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Best very wide angle lens for full frame?

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    Best very wide angle lens for full frame?

    I decided to engage the brain trust.

    I am in search of a quality, full-frame, very wide angle zoom (or possibly a prime) of 12-14mm on the wide end. Not too concerned about the upper end of the range. I have a 16-35 II and want something a little wider. This would be used primarily for photography but also some video. The obvious choice would be the 11-24 f4 L series, but at near to 3k just chokes me up a bit. I'm sure it would be a great product and I have stuck with L-glass to this point. In the alternative market, Sigma and Tokina seem to be the bigger players followed by growing Chinese producers like Rokinon and similar. I know nothing about any of these secondary brands, but understand they all have their fans.

    Does anyone have a specific recommendation and some comments about the strengths and weaknesses of your choice.

    TIA, Grant

    #2
    I love my Laowa 12mm. Strengths - sharpness, very low distortion, very close focus, good flare resistance, great price. Weakness - no AF. Hard to think of other weaknesses

    Laowa makes wider lenses but with awful distortion. 12mm is their widest "zero-d" full frame lens
    www.VideoAbe.com

    "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

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      #3
      Sigma's 14mm is very highly rated and is considered in the top 5 in this category (especially because of its speed):

      https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._8_dg_hsm.html (Canon also has its 14mm too.)

      Up next for me would be the 12-24mm f/4: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...f_4_dg_os.html

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        #4
        Thanks for the responses.

        Regarding the Laowa; how is the build quality? I could probably live without autofocus on a super W/A lens.

        The Sigmas aren't inexpensive at all. Not quite in the Canon range but near enough that it is a consideration.

        Both the Canon zoom and prime are older designs. On more than one occasion Canon has released a lens update right after I made a purchase . But I have begun to wonder if there will be any mote EF mount updates.

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          #5
          Just a side note (which probably doesn't matter too much in this particular wide-angle case), but if you ever watch some lens comparison videos from people who provide the same testing for dozens of lenses, some of those older Canons made 5,10+ years ago that are still considered top options are much softer opened up than a lot of the modern competition.

          Mostly everything else from the Canons appears to be better (especially build-quality on many of those premium "Luxury" lenses), but the resolving power at larger apertures is not one of them (depends on lens though, newer ones are much better).

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            #6
            An interesting option. Used it at a trade show, was really insanely wide. Seemed very usable in IQ.

            https://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/irix/11mm.htm

            ~USD$600 ish.

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              #7
              ^^^^^seems to have several versions. One is under USD$500, some are around $600, and the "cine" versions are $1,200-ish. Just going by internet sale prices. by the time you see this, prices and availability could be anything.

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                #8
                Originally posted by ggrantly View Post
                Regarding the Laowa; how is the build quality? I could probably live without autofocus on a super W/A lens.
                The Laowa is built like a tank. Solid, metal, nice action on the rings.

                They also turned it into a cine lens for more money - https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bhp...ero_d.html/amp

                But I have the stills version and the build is excellent- https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._8_zero_d.html

                I agree with you regarding autofocus. I bought an AF 18mm to go with my A7SIII but I dont plan on getting any wider AF lenses. Even 18 I could probably live without AF.

                But there are basically only 2 focus positions you need on the 12mm - near and far. It does focus super close to the lens, so of course as you get into macro territory you would need to pull more and pull more exactly. But it's still much less demanding than a longer lens
                www.VideoAbe.com

                "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

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