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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

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
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