Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Octopuss
Octopuss Regular Member • Posts: 272
Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
1

I need something wider for my 80D.
I bought used 10-18mm STM, and while it's unbeatable for what it cost, the image quality is just meh to me. It's soft as hell even stepped down.

I know there are more premium lenses than this, but to my surprise, when I compared them with this tool https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx, they all seemed even softer than the Canon, including the relatively new, heavy and expensive Tamron 10-24mm.

So, I am pretty confused and clueless. What should I get?

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,123
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Canon also has a 10-22mm. I've no idea if it's a better lens than the 10-18mm though.FWIW I tried two 10-18 MM and they were dreadful lenses,put me off ultra wides altogether,had pretty much the same experiences as you.

Octopuss
OP Octopuss Regular Member • Posts: 272
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

The 10-22 doesn't seem to be any better, maybe even slightly worse.

Don't get me wrong, the 10-18 is awesome for its price, but I don't buy really cheap lens (even though I should, consider my beginner skills...), because the image quality simply isn't there.

Right now I'm looking at the Tokina 11-20mm. Gotta find some user opinions. It seems to have insane sample variation.

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,123
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Octopuss wrote:

The 10-22 doesn't seem to be any better, maybe even slightly worse.

Don't get me wrong, the 10-18 is awesome for its price, but I don't buy really cheap lens (even though I should, consider my beginner skills...), because the image quality simply isn't there.

Right now I'm looking at the Tokina 11-20mm. Gotta find some user opinions. It seems to have insane sample variation.

I just remembered that  quite a few years ago I tried a friends 10-22 for a few shots on one of our days out. Never noticed anything  particularly bad about it  at the time but I guess the few shots that I took wasn't really enough to truly assess the strengths and weaknesses of the lens.

jvc1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,529
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
4

Have you checked to see if AFMA will help the 10- 18? How do images shot in live view compare to ones through the view finder. If AFMA isn't needed, I think you're expectations are too high. Go back to the Digital Picture and compare the 10 -18 to Canon's 16-35 f/2.8 III (yes, I'm aware that the FOV is not the same). Some difference but not a ton.

IMO, this seemingly desperate need for razor sharpness in every image so many people on this site crave and lose sleep over is crazy. Razor sharpness certainly has it's place, i.e. wildlife, macro and documentation, but does everyone really need perfect eyelash detail all the time? Relax and enjoy learning to make good images.

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Ed Rizk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,642
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
3

The 10-18 wasn't out when I got my 60D, but everything I have read says the 10-22 is much better in every way except for stabilization. It was, by far, my favorite lens for business and pleasure. I don't think you can do better without going to. full frame. The Tokina is faster, but all my UWA shots were at F8 anyway. Sigma makes an 8-16, and wider is better, but it has this bizarre mustache distortion that is more noticeable and more difficult to correct than the other lenses.

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Ed Rizk

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DWare
DWare Contributing Member • Posts: 738
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
2

Tokina's 11-20 is sharp and noticeably sharper then Canon's 10-18.  I have both lenses and been very pleased with the Tokina on a 7dm2 but recently been getting an error message where I have to disconnect the lens and reconnect AND of course the 2yr warranty has recently expired.  Not sure about recommending the lens but it is a sharp landscape lens with good color and contrast as well as an excellent MilkyWay lens but the constant connect problem is painfully disheartening.

JoWinter Regular Member • Posts: 107
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

I own the EF-S 10-18 and use it on the M6. I'm actually rather pleased with it. Your posting promted me to re-read the reviews by Bryan Carnathan (of the Digital Picture) and Ken Rockwell and I also watched the video review by Chris Frost again. (All are easy to find online.) Of course I de know what you mean exactly when you write " the image quality is just meh to me" but none of these three reviews sounds so negative. Of course, they all account for the fact that it's a rather cheap APS-C zoom lens. Perhaps importantly, the review by Bryan Carnathan does not come up with a better alternative in this same class.

My take is it: If this lens is not good enough for you, then perhaps you should consider moving to full frame and expect to spend four times as much on an UWA zoom lens (say, the Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L) or maybe more. At a minimum, you should expect to spend almost three times as much on the Tokina 11-20 f/2.8, risking the compatibility problems mentioned in the post above. And not everyone thinks that this lens is better than the EF-S 10-18, see Ken Rockwell again.

Also, I cannot resist quoting from Ken Rockwell's review of the EF-S 10-18:

"It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat. This Canon 10-18 is extremely sharp throughout all of the image at every setting. It's super-sharp wide open, while diffraction will dull the image at the smallest apertures."

P.S. Yes, I know that Ken Rockwell is controversial but when it comes to purchase decision, I value his reviews together with those others mentioned above a lot.

Rahto Contributing Member • Posts: 940
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

I’m not sure exactly what you are looking for in an ultra-wide but my vote for a Canon crop UW is the 10-22mm. I was at the State Fair last week and found a few occasions to use an ultra-wide. There is nothing special about these images other that subject and lighting conditions. I just converted the raw files in Photoshop without any cropping for your pixel peeping pleasure.

Bob

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Fergus Ferguson Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

I quite like my 10-18mm. It isn't super sharp, but I don't use it terribly often, but it is fun when I do. What I do like though is a Pano. My ifone does them really well.

Canon EF-s 10-18mm

iPhone 7+

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1Dx4me Senior Member • Posts: 7,473
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

buy a canon UW 16-35 f4.8 IS "L" and see all your aches and pain go away, and replaced with astonishment...no fuss, no mess you'll never have this "soft" discussion again!

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Kabalyero
Kabalyero Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
4

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:

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1Dx4me Senior Member • Posts: 7,473
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
2

beautiful images but the image with 16-35 is sure an eye dazzler

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,820
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

I know you are looking for a lens for APS-c and I was recently looking to replace a lost 10-18 IS with something better but couldn’t really find a significantly better option.  It seems like if you really want something better go for a FF camera and 16-35mm f/4L IS.

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Kabalyero
Kabalyero Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C
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2ndact scene1 Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

I have not been satisfied with the very poor corners on the 10-18mm for a long time.  Sometimes it is not a big problem but I see it in many of my wide angle images.

I do some architectural/documentary photography as part of a volunteer team for a preservation organization. The poor performance of my copy of the 10-18mm  was painfully obvious when compared to images taken by other team members.  So this summer, I bought a canon 24-70mm f4 for my 6D.  I believe 24mm will be sufficient for the preservation shoots and it performed admirably at a couple of events I shot this month.  It is not ultra wide but it covers what I need.

So for now my main needs are handled.  However, I still would like a travel camera with a wide angle zoom.  But there just are not many wide angle prime and zoom options for Canon crop sensor DSLR bodies.

I am holding off on any new camera purchases right now, but a good option might be the canon EOS M line of gear, which includes the efm 11-22mm lens. This lens has a very good reputation and is reasonably priced.  It also has the added advantage of going to a 35mm equivalent maximum focal length,  which for me adds to its appeal.  I will look at other mirrorless options too but the 11-22mm lens is a strong draw for the canon M series.

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threw the lens
threw the lens Senior Member • Posts: 1,473
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Ed Rizk wrote:

The 10-18 wasn't out when I got my 60D, but everything I have read says the 10-22 is much better in every way except for stabilization. It was, by far, my favorite lens for business and pleasure. I don't think you can do better without going to. full frame. The Tokina is faster, but all my UWA shots were at F8 anyway. Sigma makes an 8-16, and wider is better, but it has this bizarre mustache distortion that is more noticeable and more difficult to correct than the other lenses.

I don't see 'moustache' distortion on the 8-16 as the real problem, the real problem is the aperture is so damn slow without stabilisation. It is very difficult to get handheld shots indoors with f5.6 on crop sensors.

People need to realise there are a lot of sloppily put together, mass produced ultrawide zooms for crop sensors, which means a lot of copy variation. Review sites complained about the consistency of this genre of lenses.

Many people don't realise the autofocus can be out and it still makes a big difference to image quality to an ultrawide. You won't be able to see a slightly out of focus shot through the viewfinder, because the scene has been reduced so much in size. You will certainly see the effect of inaccurate focus on the computer when the shot fills the screen. Then many of the inexperienced end up here to slate the lens.

I wouldn't condemn any crop ultrawide without testing the focus and centering properties carefully.

1Dx4me Senior Member • Posts: 7,473
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

threw the lens wrote:

Ed Rizk wrote:

The 10-18 wasn't out when I got my 60D, but everything I have read says the 10-22 is much better in every way except for stabilization. It was, by far, my favorite lens for business and pleasure. I don't think you can do better without going to. full frame. The Tokina is faster, but all my UWA shots were at F8 anyway. Sigma makes an 8-16, and wider is better, but it has this bizarre mustache distortion that is more noticeable and more difficult to correct than the other lenses.

I don't see 'moustache' distortion on the 8-16 as the real problem, the real problem is the aperture is so damn slow without stabilisation. It is very difficult to get handheld shots indoors with f5.6 on crop sensors.

People need to realise there are a lot of sloppily put together, mass produced ultrawide zooms for crop sensors, which means a lot of copy variation. Review sites complained about the consistency of this genre of lenses.

i disagree, if you have the cash for it, there is canon 16-35 f2.8 III that would take care of fast UW issue for you!

Many people don't realise the autofocus can be out and it still makes a big difference to image quality to an ultrawide. You won't be able to see a slightly out of focus shot through the viewfinder, because the scene has been reduced so much in size. You will certainly see the effect of inaccurate focus on the computer when the shot fills the screen. Then many of the inexperienced end up here to slate the lens.

I wouldn't condemn any crop ultrawide without testing the focus and centering properties carefully.

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Octopuss
OP Octopuss Regular Member • Posts: 272
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

Haha, I actually do own the 16-35mm f/4 It's my main lens - seems about perfect for most general/random shots. It's very sharp and I love it.

I just want something a bit sharper than the 10-18. The Tokina seems to be just that, and can be had for less than twice what the Canon cost, 2nd hand. I'd take that.
I like to shoot landscapes, and I prefer to have somewhat sharper corners. This is where the 10-18 really sucks. The photos I took with it just seemed overally blurry more than I'd be ok with. It's not terrible, but noticeable enough to me.

Going full frame would be a solution if the damn cameras weren't so expensive Maybe in future. It's not like my lenses are going anywhere.

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,820
Re: Ultra-wide lens for APS-C

The EOS RP isn’t that expensive and when I tried my 16-35 f/4L on it I was very pleased with the performance.  Might be worth considering.

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