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Best wide-angle lens for Canyon shots?

heathrli
Contributor

Hi Experts!

 

I'm a novice in photography and am going on a giant trip through Arizona/Utah this summer. I'll be visiting all the major Canyon National Parks (e.g. Grand, Zion, Bryce, Antelope, Arches, and more!) and would like a wide-angle lens for my trip.

 

I have the Canon Rebel SL1. The only lenses I have currently are:

 

18-55mm EF-S IS STM 

55-250mm EF-S IS STM

18-135mm EF-S IS STM

 

I've never had a lens that DIDN'T zoom, but there have been many occasions I wanted a wider lens than 18mm. I have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to looking for a wide-angle lens though.. I'd also be open to suggestions for a smaller range zoom if those are good too..?

 

Fast auto-focus is important for me since I'm usually on the go-go-go during my trips. 

 

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Explanations of why would also helpful. Thanks so much!

 

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Skirball
Authority

The best (and only actually) currently manufactured ultra-wide for EF-S cameras is the EF-S 10-22.  Canon just announced a 10-18 STM that will be released soon, but that's probably still a month off.  I still think the 10-22 is a better lens (for my needs), but the 10-18 comes in at a very good price point ($300) and adds image stabilization.  But you'd have to wait for it.

 

Edit: I should say, the 10-22 is currently the only Canon manufactured ultrawide for EF-S.  Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron also make options for slightly cheaper.

View solution in original post

TCampbell
Elite

You may want to look at (or rent) the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.  

 

There are a number of 3rd party competitors which similar characteristics, but this lens usually wins in the reviews.

 

Canon *just* introduced a lower-cost alternative in the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM but I think this lens is only available for pre-order ... I don't think it's shipping yet.  

 

The USM focusing motors are typically faster than the STM focusing motors and from what I'm able to determine, the 10-22 is still the "better" lens, but the 10-18 is lower cost.  

 

There is one thing I like to do in dark sky parks... which is to capture night time photos of the stars.  To do this the lens need to be carefully focused to infinity.  Stars are not bright enough for the camera to auto-focus on them.  The camera must be manually focused.  The 10-22 actually has a focusing distance indicator (with infinity mark) the 10-18mm STM lens does not have a distance indicator on the focus ring -- making it a bit more difficult to manually focus to infinity.  To get around this, we tend to temporarily crank the camera ISO and shutter speed to a VERY long exposure, enable "live view" and then zoom to the 10x scale to see if we can find something particularly bright to aid in focus.  Once focused... we set the ISO and shutter speed back to more reasonable settings to take the exposure.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10

Skirball
Authority

The best (and only actually) currently manufactured ultra-wide for EF-S cameras is the EF-S 10-22.  Canon just announced a 10-18 STM that will be released soon, but that's probably still a month off.  I still think the 10-22 is a better lens (for my needs), but the 10-18 comes in at a very good price point ($300) and adds image stabilization.  But you'd have to wait for it.

 

Edit: I should say, the 10-22 is currently the only Canon manufactured ultrawide for EF-S.  Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron also make options for slightly cheaper.

I just checked Amazon and the EF-S 10-22 is $600 and the 10-18 STM (pre-order) is $300!

Why is there such a giant price difference if the 10-18 has image stabilization?

 

I agree the price point and image stabilization sound great to me. My trip isn't until the end of June so I might have time to buy the 10-18 STM! Thanks so much for telling me about it!

 


@heathrli wrote:

I just checked Amazon and the EF-S 10-22 is $600 and the 10-18 STM (pre-order) is $300!

Why is there such a giant price difference if the 10-18 has image stabilization?

 

I agree the price point and image stabilization sound great to me. My trip isn't until the end of June so I might have time to buy the 10-18 STM! Thanks so much for telling me about it!

 


The build quality of the 10-22 is quite good for an EF-S lens.  The optical quality is also very good, even at 10mm, where many lenses distort and soften in the corners.  It also has a wider max aperture, which means more glass and drives the price up.

 

I'm expecting the 10-18 to have more of a kit lens feel to it.  Everyone is waiting to see how the performance is, especially the distortion at 10mm and in the corners.  Because of the pricepoint the lens will sell well.  If it proves to have as good of image quality as the Canon released images suggest, this lens will sell extremely well and will take a serious bite out of 10-22 sales.


@heathrli wrote:

I just checked Amazon and the EF-S 10-22 is $600 and the 10-18 STM (pre-order) is $300!

Why is there such a giant price difference if the 10-18 has image stabilization?

 

I agree the price point and image stabilization sound great to me. My trip isn't until the end of June so I might have time to buy the 10-18 STM! Thanks so much for telling me about it!

 


Looks like the 10-18 isn't going to be released until end of June, so the timing won't work.  You could rent the 10-22 then get the 10-18 after.  Or, you could get a 10-22. It doesn't have stabilization, but it's a great lens, I can speak to it myself.  Personally I don't need stabilization on ultrawides, I've handheld the 10-22 at 10mm at 1/5 shutter speeds with no trouble. 

 

They have them, in stock, refurbished from Canon right now for just over $500.  And currently Canon is having a sale on refurbished lenses so you get another $125 off, bringing the total to $394.  Yes, it's refurbished, but it was done so by Canon, to factory specs, and comes with a 1 year warranty.  It's a helluva deal.

 

http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/lenses-flashes/refurbished-lenses/ef-s-10-22mm-f-35-45-usm...

A lot of people (including me) like refurbished lens better than new because it's individually calibrated and tested.

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@hsbn wrote:

A lot of people (including me) like refurbished lens better than new because it's individually calibrated and tested.


+1

 

Just ordered a 17-40 yesterday to "replace" my 10-22 since moving to full frame.

I've never been a fan of refurbished items cause I don't like the fact that somebody else has used/worn out something of mine. Aren't all new lenses individually calibrated and tested too?

I might have to change my view on refurbished items, especially if its been done by Canon... 🙂


@heathrli wrote:
I've never been a fan of refurbished items cause I don't like the fact that somebody else has used/worn out something of mine. Aren't all new lenses individually calibrated and tested too?

I might have to change my view on refurbished items, especially if its been done by Canon... 🙂

No, not likely.  I don't have personal exposure to the inside of Canon's manufacturing floor, but I know of manufacturing processes in general.  Usually for something like this all lenses would be visually inspected to make sure it looks right but only a sample of each batch with be tested.  It's a process called Lot Release, and it's extremely common in manufacturing.

 

Canon does state that the individually test each and every refurbished lens. That said, I trust in the quality of Canon lenses enough that I would not hesitate to buy used lenses so long as they're in good shape and the seller seems trustworthy.  Canon refurbished lenses come straight from Canon, in mint condition, are 100% inspected, and have a 1 year warranty.  If something is wrong with a mechanical device like a lens it'll show up before a years time.

Get or make a panorama tripod head, mount your camera vertically and take 2 or more shots overlapping by 30% or so.

Stitch together using Microsoft ICE. Use existing lenses.

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