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Best wide angle lens for city shots?

ilovehatephoto
Apprentice
I shoot mostly city architectural shots and primarily at night. For the past year I have pretty much used oy my 18-135mm lens but I'm looking to add something else to my camera bag. I would love to know others opinions who have shot with various wide angles and gain some insight.
9 REPLIES 9

Skirball
Authority

The best wide angle lens for architectural would be the 17 mm TS-E for your crop camera or the even better 24mm TS-E II, but that's only really wide angle on a full frame.  But that's simply "the best", not necessarily the best for you and your needs.  Tilt shift lenses are a different breed, I wouldn't recommend them if you currently only have 1 lens.

 

 

I guess you have to ask yourself what you're looking for.  I don't know what you mean by architectural shots, it has a fairly specific meaning in photography.   I'm going to assume you're not doing traditional "architectural photography", but more of night photos of buildings.  Truthfully you're not going to see a huge difference in most lenses over what you're using.  Lens speed doesn't matter, because you're using a tripod.  Nicer lenses can produce sharper results, especially the ones above, but if you're not printing these out you won't see much there either.

 

I suspect what you want is to go wider.  It's a common direction to take.  When I started doing architectural/real estate work I'd slap on my 10-22, open it as wide as it would go, and fire away.  As I got better I started using longer focal lengths, realizing that it's not about "getting it all in".  But I digress, it's your art, and I've had a ton of fun with my ultrawide lenses...  I just minimize they're use for traditional architectural work.

 

If you're looking for ultrawide I would get the new 10-18 STM; it's half the price of the excellent 10-22, but the images I've seen look impressive.  It even added image stabilization, which, combined with the large apertures and slow shutter speeds you can use with UWA, could allow for a lot of hand held shots, even at night.

Thank you for the detailed information and your personal opinion. Obviously I can g out and buy the best lens (if money wasn't a concern) and hope the lens would satisfy this void. I wanted to get other people's opinions since I lack experience wih other lenses. I have tried a few of my friends L series lens and can only compare results to my kit lens.

However, I wanted to seek other people opinions as well. Still not quite sure if this is the lens that would best serve me.

I have attached a link to my Instagram page so you can see what type of images i take. I recently started writing for a blog as well so would like to take my photography to the next level. The tilt shift lens looks amazing but like you said not something I would purchase as my second lens. Wouldn't mind trying it out for a weekend though.

http://instagram.com/capricebianca
www.iLOVEhatephoto.com


Thank you for your opinion 🙂

You have a good eye.  And based on the photos, you're not just trying to go wide and take it all in.  In fact your style seems to be quite the opposite.  So I ask again, what more are you looking for in a lens?

Thank you very much!  I appreciate you taking the time to look at my feed.  Then maybe what I am most seeking is a camera that allows me achieve sharper images.  Does that make more sense?


@ilovehatephoto wrote:

Thank you very much!  I appreciate you taking the time to look at my feed.  Then maybe what I am most seeking is a camera that allows me achieve sharper images.  Does that make more sense?


It depends.  Mostly I'd say that the lens has to do more with sharp images than the camera, but camera has an impact too.  But that answers my question of what you're looking for: sharper images.  As opposed to a different focal length, faster lens, or something like a tilt shift.

 

I'm assuming you're using a tripod for those images.   Providing that you have a good tripod and head then a camera isn't going to do much for sharpness if you're at reasonable ISO and not enlarging.  What camera do you have?

 

There are certainly sharper lenses than what you're using.  But how much impact that has on your work is hard to say.  MFD charts don't necessarily correlate to real life results. The 17-55 is widely regarded as far as EF-S lenses are concerned.  The EF 24-105 is a great lens at a great price, but it wouldn't be very wide on your crop sensor.  Something like a 24-70 is super sharp, but again, is fairly long on a crop sensor, and gives you less range than the 24-105.  I'd check what focal lengths you usually shoot at.  I'd say that you're managing quite well with a single lens, so you probably want something with range.  Primes are super sharp, and I love them myself, but I'm guessing that would probably cripple your flow (though sometimes it gets you to think outside the box).

 

You can also look at technique.  As I mentioned before, a good tripod is invaluable for sharp night images.  Do you use mirror lockup? What kind of shutter speeds are we talking, 1/2 second?  5 seconds?  30?  What kind of post processing are you doing?  Are you cropping a lot?  Sharpening in post?  Are you correcting verticals (it doesn't look like it, hence the tilt shift isn't going to do much for you)? 

 

 

I can't help re the lens but very nice images at the link provided.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


@cicopo wrote:

I can't help re the lens but very nice images at the link provided.


Which incrases the importance of getting the selection right. Better equipment helps a good photographer more than it helps a mediocre one.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

In my bag there are lenses from 8mm to 600mm and they are all "landscape" lenses.  You need the lens you need to produce the shot you are looking for.  Everybody seems to automatically recommend a WA or UWA for landscapes.  Of course they work but so do all other lenses.

 

Did you mention what camera you have?  If it is a FF, the 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 is the dream combo.  There is really not much you can not do with these two lenses.  If you have a crop body this combo will be a little long but you can still use that to your advantage.  In this case, the addition of the 17-40mm f4 or the 10-22mm S lens would be nice to have.

 

If funds are not this robust another great lens for the  money is the 24-105mm f4.  Again a little long on a crop body so the 10-22mm S would go along nicely.  Remember if you do have a crop body and have a desire to move to FF in the future, none of the "S" lense will go with you.

 

That is my take on what lens but what camera?  Of course there isn't any better than the 5D Mk III and if money allows that is my choie for you.  The new 7D Mk II looks very interesting.  Now I will get all kinds of, "You can't shoot landscapes with a 7D" comments.  Which is totally bogus.  Certainly you can and do it well.

 

If money is really no object, dare I say a 1Dx ?  Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

BTW, I was going to suggest you get Photoshop but after looking at several of your images, I see you may already have it.

The camera makes only a percentage of the photo.  The rest is Photoshop.

 

 Do you sell your work or is this a hobby for you?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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