Wide angle choices for South America and Antarctica

Started Sep 13, 2010 | Discussions thread
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adrian_ratter
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Wide angle choices for South America and Antarctica
Sep 13, 2010

Hi all,

At the end of this year, I am going on a once in a lifetime photographic trip to South America, mainly in Patagonia and Iguassu Falls, and Antarctica (including South Georgia), and am currently looking at upgrading my camera kit. As is probably fairly obvious, I am mainly interested in landscapes and wildlife, although I will be spending a bit of time in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

My kit at the moment is the 50D, EFS 10-22mm, 24-105mm, 100-400mm, 50mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.8L.

I have read quite a few posts previously on Antarctica and the general advice seems to be to take two cameras. In this case, I was thinking of maybe adding a 5D mkII to my collection, mainly for landscapes, with my 50D (or maybe 7D?) almost permanently paired with the 100-400mm for wildlife. This would leave me lacking an ultrawide full frame lens. There are quite a lot of choices, but I am having difficulty coming up with a combination that I am happy with. I do use ND grads a bit, so I tend to prefer lenses without a bulging front element.

The lenses in particular I have been considering are:

  • 17-40mm – cheap and reasonably light, but I have questions about its sharpness

  • 16-35mm – for landscapes, there doesn’t seem much advantage over the 17-40

  • 24TSE – no wider than I currently have, but brilliant fantastic quality

  • 17TSE – bulbous front element is a disadvantage

  • Zeiss 21mm – fantastic IQ, and there is some intangible look about Zeiss lenses that make images look appealing.

  • Zeiss 18mm – reportedly not as good as the 21mm, but still has the Zeiss rendering

  • Sigma 12 – 24mm – only ok image quality, infamous sigma quality control and bulbous front element, but very wide

  • The new Samyang 14mm – bulbous front element (but if you want this wide, that can’t be helped) and cheap

I have been thinking of a combination like 24TSE, 18mm Zeiss, and 14mm Samyang, or 21mm Zeiss and 14mm Samyang, but in many ways a zoom lens would be easier!

Any opinions?

 adrian_ratter's gear list:adrian_ratter's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21
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