Going Wide on your 7D

So you've got your 7D on your hands and it shoots incredible pictures and even better looking video So what else do you need?
Ah yes, lenses. If you've been shopping for lenses then you've probably noticed that because your new 7D has a APS-C sensor, which is smaller than full size (24mmx36mm) there is a crop of 1.6x (sometimes called focal length multiplier), So for example if you have a 50mm lens, on your 7D, after the crop factor it becomes 80mm.
On the long end it's great because your $1600 70-200mm lens now becomes a $4300 112-320mm f2.8 lens, without adding cost, weight, and size. But where it hurts is in the wide end, my awesome 16-35mm f2.8 is not as wide as on my 5Dmk2.
Canon doesn't make many wide angle lenses and the ones it makes do cost a lot of money. So if you're looking for a wide angle lens for your 7D there are several available options, so first lets look at canon's full frame lenses:

EF 14mm f2.8 L USM x1.6=22.4mm sells for $2200
EF 15mm f2.8 Fisheye x1.6=24mm sells for $700
EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM x1.6=25.6-56mm sells for $1600

These lenses are great, top quality and versatile as you can use them in full frame and on crop systems, problem is they are not cheap nor very wide, best value there is the 15mm fisheye, but not everyone likes the fish eye look. You can also look at canon's EF-S line they are somewhat more affordable, but keep in mind that these only work on the smaller APS-C sensor bodies, so if you were to later upgrade to a full frame model like the 5Dmk2 you would not be able to use these lenses without seen massive vignette on your image, and it seems you might not even be able to actually mount EF-s on full frame bodies.

EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 x1.6= 16-35.2mm sells for $760
EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS x1.6= 24-136mm sells for $800
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS x 1.6= 27.2-88mm sells for $1060
EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS x 1.6= 27.2-136mm sells for $450
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS x 1.6= 28.8-88mm sells for $180
EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS x 1.6= 28.8-320mm sells for $600

Sigma makes one lens that would work:
Sigma 18-125mm f3.8-5.6 x 1.6= 28.8-200mm sells for $340

Tamron Also makes a good Wide lens:
Tamron-17-50mm f2.8 x 1.6= 27.2-80mm sells for $450

Tokina lens:
Tokina AF 11-16mm f2.8 x 1.6= 17.6-25.6mm sells for $600

And Finally a Wide amongst Wides, The very affordable and very wide Opteka lens:
Opteka 6.5mm f/3.5 x 1.6= 10.4mm sells for $290

Now this lens is awesome Not only is it super Wide, but at only $300 bucks you cant beat it. I will be writing a review on it very soon as I just received my copy, here it is sitting on my desk:

Quick Shot of my Shop at JAG35 HQ

And the Garage, Soon all those racks will be filled with tripods, lenses, DSLR bodies.

So if dramatic effect is what your after and just how wide is the deciding factor, here is how they rank:
Opteka 6.5mm f/3.5 x 1.6= 10.4mm sells for $290
EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 x1.6= 16-35.2mm sells for $760
Tokina AF 11-16mm f2.8 x 1.6= 17.6-25.6mm sells for $600


Garrett said...

The Tokina 11-16 2.8 is an amazing lens for APS-C sensors, especially if you shoot in low light (wedding receptions, outdoor film scenes, etc...). It's rectilinear (not fisheye), so people still look semi-normal. It has a dramatic look, but it's not too dramatic to be useful in a lot of situations. And it's well built!

That said, this 6.5 looks like an awesome lens. I'm very interested to see your review; the price is low enough that I worry a little bit about how useful it may or may not be for still photography, but as a video ultrawide I think this has a lot of potential!

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