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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #1
clupica
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Default Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

Sorry to need to ask outright but I've tried to find this info on the forum and I get frustrated and go away.

Currently I'm using a Canon 5D Mark II with an Tamron 28-75mm lens to do most of my landscape and panorama work. I'm finding that 28mm is just too narrow for full 360° panoramas. I have an upcoming project that might require me to do as many as 10, 360° panoramas.

I can't make up my mind between all the options out there, such as the Canon 16-35 f/2.8, the 17-40mm, the 20mm prime, the 24mm prime and a ton of other lens from Canon, Sigma, Tamron, ...

The work needs to stand up to professional scrutiny. I also favor a fast lens because it will give me the best flexibility.

I was all set to buy the 16-35mm the other day but a number of pro friends didn't think it has a good price / performance ration.

What say you?

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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #2
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

The absolute best is probably a tilt-shift. Otherwise, probably one of the new Zeiss ZE lenses that recently came out (21mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/3.5).

The 16-35 might not have a good price/performance ratio, but that's how all (ultra-)wide lenses are.
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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

I dig my 16-35 II a lot. However, I am clamoring to add the 24 TS II to the arsenal as soon as I can.

I thought about the 17 TS as well, but I think 24 is a better, more used FL for me personally.
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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #4
argyle
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

One with little distortion...
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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

and (very) good borders.
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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

How about the red-headed-step-child the Canon 20mm f2.8. I mounted one on my 5d2 and I couldn't get the display case to warp; aiming up, down, left, right. I was about half-a-foot away from it.

I had used a nikon 20mm on my fm2 in the early 90s; that had major warpage.

I've used Contax G2s with a 21 Biogon, so I'll blashpheme and say that this is almost comparable to Biogons. No fisheye-ing.

The vignetting can be compensated with the 5d2 built in lens corrector.

Last edited by ckramos : 6th of January 2010 (Wed) at 20:09. Reason: spelling
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Old 6th of January 2010 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

The absolute best lens for this would be the Canon TS-E 17/4L but it is very, very expensive, especially in Europe. Stepping down in price are the TS-E 24/3.5L II and then the superceded version I.

If you decide the tilt shift lenses are too expensive, another reasonable path might be to look at getting a manual focus only prime lens. Zeiss 21mm for example could be a good choice.

Canon does not have a lot of well regarded primes below 24mm (other than the TS-E lenses) and the zooms are all going to have some distortion that will probably require needless process work to correct before stitching.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #8
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

In my opinion 16-35II without a doubt for a full frame camera and when it comes to the less expensive lenses that fit on crop sensor cameras I would give my vote to the 11-16 Tokina
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #9
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

14L, Zeiss 21, 17/24 TSE.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #10
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

I agree - tilt-shift for 360 degree landscape work. Unless you have fantastic distortion correct and stitching software, a tilt-shift lens is going to make your post-processing life much easier.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #11
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

The best 360 shots I have seen were done with a lens longer than 28mm. Maybe work on your PP technique? Really wides have issues with borders and keeping lines straight to stitch together. And, yes, T/S using the shift is great.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

I've been researching the exact same situation.

Here are my findings;

16-35L II Great lens, not as wide as the 14L (obviously) but has a good price/performance ratio. You can mount filters on the front too.

17-40L Good lens, F4 vs. F2.8, has more distortion and dark corners than the 16-35II but is half the price too. 77mm, so it matches the rest of my L lenses for filters.

14L Great prime, minimal distortion, F2.8, just a really good lens. lacks focal flexibility. Very Expensive. Can't mount filters at front.

Now, of the three, if I had to make a decision today, it would be the 16-35LII. But rumor has it there could be a 14-24L coming out in February. I'm waiting to see if it's true before pulling the trigger.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

14-24L ?? I have not read/hear about this but if this is true, that is awesome, finally, that was the one thing I envied from the other side...
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #14
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

Yea, it was on Canon Rumors in early January. They predict the 70-200 2.8 II (came to fruition), 24-70 2.8 II and a 14-24 2.8.

I agree, would be a great lens, especially since this is one of those we wish we had from the other side.
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Old 14th of January 2010 (Thu)   #15
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Default Re: Best Full Frame lens for landscape and panoramas?

There was a time when I thought I might play with panoramas. As I researched the techniques I saw there were two general looks: a sort of superwide view that covered 360 degrees and distant things were very, very small in the image--which sounds like what you want to do--and general panoramic views of some scenery, which calls for a longer lens--the 45 and 90mm TSE lenses answer that very well.

In your case, wider is better, images are shot vertically and you have to keep out of the picture as you rotate around the tripod, so Canon or Sigma or Tamron 14mm lenses would be the first choice, followed by the Zeiss 18mm. If a zoom will work better for you, then I suggest the Sigma 12-24mm.

You might take a look here:

http://www.cameraquest.com/inventor.htm

At the Canon EOS 20/3.5 Color Skopar Aspherical Series II, which may also answer your needs as would the Canon 20mm. And to show how forgetful I am, there is the very fast Sigma 20mm I.8, which I use. I'll check to see what I hve in my files as an example.
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Last edited by advaitin : 14th of January 2010 (Thu) at 15:31. Reason: additional info
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