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Thread: Which wide angle lens?

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    Question Which wide angle lens?

    I`m looking for a new wide angle lens and would like some input regarding this. I have recently upgraded my Sony A7r to the A7r2, and I`m very happy with the upgrade. Really like the AF and the steady shot feature, because I manly shoot without a bipod. My lenses that I have now is the FE35 2.8 and FE55 1.8. I like the size and the compactness of both lenses and I`m not sure that I would like anything bigger than the FE 55 1.8. I mostly use my camera during travelling and hiking so compactness and weight is much appreciated.

    Candidates:
    Loxia 21 mm F2.8
    Batis 25 mm F2.0
    Sony FE 16-35 mm F4.0

    I really like the size of the Loxia and I like look of the pictures, but I have not seen that many that many pictures jet. I`m currently a auto focus guy, but I am not that scared of buying a manual focus lens. I`m not sure quite sure if I am 21mm or a 25mm guy?

    The Batis looks kind of big but I like that it has auto focus and that it is F2 (not sure that I need the fastness, but I don`t mind. I also like the look of the pictures, but have not seen that many samples jet. The field of view might better for all-round use? But I`m not 100% sure regarding this. It`s also cheaper than the Loxia.

    FE 16-35 looks very good picture wise, but it might be too big and heavy? I like the flexibility of the zoom, but with 42 megapixel I don’t mind cropping.

    I`m currently leaning on buying the Loxia 21 mm F 2.8. I really like the size and I think 21mm might be the widest lens I need, so that will stop my need to buy anything wider. I can also crop to 25/24 mm if needed. So that will leave me with the 21mm – 35mm – 55mm lens setup. All pretty compact and good lenses, that will all fit in a Think Thank Retrospective 5 bag.

    If anyone have any input regarding this subject, please feel free to share. Any input is much appreciated! And sorry for my bad English.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Annna T's Avatar
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntrip View Post
    I`m looking for a new wide angle lens and would like some input regarding this. I have recently upgraded my Sony A7r to the A7r2, and I`m very happy with the upgrade. Really like the AF and the steady shot feature, because I manly shoot without a bipod. My lenses that I have now is the FE35 2.8 and FE55 1.8. I like the size and the compactness of both lenses and I`m not sure that I would like anything bigger than the FE 55 1.8. I mostly use my camera during travelling and hiking so compactness and weight is much appreciated.

    Candidates:
    Loxia 21 mm F2.8
    Batis 25 mm F2.0
    Sony FE 16-35 mm F4.0

    I really like the size of the Loxia and I like look of the pictures, but I have not seen that many that many pictures jet. I`m currently a auto focus guy, but I am not that scared of buying a manual focus lens. I`m not sure quite sure if I am 21mm or a 25mm guy?

    The Batis looks kind of big but I like that it has auto focus and that it is F2 (not sure that I need the fastness, but I don`t mind. I also like the look of the pictures, but have not seen that many samples jet. The field of view might better for all-round use? But I`m not 100% sure regarding this. It`s also cheaper than the Loxia.

    FE 16-35 looks very good picture wise, but it might be too big and heavy? I like the flexibility of the zoom, but with 42 megapixel I don’t mind cropping.

    I`m currently leaning on buying the Loxia 21 mm F 2.8. I really like the size and I think 21mm might be the widest lens I need, so that will stop my need to buy anything wider. I can also crop to 25/24 mm if needed. So that will leave me with the 21mm – 35mm – 55mm lens setup. All pretty compact and good lenses, that will all fit in a Think Thank Retrospective 5 bag.

    If anyone have any input regarding this subject, please feel free to share. Any input is much appreciated! And sorry for my bad English.

    Thanks
    Right now things are difficult for wa native lenses. Mainly because the two Zeiss are very difficult to get at : this is why you see so few samples pictures. But a few have been lucky here : look in the fun with threads; Barry Haines has got a Loxia and I think Werner has a Batis.

    As for the 16-35mm given that you say you don't shoot wider than 21mm and that you want to keep your outfit small, I'd say pass on it : the 16-35mm is big and heavy compared to the 55mm, plus it is mainly good at the short end, aka lower than 24mm. I got one and regret that purchase. Its only advantage is that unlike the two Zeiss, it is easily available, plus the flexibility of a zoom.

    You didn't mention the 28mm F2 Sony : is it because the focal length is too near of 35mm and/or not wide enough ? It is a very small lens, smaller than the 55mm, has good sharpness and the reputation of being a very good value for its price (it is the cheapest native lens). My only problem with it is that it is exhibiting quite a lot of distortion, so not that good fir architecture.

    From what I have seen, the 25mm Batis is less compact than the 21mm Loxia, but if I remember correctly, it is slightly lighter than it. Also, the hood makes it look bigger than it is. Changing the original hood for a smaller one may improve the size.
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    Right now things are difficult for wa native lenses. Mainly because the two Zeiss are very difficult to get at : this is why you see so few samples pictures. But a few have been lucky here : look in the fun with threads; Barry Haines has got a Loxia and I think Werner has a Batis.

    As for the 16-35mm given that you say you don't shoot wider than 21mm and that you want to keep your outfit small, I'd say pass on it : the 16-35mm is big and heavy compared to the 55mm, plus it is mainly good at the short end, aka lower than 24mm. I got one and regret that purchase. Its only advantage is that unlike the two Zeiss, it is easily available, plus the flexibility of a zoom.

    You didn't mention the 28mm F2 Sony : is it because the focal length is too near of 35mm and/or not wide enough ? It is a very small lens, smaller than the 55mm, has good sharpness and the reputation of being a very good value for its price (it is the cheapest native lens). My only problem with it is that it is exhibiting quite a lot of distortion, so not that good fir architecture.

    From what I have seen, the 25mm Batis is less compact than the 21mm Loxia, but if I remember correctly, it is slightly lighter than it. Also, the hood makes it look bigger than it is. Changing the original hood for a smaller one may improve the size.
    Yes, I think the 28mm F2 is too near the 35mm. But I really like the price and the pictures taken from it. I have only seen pictures and youtube videos of the Loxia and the Batis, and from what I can see from the internet it looks like the Batis is a lot bulkier than the Loxia, but that might not be a deal breaker. Interesting that the lens hood is so big, changing it might be a solution. I walk/climb a lot in mountains, so very big bulky lenses tend to get in the way in some situations. Thanks for the input regarding the zoom, I think that strengthens me even more towards the two primes. I do not need it right away, so hopefully they will be available in the coming months.

    I`m having problems deciding which FOV I like best. 21mm vs 25mm for landscapes? Decisions, decisions…

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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntrip View Post
    Yes, I think the 28mm F2 is too near the 35mm. But I really like the price and the pictures taken from it. I have only seen pictures and youtube videos of the Loxia and the Batis, and from what I can see from the internet it looks like the Batis is a lot bulkier than the Loxia, but that might not be a deal breaker. Interesting that the lens hood is so big, changing it might be a solution. I walk/climb a lot in mountains, so very big bulky lenses tend to get in the way in some situations. Thanks for the input regarding the zoom, I think that strengthens me even more towards the two primes. I do not need it right away, so hopefully they will be available in the coming months.

    I`m having problems deciding which FOV I like best. 21mm vs 25mm for landscapes? Decisions, decisions…
    For landscapes I prefer a short tele, may be due to the fact that Switzerland is so densely populated : I find it easier to avoid distracting elements. Also with wides there are more difficulties to pick a good foreground and to get rid of distracting elements. I think that our brain adapts itself to any focal length as we use it.

    Personnally I'm leaning for the 25mm (the longer focal, the AF suits me better, even if I prefer the size and look of the Loxia), but whether you prefer a 21mm or a 25mm may also depends upon the type of landscapes you are shooting very wide spaces may call for a wider lens (think Grand Canyon, if you want to see both rims and wide desert plains). In big cities, where buildings have many floors wider would be better. But in small cities and villages, I don't need so short focal lengths.
    Last edited by Annna T; 4th January 2016 at 06:29.
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    Senior Member The Ute's Avatar
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntrip View Post
    I`m looking for a new wide angle lens and would like some input regarding this. I have recently upgraded my Sony A7r to the A7r2, and I`m very happy with the upgrade. Really like the AF and the steady shot feature, because I manly shoot without a bipod. My lenses that I have now is the FE35 2.8 and FE55 1.8. I like the size and the compactness of both lenses and I`m not sure that I would like anything bigger than the FE 55 1.8. I mostly use my camera during travelling and hiking so compactness and weight is much appreciated.

    Candidates:
    Loxia 21 mm F2.8
    Batis 25 mm F2.0
    Sony FE 16-35 mm F4.0

    I really like the size of the Loxia and I like look of the pictures, but I have not seen that many that many pictures jet. I`m currently a auto focus guy, but I am not that scared of buying a manual focus lens. I`m not sure quite sure if I am 21mm or a 25mm guy?

    The Batis looks kind of big but I like that it has auto focus and that it is F2 (not sure that I need the fastness, but I don`t mind. I also like the look of the pictures, but have not seen that many samples jet. The field of view might better for all-round use? But I`m not 100% sure regarding this. It`s also cheaper than the Loxia.

    FE 16-35 looks very good picture wise, but it might be too big and heavy? I like the flexibility of the zoom, but with 42 megapixel I don’t mind cropping.

    I`m currently leaning on buying the Loxia 21 mm F 2.8. I really like the size and I think 21mm might be the widest lens I need, so that will stop my need to buy anything wider. I can also crop to 25/24 mm if needed. So that will leave me with the 21mm – 35mm – 55mm lens setup. All pretty compact and good lenses, that will all fit in a Think Thank Retrospective 5 bag.

    If anyone have any input regarding this subject, please feel free to share. Any input is much appreciated! And sorry for my bad English.

    Thanks
    Here's my 2 cents.
    I owned the 16-35 and found it heavy for hiking.
    And Anna is right that is better at the shorter end than at the longer end of it's range.
    I also owned the 28 F2 and it is w/o doubt the best value out there if the FL suits you. I found it excellent for Landscape shooting.
    I have never used the Loxia 21 but I currently own the Batis 25.
    I hike a lot and don't find it on an A7rII an overly heavy or bulky combo.
    The focal length works well for tight spaces like slot canyons.
    I do not find myself needing or wanting anything wider and I appreciate the AF.
    Add to that the 25 is less expensive than the Loxia and you
    have an added bonus.
    I have posted many images here using the A7RII/Batis 25 combo and the image quality is nothing short of stunning. It's all you could want in a WA lens in my opinion.
    All this said the toughest part might be getting one although I hear the supply may soon increase.
    Hope that helps.
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    i also have both 28mm and Batis 25mm. i found suggest 28mm just because you can get a 0.75x converter and get yout 21mm f2.8. yes heavier, but...not that much.

    Batis is light but...dont underestimate how much space it takes especially with hood mounted backwards (for storage).

    im still getting used to 25mm focal length. i found 28mm far easier to use (im aiming for cinematic look, which is often done in 28mm).

    EDIT: i only have to wait one weekend for my Batis to be delivered in london.
    Keep It Simple.
    XQ2 / A7r / 15mm / 25mm / 28-35-50mm
    EOS M3 / 18-35mm
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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Another lens you might consider is the Voigtlander 15mm III. You mentioned that you don't mind cropping from 42MP, so going even wider could make sense. It's a lot less expensive than the other options, and seems to compliment a kit with the 35mm and 55mm. People seem to love the small size.

    Personally, I have the 16-35/4 and love it. Super-flexible focal range, AF, stabilized, and excellent image quality for a zoom. It's great for travel, if a little on the heavy side. At first when I switched from m4/3, I didn't really like the size and weight of this lens, but I'm used to it now. The flexibility is worth it IMO, as I'd have to carry and switch multiple lenses otherwise.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamgibson/
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Another lens, albeit manual focus and expensive, is the Leica WATE (16-21). It is light, small, and of excellent quality. I also have the Batis 25, which is excellent. I sometimes need wider than 25 and I like the WATE very much. The Loxia 21 may we'll be better (probably is from mtf) at 21, but WATE is no slouch and has the considerable advantage of flexibility of focal length. Anyway, of budget is flexible, you might want to check it out.
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    I too use the WATE, but then you need a 24 or 25 to bridge the gap to 35.

    I'm using the Zeiss 25 Distagon in C/Y mount. Not as sharp ('clinical'? ) as newer lenses, but it produces Zeiss' so-called 3D effect.

    Kirk
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    I am waiting for the arrival of the FE mount CV lenses of 15, 12, and 10 mm.
    Apparently they will enter the focal length into the Exif.

    I have the Batis 25/2 on order to complement my WATE 16-18-21/4 and Nikkor 28/1.4.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Thanks for all the input. I`m now strongly considering the Batis 25/2 (AF, better FOV for me) and also supplement with the CV 15mm in FE mount. This will leave me with 55,35,25 and 15 setup, where all the lenses are pretty compact. My local dealer will get the Batis lens very soon, so I can see and test the lens before I buy. But I still want to test and see the Loxia LOL
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Suntrip,

    (Your english is excellent. No problems there. Except, did you mean tripod -- 3 legs -- instead of bipod -- 2 legs?)

    Let me offer another opinion. For landscapes and wide-angle lenses, there are two main issues:
    [1] "fitting it all in"
    and
    [2] "near-far perspective"

    Something like this shot: Granite Basin in the Sierra Nevada is about fitting it all in. (I think this was shot with a Contax/Zeiss 25mm, but I'm not sure.) I wanted to be close to the lake, but still include the mountain ridgeline from left to right.

    Something like this shot: Santa Barbara Coast Sunset is about the near-far perspective. (This was shot with a Nikon 16-35 zoom lens, close to 20-21mm.) This is more typical of current landscape work that's popular on 500px and other locations. Superwide lenses (which I think of as 21mm and wider) let you get very close to a foreground element and yet still capture the background, making your foreground element look bigger in the photograph than it might to someone next to you as you take the picture. It's a way to exaggerate the drama. (I will say that, in order to "fit it all in", I've changed to stitching panoramics instead -- but a tripod is useful for doing that.)

    I would say that, despite how close 25mm and 21mm are to each other in numbers, they're quite different lenses in the way that they're used. I'd recommend buying a second-hand version of the Sony 16-35mm zoom lens and living with it for a while until you have a better sense of which focal length you prefer.

    (If you're committed to native-mount lenses and as lightweight as possible, and unusual suggestion might be to go for the E-mount 10-18mm zoom shot in crop mode...
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhespenheide View Post
    Suntrip,

    (Your english is excellent. No problems there. Except, did you mean tripod -- 3 legs -- instead of bipod -- 2 legs?)

    Let me offer another opinion. For landscapes and wide-angle lenses, there are two main issues:
    [1] "fitting it all in"
    and
    [2] "near-far perspective"

    Something like this shot: Granite Basin in the Sierra Nevada is about fitting it all in. (I think this was shot with a Contax/Zeiss 25mm, but I'm not sure.) I wanted to be close to the lake, but still include the mountain ridgeline from left to right.

    Something like this shot: Santa Barbara Coast Sunset is about the near-far perspective. (This was shot with a Nikon 16-35 zoom lens, close to 20-21mm.) This is more typical of current landscape work that's popular on 500px and other locations. Superwide lenses (which I think of as 21mm and wider) let you get very close to a foreground element and yet still capture the background, making your foreground element look bigger in the photograph than it might to someone next to you as you take the picture. It's a way to exaggerate the drama. (I will say that, in order to "fit it all in", I've changed to stitching panoramics instead -- but a tripod is useful for doing that.)

    I would say that, despite how close 25mm and 21mm are to each other in numbers, they're quite different lenses in the way that they're used. I'd recommend buying a second-hand version of the Sony 16-35mm zoom lens and living with it for a while until you have a better sense of which focal length you prefer.

    (If you're committed to native-mount lenses and as lightweight as possible, and unusual suggestion might be to go for the E-mount 10-18mm zoom shot in crop mode...
    Yes, I meant tripod

    Thanks a lot for the links and the descriptions. I have looked a lot at different pictures on flickr from the Loxia 21 and the Batis 25, and I like both FOV. I miss having a zoom so I might buy the FE 16-35 used and also a wide angel prime. Before I bought the Sony A7r I used a Pentax K-5 (APS-C) with the 18-135mm zoom, I used the 18mm a lot, and I did not feel that I missed something a lot wider. So I would probably be happy with only the Batis 25mm as my only wide angel lens. But there are some good used prices on the zoom here in Norway, so that might also be tempting. I do not think I will buy any crop zooms, but I will have a look and test the lens at my local dealer.

    If I buy the 25mm and the zoom, this will leave me with 55,35,25 primes and a 16-35mm zoom for the ultra-wide angel stuff. That is very tempting

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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntrip View Post
    Yes, I meant tripod


    If I buy the 25mm and the zoom, this will leave me with 55,35,25 primes and a 16-35mm zoom for the ultra-wide angel stuff. That is very tempting
    That is quite enough for almost everything in the landscape and travel world. The 16-35 zoom is not ideal for astrophotography but otherwise it is an excellent lens for wide angle images, performance at the wide end is really superb.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    The 16-35 zoom is not ideal for astrophotography but otherwise it is an excellent lens for wide angle images, performance at the wide end is really superb.
    True! For Astro-Landscapes or weaker aurora borealis, a Samyang/Rokinon 2.8/14mm can be added later, meanwhile the a7R2 isn't quite bad at high ISO, so Suntrip should be fine with that setup.
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhespenheide View Post
    Suntrip,
    Something like this shot: Granite Basin in the Sierra Nevada is about fitting it all in. (I think this was shot with a Contax/Zeiss 25mm, but I'm not sure.) I wanted to be close to the lake, but still include the mountain ridgeline from left to right.
    Hey I know precisely where that is! Nice shot. When I was there it was socked in with clouds and rain. Not a whiteout but close.

    BTW, I just got notice from B&H that my Batis 25 finally shipped. Ordered 2 months ago.

    Dave
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    davechewphotography.com

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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    That is quite enough for almost everything in the landscape and travel world. The 16-35 zoom is not ideal for astrophotography but otherwise it is an excellent lens for wide angle images, performance at the wide end is really superb.
    Here is an example of the wide end of this lens. Taken at f8, ISO 100, 1/250. I could not have gotten this without the 16mm. Leaning out of a window in the fort, with the sun blasting into the lens, just managed to get the elephants and the lake and hills in the same frame. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	GetDPI_7R2_5323.jpg 
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    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: Which wide angle lens?

    Personally I prefer primes to zooms. I love small primes on the Sony body and don't mind having to change lenses occasionally. I just had a 24-70 f4 Sony for a week to play with and although it's much smaller than a Canon equivalent, it was still much more bulky than even a large prime. I have the 28 f2 Sony and it's fantastic for a walk around lens. At the moment I'm using my old Leica R set, (19, 28, 35), in addition to the Sony 28. As much as the Sony zooms are good quality, I just can't deal with the size and weight so I'm planning on picking up a few ZM or Loxia lenses next.

    Just MHO. :-)

    Steve

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