I'm a 550D user looking for a wide angle lens but eventually hoping to move to a full frame camera, in doing this I'm trying to avoid buying EF-S mount lenses due to the prohibitive cost of replacing them. This rules out Canon's EF-S 10-22mm as well as several Tamron, Sigma and Tokina lenses.

Do I have any other options?

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    Keep in mind that 16-35mm on full-frame will have the equivalent field of view as 10-22mm on Canon crop-factor lenses. It's difficult and expensive to make lenses wider than that, so the image circle compromise is a reasonable on. On full frame, it's wider-angle inherently, so a full-frame 10mm is a pretty exotic lens. – Please Read My Profile Jul 16 '11 at 17:16
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    You're right mattdm, but I'll have a use for a wider than my EF-S 18-55mm lens soon and if I'm going to go wider I might aswell make it worthwhile! – ChrisFletcher Jul 16 '11 at 18:00
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    Buy the 10-22mm, you won't regret it - because it is fantastic, and you can resell it when(IF) you ever get a full frame without really losing that much in value(historically speaking this is almost always true). – dpollitt Jul 19 '11 at 1:55

When is this "eventually" going to happen? If not in the near future (it never is...), than I think you should positively consider the EF-S10-22mm. It is an amazing lens and when time to upgrade comes, you can resell it with a relatively limited loss. Think about bundling it with the Rebel upon sale.

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  • If it makes you feel any better, I have my $$$ sitting in my bank account waiting for the next full frame entry level model(5D MkIII) to be released, yet I just bought a 10-22mm. The price has steadily increased for this lens over the past few years, and I highly doubt I will see much loss, if any, when I go to sell it – dpollitt Jul 19 '11 at 1:54
  • I've never been keen on the idea of selling on second hand equipment if I'm honest(I don't know why, probably just a personal thing) but you're right! – ChrisFletcher Jul 20 '11 at 20:48
  • I never sold equipment but I did purchase my EF 28-135 used and my EF 50mm f/1.4 refurbished. – ysap Jul 20 '11 at 21:17

I think you just have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that your crop camera ultra-wide zoom and normal zoom will have to be replaced when you switch to full frame. The longer lenses are fine, but these have to go.

For an EF-S ultrawide you need a 10-20ish lens, which (barring the Sigma 12-24, which frankly isn't particularly good) simply does not exist for full frame. A 17-50 is a handy walkaround for the crop camera and definitely an ultrawide zoom for full frame... there is the 16-35/17-40 type of full-frame ultrawide zoom lens which could be used but they are somewhat suboptimal as normal zooms on crop.

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Note that the Sigma 12-24 is probably going to be updated this year, so you may want to wait.

If you are not getting a full frame camera for a few years you may just want to get a very good crop lens now, and wait for full-frame wide angle lenses to improve.

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  • Interesting, have you got a link to regarding an incoming update? – ChrisFletcher Jul 16 '11 at 18:01
  • Sorry, I can't find any articles - so basically I guess it's still technically rumor, though one person who mentioned that was planned was a Sigma employee. Sigma is updating a few key lenses to match the Sigma SD-1 which is weather sealed. – Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Jul 16 '11 at 18:13
  • Yes, it was officially announced. I received a press release in February. The data on the new lens looks nearly identical to the old one: neocamera.com/lens/sigma/12-24mm_f4.5-5.6_ex_dg_hsm_ii/canon - Sorry, Sigma did not provide a product image. – Itai Jul 16 '11 at 21:16
  • The data looks close, but it is weatherproofed and supposedly they are re-working the optics to be sharper edge to edge. – Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Jul 16 '11 at 21:24
  • Yes, the original one has a extremely serious sharpness problem on full-frame and moderately serious on APS-C. Vignetting on APS-C was not so bad but completely off-the-chart on full-frame. – Itai Jul 17 '11 at 0:16

Buy the 10-22 now, enjoy it, and sell it when you move to full frame. The 10-22 is a great lens, and you should have no trouble recovering most of your cost.

My best advice is to buy based on what you need now, not on what you might do in the future. Looking too many steps ahead down the upgrade path will keep you from enjoying the gear you have today.

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There is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM which is supposed to come out eventually.

It's really a fisheye, which is a variant of wide angle. I don't know what you are looking for so it could be an option.

If you want/need rectilinear projection, it's really not viable, though.

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I love my Sigma 8-16mm. Sadly it's designed for crop cameras, but the mount is EF and it works just fine on full frame, although to fill the picture you have to zoom to 14mm or more I think it is. Not a great option for full frame, but as wide as you can go on the 550D without being fisheye, and probably as wide as you can go full frame too. Edges wll be soft and have chroma etc though, but I do love it on my 500d.

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The 8-15mm f/4L is a good possibility. Using DXO software you can convert a fisheye image from say the 8-15mm lens to rectilinear when shooting at wider focal lengths on the lens. Same process for full frame and you get to keep the lens.

The Canon article here explains how the lens changes from 8-15mm and on both 1.6x and FF cameras. Combined with DXO or other software to quickly "unfurl" the image, you have a wide range of creative possibilities for now and in the future without investing $500 or more on EF-S lens.

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