Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

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Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:10 pm

Gotta love it, first post to a new forum and I want something! :shock: Great etiquette I know but here goes!

Getting kind of sick of the enthusiast lenses I've got with my Canon 20D. I've already patched one of them off and replaced it with the 70-200mm F2.8 IS (love that lense). I was looking in the direction of the Canon 17-40mm but someone let me know that particular lense didn't suit my sensor size and I should look more in the direction of the 10-22mm which would suit perfectly. So now comes the dilema..........

I've done some research and I've come up with the following lenses:

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC EX HSM - $540
Canon 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 EFS USM - $784
Tamron 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 DI II - $700
Tokina 12-24mm F4 AT-X Pro DX - $616

Now I don't doubt that they are all great lenses depending on what you're doing. That having been said, I have not been able to find a comparo on the web for all 4 of these and I certainly don't expect to find anyone who has tried all four. What I'm hoping to get is some good honest feedback about any one of these lenses, if you have one. Likes and dislikes would be good.
I do know that if I decide to one day trade in my 20D for a 5D (not any time soon!) I may as well trade the lense as well as it will be useless on anything with a full frame sensor. (useless is probably a bit harsh, it will just provide some additional vignetting whether I want it or not!)

All prices are from an Aust online retailer that I haven't mentioned here as I'm not totally sure of the rules yet.

TIA
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby aim54x on Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:04 pm

I would say that the 17-40 F4L would be a good choice to replace your standard zoom, but it will not be a good choice as an ultra wide. From your list I would vote the 10-22 Canon as a first choice and the 12-24 Tokina as a second choice. Have you looked at the new Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ($689 from d-d-photographics)?
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby Matt. K on Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:15 pm

Welcome to the forum Wheels! You'll find lots of useful stuff and some very experianced Canon users here...but I'm not one of them. A previous poster mentioned D-D-photographics and you should check out their web site for the second best prices in town. Check here.........http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/
For the best prices you will have to wait until you become elegible to use the forums shopping system. Read the FAQS for more info.
Be sure to post some of your work so we can tear it to bits....er ....constructively admire it. Enjoy.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby chrisk on Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:08 am

17-40 isnt good for your sensor size ? hmmm...i suppose it depends on what your shooting but i would beg to differ. the 17-40 works very well on an aps-c sensor and is quite wide. not only that but the 17-40 is a joy to use. if you want ultrawide for landscapes, architecture etc then by all means go for the 10mm stuff, but thats not gonna help you really as a general purpose walkaround sorta lens.

if you do decide to go with an ultra-wideangle, ditch the ripoff canon 10-22 and go for the new tokina 11-16/ 2.8.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby adam on Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:20 am

I'm a Tokina 12-24 user. I love it, it feels solid and is wide. I like the constant f/4 from 12 to 24.
I think the 11-16 would be cooler though, f/2.8! If I had the choice now, I'd go for that instead :D
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby gstark on Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:13 am

Hi and welcome.

I too am puzzled at the comments you've had regarding the 17-40. Very odd. Who gave you that information?

But ...

Let's get back to some basics first. It's all well and good to discuss different lenses, but that's all rather pointless without understanding what it is that you like to, and want to, shoot. If you want to go and shoot birds, then none of those lenses will suit, similarly none of them are ideal portraiture lenses, and the ultra-wides are really getting into the special purpose end of things, rather than for more general usage.

So ... please tell us what you like to shoot ... what you want to shoot ... and then we can give you much more valuable advice.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:31 am

An aquaintance of mine who is a pro photographer (and sponsored by Canon no less!) and actually had a 17-40mm for sale told me that when I wanted to purchase that lense from him. He recommended I look to go down to the Sigma or Canon 10-20/22mm. His actual words " the 17-40mm doesn't suit your sensor size". Now I've tried the torpedo's (Torpedo - nickname for my mother in law - you can see her coming but there is stuff all you can do about it! :D ) 17-40mm L and I quite like it. I have not tried any of the lenses listed above but I intend to.
What do I like to shoot...........basically everything. I do a fair swag of macro work, candid portraiture, animals and I'm just starting on landscapes (you know, dead tree over water on sunset kinda stuff). I also shot my first nudes in the fog in the Blue Mountains a week ago - poor girl!I use my 70-200mm for a lot of things and I have a 2x extender for the animal shots. Where I am really lacking is a good widish lense for landscapes. I figure I might also be able to use my macro rings on this wide lense as well.(DOF may suffer) I do have access to a 100mm macro that I use with the rings and the DOF on that is great.
I wanted to go wide but not fisheye if that makes sense?
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby gstark on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:17 am

wheels wrote:An aquaintance of mine who is a pro photographer (and sponsored by Canon no less!) and actually had a 17-40mm for sale told me that when I wanted to purchase that lense from him. He recommended I look to go down to the Sigma or Canon 10-20/22mm. His actual words " the 17-40mm doesn't suit your sensor size".


I would, with respect, say that he's wrong. Unless you're using a crop lens on a FF sensor, then that simply is not a major issue in terms of prevention. And on a Canon, you cannot really do that. You should, of course, take into consideration the crop factor and angle of view that the lens presents, but that's nothing like saying that the lens doesn't suit your sensor size.

Now I've tried the torpedo's (Torpedo - nickname for my mother in law - you can see her coming but there is stuff all you can do about it! :D ) 17-40mm L and I quite like it.


To me, this is a much more important piece of data. That you like it.

I have not tried any of the lenses listed above but I intend to.


Get thyself along to one of our minimeets, or to the AW activities in the first weekend in August, and you'll probably get an opportunity to play with them. Not to mention meet with a whole ton of great people.

What do I like to shoot...........basically everything. I do a fair swag of macro work, candid portraiture, animals and I'm just starting on landscapes (you know, dead tree over water on sunset kinda stuff). I also shot my first nudes in the fog in the Blue Mountains a week ago - poor girl!I use my 70-200mm for a lot of things and I have a 2x extender for the animal shots.


Ok. None of the group of lenses that you've mentioned - the ultra-wide zooms - would be all that suitable for macro, candid portraiture, animals (general stuff), or the nudes. Equally, none of them would work all that well with your tubes.

Landscapes, depending upon what you're shooting, they will be great, and yes, they're a fun bunch of lenses. Of the ones mentioned, I would recommend getting the Canon 10-22. First of all, it's a Canon, which ensures best quality in terms of build and glass, as well as the best possible compatibility with any future (crop) body that you're likely to buy. Cost wise it's only a smidgeon more than the TP lenses, and i think that for the extra few PP involved, that part of the decision is a no-brainer.

Certainly, I've recommended that lens to a number of members here, and not one of them has expressed any disappointment with that choice.

But that's pre-supposing that this is the best lens for you ... I'm not yet convinced of this point. :)

Where I am really lacking is a good widish lense for landscapes. I figure I might also be able to use my macro rings on this wide lense as well.(DOF may suffer) I do have access to a 100mm macro that I use with the rings and the DOF on that is great.
I wanted to go wide but not fisheye if that makes sense?


Yes, that makes perfect sense, but let's also examine a few more options ...

First of all, you're currently using a crop body: do you see yourself ever moving to a full frame body, like the 5D? Your current body is a quite old (in terms of digital) model; where do you see your upgrade path taking you?

If you see yourself staying in the crop body realm, then any of these lenses will work, but if you see that you may move to FF, then you may wish to consider that some of these lenses are designed to only work on a crop body, and thus you might have to replace them as a part of your upgrade process.

Let's take a slightly different tack: you mention the use of macro rings. These will work best for you on prime lenses, and some primes, while not as versatile as zooms, are both inexpensive and optically very fast. You should, for instance, be able to pick up a 50mm f/1.8 for less than PP150. With that glass you will have optical speed for low-light situations, compatibility with your rings for macro work, and a great lens for general purpose work. And it won't get upset if you move to a FF body at some point in the future.

Consider too something prime in the 20 -35 range. Same advantages, same disadvantages.

50 or greater will be good for portraits, 17 or greater up to about 40 great for landscapes.

Less than 18 is basically ultra-wide; less so on a crop body, and unless designated as fisheye, it will suit what you're describing, albeit with, at those extreme ends of the spectrum, still with some distortion.

There's some food for thought for you, but from what I'm seeing, the 17-40 sounds pretty good for you, and I'd throw in the 50 f/1.8 just because there's no good reason for you to not have one. :)
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:24 pm

Gary;
Thanks for the advice. It all makes sense especially the part about upgrading later. I have no real plans to upgrade to a 5D at present, mainly because I really do like the 20D - yes I know it's old but it still works just fine. I acknowledge that if I were to upgrade the wider lense would have to go with the camera. As I've already said the 17-40mmL is quite a nice lense so the sensor comment was a bit suprising. I can get the 17-40mmL for $770 and the 50mm F1.8 for around $150 (usual website that I use). So for $900 I can ditch my 28-105mm F4-5.6 kit lense and get two lenses. The Mr's is gunna love this plan! :roll:
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:05 pm

While we are working through this topic, any opinions on build quality of both Tamron and Tokina? Canon and Sigma I need no opinions on, I own or have owned both of these varieties (Canon currently and Sigma back in my film days on a pair of Pentax MZ-50 bodies). Tamron and Tokina I have no real data on.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby adam on Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:11 pm

I've got the Tokina,
I think it feels solid :D
I've dropped it a few years ago, the lens survived, but the B+W filter on it didn't (maybe it survived thanks to the filter?)
I've had to send it for repair a few months back, I think the power diaphragm failed, so the aperture wouldn't behave.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby aim54x on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:19 pm

I own a few Tamron's, they are generally a very light lens, even the f/2.8 lenses, but they have proven to be tough. My 17-50mm f/2.8 has served as my main lens for a while and still is my key lens for when I carry a light kit. I have yet to drop it, but it has withstood the abuse that I put my equipment through (shooting in drizzle, shush seeto!, throwing my camera bag around etc.)

I have used the Tokina's a bit as well, whenever I can get my hands on one, they feel like they are built like a TANK, they are solid!

I'd have no problems recommending either brand although I dont like the Tamron 11-18.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby chrisk on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:48 pm

as per aims comments. the tokina is built exceptionally well. it does feel like it can put up with a heck of alot of abuse. the sigma is also very nicely nuild and HSM is quiet and fast. never used the tammie.

cant agree with gary here about buying a canon lens just cos its a canon lens. its not the best performer and not the best built either. the nikkor 12-24 is in the same boat imo. its overpriced and underdelivers.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby mickeyjuice on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:58 pm

I'm with Gary on pretty much everything but the "buy the Canon because it's a Canon". I've got the Sigma 10-20 and I've very happy with it. (Yes, I've used the 10-22 - can't see $240 worth of difference.) The Tokina gets good reviews as well.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:22 am

Ok then, lets say I've been talked out of a wide lense and am now thinking that I should revisit the 17-40L. Both Mickey and rooz don't agree with the Canon for Canons on build quality alone. What are the TP alternatives to the 17-40L F4?
Sigma 20-40mm F2.8? Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4? Both are faster and both are cheaper. I know the Canon lense will be showerproof being an L series. Do both of these lenses do all their workings (zoom and focus) inside a sealed unit? I've discounted the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 from this for that reason - the zoom barrel moves in and out. It is a feature that I do like on both the 17-40L and the 70-200L, completely sealed with no opportunity to 'pump' air in and out of the lense.
As you can see I'm starting to be swayed away from the wider lenses. I'm heading to photo club tonite so I may get some other opinions there as well!
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby dviv on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:39 am

wheels wrote:I've discounted the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 from this for that reason - the zoom barrel moves in and out. It is a feature that I do like on both the 17-40L and the 70-200L, completely sealed with no opportunity to 'pump' air in and out of the lense.


Not a very good reson to discount by far the best lens of the three. I've been using the 17-50 for 6 months and never had any problems with "Air being pumped in and out". I assume your reasoning is because of dust. Again - I've never had a problem (and it's on my camera about 80% of the time).
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby mickeyjuice on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:14 pm

wheels wrote:Ok then, lets say I've been talked out of a wide lense and am now thinking that I should revisit the 17-40L. Both Mickey and rooz don't agree with the Canon for Canons on build quality alone. What are the TP alternatives to the 17-40L F4?

I've got a mate with the Canon 17-40 and he loves it. (Just another data point. I've got a Canon 28-70/2.8L and it's a terrific lens - I'm not anti-Canon, just pro-good value and good images :-)
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby Dipstix Pix on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:47 pm

I've got the 10-22mm Canon, a 17-40mm Canon and in the past owned the 16-35mm Canon lenses. I am absolutely stunned with the results that I have acheived with the 10-22 lens - its sharpness from near to far is superb and given the cost of same it is a bloody bargain in my book. I've used the 17-40mm with a 5D and the results are nearly identical but if I had the extra money I'd go for the 16-35mm again.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:33 pm

Sorry Juice, didn't mean to imply that you were anti canon. I should have used the term 'the fact it is a canon lense is not a good reason to buy it.' dviv, I have a bit of an issue with lenses that have exterior moving parts. I treat my gear fairly roughly and the job dictates that it is going to get dusty and dirty. I would rather have a sealed unit where I don't have to worry too much, just give it a brush and crack on. :D
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby adam on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:58 pm

If dusty environments, I think the 17-40 with the filter on :D
I've got the 12-24 but don't think I would be confident taking into dusty environments, but wouldn't be scared taking a 17-40 in!
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby aim54x on Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:42 am

That is true about the 17-40mm f4L, a filter is meant to complete the sealing!
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:48 am

Thanks guys. If you duck over to the Image Critiques section and have a decko at some images I've posted you'll see why a sealed unit is pretty important for me. :D
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby brutus123 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:37 pm

Digital Photo magazine (issue 102; Spring 08) recently tested 8 wide angle zooms. The 2 best tested lenses were;
Canon EF-S 10-20mm f/3.5-4.5USM (Silver Award)
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM (Gold Award)

The Sigma seems worth a look. :)
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:48 pm

Thanks Brutus, I'll have a look at that. MIght help out a bit :D
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:07 pm

Keeping in mind Gary's comments above, I've kinda decided to ditch the idea of the ultra wide zooms for now. That brings me onto another conundrum:

Do I go the 17-40mm F4 L brand new for close to $800 or do I fork out around another $200 and grab a second hand 16-35mm F2.8 L Mk 1 for $1000 (includes hood)? If I do the second option I may need to wait a bit for that 50mm prime. (The missus has capped me at $1000 :lol: )

Considering this lense will be the "new" walkaround resident on my 20D will I really need the extra speed? Most photogs get along just fine with F4 most of the time.

Don't get me wrong, I'll probably buy an ultrawide prime - just later!
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby mickeyjuice on Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:42 pm

Make sure you can test the s/h 16-35 - plenty of soft ones around. (Good ones are terrific, though.) If it's good, that's be my pick.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby adam on Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:38 pm

Since you're going for the ultrawide prime later anyway, my opinion is to get the 17-40 f/4 and use the ultrawideprime if you need the speed. Just my opinion (after getting a prime even f/2.8 feels slow for me)
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby wheels on Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:09 am

You make a good point Adam. Save some cash, get the 17-40 F4 as well as the 50mm F1.8. I guess that way, if I need speed that the 17-40 can't provide I can go to the 50mm and just zoom with my feet :D The ultrawide prime can come after tax time when the cash comes in! Funny enough, this seems to be what Gary suggested about 10 posts ago :lol: It just took a while to come full circle.
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Re: Wide Canon Zoom - Opinions

Postby craka on Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:14 am

I bought a Tamron 11-18mm a few weeks ago, and am quite happy with its results. I found $700 easier to part with than $1400. The build quality feels good.
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