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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #1
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3 Wide Zoom lenses for Short Film on a 7D (Wow! My 100th message!)

Hi everybody,

Well, first of all: Thanks to all who answered my question about the 24mm lenses. You might know how rewarding it is when you are learning something new and people teach you the ropes. So, thanks very much really!

Yes, I have been reading and following the following thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...t-lens-7d.html

But I wanted to talk and ask specifically about these 3 lenses...

I am on the process many of you have been or currently are when you are thinking on investing your hard earned money into a lens: Reading, reading and reading!

So far, I believe the best and final options for a wide lens (and relatively affordable) for film on a Canon 7D would be one of these 3 lenses:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens ($1,520)
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens ($1,060)
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX Autofocus Lens for Canon APS-C DSLRs ($600)

First noticeable difference is the price. It is an investment and it matters, but obviously I do not want to make a bad investment and I mean a 'regrettable' investment. The amount is not very much relevant, although it could mean 1,000 dollars more or less; but I would not mind spending them well or saving them as long as it is a wise investment (I hope this makes sense).

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens ($1,520)
Pros: Well, it is an L series. Its built is its forte and images I've seen have a really nicer color that the other options.
Cons: Price! OMG, 15 hundred bucks! No IS... Can EF be of any issue for a 7D? (I don't believe so, but just checking). I know the EF-S bodies are backward compatible with EF lenses, but besides that, is it any disadvantage?

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens ($1,060)
Pros: It is well rated and seems to be an L series trapped into a cheaper body. IS is always a big plus.
Cons: The quality of the built. Dust seems to get in it easier...

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX Autofocus Lens for Canon APS-C DSLRs ($600)
Pros: Mainly good reviews and recommendations from 7D owners... Price.
Cons: Price? Why this cheap if it is such a great lens? B&H warns 'Only fits on the EOS Digital Rebel series or 50D, 40D, 30D & 20D SLR cameras'. So, am I looking at the right version of this lens? I believe I do, but that confused me. No IS. How big of a deal that is for film? Does not having IS affects also your footage if you have your camera on a tripod?
A non Canon product. Well, this is not necessarily a negative, but having all of my gear being Canon, it is a bit scary go with something that is not. I also have no clue how the 'Tokina' support is.

Another tool I am using to compare is (besides Youtube) my Flickr account. I went look for pictures (yes I know I am asking for film, but Flickr have a lot more photo material) taken with all 3 lenses. They are all good of course, but man I cannot seem to stop thinking the 16-35mm gets the best images. I do not know if that is just my mind thinking, 'Oh, it is a L series' but I seem to find more 'better' quality pictures from this lens. Second place I would say the Tokina and then the 17-55mm.
I am also thinking that perhaps people with the 'money' for a 16-35mm L II are perhaps mostly professional photographers and therefore know how to produce better pictures. But, just the color seem prettier at least for the first impression of my retinas.

So, anyhow... I would love to know what do you guys think and advice about the differences of these 3 lenses and if you could share your experience with us over here.

That will be fantastic!

Once again, THANKS SO MUCH!

Look forward to read ya all ^_^

Ben Tolosa
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Old September 17th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #2
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For me the choice was easy:

EF 16-35mm
EF 24-70mm

It was definitely more expensive, but I prefer that particular range of focal lengths, plus the 10mm overlap gives me a little back on both ends when switching lenses. I'm sure that was the idea behind those two lens ranges. Plus you can use them on both 1.6 crop and full frame bodies. Tokina was also very nice, but I decided I could get a super wide prime if needed. Plus on the Tokina I missed being able to zoom into 35mm (22mm on a 1.6 body). Once again, that 10mm overlap is very nice when switching lenses. But then again the Tokina is nearly the same price of some of the super wide angle primes, so it might be toss up for some.

If Canon ever comes out with an EF-S 10-22mm at f2.8, I would reconsider the EF-S 17-55mm . Not only would that give me a similar range/overlap on 1.6 crop bodies, it would be a heck of a lot lighter!
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Old September 17th, 2010, 02:33 AM   #3
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Hey Ben,

You might be right about the 16-35mm shots on Flickr looking better because they were shot by professionals, but it is a fabulous lens, no question. It has more of a "wide" to "standard" zoom range on the 7D whilst the Tokina is "super-wide" to "wide".

I own the Tokina, but I sometimes rent the 16-35mm. In fact, I'm renting it next week.

This video contains images from the Tokina 11-16mm on a 7D at 29", 1'18", 1'35", 1'37", 1'39", 2'05", 2'22" and 2'25":


My advice: buy the tokina and with the money you save buy a 28mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4 or...
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Old September 17th, 2010, 05:59 AM   #4
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It is difficult to advise because of the uses you will put these lenses will be different to me. The Tokina doesn't really fit into the other lens categories because it is much wider and a very specialized focal length, you could almost get the Tokina and one of the other choices to overlap and extend your range.

To me being cheap the Tokina was an easy choice, price, lots of happy 7D owners, in short supply because demand is high. I'm very happy with the lens, the filter size is common, so I can use my polarizer that I already had.

The main draw back to the Tokina is the edge distortion, you need to be careful about objects in the extreme corners of the shot. Otherwise a vote here for the Tokina 11-16mm I'm happy with mine.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #5
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The choice was for me the Tokina for the wide end. At that wide IS is not really an issue. I also went for the Tamron 17 - 50 with VC and still came in less than the single L Canon glass. For video I don't think the image is degraded at all with these lenses.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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These are not similar lenses, so to pick one over the others is impossible. They are all great quality lenses however.
But you need to stop reading - how can you choose a lens that way? Incredible. If you are that worried get to a store and try them.

The Tokina is a 'no-brainer' lens. I have had one for a long time. Its an absolute bargain and thats why they are still hard to find - at one point this was unavailable for 6 months - they sell out immediately. For an ultra-wide this is it. You don't need the Canon for this size.
On the other sizes - the regular mid-wides, then when faced with much more money I go for full lenses not cropped so I would count out the EF-S. Lenses last forever and are an investment so at this price I go for longevity. Get the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L - it will outlast everything else.

But I did not need this size so I instead went for the Canon 24-70mm plus the Tokina so I have all the ranges covered.

Two more points you worry about needlessly. Dont worry about dust - these are all well built. Also IS - you do not need IS on wides ... this only becomes an issue at about 50mm and above unless you have the shakes.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #7
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The 17-55 and (I think) the Tokina are both APS-C lenses, meaning you can't use them on a full frame camera without corner vignetting. The Canon L 16-35 is a full frame lens. When I got my 7D I was a happy camper and had no plans to go with the 5DMKII. But within 8 or 9 months I did. The thing about a good quality, full frame lens like the 16-35...you can still be using it years after the camera body you have now is gone. I'm still using my ancient pre-AI Nikkors, with adapters, on the 5D.

Obviously, good lenses cost more. If money is tight and you need a lens for a specific project, then obviously go for one of the cheaper ones. But if you can wait till you can afford better, I would recommend that.

When I first got the 7D I wasn't committed to the concept of HDSLR video yet, so I wanted to keep costs down. I got a Tokina 16-50 (because I always need wider angles), and a Tamron 28-75 for shooting interviews. The lenses were OK as long as I worked within their limitations. But I was never really happy with them. Eventually I got adapters for the old Nikkors, and it was such a nice feeling to use good quality lenses again that shooting with the el cheapos got to be really irritating.

All lenses have some limitations. The better the lens, the less the limits. The Tokina I had, for example, was nice and sharp at the wide end at f1.8, which is what I mostly wanted it for. But zoomed in to 50mm at f2.8 at certain focus distances, it was noticeably softer. The Tamron seemed to be the opposite, it was sharper zoomed in. Both were significantly better when stopped down than at 2.8. If you want a shallow depth of field with the 7D, you will find yourself more often than not shooting at a 2.8 or wider, so you want a lens that is sharp when wide open.
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Old September 17th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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I also thought about it for a long time. Ended up getting Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 first and whilst this is a great lens, I found it to be not as wide as I needed it, so got the Tokina and I'm really happy with it because it gets me the wide shots I needed in narrow places.

Hope this helps.

Mauricio
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Old September 17th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #9
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My first post on here...for what its worth!

I spent a LOT of time going through all of these options with my 7d. The 16-35mm is a great lens and you really can't go wrong except for the fact that most starting out at least just can't afford those L Series.

On a budget...I think the Tokina 11-16mm is a great buy. Follow that up with a Sigma 30mm for your 50mm equivalent and you have a really nice set of fast lenses to get things going.

Now if I can just sell a kidney or something for a 70-200mm I will be set;)
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Old September 17th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #10
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Wow! Thank you guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
For me the choice was easy:

EF 16-35mm
EF 24-70mm

It was definitely more expensive, but I prefer that particular range of focal lengths, plus the 10mm overlap gives me a little back on both ends when switching lenses. I'm sure that was the idea behind those two lens ranges. Plus you can use them on both 1.6 crop and full frame bodies. Tokina was also very nice, but I decided I could get a super wide prime if needed. Plus on the Tokina I missed being able to zoom into 35mm (22mm on a 1.6 body). Once again, that 10mm overlap is very nice when switching lenses. But then again the Tokina is nearly the same price of some of the super wide angle primes, so it might be toss up for some.

If Canon ever comes out with an EF-S 10-22mm at f2.8, I would reconsider the EF-S 17-55mm . Not only would that give me a similar range/overlap on 1.6 crop bodies, it would be a heck of a lot lighter!
Thanks Michael,
Well, and a leaning toward the EF 16-35mmL II for now. Can you tell the difference on the quality of your video using this lens? Is it a big difference beetween a L series lens and a non L series when you are shooting HD video with a 7D (this particular lens)?

I appreciate your answer Michael,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman Pogson View Post
It is difficult to advise because of the uses you will put these lenses will be different to me. The Tokina doesn't really fit into the other lens categories because it is much wider and a very specialized focal length, you could almost get the Tokina and one of the other choices to overlap and extend your range.

To me being cheap the Tokina was an easy choice, price, lots of happy 7D owners, in short supply because demand is high. I'm very happy with the lens, the filter size is common, so I can use my polarizer that I already had.

The main draw back to the Tokina is the edge distortion, you need to be careful about objects in the extreme corners of the shot. Otherwise a vote here for the Tokina 11-16mm I'm happy with mine.
Norman,

Which one would you say has a better film image quality in between both (Tokina and Canon 16-355mm)?

Hey thanks for the input!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Porter View Post
The choice was for me the Tokina for the wide end. At that wide IS is not really an issue. I also went for the Tamron 17 - 50 with VC and still came in less than the single L Canon glass. For video I don't think the image is degraded at all with these lenses.
How is the video image if you compare the Tokina and the Canon 16-35mm?

Very good to know, thanks very much Jerry!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
These are not similar lenses, so to pick one over the others is impossible. They are all great quality lenses however.
But you need to stop reading - how can you choose a lens that way? Incredible. If you are that worried get to a store and try them.

The Tokina is a 'no-brainer' lens. I have had one for a long time. Its an absolute bargain and thats why they are still hard to find - at one point this was unavailable for 6 months - they sell out immediately. For an ultra-wide this is it. You don't need the Canon for this size.
On the other sizes - the regular mid-wides, then when faced with much more money I go for full lenses not cropped so I would count out the EF-S. Lenses last forever and are an investment so at this price I go for longevity. Get the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L - it will outlast everything else.

But I did not need this size so I instead went for the Canon 24-70mm plus the Tokina so I have all the ranges covered.

Two more points you worry about needlessly. Dont worry about dust - these are all well built. Also IS - you do not need IS on wides ... this only becomes an issue at about 50mm and above unless you have the shakes.
Jon,

Well thank you very much for all of this information. I did not know about the IS no needed on wides. Now I know and makes my decision easier. I completelly agree, the store. It is where I live (Hartford, VT) there is no pro stores around at all! I could find one and drive about 2hrs + one way, but that is why I am basing my research on the net. Most likelly, you guys know far more about these particular lenses than any Joe from a not so close pro store around my area. I really do trust your guys' expertise.

You are definitely leaning me towards the 16-35mm. It feels it is a lens I will NOT regret. Because as you said, I might get a full frame someday.

Thanks very much for the info!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
The 17-55 and (I think) the Tokina are both APS-C lenses, meaning you can't use them on a full frame camera without corner vignetting. The Canon L 16-35 is a full frame lens. When I got my 7D I was a happy camper and had no plans to go with the 5DMKII. But within 8 or 9 months I did. The thing about a good quality, full frame lens like the 16-35...you can still be using it years after the camera body you have now is gone. I'm still using my ancient pre-AI Nikkors, with adapters, on the 5D.

Obviously, good lenses cost more. If money is tight and you need a lens for a specific project, then obviously go for one of the cheaper ones. But if you can wait till you can afford better, I would recommend that.

When I first got the 7D I wasn't committed to the concept of HDSLR video yet, so I wanted to keep costs down. I got a Tokina 16-50 (because I always need wider angles), and a Tamron 28-75 for shooting interviews. The lenses were OK as long as I worked within their limitations. But I was never really happy with them. Eventually I got adapters for the old Nikkors, and it was such a nice feeling to use good quality lenses again that shooting with the el cheapos got to be really irritating.

All lenses have some limitations. The better the lens, the less the limits. The Tokina I had, for example, was nice and sharp at the wide end at f1.8, which is what I mostly wanted it for. But zoomed in to 50mm at f2.8 at certain focus distances, it was noticeably softer. The Tamron seemed to be the opposite, it was sharper zoomed in. Both were significantly better when stopped down than at 2.8. If you want a shallow depth of field with the 7D, you will find yourself more often than not shooting at a 2.8 or wider, so you want a lens that is sharp when wide open.
Bill,

Totally agree and you are right. I might switch to a full frame someday, and the 16-35mm seems to be the way to go on my situation. I feel I want to order it right away, but I need to save some more money.

Thanks very much to share your experience with me and with us!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio DelaOrta View Post
I also thought about it for a long time. Ended up getting Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 first and whilst this is a great lens, I found it to be not as wide as I needed it, so got the Tokina and I'm really happy with it because it gets me the wide shots I needed in narrow places.

Hope this helps.

Mauricio

Mauricio,

Well, that is good to know... I am kind of leaning towards the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens for now. But the Tokina would be a second choice. I just cannot get it from B&H at this current time.

Thanks very much for your advice!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Portwood View Post
I spent a LOT of time going through all of these options with my 7d. The 16-35mm is a great lens and you really can't go wrong except for the fact that most starting out at least just can't afford those L Series.

On a budget...I think the Tokina 11-16mm is a great buy. Follow that up with a Sigma 30mm for your 50mm equivalent and you have a really nice set of fast lenses to get things going.

Now if I can just sell a kidney or something for a 70-200mm I will be set;)
Hey Matt,

Well, thanks for your advice. I really do appreciate it. I need to start saving, but I believe for I have read here and on different sites, it seems like it is worth it waiting to get the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens.

Very much appreciated your advice and everybody else's as well!!

Ben Tolosa
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Tolosa View Post
... leaning toward the EF 16-35mm ... can you tell the difference on the quality of your video using this lens?
No, for most practical purposes, I don't see much of a difference in the image quality between an L and non-L lens. Good composition and lighting tend to nullify the differences.

The main reasons I own L lenses are (in order of importance)

1. They tend to have better low light performance.
2. They offer specific focal lengths that I'm likely to use.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #12
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The reason why pro's use L lenses is the build quality - shockproof - water resistant - dust resistant.....
and then image quality, which yes, is considerably better.

I only shoot in China, India and Japan. The first two provide tons of reasons to only use L lenses - rainstorms and duststorms!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #13
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L lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
No, for most practical purposes, I don't see much of a difference in the image quality between an L and non-L lens. Good composition and lighting tend to nullify the differences.

The main reasons I own L lenses are (in order of importance)

1. They tend to have better low light performance.
2. They offer specific focal lengths that I'm likely to use.

Hi Michael,

Hey that is good to know. I will keep that in mind for future purchases.
Thanks for the info!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
The reason why pro's use L lenses is the build quality - shockproof - water resistant - dust resistant.....
and then image quality, which yes, is considerably better.

I only shoot in China, India and Japan. The first two provide tons of reasons to only use L lenses - rainstorms and duststorms!

Hey Jon,

Cool, good to know. I ended up getting that L lens...

Very interesting comment about the places you work. I hope it's fun!!

Regards ^_^

Last edited by Ben Tolosa; September 19th, 2010 at 11:56 PM. Reason: I said shape instead of lens
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #14
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Wow excellent work!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
Hey Ben,

You might be right about the 16-35mm shots on Flickr looking better because they were shot by professionals, but it is a fabulous lens, no question. It has more of a "wide" to "standard" zoom range on the 7D whilst the Tokina is "super-wide" to "wide".

I own the Tokina, but I sometimes rent the 16-35mm. In fact, I'm renting it next week.

This video contains images from the Tokina 11-16mm on a 7D at 29", 1'18", 1'35", 1'37", 1'39", 2'05", 2'22" and 2'25":

B Roll - Canon 5D Vs 7D in the Field on Vimeo

My advice: buy the tokina and with the money you save buy a 28mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4 or...
Hi Liam,

Man, I was blown away with your movie! OMG, that is so cool you did such an amazing job. Really, very amazingly cool. To me DVinfo is so cool because I get to learn from pros like yourself. Totally cool.

My birthday is next month... so I have gotten the Canon 16-35mm as my birthday excuse... ^_^

These are the lenses I have, and I believe that completes my range quite well:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens
Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Autofocus Lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Thanks very much for your advice to you and to everyone!

Liam, keep producing amazing stuff like that!!

Kind Regards :)
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Old September 20th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #15
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The 16 - 35 L is a great lens but does not have IS. The EF-S 17 - 55 Constant f/2.8 IS does have IS and has L quality optics, if not build quality, plus an arguably more useful zoom range on a crop body like the 7D.

I would not avoid the better quality EF-S lenses - if you ever go to full frame you can sell a good EF- S lens like the 17 -55 IS easily.

The EF-S lenses like the 10-20 and the 17-55 IS have the "pro" 77 mm filter size, like many of the L lenses (I also have L lenses).
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