Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Kabalyero
Kabalyero Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
3

I have used the Canon 10-22 on a 60D for 4.5 years before selling it when I upgraded to full frame. With my 6D, I have used the 16-35 f/4 for 3 years as of now. Alongside the full frame system, I added a 70D as a second body and with it a 10-18, both of which have been used for about 1.5 years now. Some thoughts from my real world experience shooting landscapes and timelapse sequences:

  • The 16-35mm f/4 L is the best of the three lenses, no questions asked. The build and IS are great. Image sharpness from corner to corner is top notch even wide open, and the lens has great CA and comma control, plus the sunstars are amazing.
  • The 10-22mm had good build quality though of course its not weather sealed. While the center was sharp enough especially at optimal apertures, the corners was always a weakness even as I approach very small apertures. This is a fairly common problem with the older UWA lineup of Canon. Sunstars were horrible. CA and coma control were good.
  • The cheapo 10-18 which I bought for 160 USD used is, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck lens I have ever owned in the past 8 years I have been shooting with a DSLR, and I have owned a total of 15 lenses (though I only have 6 now). While I agree that the lens has a pathetic build quality, which is probably the reason why it is super cheap, its image quality is actually quite good. If I compare the images I got out of the 10-22 versus the 10-18, one immediate observation is that the corner sharpness has improved substantially whereas center sharpness is roughly the same. CA/comma control are roughly the same and the sunstars, while still not great, also are better. So does the 10-18 come close to the optical performance of the 16-35 f/4? Definitely not. Is it better than the 10-22? Definitely yes, unless the photographer is doing something wrong or has L quality expectations. I'll pickup this lens over the 10-22 any time of the day, given its better corner sharpness and sunstars, IS, smaller/lighter build (perfect for landscape excursions) and cheaper price tag. The only exception would be if one needs something more rugged or with a faster aperture, but then the 10-22 is not weather sealed and is not really fast enough.

Overall though, any of the above three lenses can produce amazing results in the correct hands. Truth be told, the most obvious differentiation in the image quality department is the quality of sunstars when shooting night scenes or the sun (the 16-35 f/4 and the 16-35 f/2.8 iii are the kings in this department). Corner sharpness comes second, but this is a less visible thing and is not always noticeable unless you print extra large. Sample images for reference:

 Kabalyero's gear list:Kabalyero's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +3 more
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