I need help finding a good wide angle lens.

I only have two lens, Canon 50mm 1.8 and the 28-135 zoom with IS. The 28mm is just not wide enough for some of the videos I do and the landscape photos I take so I am in the market for another lens.

So I went down to my local photo shop in Boulder Colorado called Mike’s Camera and tried out a 3 lens that Darrel behind the counter recommended.

I would love to have the Canon EF14mm prime but it is way out of my budget range.

Caleb Pike gave me the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 as a recommendation which the store did not have so I have to try that one too. I really trust Caleb’s opinion so it is one to try. Update: Philip Bloom gives this lens a big thumbs up on his blog post on which lens to get.

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 DI II LD Wide Angle Lens

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 DI II LD Wide Angle Lens $449

Canon EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Wide Angle Test $765

Canon EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Wide Angle Test $765

Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM Wide Angle Test $723

Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM Wide Angle Test $723

HDR Shots on the way Home

On the way home from the camera store I took a couple of HDR photos that I have included below.

Boulder Flat Irons from NCAR HDR Second Attempt

Boulder Flat Irons from NCAR HDR First Attempt


  • Dave
    I would personally wait for the next canon release of DSLR Cameras, is not going to be the EOS System
    will be the EIS System, is an EVF System with huge improvements over the actual system as far as
    video goes, The point is not only the body will present changes, but the format will be 4/3 so you will need a wider lens because of the crop factor, EVEN MORE They will have a new line of Canon lenses optimized for
    video, probably very very silent, this is the link


  • Dave
    I have the Canon 10-22mm and it’s the reason I keep a crop factor DSLR even though I have the 5D mkii. It is super sharp and very dramatic. I own the 17-40mm L for the 5D and it’s great but the 10-22 (non-L) is as sharp. As I said, I would have got rip of all my efs stuff if it were not for the 10-22 which I love so much.

  • Mr Dave, is Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 lens suitable for wide angle HD DSLR movie shoot? what is the pros and cons about that lens? i love it because its little price range. and i think its not good for low light cz f3.5.

    anyway, can you help me to solve my problem? what are the pros and cons when using it for wide shoot . . . . . ?

  • I live in wide angle lenses as I shoot real estate video tours and photos (HDR) all day long with the 5D. (currently use the 17-40 Canon as well as the 24mm Canon prime.

    I also own the 10-22mm which I have used on my 40D.

    You have to be REALLY careful with wide angle lenses… many of the cheaper lenses will give you a lot of problems with crooked verticals. Yes, you can fix in post (for stills), but not in video. The more expensive lenses from Canon much less of an issue when it comes to walls falling down due to the extreme wide angle….

  • Dave
    I have the Canon 10-22mm and it is great for photography but I have a love/hate relationship with it and video. The video can be dramatic, especially using a glidecam -really cool effect. The thing I dont like is the sharpness. For me, it is ‘not great’ in video. I cant figure it out… When you see clips from my 28-135mm intermixed with the 10-22mm, it is pretty obvious. The wide angle is a lot softer. It may be because the wide angle has so much more information to process? Maybe I have a bad lens. Like you I am still learning. Thats my 2 cents!

  • Wow, go to bed and wake up with a bunch of great comments on which lens I should get, thanks everyone!

    Looks like I really need to try the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 before I decide.

  • It’s wise to try Tokina 11-16mm 2.8. I really like that lens and price is really reasonable, I paid 400 euros for used.

  • Hi Dave, One lens that I didn’t see in here that gets great reviews is my Tokina 12-24 F4 (aprox. $499.00. ) It does have a constant aperture of f4, a little slow for some folks, but who needs bokeh with a wide angle anyway. I use that Tokina lens in my regular photograohy and now on my DIY glide cam. Keep up the good work!


  • Hi Dave, a co-worker has the Tokina 12-24mm and I’ve seen spectacular photos from her Canon Rebel. I haven’t seen it with video though. Another friend recommends the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 because of it’s low light capability. He said that in video production, indoors is where we need wide lenses the most and we need all the low light help we can get in those situations. Personally, I’m searching for a Tokina 11-16mm but it is very hard to find. It’s pretty much out of stock everywhere but last time I checked, one of my local camera stores had one in stock.

  • If you are considering 17-40, ie. if 17 is wide enough, you should also consider canon EF-S 2.8 17-55mm. A great lens for a crop camera.

    I like the extra stop of light the 17-55 gives me – compared to a f/4 when shooting indoor video – even tough i still crave even more light (something like 28mm 1.8 is on my wish list).


  • I have the canon EF-S 2.8 17-55mm. Great lens, but the inner elements appear to attract dust. There was no dust in the lens when I bought it, and after two shoots there are five specs of dust in there. I went to the local camera store to ask about it and they said, “If you think that’s bad, look at our demo…” I could not believe how much dust was in that lens.

    I do love the sharpness, and warmth. Here the very first vid I shot with a DSLR (T2i in fact), and the EF-S 2.8 17-55mm lens, all hand-held: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbBxtL0P2p4&feature=player_embedded

    There is one shot in this vid that’s from an XH-A1, but otherwise it’s all DSLR, with no color correction or grading. I have since purchased a bunch of vintage Nikkor glass, ranging from 28mm to 105mm. While the images created look fantastic, the lack of image stabilization means you must use a tripod.

  • I have the Canon 10-22mm and it’s super sharp and super wide, even with the crop factor on the T2i. It’s only downside is it’s variable aperture so you can’t really zoom with it. That’s why folks love the Tokina- it has a fixed aperture. It’s also hard for stores to keep in stock so if you really want the Tokina grab it as soon as you can.
    The KING of the wide angle is the Canon 24mm 1.4 but it is VERY expensive.

  • Dave,

    I love your site and I’m having a great time learning my t2i along with you. I have rented a few lenses from borrowlenses.com (which is local to me, but does ship as well). It is a great way to try out lenses before buying or simply to rent them on an as needed basis. I have no affiliation with them, just think they fill a need.

    I have a friend who uses the Canon 10-22 on his 50D and I rented the Tamron 10-24, but didn’t have a chance to directly compare the two. I liked the Tamron, but want to try the Tokina before making the leap.

    Keep up the awesome work!

  • Hey Dave, as a fellow Coloradoan, I thought I would send this link your way http://www.englewoodcamera.com/spec_sheet.html?catalog%5Bproduct_guids%5D%5B0%5D=37c6cac1-6bf9-4df2-a261-278a2fd5d625 I just bought one of these from Englewood Camera and LOVE IT!! The wide angle and speed of this lens really opens up my options especially for anything indoors. (Plus good price $649) Check out Philip Blooms reviews on the matter. http://philipbloom.net/2010/08/20/which-lenses-to-buy/

  • Sorry Dave, I guess Englewood Camera is out (hence the broken link above) and I realize I did not even tell you what lens this was for, it’s the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8.

  • With smaller rooms in a shoe box ranch the age old issue of needing wider lens has always been a thorn, on the wish list but never were many options for point and shoots. If you get too fish eyed then the Alice on some kinda mood elevator effect kicks in. Cartoon images on the local mls not good. Memorable but not in the way you want. Have a Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR camera that works well but the Panasonic GH1 14mm is another one should consider too. $1500 is a little more to pay than two and a half books of green stamps though. Barrel distortion is always to be avoided no matter what you pull out of the holster to shoot with.

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