BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Marquee Smith

Wide-Angle Lenses

I am looking to buy a wide-angle lens. What would be good focal length for landscape shots? Also, would it be better to get a fixed or a zoom lens? I have a Canon Rebel Ti. Any suggestions are appreciated.

To love this question, log in above
10/14/2004 10:02:39 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Personally, I prefer name-brand prime lenses to zooms ... because as a rule, they are faster and sharper than comparable zooms shot at the same focal length. A medium-wide angle (28 or 35mm) might be worth looking into for your scenics.

To love this comment, log in above
10/14/2004 3:15:19 PM

Marquee Smith   Thank you for the inforamtion.


To love this comment, log in above
10/14/2004 7:03:02 PM

Alisha May Furbish
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/5/2003
  Hi Marquee- I have the same camera, and am looking for the same thing! Let me know what you end up with, and how you like it- I lean towards fixed because of it's increased speed, but it would take some getting used to, I am so used to being able to adjust my focal length.

To love this comment, log in above
10/20/2004 2:13:51 PM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  Regardless of which wide-angle lens you purchase, you need to remember that what you see may not be what you record [on film or memory card.] I found out, after much frustration, that telephoto lenses worked better for me for landscapes.

That because, in many instances, I failed to include some kind of object to allow the viewer to relate to the expanse he was seeing in the photograph. One I recognized the problem, I was able to return to the wide-angle lens.

There remains a debate, which Bob alludes to, relative to named brand lenses vs. aftermarket lenses. Personally, I have difficulty seeing differences between pictures shot with my Canon 35-105 mm zoom and my Tamron 28-200 mm zoom at wider settings. [Obviously, I can't compare the view area for 28 vs. 35.] But, I'm thinking of "sharpness." Of course, I don't make enlargements beyond 8X12 and larger prints will be the proof in the pudding.

Remember one other thing, in landscape photography you'll generally be shooting with lighting than doesn't require you to have your lens wide open. Years ago, one of the major magazines reported than up to 90 percent of all photos taken were shot at apertures between f/5.6 and f/11. For landscapes, you can use a tripod and, therefore, you might be able to sacrifce a little lens speed.

As to which lens: I noted I have a Tamron 28-200 mm zoom. It's the second generation of the four Tamron has produced and, from a number of reviews, the best. Canon makes a similar lens which was too well received. If you can afford it, look into Tamron's f/2.8, 28-105 mm. Street price ~$750.

Fixed focal length lenses are cheaper, you might try its 28/2.8 [$160] or the 24/2.8 [$280.]


To love this comment, log in above
10/22/2004 6:25:35 AM

Marquee Smith   Hi Alisha - I am considering a 35mm or 24mm fixed. I may buy the 24mm first because I have a 28-200mm zoom already - and take John's advice on using my tripod at 28mm on my zoom lens. I'll let you know what I decide. BTW I look at your gallery- very nice pics!!!

To love this comment, log in above
10/23/2004 12:16:04 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.