark I version of 16-35 nor the 17-40 as they would duplicate the 16-35II (which works great on land). That leaves me with the $2,000 14mm 2.8. Is this the preferred WA lens for Canon FF folks?

 

This is going to be an expensive upgrade! My 20D gear (camera, housing, 10-22 etc) isn't worth much used. Any suggestions on how I can move to the 5DII other than not using Ikelite?

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what about a canon or sigma f2.8 15mm Fisheye ?

 

I want to stick with Canon lenses. I did consider the Canon FE but have no experience with FE lenses. I'll look into that. Thanks!

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Funny, but top side I would not think of putting a third party glass on my Nikon's, underwater, totally different story, I have a Tokina 10-17m, a Sigma 10-20 and would get a Sigma 15mm in a flash over the Canon version, I personnaly shoot Nikon gears, but have enough customer out there shooting that 15mm Sigma to be convinced, sometime third party lens manufacturer in their struggle to find their niche will come up with features or design that might seem odd on dry land but are just the right thing for us, case in point, the Tokina 10-17mm, the Sigma 17-70 Macro to name but a few, or sometime we end up making our own weird contraption, 10.5 fisheye & 2X TC. bottom line is the reference book kinda gets trown out the window in underwater photography.

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That leaves me with the $2,000 14mm 2.8. Is this the preferred WA lens for Canon FF folks?

 

Brian,

 

Not many people are using the 14mm 2.8 II (I assume you're talking about the II, not the old 14) uw from what I can tell, but I bought one and used it for quite a bit of the WA shooting on my last trip to Indonesia (most photos show the file name at bottom, in which I include the lens mm, so you can quickly see which ones were with the 14mm).

 

I was very happy with the results, and I think it's a great lens! It certainly isn't as flexible as the 16-35MM II because of the lack of zoom, but if the 16-35 isn't an option, this is a great alternative! The lack of distortion makes it nice vs. the 15mm fisheye, especially topside for landscapes, etc.. If you have use for a super WA lens above water, and/or just want a really good super-wide lens that'll fit in your housing, I highly recommend it!

 

Having said that, some of my best WA shots UW have been with the Sigma 15mm FE, so don't discount that as an option. If you're only going to use it uw, I would SERIOUSLY consider the Sigma FE instead - lots cheaper and you'll find that lots of us with mostly Canon (or Nikon) lenses use that Sigma FE for super WA uw...so I'd have to say that THAT is the preferred WA lens for Canon FF (when the 16-35mm isn't in the running, and sometimes even when it is!).

Edited by bmyates

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I agree that the Sigma 15mm is a great choice. I have been using it on my Canon FF for years.

 

If you want a zoom I guess you have two options: buy a different brand of housing that can accept the 16-35 II or buy a 17-40L.

 

I have used the 17-40L for years and it's a great lens. Since it's a wide, the F4 for focusing doesn't bother you much. The lens is a little soft in the corners below F8 but that too can be managed. Frankly, it's almost as good as the 16-35 II and it's better than the 16-35 I

 

Cheers

James

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I agree that the Sigma 15mm is a great choice. I have been using it on my Canon FF for years.

 

If you want a zoom I guess you have two options: buy a different brand of housing that can accept the 16-35 II or buy a 17-40L....

 

Great point, James. I used the 17-40 for a long time, and it's a great "L" lens. I'm not sure I can tell any difference (other than in my wallet! :) ) in what I'm getting with the 16-35II vs. the 17-40. The 17-40 is arguably the best "deal" (quality vs. price) in the entire Canon "L" lineup...

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Thanks for your input guys. I don't need a zoom. I just happen to have the 16-35II. I've been using the Canon 10-22mm for quite a while and I shoot everything at 10mm (16mm with 20D crop). I'm going to look into the Sigma 15FE now....

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the 17-40 takes diopters too... it'd very hard to find an 82mm diopter, I found one cheap set to try on my 16-35 II and the results are unacceptable. And to repeat the mantra...all those FF rectilinears will struggle in the corners.

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Are there any good non Fish Eye FF lenses for the 5DII (other than the 17-40)? I prefer the look of rectilinear WA lenses and I'm trying not to duplicate the 16-35II. Primes are OK and it sounds like non-Canon lenses are a viable option in this case.

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Brian,

 

Not many people are using the 14mm 2.8 II (I assume you're talking about the II, not the old 14) uw from what I can tell, but I bought one and used it for quite a bit of the WA shooting ...

 

...I was very happy with the results, and I think it's a great lens!

 

I was never able to get sharp corners on my 14mm. Actually bought the original Canon 16-35 as a replacement.

were you using a diopter of some sort??

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Add the Tokina 17mm ATX Pro - it's pretty good too and <$300 if you can find one.

 

Cheers

James

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I was never able to get sharp corners on my 14mm. Actually bought the original Canon 16-35 as a replacement.

were you using a diopter of some sort??

 

No, I don't use a diopter with the 14mm. As Darren so aptly put it, "to repeat the mantra...all those FF rectilinears will struggle in the corners." I've never found any WA lens (including the 16-35I and II, and 17-40) that doesn't suck in the corners most of the time uw on shots with "detail" (reef, etc.) in the corners!

 

Frankly, that's the advantage of having a zillion (or in the case of the 5DII we're discussing, 21 million) pixels. You can just crop the crap out of the corners after the fact. The 14mmII does a great job, but like anything else - including the 15FE - you're going to need/want to crop away the corners on many shots (e.g., reefs - for open water shots of sharks, mantas, etc., corner sharpness isn't as much of an issue).

 

One nice thing about the 14mm (vs. the other rectilinears) is that it is enough wider than the 16-35 or 17-40 that you can actually crop away the blurry corners and still have a similar (but sharper cornered) angle of view left over...and if your 21mp photo ends up with "only" 15mp's, well, that still ain't bad!!! ;)

 

I know it sounds sloppy not to care about every pixel in a photo, but frankly, I stopped worrying about getting sharp corners once I got to 16mp's (1DsII); I now just figure I've got (and Brian has) a few pixels to spare (crop)... ;)

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Frankly, that's the advantage of having a zillion (or in the case of the 5DII we're discussing, 21 million) pixels. You can just crop the crap out of the corners after the fact.

 

If you're gonna do this - why not get a less wide lens in the first place? Of a 15MP D50 with a Tokina 10-17mm.

 

I have found that I get decent corners with a variety of wide angle rectilinears I have tried. Although I have not got access to anything wider than 17mm.

 

Alex

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I have found that I get decent corners with a variety of wide angle rectilinears I have tried. Although I have not got access to anything wider than 17mm.

 

Aren't you still shooting cropped sensor cameras, though, Alex? If so, doesn't the camera already "crop" out the corners of widest lenses (i.e., only use the center/best part of the lens)?

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Aren't you still shooting cropped sensor cameras, though, Alex? If so, doesn't the camera already "crop" out the corners of widest lenses (i.e., only use the center/best part of the lens)?

True, but you're taking advantage of every pixel on the sensor. I see two problems with this approach, one you're losing the benefit of the 21MP as Alex says and second what if this were a 'competition' image that did not allow cropping.

With my limited experience with FF so far if I had to choose between a rectilinear wide with poor corners or my 16mm fisheye, I'd choose the 16mm (or Canon equivalent). Fortunately I am quite pleased with the performance of the 17-35 Nikon so far with diopter.

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Aren't you still shooting cropped sensor cameras, though, Alex? If so, doesn't the camera already "crop" out the corners of widest lenses (i.e., only use the center/best part of the lens)?

 

Nope, I have a D700. And I have been shooting FF Nikons pretty much continuously since August (although only more recently with my own cameras). So far, I have shot FF as main camera underwater in Canada, California, Mexico, Red Sea and currently here in Cayman. And I find that the Nikon wide rectilinears I have used (so far the 17-35mm and 20mm) don't need cropping in the corners. These seem to perform well on my Subal and Fred reported that the 17-35mm performed well on his Seacam too.

 

Crop sensor cameras only use the centre of FF lenses, but use the whole image circle of popular APS-C lenses like the 10.5mm, 10-17mm, 12-24mm (Nikkor), 17-70mm (Sigma). And crop sensor rectilinear lenses have corner problems too, when set up badly. There is a clear example in the Wetpixel Sardine Run 2008 thread.

 

I believe a good lens, correctly set up, should be able to produce useable corners, without being stopped down to ridiculous levels. And I think settling for always having to crop a bit is not what we should be striving for. Furthermore, there are certain popular pursuits in underwater photography, such as Fotosubs and the World Championships, that don't allow cropping.

 

Alex

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Bruce,

 

I've been very curious about getting the 14mm going on my Canon 5D and 5DmkII (when I have a housing for that one).

 

I was looking at your posted photos with the 14mm and noticed a fair amount of nice shots! Were those posts cropped in the corners?

The School of batfish with red soft coral in foreground had no distortion with nice vertical lines.

Also looks like you were using F16 on some of my favorites. Have you noticed the lens performing a lot better at that aperture?

 

Cheers,

 

Joel

Edited by newmediasoup

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Bruce,

 

I've been very curious about getting the 14mm going on my Canon 5D and 5DmkII (when I have a housing for that one).

 

I was looking at your posted photos with the 14mm and noticed a fair amount of nice shots! Were those posts cropped in the corners?

The School of batfish with red soft coral in foreground had no distortion with nice vertical lines.

Also looks like you were using F16 on some of my favorites. Have you noticed the lens performing a lot better at that aperture?

 

Cheers,

 

Joel

 

Joel,

 

Thanks for the compliment! I almost always crop at least a little (and sometimes a lot!). However, at higher f-stops, the 14mm does indeed do a pretty good job with corners, so the cropping is often for aesthetic reasons. But you're right - you can get nice vertical (or horizontal) lines with the 14mm.

 

Attached are two uncropped and unsharpened photos - one of a clam at f/13 and the other is the original of the batfish photo you mentioned (I just had Breezebrowser create quick shrunken versions of the original JPGs from the camera), which was shot at f/16.

 

While neither of these are great shots - there's a lot of junk in the water - the corners don't look that bad to me (relative to the rest of the photo). I really try to use high f-stops whenever using the 14mm, and they do indeed seem helpful/important in maintaining corner sharpness with any WA lens, as numerous discussions of uw WA photography by the Wetpixel experts (e.g., Stephen Frink) have emphasized.

 

I'm also attaching a shrunken version of the RAW batfish shot after cropping editing (and sharpening) in PS for comparison.

 

Having said all that, I'm not sure I like the 14mm MORE than the Sigma 15mm FE, which is probably the best alternative to which it can be compared (rather than the 16-35II or other zooms). I'd really like to do a side-by-side of those two lenses in a variety of situations to see which one really works "best." I think both do a fine job with reef scenes, where distortion is seldom an issue. If you're going to be using a 5D or 5DII as your first uw FF camera, and cost is an issue, I'd have to suggest the Sigma FE. The 14mm is a fine lens, but its marginal utility (pardon the economics jargon), or incremental value, uw is at most slight compared to that FE.

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Edited by bmyates

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In my prior post, I mentioned that the 14mm has limited utility/incemental value vs. the Sigma 15mm FE in uw photography (IMHO). However, I have to wonder if its lack of distortion might be FAR more valuable when shooting VIDEO (with the 5DII).

 

Since nobody has shot uw video with the FE vs. other lenses yet (as far as I know), I can't say...but it seems logical that the 14mm (being rectilinear) might produce images/scenes more pleasing to the eye than the FE...(?) :D

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In my prior post, I mentioned that the 14mm has limited utility/incemental value vs. the Sigma 15mm FE in uw photography (IMHO). However, I have to wonder if its lack of distortion might be FAR more valuable when shooting VIDEO (with the 5DII).

 

Since nobody has shot uw video with the FE vs. other lenses yet (as far as I know), I can't say...but it seems logical that the 14mm (being rectilinear) might produce images/scenes more pleasing to the eye than the FE...(?) :D

 

Interesting question... the terrestrial film-maker guys I have been watching love having access to Fisheye (and other of "our" special lenses) via the 5dmki, so I wouldn't discount it's use UW... until we've tried it... very soon hopefully...

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I have a complete Ikelite setup for my 20D and use the EFS 10-22mm with the 8" dome port. Great combination and works fine. But, I just bought a 5DII and want to use that UW instead. So, I was about ready to list my 20D, housing, 10-22mm etc on eBay when I learned from the Ike site that the 16-35 Mark II is not supported in an Ike housing. That stopped me in my tracks. I wrongly assumed that most all Canon FF shooters would be using the 16-35II for a WA zoom. I don't want to buy the Mark I version of 16-35 nor the 17-40 as they would duplicate the 16-35II (which works great on land). That leaves me with the $2,000 14mm 2.8. Is this the preferred WA lens for Canon FF folks?

 

This is going to be an expensive upgrade! My 20D gear (camera, housing, 10-22 etc) isn't worth much used. Any suggestions on how I can move to the 5DII other than not using Ikelite?

Since you are buying a new housing anyway( a 5D mark II) won't fit in a 20d housing) consider the Aquatica I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a prototype at Backscatter and I AM SOLD! it is the best price of all the aluminium housings at $2999.00 as Subal is $4350.00 and projected price for Sea and Sea is $3399.00 to $3999.00. AND you can use the 16-35mm II Canon lens in that housing.The gang at backscatter went above and beyond going over all the differences of the housing and considered my budget in helping make my decision.Thanx Backscatter

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I'm in the process of upgrading from a 5D to a 5DmkII. I've been using the 17-40L on the 5D and it's a great WA, but you get soft corners below f18. Instead of cropping, I'll sometimes use the burn tool to darken the corners, bringing your eye back into the foreground in the process.

 

Most people I've seen on boats with full-frame Canons are shooting the Canon 100mm macro, Canon 17-40L and Sigma fisheye. Opinion on this board is that the Sigma focuses better than the Canon 15mm. The Sigma 15mm is my next lens (one of these days...)

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...Most people I've seen on boats with full-frame Canons are shooting the Canon 100mm macro, Canon 17-40L and Sigma fisheye. Opinion on this board is that the Sigma focuses better than the Canon 15mm. The Sigma 15mm is my next lens (one of these days...)

 

I think those three lenses provide a solid kit that covers most of the bases (until you get into super-macro, which requires additional stuff - longer macro lens, TC's, etc.). My sense is that the reason so many of us use the Sigma 15FE isn't necessarily that it focuses (or otherwise functions) better than the Canon, but that it functions at least as well, and at significantly lower price.

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