Wide angle prime lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by capoeirista, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. capoeirista macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2007
    Hi all, I have a question. This month I intend to buy myself a new lens for my 1000D. I have been using a 50mm 1.8 for about a year now I guess, but have been finding it has not been wide enough on several occasions. I would like to buy something wider, and wondered if anyone had any first hand experience using either:

    a) Canon EF 35mm f/2

    b) Canon EF 28mm f2.8

    I enjoyed using the 50mm as it meant I had something that I could use when the light wasn't too good, I'm not really photographing anything in particular, both people and scenery, indoors and out. This purchase will most likely become my main 'walkabout' lens and whilst I appreciate that both of these are low end, I don't have lots of cash at the moment and really I'd just want something that has the same sort of IQ as the 50mm. I've read reviews of both and they seem pretty similar in terms of build quality and picture sharpness, but it would be nice to have some first hand knowledge. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

    Apols for another "what lens should I get?" thread. I did mroogle first…
  2. CorporateFelon macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2007
    Boston, MA
    With the 35mm, you can expect the same build quality as the 50mm that you have. I can't say anything about the quality of the photos from it though. It is rated very well though.

    I really wouldn't consider either of those lenses wide angle on a crop body. The 35mm will be almost equivalent to a 50mm on a full frame, which is approximately mirrors what the human eye sees. Besides that, I have no reason not to recommend the 35mm. I was in a similar situation. I changed from a 50mm on a crop body to a full frame. It's probably my most used set up.
  3. Ambrose Chapel macrumors 65816

    Ambrose Chapel

    Jul 24, 2002
    i can't exactly answer your question, but i use the 35/1.4L on a 40D and absolutely love it. as CorporateFelon said, a 35mm on a crop body is essentially a normal lens. i use it a lot, but if i really need to go wide i don't use the 35.
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Unfortunately, neither of those lenses are really "wide" on an APS-C body. The 35mm becomes a 56mm effective and the 28 becomes a 44.8mm effective.

    This is one of the key limitations of the APS-C format; you can get wide (with lenses like the EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5), but it's nearly impossible to get wide AND fast.

    Your best bet is the EF 14 f/2.8L, but even that is 22.4 on APS-C (and you'll have to sell a body part to buy it...it's $2100 new). Other than that, you could go with the EF 20 f/2.8, which is much cheaper but produces pretty average results for a prime, or get one of the wide zooms (17-40 f/4L or 16-35 f/2.8L), both of which are pretty good wide open.

    Not to start this discussion again, but this, to me, is the single biggest issue with APS-C. Yes, you gain on the telephoto end, and having your 70-200 f/2.8 turn into a 112-320 f/2.8 is great. But on the wide angle end, your choices are extremely limited.
  5. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    From the sounds of the OP he's not looking for an ultra wide though, just wider than 50mm on a crop body. If the lens is being used as a walkabout including for people shots then he will not want wider than about 25mm due the distortion.

    The 35mm f2 would be good but better the Sigma 30mm f1.8. :)

  6. capoeirista thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2007
    Thanks guys! Let me just clarify though. I appreciate I'm dealing with the crop body, I'm just a bit fed up of running out of room when indoors and walking backwards to get everything in frame!

    When I meant wide, I should have said, 'wider than the 50mm, but as nice a lens'. It looks like the 35mm should do the job.

    As for the EF 14 f/2.8L thanks for the advice Edge100, but that would pay my rent and food for about the next 3 or 4 months!! :) One day I'll get I'll get there, but not yet...

    EDIT yes Gold89 that's bang on. I did look at the Sigma, but I read that there are sometimes duff ones? Is it noticeably better than the Canon 35mm? I think it would be at the very top of my price range...
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    In this case, then either the Canon 35/2 or the Sigma 30/1.8. The Sigma is the better lens, but quality control can be an issue with Sigma glass so make sure you have the ability to test the lens first, especially for front or back-focus issues.
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    there is no Sigma 30/1.8.

    the 35/2 and 28/2.8 have the same construction (along with the 24/2.8, 20/2.8, and original 50/1.8, with a metal mount). they are both small, decently built, with a bit of a scratchy focusing ring, noisy AF motor, and good image quality. they are not built like the 50/1.8 II.

    for a couple hundred more, there's the Canon 28/1.8 and Sigma 30/1.4. both have a silent, ultrasonic motor that is faster than the AF motors in 35/2 and 28/2.8. the 28/1.8 isn't significantly better than the 35/2, so I would only get that if you're picky about certain aspects of your lenses (I don't think you are) or if you think 35mm is still too long. the best choice by far is the Sigma 30/1.4.

    unfortunately, all of these lenses aren't truly "wide" on your camera. "wide" begins at about 22mm (30mm is "standard" or "normal"), and the only inexpensive primes around that focal length are the Canon 20/2.8 (which isn't much good) and the Sigma 20/1.8 (which is ok but nothing special). if you actually want a wide lens, you're better off buying a zoom.
  9. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
  10. biomorph macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    Salt Lake City
    Could he get a cheap manual focus lens and an adapter and use it? I found cheap manual canon FD lenses on ebay for like 60 bucks. You would have to meter stopped down but its worth a try and you get more wide for your buck.
    Just a thought.

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