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Which wide angle lens for 5d?

Stuart Ashall , Dec 19, 2006; 05:07 a.m.

This is my first post on this (or any) forum!

I apologise if I'm repeating an earlier query but I can't see anything quite on this point...

I have decided to go for a 5d. I have also decided to go for the "kit" lens 24- 105L which looks like a great all rounder.

I also would want a wider angle lens to take full advantage of the full frame sensor. Question is which one?

My budget will not stretch to 16-35L. I don't want a fisheye.

I'm really looking at these two:-

1. 17-40L Pros - good build, sharp, same filter circ. as 24-105 Cons - only getting 7mm wider for my ?500!

2. Sigma 12-24 EX Pros - much wider, good build Cons - rear filter, where do I put my UV/polariser, heard its soft at the edges

What should I go for or is there a lens I've missed?

Any help or advice very gratefully recieved.

Merry Christmas to you all,



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NK Guy , Dec 19, 2006; 05:31 a.m.

17 to 24 mm doesn't sound like a big deal, but it represents a big difference in coverage area. I'd go to a local camera shop and try the lenses out to see.

Martin Howard , Dec 19, 2006; 05:31 a.m.

17mm is pretty wide on a full frame camera - do you really want to go to 12mm? the distortion would be pretty overpowering for most subjects. I don't know much anout the sigma lens but I can say the 17-40mm is excellent.

Yakim Peled , Dec 19, 2006; 05:43 a.m.

You need to think about FoV, not millimeters. The FoV difference between a 17mm and a 24mm is huge. The FoV difference between a 50mm and a 57mm is marginal. The FoV difference between a 100mm and a 107mm is almost invisible.

The 17-40 will be wide enough on your 5D. 17mm in FF terms is ultra wide.

Happy shooting, Yakim.

Colin Carron , Dec 19, 2006; 06:39 a.m.

I would recommend the 17-40L. I have owned both the lenses you are considering. The Sigma 12-24 while a good, sharp lens is quite a bit bigger than the Canon and has a very vulnerable bulbous front element. It is very difficult to make filters work with it especially on full frame. In the end I used big square filters held in front of the lens - not ideal. The Canon 17-40L is also a good, sharp lens. It is smaller and much more manageable for filters such as the polariser or UV.

As far as the 12mm to 17mm range goes I think you would find the perspective at the ultrawide end is rather gimmicky and wild. The overlap of the focal lengths will not go to waste entirely as it will save you having to chnage lenses so often - a consideration with the rather dust-spot prone 5D. (Don't get me wrong the 5D is a superb camera)

Mark U , Dec 19, 2006; 06:59 a.m.

This review of the Sigma 12-24 includes some examples of its use on full frame:


At 17mm, you get just over 90 degrees horizontal field of view, and at 12mm you get 90 degrees of vertical field of view - use this calculator to get an impression of what that implies:


Michael Willems , Dec 19, 2006; 07:24 a.m.

Fwiw, I have the 17-40 4L (as well as the 50 prime, 70-200 4L and 24-70 2.8L) and that 17-40 is great.

Example here, at 40mm

Example at 17mm

Another at 17, showing how accurate it is

Hope that helps -Michael

John Craig , Dec 19, 2006; 08:12 a.m.

One more plug for the 17-40L, and also note that due to the overlap of some of the FL range using this lens with your 24-105, will lead to you needing far fewer lens swaps than if you were to go with the 12-24. You'll come to appreciate this...

Roger Pfister , Dec 19, 2006; 10:20 a.m.

I have all three lenses you meniton and the 5D and the 300D

I got the 5D with the 24-105 and the 17-40.

I have the Sigma 12-24 which I got when it came out to go on my 300D.

You want to the 17-40. I never bother to mount the 12-24 on the 5D. It just never happens. These days I tend to got out with the 5D 17-24 and a A710IS in my pocket for longer shots (I am not much of a long shooter).

-- Roger

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Dec 19, 2006; 10:42 a.m.

Save your money and get the 16-35L. It's just another $600 over the 17-40L. If you can afford a 5D you can wait a little longer and do it right. Slow lenses are a waste on such a fine DSLR. Better to get the F2.8.

Delayed Gratification is in order.

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