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I'm currently looking for a wide angle lens for my Canon T3i. I would prefer a prime lens. I want to use a wide angle lens primarily for video (so the lens needs a quiet AF motor) but for still photography as well. One thing I don't want in a lens is photos/videos that result in a major fish eye effect. It will have to be an EF mount for my upgrade soon to the 70D. Budget $350

Your input would be appreciated.

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5  
70D doesn't require an EF mount. It will accept EF-S. –  AndyML Mar 13 at 20:23
    
@AndyML Can an EF-S mount work on the T3i? –  user26761 Mar 13 at 20:27
    
Yes, EF-S will work on the Rebel series, XXD series, and the 7D. EF lenses will work with all of the above, plus the 6D, 5D, and 1D series. –  AndyML Mar 13 at 21:35
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This is getting close votes, I think because you can do the basic research for this kind of question by doing a search like this at a camera sales web site; as it is, you're kind of asking for people to do the basic research for you rather than asking for expert opinion. You can probably prevent the question from being closed by doing that basic research and then editing the question. –  mattdm Mar 13 at 22:13
    
@mattdm I was asking on this site to get recommendations by other user's with their experiences with wide angle lenses. I value other photographers input. –  user26761 Mar 13 at 22:39

4 Answers 4

The Rokinon series of wide angle lenses are top notch performers for optics and are also suprisingly cheapr for their build quality. However, Rokinon is only now making filters for these lenses through another vendor and I think they only make a single filter for each lens so you can not select how many stops of light you want to reduce the scen by and this is especially important if you need a gradient filter to preferentially block the sky to get adequate exposure on the fore and background. So in short the Rokinon is a trade off. Another great option for a few more dollars that does except filter adapters is the Tokina wide angle lens lineup, right now the 11-16mm is getting very good reviews.

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Read this on Samyang 14mm f/2.8 - lenstip.com/… –  Esa Paulasto Mar 15 at 7:19
    
And this page for sample photos - nicolasdory.com/first-thoughts-fisheye-rokinonsamyang-14mm-f2-8 –  Esa Paulasto Mar 15 at 7:30
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I mentioned the Rokinon lenses (namely the 14mm and 8mm fisheye) because I own them and they are fantastic lenses for night time shooting. However, the lack of autofocus can make it difficult for shooting movies and the lack of good filters can make day time shooting problematic, but not impossible. Regardless, the optics are impressive. –  Jon Mar 19 at 15:26
    
The Korean company Samyang makes the lenses; they get rebranded as Rokinon, Phoenix, Pro Optic, Vivitar, Walimex, Bower, etc. etc. etc. –  inkista Apr 22 at 2:42

For $350, a wide angle with no severe barrel distortion will be hard to find. But, I'll give this a shot, in descending price order.

From Canon, the 10-22mm is pricy, but really versatile for a crop body. It does suffer from distortion and a lack of sharpness, but it is very wide, and if you upgrade to full frame, you can still use it if you pop out the body plug in it - albeit you have to be careful with your zoom range. You can occasionally find a 10-22mm for about $500 used, if they're beat up.

You also have the Tokina 11-16mm which is $450 from B&H brand new, so I suspect if you're lucky, you can find a used one for about $320-400. This is my main recommendation because of the price and great results from everyone I know who has one.

Finally, the Canon 17-85mm IS lens is goes fairly wide and is a great walk around lens. You can find these for less than $300 used.

Those are my recommendations. I haven't had personal experience with any others. I personally recommend the Tokina.

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If you have a $350 range, a great quality lens that's wide will be a little hard to find. But if I were you, I'd go with the Rokinon. I bought their fisheye lens and it works wonders.

Initially, I thought I'd have a problem with it because it's a manual lens, but I actually like that it is. If you want a Canon fish eye, the cheapest I can see you getting it is $500 at best. The Rokinon fisheye is 8mm, and is also built to work on full frame or crop sensor cameras.

But if you don't want a fish eye, just a wide lens, the best lens that's close to your price range is the Canon 17-35mm f/2.8 L lens. It's the predecessor to both 16-35 F/2.8 L and the 17-40 F/4 L. This lens was discontinued in 2001 and goes for around $500, but I think if you're willing to pay an extra 100 to the 350 you want to spend, $450 gives you a great shot at getting a great wide angle L lens. Even if it's an older version.

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1  
A couple of additional points. These Rokinon lenses are made by Samyang, and also sold under other names like Bower and Opteka. Also, there is a 14mm rectilinear lens Samyang makes that would fall in the price range. –  mattdm Mar 14 at 10:42

I don't think you're going to find a good high-quality crop rectilinear ultra-wide prime for $350.

Remember, digital cameras are still relatively young and APS-C specific focal length lenses have only been around for a dozen years or so. That means finding old used bargains are gonna be harder. Film-era lenses will be too long, because of the crop factor (tough to find anything under 21mm that's not a fisheye). And there is really only a single rectilinear (non-fisheye) ultra-wide prime for crop, which just came out, the Samyang 10mm f/2.8. And it's about US$500. As are most of the ultra-wide zoom options (EF-S 10-22, Tokina 11-16/2.8, etc.), and at least those will autofocus and give you aperture control from the camera (although that might not be a consideration for video work).

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