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photo:lensessuperwide

super wide angle lenses

introduction:

  • these lenses generally fall into 8 main groups, each with their own purposes:

circular fisheye

  • produce a circular image for creative effects but of limited use in reality.
  • examples:
    • Sigma 4.5mm EX DC for 1.5x cropped sensors (eg. Nikon DX)

rectilinear fisheye:

ultrawide zooms

  • cannot use filters as these lenses generally have a protruding convex front lens which also causes flare if light sources hit its surface
  • usually cover 35mm range of 14-18mm or more giving 114-75 degrees
  • great for creative effects, interiors and street photography
  • examples:

wide angle zooms

hybrid ultrawide zooms:

wide angle prime lenses (ie. fixed focal length)

  • generally, non-zoom lenses will give the following advantages over wide zoom lenses:
    • more compact & lighter
    • less aberrations
      • better for architecture where straight lines are important, although for this purpose, perspective control lenses may be needed.
    • less lens flare - this is often critical when photographing landscapes & nightscapes where you often need to shoot into the sun or near bright light sources
  • unfortunately there are very few examples explicitly designed for digital, but I would love a high quality one giving 21mm focal length.
  • examples:

wide aperture 24mm effective focal length or wider for low light work

  • Olympus M.ZD 12mm f/2.0 ($A999 or ~$US710) for Micro Four Thirds system - gains image stabilisation when used on Olympus cameras
  • Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II (~$2200) for full frame Canon dSLR - one of the best options for low light but the kit is big, heavy and expensive and no image stabilisation
  • Nikon 24mm f/1.4(~$2200) for Nikon FX dSLRs - one of the best options for low light but the kit is big, heavy and expensive and no image stabilisation
  • there are no comparable capabilities on DX or APS-C sized dSLRs other than expensive 14mm f/2.8 lenses.
  • Olympus Four Thirds dSLRs have the 14-35mm f/2.0 option but this only gives 28mm fov.
  • Sony NEX and Samsung NX mirrorless camera systems have 16mm f/2.8 lenses only, and no image stabilisation

wide standard zooms

tilt-shift lenses

    • allows one to shift the lens up/down or sideways relative to the camera to minimise distortion when shooting tall buildings, etc.

options for a travel outfit:

    • body 540g $A1300
    • lens $A2700; 780g; splashproof, dustproof, no filters;
    • live preview with sensor dust protection and 3-4EV CCD-shift image stabilisation
    • incredibly wide focal length range for most travel when matched with the ZD 12-60mm.
    • 35mm effective focal range: 14-28mm
    • total weight 1320g
    • total price $A4000
    • in my opinion, THE BEST for some really creative shots and great for church interiors with the IS
    • combines well with the new ZD 12-60mm (ie. 24-120mm) f/2.8-4.0 SWD lens for Cokin-filtered landscapes, etc
    • THE BEST option for hand held super wide angle shots in dim light (eg. church interiors) - see travel
    • THE BEST option for street photography although I would have preferred a flip out LCD like the E330.
  • Olympus E510/520/620 with Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5:
    • body 540g $A1300
    • lens 485g splashproof, dustproof, 72mm filter $A1400 - great for use with Cokin filters
    • live preview with sensor dust protection and 3-4EV CCD-shift image stabilisation
    • very usable focal length range for most travel, landscape uses.
    • 35mm effective focal range: 22-44mm
    • total weight 1025g
    • total price $A2700
    • combines well with a 14-54mm general purpose zoom
    • THE 2nd BEST option for hand held super wide angle shots in dim light (eg. church interiors) - see travel
  • Canon 450/550D with Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5:
    • body 
    • lens 385g not dust proof or splash proof and half a stop less aperture although wider; 77mm filter;
    • vignetting at wider angles with Cokin filters
    • sensor dust protection apparently ineffective and no image stabilisation but lower noise at high ISO
    • 35mm effective focal range: 16-35mm
    • total weight 
    • total price 
    • poorer option for hand held wide angle shots in dim lighting (eg. church interiors) as wide angle is f/3.5 and no IS.
  • Canon 550D or Nikon D90 with Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC lens:
    • just released in 2010 and will give 12-24mm coverage on APS-C but no filters
    • close focus 24cm
    • lens 545g
  • Canon 5D with OM adapter and Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm f/3.5 and Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm f/2 lenses:
    • body 895g $A5000
    • OM adapter ~$50
    • lenses:
      • Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm f/3.5 EBay $A350 180g 49mm filter
      • Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm f/2 EBay $A300 250g 49mm filter
    • no live preview, no sensor dust protection and no image stabilisation but lower noise at high ISO and full frame
    • should give the best quality images of the options compared (better than Canon wide angle zoom lenses)
    • beautiful compact lenses and filters and easily add more (eg. fisheye, 50mm, etc) but no AF
    • 35mm effective focal range: 21 and 28mm
    • total weight ~1400g
    • total price $A5700
    • not a bad compromise if only you could get the body at a cheaper price and it had the features of the Olympus.
    • you could also add the Olympus OM 18mm but on Ebay these are pretty expensive at near $A1000.
  • Canon 5D with Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM:
    • body 895g $A5000
    • lens $A1600 475g - weather resistant; 77mm filter but 1 stop less aperture.
    • no live preview, no sensor dust protection and no image stabilisation but lower noise at high ISO and full frame
    • optical quality not as good but versatile with wider range
    • vignetting at wider angles with Cokin filters
    • barrel distortion especially at edges
    • 35mm effective focal range: 17-40mm
    • total weight 1375g
    • total price $A6600
    • not a bad compromise if only you could get the body at a cheaper price and it had the features of the Olympus.
  • Canon 1D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM:
    • body 1335g $A6400
    • lens  635g; $A2959?; NB. 82mm filter;  weather resistant; 
    • live preview, sensor dust protection and lowest noise at high ISO and almost full frame with 10fps and fast AF
    • no image stabilisation with this lens
    • 35mm effective focal range: 21-46mm (widest possible with this camera is the very expensive 14mm lens giving 18mm)
    • total weight 1970g
    • total price $A9400
    • what a great camera but its expensive, big and heavy - you would have to be a fanatic to carry this around all day and extra paranoid that no-one steals it.
    • lens, although better than the EF 17-40mm is still no match for the Olympus ZD 7-14mm optically. 

Micro Four Thirds:

Olympus E-system digital SLRs:

  • 2x crop makes using film-based lenses not as worthwhile for super wide angle except perhaps for 8mm fisheyes:
    • 180deg field of view; 0.135m macro; no filters; 7 blades circular; weather proof;
  • Zuiko ZD 7-14mm f/4 digital:
  • Zuiko ZD 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED (Sept 2008):
    • consumer level ultra-wide 2x zoom covering 18-36mm effective range;
    • 280g; close focus to 25cm; 72mm filter; 7 bladed iris;
    • “In fact, the ZD ED 9-18mm f4-5.6 lens announced just recently would have been unthinkable before. It was only because it became possible to mass-produce an aspherical lens with enormous variable ratio that it was possible to make it a compact lens without sacrificing image quality.”
    • 22-44mm in 35mm equiv.; weatherproof;
    • 89 to 53deg field of view with 0.28m macro; 7 blades;
    • 72mm filter; RRP $A1350?
  • Zuiko ZD 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD digital (mid-2007):
    • 24-120mm in 35mm equiv.
    • SWD ultrasonic AF for quiet, faster AF similar to Canon's USM
    • weatherproof; great travel lens;
  • Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    • focus to 24cm;
    • 77mm filter; 6-blades; 495g;

Nikon full frame dSLRs:

Nikon DX digital SLRs:

Canon APS-C digital SLRs:

Canon 1D (1.3x crop) digital SLRs:

Canon full frame digital SLRs (5D/1Ds):

  • can use legacy 35mm film camera lenses with adapters, but perhaps best to avoid zoom lenses as lens flare can be a big problem as it is exacerbated by reflections from sensor onto rear element.
    • Note: Be aware that using a non Canon adapter may invalidate your warranty or may damage your camera. You use these adapters on your own risk.
  • you want the best wide angle lenses for these Canon's, then check here:
    • 14-16mm - Leica R 15mm f/2.8 but mirror may hit it & v.expensive; Zeiss 15mm; Sigma 12-24mm; Canon 14L; see here;
    • 18mm - Olympus Zuiko 18mm and Nikon 17-35 AF-S are among the best see here
    • 19-21mm hall of fame table - Olympus Zuiko 21mm is the BEST value for money lens if you don't mind manual focus.
    • 24-25mm hall of fame table - Olympus Zuiko and Leica 24mm f/2.8 are the best
    • 28mm hall of fame table - Olympus Zuiko f/2 and Leica f/2.8 are the best
    • shift lenses - Zeiss PC35 Distagon; Zuiko 24 and 35mm shift; Canon EF 17mm and 24mm TSE; Nikon tilt shift lenses;
    • NB. the Canon lenses, even the L series are no where as good as these. 
  • AF lenses designed for digital:
  • auto-focus lenses:
  • manual focus lenses:
    • see also perspective control lenses such as:
      • Canon 17mm f/4 TS-E
      • Canon 24mm f/3.5 TS-E II
    • other manual focus EF-mount lenses:
    • using MF lenses on EOS cameras:
    • via an Olympus OM to EOS adapter:
      • adapters:
      • Olympus Zuiko 8mm f/2.8 fisheye:
        • 180deg circular field of view; 0.2m macro; internal wheel filters; 6 blades; used $US1100;
      • Olympus Zuiko MC 16mm f/3.5 fisheye:
        • 180deg diagonal field of view; 0.2m macro; internal wheel filters; 6 blades; used $US500-700;
      • Olympus Zuiko MC 18mm f/3.5:
        • deg field of view; 0.25m macro; 72mm filters; 6 blades; used $US700-900;
        • requires 49-72mm step up ring to attach filters.
      • Olympus Zuiko MC 21mm f/2:
        • deg field of view; 0.2m macro; 55mm filters; 6 blades; floating element thus better macro performance; used $US500-700 but great quality ones may go for $US900-1100; 
        • the 4th best 21mm lens in the world, beating even the excellent Leica 21-35mm.
      • Olympus Zuiko 21mm f/3.5:
        • deg field of view; 0.2m macro; 49mm filters; 6 blades; no floating element; used $US300-400; $A600 Ebay
        • this is extremely popular for the 5D - sharpness at f/5.6 and smaller, minimal distortion and good contrast, compact
        • performance close behind the Zuiko 21mm f/2, making it the 3rd best 21mm lens in the world.
      • Olympus Zuiko MC 24mm f/2:
        • 84 deg field of view; 0.25m macro; 55mm filters; 8 blades; used $US300-600;
      • Olympus Zuiko MC 24mm f/2.8:
        • 84 deg field of view; 0.25m macro; 49mm filters; 6 blades; used $US140-250;
        • one of the sharpest 24mm lenses available for the Canon, but best when stopped down to f/5.6-8.
        • astoundingly good at f5.6-8 at distance, and produced the highest resolution captures of anything shot thus far at 24mm.
      • Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/2.0:
        • the best 28mm film lens not so good on cropped sensor digital cameras as soft wide open with purple fringing
          • OM 28mm f/2.0 beat Leica, Nikon, Canon, Carl Zeiss on all aspects - resolution, distortion, and CA.
    • via an M42 to EOS adapter:
      • Pentax Asahi:
        • 17mm f/4 - used $US125
        • 20mm f/4 
    • via Leica R to EOS adapter:
      • Leica R lenses:
        • BUT issues with the oversized mirror on the 5D hitting the rear element on some of these lenses!
        • Leica R 15mm f/2.8 - mirror may hit it.
        • Leica 19mm - 2nd best lens in 19-21mm range in the world.
        • Leica 24mm is not a stellar performer (and doesn't fit a Canon body)
    • via Contax to EOS adapter:
      • Carl Zeiss lenses for Contax/Yashica:
        • BUT issues with the oversized mirror on the 5D hitting the rear element on some of these lenses, esp. the 15mm.
        • Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T -  ~$US2000 on EBay 
        • Zeiss 18mm f/4 - see here; not as good as the 21mm; waveform pincusion distortion; 
        • Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 - the best 21mm in the world by a country mile, seems much sharper at f/2.8-4 than Zuiko f/2 lens but much the same at smaller apertures see here but is big and sells on Ebay for $US3000 for mint condition used models! Suffers from waveform distortion which can be difficult to correct.
        • Zeiss 25mm is an older lens which doesn't seem to reach its siblings' level of picture quality.
    • via Pentax K to EOS adapter:
    • via Nikon to EOS adapter:
      • a new adapter allows MF confirmation as with Canon EF lenses in MF mode (not Nikkor G lenses though)
      • Nikkor 15mm f/3.5 is popular
      • Nikon 17-35 AF-S 2.8 ED works well at 18-21mm being up there with the best at this range but problematic pincushion at higher than 25mm is a big issue which requires upsizing of the centre to correct, so not for architectural work.
    • Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye:
  • manual focus shift or “Perspective Control” lenses for 35mm cameras and Canon EOS (+/- via adapter):

Pentax digital SLR's:

  • Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8 ED IF (21mm equiv.)
  • Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED IF fisheye zoom (15-25.5mm equiv)
  • Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL IF (18-36mm equiv.)
  • see Pentax

Film cameras:

  • 35mm SLR cameras:
    • see as for Canon full frame
  • Bronica SQ:
    • Zenzanon PS 40mm:
      • 87 deg field of view equiv. to 23mm; cannot use Cokin filters as 95mm filters; used $US200-300;
    • Zenzanon S 50mm f/3.5:
      • 76 deg field of view equiv. to 28mm; 0.5m macro; 67mm filter thus can use Cokin filters; used $US150-200;
  • Mamiya 645:
    • Mamiya 45mm f/2.8 lens 4 low dispersion:
      • 74 deg field of view equiv. to 28mm; used $US560 Ebay
  • Hasselblad V series:
    • Hasselblad 40mm CF FLE - 93mm filter; used $US1825;
    • Hasselblad 50mm f/4 CFi - used $US1400; RRP $US3466;
  • Panoramic film cameras:
    • 135mm film based:
      • Hasselblad XPan I (1998) / II (2003):
        • can shoot regular 35mm frames or double width frames of 24x65mm
        • both the wide angle lenses cause some vignetting so one needs a centre filter to compensate and thus lose 1.5 stops due to the centre filter on the 30mm & for best results need to be stopped down 2 stops or use Photoshop.
        • 30mm f/5.6 lens equiv. to 15mm view in pan. mode giving 94deg horiz.; RRP $US2500; requires accessory viewfinder; 
        • 45mm f/4.0 lens equiv. to 23mm view in pan. mode;
    • Fuji G617:
      • 105mm f/8 large format lens equiv. to 24mm lens; 4 images of 6x17cm per 120 roll; 3m macro;
    • Noblex 6×12:
      • 146 degree field of view;
    • Fuji GX680III:
      • interchangeable lenses; perspective control;

NB. 67mm Schneider centre filters retail at about $A550.

photo/lensessuperwide.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/01 00:10 by gary1