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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Apr 2009 (Sunday) 01:30
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isn't the 20mm 2.8 an ugly duckling too?

 
birdfromboat
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Apr 05, 2009 01:30 |  #1

a recent post asked wich of the non L wide primes was the standout lens, but the 20 was left off the short list. the 35 won out by popular opinion, but what about the 20?
I want a lens I can set up on a full frame atop a tripod and get depth of field that will make my printer lock up. 2.0, 2.8, I don't care. Whats going to give me a panorama where all the boats on the lake have readable insignia, where both ends of the bridge have rivets, where the engine and the caboose- OK, I am OLD and now you know- are all in focus cause I waited for the light and set up for f8?
I am serious, can anyone tell me what they use to get max width and depth on a full frame without spending an arm and a leg?


5D, 10D, G10, the required 100 macro, 24-70, 70-200 f/2.8, 300 f2.8)
Looking through a glass un-yun

  
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tkoutdoor
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Apr 05, 2009 02:19 |  #2

birdfromboat wrote in post #7669617 (external link)
a recent post asked wich of the non L wide primes was the standout lens, but the 20 was left off the short list. the 35 won out by popular opinion, but what about the 20?
I want a lens I can set up on a full frame atop a tripod and get depth of field that will make my printer lock up. 2.0, 2.8, I don't care. Whats going to give me a panorama where all the boats on the lake have readable insignia, where both ends of the bridge have rivets, where the engine and the caboose- OK, I am OLD and now you know- are all in focus cause I waited for the light and set up for f8?
I am serious, can anyone tell me what they use to get max width and depth on a full frame without spending an arm and a leg?

For some things you may find a Tilt/shift would have some depth of field advantages. Canon has 3 ranging from 24mm - 90mm. They aren't cheap, but they are one of the known ways to get what you're after.

F8 is not likely to make all the rivets on a bridge be in focus. F16 to f22 has a better chance at that. Beyond f/11 isn't going to be the sharpest part of the lens, but it's a wide enough aperture that it has a better chance at having things in focus from front to back. You have another factor with corner softness etc. that has to be fought more on the non-L lenses as well. You may set the right aperture, but through no fault of the aperture and due to the softness of the lens in general you may still find the rivets out of focus. If having all the rivets in a bridge in focus is that important to you then it's possible that you may have to raise the lens quality a bit. You could rent something before you buy it to see if it indeed offers what you're after. I'm not saying it's impossible to do with less than an L lens or a tilt/shift, but you've set the standard high enough that I think you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't evaluate what they will offer you.

One has to consider other factors like chromatic aberration as well. It's easy to lose considerable detail at the high contrast edges of dark/light. L lenses are designed to combat this at a high level. Non-L's struggle with this aspect significantly. Choosing a smaller aperture helps to fight against it, but an L lens has much more to offer in this area. Using graduated neutral density filters and/or flash to balance the dark and light areas can help overcome CA as well. It doesn't all have to be up to the lens. Many times CA is spot specific around lighting etc. though so the lens plays a huge role.


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wimg
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Apr 05, 2009 06:34 |  #3

tkoutdoor wrote in post #7669730 (external link)
For some things you may find a Tilt/shift would have some depth of field advantages. Canon has 3 ranging from 24mm - 90mm. They aren't cheap, but they are one of the known ways to get what you're after.

F8 is not likely to make all the rivets on a bridge be in focus. F16 to f22 has a better chance at that. Beyond f/11 isn't going to be the sharpest part of the lens, but it's a wide enough aperture that it has a better chance at having things in focus from front to back. You have another factor with corner softness etc. that has to be fought more on the non-L lenses as well. You may set the right aperture, but through no fault of the aperture and due to the softness of the lens in general you may still find the rivets out of focus. If having all the rivets in a bridge in focus is that important to you then it's possible that you may have to raise the lens quality a bit. You could rent something before you buy it to see if it indeed offers what you're after. I'm not saying it's impossible to do with less than an L lens or a tilt/shift, but you've set the standard high enough that I think you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't evaluate what they will offer you.

One has to consider other factors like chromatic aberration as well. It's easy to lose considerable detail at the high contrast edges of dark/light. L lenses are designed to combat this at a high level. Non-L's struggle with this aspect significantly. Choosing a smaller aperture helps to fight against it, but an L lens has much more to offer in this area. Using graduated neutral density filters and/or flash to balance the dark and light areas can help overcome CA as well. It doesn't all have to be up to the lens. Many times CA is spot specific around lighting etc. though so the lens plays a huge role.

Some excellent advice here.

I'd like to add a few comments. Don't expect to see everything sharp or in the greatest detail with a WA or UWA from foreground to background. The resolution just isn't there. Any small object that isn't really covered by a group of pixels, just doesn't show detail, and with a WA or UWA the number of pixels available for background detail diminishes rather exponentially towards the background. This isn't just limited to digital, BTW, with film this is even worse.

I also thought of a TS-E immediately, but another option might be a 17-40L, maybe a good, used one. Stop it down to F/8, F/11, or maybe even F/16 on a FF body, and you should be able to get quite far in what you want.

The 20 F/2.8 is not a bad lens at all, but it is a fairly old design, and the corners only get comparable to the centre at F/8 and F/11. On FF the 17-40L is a better lens, IMO, and you can go wider too. And a used 17-40L is not all that more expensive than a new 20 F/2.8.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 2 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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msowsun
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Apr 05, 2009 08:54 |  #4

birdfromboat wrote in post #7669617 (external link)
a recent post asked which of the non L wide primes was the standout lens, but the 20 was left off the short list. the 35 won out by popular opinion, but what about the 20?

I would think that the EF 20 2.8 doesn't belong in the "Ugly Duckling" family because it has USM and is much more expensive.

Here is a link to a website that talks about the "Ugly Duckling" family:

http://www.prime-junta.net …ion_EF_Primes.h​tml?page=1 (external link)

I have owned ....

EF 24mm 2.8
EF 28mm 2.8
EF 35mm 2.0
EF 50mm 1.8 Mk I

But decided that I preferred the versatility of fast zooms instead.

Of those four, I liked the 24 2.8 and 35 2.0 the best.


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 80D / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 15-85mm USM / EF-S 18-135mm USM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / 5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
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Apr 05, 2009 08:59 |  #5

If you only want f/8-f/11 function for that kind of stuff, and you don't want to pay too much, why not buy a used 17-40L? Seems like it would cover every focal length you're interested in for a fraction of the cost and space as buying every separate prime in the range.


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birdfromboat
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Apr 05, 2009 09:23 |  #6

thanks everyone, I am working on a deal for a 17-40 right now. If I ever 'step up' to a top end lens on the wide end, it will probably have to be the t/s. I was able to borrow one whenever I needed for awhile there, but then I met another and, well, we all know how that goes. I sure miss that lens.....
I had never seen the 'ugly duckling lenses' description before, and without any personal experience, I was puting the 20 in the same relatively low priced fairly wide apertured arena. I guess 20 was considered mega wide with film cameras, and almost a normal lens on a 1.6 crop, kind of fell in a crack there. I was hoping someone would tell me I had found the secret landscape on a budget lens.


5D, 10D, G10, the required 100 macro, 24-70, 70-200 f/2.8, 300 f2.8)
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Apr 05, 2009 09:26 |  #7

Landscape on a budget would be the pinhole-in-a-box camera.


Las Vegas Wedding Photographer: http://www.joeyallenph​oto.com (external link)

  
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laydros
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Apr 05, 2009 15:51 |  #8

birdfromboat wrote in post #7669617 (external link)
depth of field that will make my printer lock up.

bw!


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Canon 5D, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 USM, 35 f/2, 50 f/1.8 II, 85mm f/1.8 USM, 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 430EX
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isn't the 20mm 2.8 an ugly duckling too?
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