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Archive 2012 · Canon ultra-wide choices
  
 
alfarmer
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p.1 #1 · Canon ultra-wide choices


I'm curious about the 14L as a choice over the 16-35L. Is 2mm really that significant for enough people?

I realize it's quite an achievement in a non-fisheye, but am wondering if there's a significant enough market for such a lens or if there's an element of showmanship involved on the part of Canon? (Some Swiss watch makers create specialty movements for similar purposes.)



Aug 12, 2012 at 05:03 PM
robstein
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p.1 #2 · Canon ultra-wide choices


IMO 2mm at the wide end is huge..... As to the lens marketing - meh.... whatever works for you that is available


Aug 12, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Monito
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p.1 #3 · Canon ultra-wide choices


The 14 L is very sharp. It is about as sharp as the Zeiss 15 mm. 14 v 15

It is extremely useful for quick shots of interiors, where you don't have time for a multi-row pano.



Aug 12, 2012 at 06:13 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Most people who think they need f/2.8 in an ultra wide (for full frame cameras) lens are going to be very happy with the 16-35. It does give up a bit of sharpness and 2mm of "wide," but it gains a lot of flexibility and it produces very fine image quality that can produce excellent large prints.

In addition, those who shoot full frame, need the wide angle but not f/2.8, and who tend to shoot at smaller apertures for landscape and similar sorts of photography will be as well or better served by the 17-40mm f/4.

And those on cropped sensor bodies would likely prefer the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS for coverage of these focal length ranges.

I do not own the 14mm prime, but I have heard that it is a fine lens. However, it is also a very specialized and very expensive lens with some liabilities in terms of real world functionality for most people.

Dan



Aug 12, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #5 · Canon ultra-wide choices


I've got the inexpensive, but terrific, Samyang 14, AND the 16-35L II. That ends all the debate, as the Samyang has excellent IQ and the 16-35 is extremely versatile.

And I agree -- the extra 2mm is significant. Viewed as a ratio, the 14 offer 1/8 more coverage than 16mm.



Aug 12, 2012 at 07:57 PM
jffielde
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p.1 #6 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Since Monito posted the comparison above, I note that the comparison here makes the Zeiss look significantly better:

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/04/09/new-zeiss-wide-angle-slr-lenses-and-how-they-stack-up-against-their-canon-ef-counterparts/

I still can't figure out where they're pretty much the same, making the Zeiss an almost preposterous purchase, or whether the Zeiss is a good deal better. I still can't tell from the internet evidence, which is all over the map.



Aug 12, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Monito
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p.1 #7 · Canon ultra-wide choices


jffielde wrote:
I still can't tell from the internet evidence, which is all over the map.


Most people "testing" lenses don't have a clue. Only a few sites do rigorous testing with controlled setups that they use across the line. (Haven't looked at the linked site.) Many people stand next to brick wall or some other subject and don't know enough to put it on a tripod or how to ensure that the back is parallel to the wall or target. Anedotal "testing" is not testing: "Well, I took 'er out for a spin and she done a purty job on them there storefronts."

Just looked at the VinceForet site. He is knowledgeable, but his test is fishy. However, if all else is equal (it is not because it is not much controlled -- where is the focus supposed to be?), if all else is equal, the Zeiss does very well.



Aug 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Copypaste
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p.1 #8 · Canon ultra-wide choices


You also have to consider filter vs no filter. 16-35 lets you use the Lee kit for example. NDs, Big Stopper, Polarizer ect can be quite useful, and shows the versatility of the 16-35 compared to the 14. However, the 14mm is quite a lot sharper it seems


Aug 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #9 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Samyang 14 f/2.8 for around $300 is a no brainer.


Aug 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #10 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Samyang 14 f/2.8 for around $300 is a no brainer.


Sure, if you like >5% distortion.

EBH



Aug 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM
 

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Sneakyracer
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p.1 #11 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Hi, I have the Canon 14mm L II and it wipes the floor silly with the 16-35mmL I and II and the 17-40mm L. It isnt even close. The 14 is extremely sharp. I think its the best 14mm lens made.

Yes, the Samyang 14mm tests well in sharpness BUT when you correct for its VERY heavy distorsion you loose resolution in the process and it also has more pronounced vignetting. The Canon has VERY little distorsion.



Aug 13, 2012 at 12:51 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #12 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Sneakyracer wrote:
Hi, I have the Canon 14mm L II and it wipes the floor silly with the 16-35mmL I and II and the 17-40mm L. It isnt even close. The 14 is extremely sharp. I think its the best 14mm lens made.

Yes, the Samyang 14mm tests well in sharpness BUT when you correct for its VERY heavy distorsion you loose resolution in the process and it also has more pronounced vignetting. The Canon has VERY little distorsion.


+1: Just got my 14/2.8II recently, and I can confirm the statement. Extremely sharp at f/2.8 with negligible distortions. The Samyang is not suitable for architectural shots due to mustache distortion. The 14 mm is a huge difference to 17 mm with my good copy of the 17-40 lens.

The only con of the 14/2.8 II lens is its price tag. Look out for a good used copy!



Aug 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #13 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Sneakyracer wrote:
Hi, I have the Canon 14mm L II and it wipes the floor silly with the 16-35mmL I and II and the 17-40mm L. It isnt even close. The 14 is extremely sharp. I think its the best 14mm lens made.


There is virtually no question that a prime can be sharper than a zoom, and that the 14mm is a fine lens. However, better in one area such as "sharpness" is not necessarily the whole story. Obviously, if you need 14mm and only 14mm and can deal with functional issues of the 14mm lens (e.g. filters, etc) then that can be the exact right choice. On the other hand, if you need some versatility to shoot at FLs other than 14mm, want to easily use standard filters, and so forth, the 16-35 will get you the same f/2.8 aperture and produce very good image quality and the 17-40 will also produce very fine image quality and excel at small aperture photography.

The idea that one lens is The Best Lens regardless of all of the factors that affect how one will use a lens is short-sighted. For four different photographers with different needs and priorities, it is quite possible that each one might find that a different lens is the best choice.

Dan



Aug 13, 2012 at 05:02 AM
stanj
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p.1 #14 · Canon ultra-wide choices


I don't need the 14mm focal length enough to have one in my drawer, but for most of my recent jobs I rented every 14mm lens that I could lay my hands on - Canon or Sigma, usually 4-8 lenses per job, because 14mm is very different from 16mm, and sometimes you need those two mm. Heck I also rented the Sigma 12-24 full frame zoom, and those 2mm are very noticeable too (and the lens doesn't suck overall).

Showmanship was in the 50L/1.0, and to some degree with the 85L and 200/1.8L. The 14mm lens is certainly legit, and while not worth the price tag for me, I understand how it's useful for many. But it's not of the "new Canon quality" like all the lenses 24L mk2 and after; it's still better than the 16-35L/II, which I'd say is not a hard challenge.



Aug 13, 2012 at 05:44 AM
ultrapix
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p.1 #15 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Pretty happy with my 14-II.
Tack sharp corner to corner @ f:8, honest performer wide open. I use it in interior, reportage, and so on.
It has its learning curve, best results with live view and smart focusing, since that lens has not exactly a flat field



Aug 13, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #16 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Sneakyracer wrote:
Hi, I have the Canon 14mm L II and it wipes the floor silly with the 16-35mmL I and II and the 17-40mm L. It isnt even close. The 14 is extremely sharp. I think its the best 14mm lens made.

Yes, the Samyang 14mm tests well in sharpness BUT when you correct for its VERY heavy distorsion you loose resolution in the process and it also has more pronounced vignetting. The Canon has VERY little distorsion.


But the other two lenses wipes the floor silly with the 14L at any focal length from 16mm to 40mm.

You can't compare so different lenses and focal lengths.



Aug 13, 2012 at 06:40 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #17 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Of course it will depend on your needs, but for the cost of the 14, I would (and did) buy the 17 TS-E instead. Of course it's not as wide, but for some applications, stitching two shifted images is a viable solution that offers an even wider field of view, and higher total MP/resolution than a single shot capture. Being able to shift is also a great feature for an UWA lens as even slight tilting of the camera will produce pronounced keystone 'distortion' in any images where you would prefer to avoid it.


Aug 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Lars Johnsson wrote:
But the other two lenses wipes the floor silly with the 14L at any focal length from 16mm to 40mm.


+1 :-)

I like to remind people that the following are true in this comparison and many other similar pairings:

1. The prime can usually produce somewhat better image quality when the composition lines up perfectly or nearly so with its coverage. This is more so the case at the largest apertures and less so at smaller apertures. If your work is extremely critical and especially if you regularly print at sizes the push the upper boundary of what can be done with DSLRs, this can make a visible difference.

2. If the composition does not work perfectly at the focal length of your prime and you must crop in post to compensate, you will diminish or even eliminate (or is some cases reverse) the image quality achieved by using the zoom, with which it is possible to crop in camera and maintain the full original image quality.

In and of itself, this pair of observations does not necessarily argue that the prime or the zoom option is better. However, with this in mind, in the context of your own intended use it is important to consider this and some other factors.

Take care,

Dan



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #19 · Canon ultra-wide choices


EB-1 wrote:
Sure, if you like >5% distortion.

EBH


Maybe peruse the shots from the lens before dissing it. For 1/7 the price the lens is amazingly good. I realise many people just have blinkers on and ignore third party lenses but maybe the OP is not like that.



Aug 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Monito
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p.1 #20 · Canon ultra-wide choices


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Samyang 14 f/2.8 for around $300 is a no brainer.


EB-1 wrote:
Sure, if you like >5% distortion.


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Maybe peruse the shots from the lens before dissing it. For 1/7 the price the lens is amazingly good. I realise many people just have blinkers on and ignore third party lenses but maybe the OP is not like that.


"No brainer"? Hmm, might be more apt than intended.

He did peruse the shots. It's almost a fisheye lens. Here's one:




Aug 14, 2012 at 03:22 AM
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