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I dropped my Sigma 18-250mm in the river and now looking for ways to replace it. I am using T4i, and have,

  1. Canon 50mm f/1.8
  2. Canon 75-300 (Garbage w/o IS :/)

I use the camera mainly on my trips to collect memories much more than to have great professional photos, but I do try to get the best shots I can. I mostly take landscapes, and some macros of flowers etc. and also wildlife. The Sigma 18-250 was quite a good lens that covered most of the range I needed, and quality was better than the Canon 18-55. However, I would like to get a lens with better quality if possible. Here are a list of concerns,

  1. I have, more than a few times wished I had a wider lens than 18mm (~29mm? APS-C), and I do like to capture a lot of landscapes.

  2. I barely used the range above 20mm on my 18-55mm.

  3. I hate changing lenses and usually carry another camera with my girlfriend who can mount a telephoto lens on hers.

  4. I don't want to spend more than ~500$

  5. I use lightroom anyway, so not too concerned about vignetting/distortion/aberration as long as it can be corrected.

  6. I would love to upgrade to a full-body later, and while it's a minor concern, would be nice to have one that fits well there as well.

  7. I am a little worried about manual focus only, and wonder how hard would it be to get a good shot without live-view (Bat life is very important too, so barely use live-view).

  8. It would be nice to have filter threads, and the Rokinon doesn't have them.

  9. Apparently you can get a focus confirmation chip and attach it to the Rokinon, which might be a nice addition..!

Sorry for super unorganized question. I have been researching for a while and still can't decide. I would assume the 14mm prime would have much better image quality, and is only 300$. On the other hand, 17-50mm might have less distortion, and might be a better general purpose lens for 500$. Please feel free to edit the question to make it more coherent.

Tomaron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD

Rokinon 14mm IF

Also, Tokina 11-16mm AT-X Pro DX II

  • You want to use a 14mm UWA manual lens as a general purpose lens on a T4i? That is seriously comical. Don't do it. No. – dpollitt Nov 30 '14 at 3:10
  • 1
    There's also Sigma's stabilized 17-50/2.8. – JenSCDC Nov 30 '14 at 13:25
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    There's also Sigma's 17-50/2.8 for $500 which includes image stabilization. Tamron's IS version costs $150 more. – JenSCDC Nov 30 '14 at 13:30
  • As an owner of the Tamron 17-50 I have found it to be a good lens. – whatsisname May 7 '16 at 22:59
5

Have you considered the new EF-S 10-18mm f/4-5.6 STM ultrawide zoom for crop? Its MSRP is US$299, so it's about half the price of the EF-S 10-22. Sorry, but due to the crop factor, you're not going to find an ultrawide for full frame that also performs as an ultrawide for crop, and definitely not one for $500 or less.

To me, this would be a far better choice and far more practical than the Rokinon 14/2.8, which will be only as wide as 21mm equivalency on a crop (not 16mm equivalency), suffers from wave distortion, and is a manual-focus/manual-aperture lens with no electronic communication to the camera body (practical upshot: you have to shoot in M or Av, you have to manually focus, manually set the aperture, use stop-down metering, and you'll have no EXIF lens information. And a focus confirmation chip probably won't work as well as you think it will--I've found it to be relatively useless for precision manual focusing--a better focus screen or Magic Lantern's focus peaking and Magic zoom features work far better for me).

Both the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Tokina 11-16/2.8 lenses are for crop, not full frame (Tamron's Di II, Tokina's DX, and Sigma's DC designations are similar to Canon's EF-S: the lens is designed for a smaller sensor and will vignette on a full frame, although the 3rd party lenses may still mount on full frame bodies).

Ultrawide is the one place where it make sense to rebuy glass when you move to full frame. And there's no point in compromising on a main lens you plan to use extensively for the sake of a camera you don't yet have. Unless your full frame purchase plans are imminent, go for a crop ultrawide lens.

  • +1 to not getting an ultra wide full frame lens to use in a cropped sensor body. Those lenses are hard to make, so you are getting all the distortions and heft of an extremely wide angle to just get a not-so-wide angle. – fortran Dec 2 '14 at 20:02
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Nobody can know that better than you. If you feel you need to go wider, get the 14mm lens, but keep in mind two things:

  • It is never wide enough (I have a 12-24mm and I wished I could go down to 10mm. I am sure that if I had a 10mm I would wish I could go to 8mm...)
  • The wider the lens, the more difficult it is to make nice compositions.

Personally, I would go for a 10-20mm or a 12-24mm; which give a wider angle than the 14mm in case you need it and also give you some space to work with "non extremely distorted perspectives". The narrower maximum aperture in those zooms shouldn't be a big concern, as with wide lenses the camera shake is less noticeable and everything would be in focus most of the time anyway.

  • Thanks, is there is big difference in quality of 14mm prime to one of those zooms? Also, I was looking for a fast lens to take night photos..! – xcorat Nov 30 '14 at 3:28
  • At the extremes for sure it will be worse, in the sweet spot (usually mid-range, stopped down a little bit) it might be close or even better than the cheap prime lens. – fortran Dec 2 '14 at 19:59
  • If you need a wider angle than 17mm and that extra stop of light coming in, then you yourself have answered :) – fortran Dec 2 '14 at 20:36

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