Need some advice re Canon fullframe ultra wide angle

I am buying a new camera system and have my bases pretty well covered apart from the wide angle end.
Body will be a 5D mark ii.
I have 24mm covered but it’s really the ultra wide I am interested in opinions on.
I don’t want fisheye.
What would be your advice for wider than 18mm?
I want something that I can run a Lee filter system on the front of.
I want it as sharp as I can get with as little CA etc as possible.
At this stage I’m considering the Canons 16-35ii F2.8 or the 17-40 F4.
Is there a prime that is better than them or something exotic that I am not aware of?
Any opinions welcome.
Also interested in anyone who has used teles with ultrawides and how it works (or doesn’t work).

regards
Garth

Comments

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneover 3 years ago

    I have the older 16-35mm Garth, and I believe the newer one is much more attuned to digital systems. In saying that, I also believe all ultrawides have problems with softness in the corners, especially if you are using them wide open….If you want as sharp as you can get then sticking to f/9-f/11 will do it (so I’ve been told!)

    There is an 18mm tilt shift isn’t there? ;)

  • Thank you very much Mel.
    There is a 17mm tilt shift but it has a sticky outy (technical lingo) front element which rules out the filter system being able to go on the front.
    I do most of my wide stuff between F/8 & F/16 just want to make sure i am aware of “whats out there to choose from”
    Net research says the 16-35 ii is quite a bit better than the previous version but I wanted to garner the thoughts of people who have used this stuff in the field.

    – Garth Smith

  • Edyta Magdalena Pelc
    Edyta Magdalen...over 3 years ago

    I just bought Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II USM Lens Review

    The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II USM Lens is, without question, Canon’s best-performing (optically and physically) and best-built 24mm autofocus lens. It is also Canon’s widest angle lens with an aperture wider than f/2.8 – a full 2 stops wider than all wider angle Canon lenses. This lens looks great, feels great and functions superbly.
    Awesome for Canon 5DMarkII :)

  • Thank you very much Edyta. I have 24mm covered with a tilt shift version 2 which is apparently Canon’s sharpest glass at 24mm. I like longer exposure landscapes so this suits me better than a wider aperture would.
    This lens is actually the reason I changed from Nikon to Canon when making the shift to fullframe.

    – Garth Smith

  • John Robb
    John Robbover 3 years ago

    You’ve listed the only two ultra-wides that you can use front filters on – unfortunately the 17mm tilt and shift and the 14mm both can’t be easily filtered. I would think the 16-35 mk2 would have the clear edge over the 17-40 these days.

    Another option could be the 18mm Carl Zeiss – if you have the money and are willing to loose AF and a mm or two of wide angle.

  • Thank you John. You have summed up perfectly where I am at.
    I just wanted to make sure that i wasn’t missing anything.
    Any advice either way in using a 1.4 tele with a 16-35ii zoom?

    – Garth Smith

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneover 3 years ago

    You only need to look through my port to see how much I love my 16-35….and because it’s still a 77mm front element it means I only need one wide angle adaptor for the lees..so I can switch between the 70-200, 24-105, and 16-35….

  • Thank you Mel.
    For me its the opposite, my refined hit list are all 82mm filters.
    The one I already own (24mm mark ii TSE), and the 2 I don’t – (21mm Zeiss and the 16-35mm mark ii).
    Yes you might have noticed that the advice of you very helpful people here has tipped me the rest of the way to the 16-35 ii. Thank you very much.

    – Garth Smith

  • Peter Hill
    Peter Hillover 3 years ago

    Tatiana and I happened to be spectulating the other day as when the body will catch up with the lenses, Garth! I postulated that, being a patient man, you’re awaiting the release of the much-rumoured 5D Mark III.

    Anyways, you can’t really go wrong with the 5D Mark II, just be aware that its DFA is about f11. Stopping down any further won’t improve image quality but of course can be handy for longer exposures.

    The wide angle dilemma I faced as well, hence I got the Carl Zeiss f2.8 21mm – a simply awesome lens – and the 16-35mm f2.8L II. But, both these lenses have an 82mm filter thread, so your dark ND choices are severely limited. The Singh Ray Vari ND at 82mm is a piece of shite so don’t go there. I use the Lee Big Stopper for these 2 lenses – it just covers the lens.

    Alas, the EF 8-15mm f4L remains a no-show and also has a bulbous front element precluding front end filters, but I will be testing one as soon as it materialises.

    I’d be happy with the Mark 2 24mm Tilt+Shift. Using the Shift function for a 3 shot pano will give a completely distortion-free effective focal length of 14mm. Nothing on the planet compares with that.

    cheers

  • Not sure if they’d make the mistake of pricing the 5d mark iii as cheap as they did the mark ii. Even if they did that would make the resulting price drop in the leftover mark ii cameras very compelling indeed. I’m not sure that I need anything better than this.
    I’d love to buy a brand new obsolete 5D Mark ii for about $800 cheaper than I can now!
    Thank you for your input Peter.

    – Garth Smith

  • Thanks for your input Pete, it’s very much appreciated, I think I’ll go with the 16-35 and put the Zeiss inot the “one day basket”.
    Just wanted to throw something into the ring for the “Nothing on the planet compares with that” scenario. I know Ken Rockwell is a bit full on and you need to take his stuff with a grain of salt but you might find that link interesting.

    – Garth Smith

  • Peter Hill
    Peter Hillover 3 years ago

    I forgot to mention that the 5D Mark II is almost peerless among DSLRs when it comes to ISO and noise control, with only the Nikon D3 a comparison.

  • Neil
    Neilover 3 years ago

    G’day mate,
    Totally happy with the 16-35II and not aware of anything better (yet).
    Cheers!

  • Thank you very much Neil.

    – Garth Smith

  • Chris Cobern
    Chris Cobernover 3 years ago

    I was recently deciding between the 17-40 f4 L and the 16-35 II f2.8 L lenses. The reading I did seemed to indicate that the picture quality differences weren’t major between them (they each had different minuses and pluses).

    In the end I went for the 17-40 for the following reasons:

    It has a 77mm filter mount (the 16-35 takes an 82mm) which allowed me to use the same screw in filters that I use on my other main lenses.

    I would be using it for landscape photography so I didn’t need the f2.8 aperture.

    It was about half the cost of the 16-35.

    Although I haven’t used a 16-35 mm and so can’t make a direct comparison, I’m more than happy with the quality of the 17-40.

    cheers

    cjc

  • Thank you Chris, I must admit I do find that extra mm pretty compelling though.

    – Garth Smith

  • John Robb
    John Robbover 3 years ago

    Unfortunately The Canon teleconverters have projecting front elements so they only fit L lenses longer than the 135/f or the 70-200’s

  • Thank you very much John, I wasn’t aware of this, thank you for your input.

    – Garth Smith

  • Peter Hill
    Peter Hillover 3 years ago

    One more thing to consider Garth – calibration. Just been talking with Mel and it reminded me that the 5D Mark II is one of the few cameras with AF Microadjustment as a Custom Function. When you get the body, I recommend you apply this function to each Canon EF lens you have to remove any soft focus/back focus/front focus issues arising from a mis-calibration between the body and any particular lens. Once you’ve applied the microadjustment to any particular lens, the body will remember the required calibration adjustments for that lens.

  • Thank you Peter.

    – Garth Smith