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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

These versatile lenses are an ideal choice for travel and scenic photography -Fast Wide Zooms

Wide-angle zoom lenses are often far more practical as a purchase for photographers than a telephoto or even a standard do-it-all zoom. The large foreground framing is ideal for working from tight spaces or indoors, and while they can be unflattering for commercial portraiture, they're still very handy when working with people because they allow you to frame a subject while incorporating quite a bit of background—useful for telling a story through composition and environment.

Often sporting a fast aperture, useful for more than just shallow focus, these lenses will let you work in low-light situations, as well. The wide coverage is also an advantage for handholding without too much camera shake, unlike a telephoto, which is sensitive to even the subtlest movements. Both indoors and out, a fast wide-angle zoom will be able to handle anything from architecture to interiors, candids at the beach, expansive landscapes and so much more.


Canon divides their current lens array into two lines: the EF line, which covers full-frame cameras, and the EF-S series, capable of covering only sub-full-frame image circles. Their widest wide-angle zoom is the EF 8-15mm ƒ/4L USM, but it's a fish-eye, which is an impractical lens for most purposes. Instead, you might consider their EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L II USM, a member of their top-quality L-series lenses or, at a substantial savings thanks to a slower aperture and a slight loss to focal length, their EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM lens. 

Canon has just released two new wide-angles, a slower and less expensive version of the 16-35mm, the EF 16-35mm ƒ/4L IS USM, the first wide-angle zoom from the company to include IS image stabilization. They also announced the very affordable EF-S 10-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 IS STM with 16-28.8mm equivalence and a stepping STM motor for quiet operation and continuous autofocus during video capture. For sub-full-frame cameras, the EF-S 10-22mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 USM is a good economical choice with a large range. List Price: $299 (EF-S10-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 IS STM); $599 (EF-S 10-22mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 USM); $839 (EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM); $1,199 (EF 16-35mm ƒ/4L IS USM); $1,499 (EF 8-15mm ƒ/4L USM Fish-eye); $1,699 (EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L II USM).

Nikon has several economically priced wide-angle zooms, including their widest, the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED, as well as the AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR. A number of their wide zooms start at 18mm, like the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR and, for $100 less, the brand-new and almost identical AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens. These lenses all have a variable aperture, which has a maximum aperture that varies by the focal length you're zoomed to. So the 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, for example, has a faster aperture of ƒ/3.5 at the wide end while it's only capable of ƒ/5.6 when zoomed all the way out to 85mm. To make matters more complicated, the aperture will change while you're zooming, so if you're not paying attention, it can ruin an exposure. 

More expensive professional lenses have been designed for a fast and constant aperture throughout the zooming range, like the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED, the AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm ƒ/4G ED VR and the AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm ƒ/2.8D IF-ED. Nikon offers two lines, the full-frame FX line and the sub-full-frame DX line. DX cameras can be used with Nikon's full-frame cameras because the sensor will automatically crop to an APS-C-sized image circle to achieve full coverage. List Price: $699 (AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR); $899 (AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED); $899 (AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR); $999 (AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR); $1,259 (AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm ƒ/4G ED VR); $1,954 (AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm ƒ/2.8D IF-ED); $1,999 (AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED).

Most digital sensors are sub-full-frame, which means they're smaller than the standard 35mm-sized full-frame sensors found in professional and prosumer cameras. Given in 35mm equivalence, this means that sub-full-frame lenses will have a field of view that approximates much longer lenses on a full-frame camera. Fujifilm currently offers three lightweight wide-angle zooms for their X-series mirrorless cameras, which have an APS-C crop factor of 1.5x. With a 35mm equivalent focal range of 15-36mm, their widest is the new XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS. It has a stepping motor for video work and a minimum focusing distance of only 9.45 inches, useful for macro shots. Additionally, the XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens is equivalent to 27-84mm, while the XC16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OIS offers a range of 24-76mm. The XC16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 lacks an aperture ring, so it's much more lightweight than the other options at less than half a pound. Fujifilm's OIS Optical Image Stabilization promises between 4 to 4.5 stops of shake reduction. List Price: $699 (XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS); $799 (XC16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OIS); $999 (XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS).

Given the 2.0x crop factor of the Micro Four Thirds system that Olympus and Panasonic use for their respective mirrorless camera systems, wide-angle zooms are a bit of a challenge, as focal lengths are effectively doubled. Olympus has the M.Zuiko ED 9-18mm ƒ/4.0-5.6, their widest zoom, with an equivalent range of 18-36mm. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 PRO lens has a range of 24-80mm, while the ED 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 is equivalent to 28-300mm. The Zuiko ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 has 36-360mm equivalence, a really nice reach for a single zoom even though it starts out not very wide. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 II R and EZ lenses, which stands for Electronic Zoom, are a popular choice for their basic 28-84mm coverage at reasonable price points. The M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 EZ will provide more coverage than the 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 PRO at half the cost. List Price: $299 (M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 II R); $349 (M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 EZ); $499 (Zuiko ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3); $499 (M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6); $499 (M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 EZ); $599 (M.Zuiko ED 9-18mm ƒ/4.0-5.6); $999 (M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 PRO).

Because mirrorless designs like the Micro Four Thirds system require shorter flange distances, lenses are often much lighter and smaller than larger-sensor APS-C and full-frame models. Panasonic also sports the Micro Four Thirds mount system in its LUMIX line of mirrorless cameras with 2.0x magnification of angle of view. So the LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens is equivalent to a 24-64mm while weighing less than a fifth of a pound. The G VARIO 14-140mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH is a bigger lens at a larger cost, but the field of view is equivalent to a massive 28-280mm 10x zoom. With a fast constant aperture and weather resistance, the G X VARIO 12-35mm ƒ/2.8 ASPH lens is comparable to 24-70mm, an essential focal length for pro photographers. Panasonic's widest option is the G VARIO 7-14mm ƒ/4.0 ASPH, also with a constant aperture. List Price: $349 (LUMIX G Vario 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH); $699 (G VARIO 14-140mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH); $999 (G X VARIO 12-35mm ƒ/2.8 ASPH); $1,199 (G VARIO 7-14mm ƒ/4.0 ASPH).

The Pentax DA series of lenses are designed for the exact specifications of digital sensors so, much like mirrorless lens models, they're efficiently compact with a smaller imaging circle and, hence, smaller, lighter components. With APS-C crop, the Pentax K-mount currently includes the smc DA 12-24mm ƒ/4 ED AL (IF) lens with 18.5-37mm coverage and a constant aperture. At an equivalent 24-75mm, the smc Pentax DA* series 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM zoom is a high-quality pro lens with a quieter SDM focus motor and weather- and dust-resistant construction. They also offer a number of intermediate wide-angles like the 17-70mm ƒ/4, an 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, a 16-45mm ƒ/4, an 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 and a 15x zoom with the 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3. The smc DA 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 ED (IF) fish-eye will zoom out to a more conventional wide-angle view at 100º. List Price: $199 (DA 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 AL WR); $499 (smc DA 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR); $599 (smc DA 17-70mm ƒ/4 AL (IF) SDM); $599 (smc DA 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 ED SDM); $599 (smc DA 16-45mm ƒ/4 ED AL); $649 (smc DA 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 ED (IF) fish-eye); $899 (smc DA 12-24mm ƒ/4 ED AL (IF)); $1,299 (smc DA* series 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM).

Samsung's line of NX mirrorless lenses starts with the new 9-27mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED OIS, which is only compatible with the diminutive Samsung NX mini (24-73mm equivalence). For the rest of their APS-C line of NX-system cameras with a 1.54x crop factor, they offer the 12-24mm ƒ/4-5.6 ED and several "standard zooms" that start fairly wide, including the 16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 with 24.6-77mm equivalence, and the more professional version of the same focal length with a brighter variable aperture in the 16-50mm ƒ/2-2.8 S. They also produce the 20-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED II and the 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OIS with Optical Image Stabilization, but at a few hundred dollars more, the much longer 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 ED OIS might be the better purchase with roughly the same minimum aperture at an equivalence of 27.7-308mm. List Price: $219 (20-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED II); $229 (18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OIS); $299 (9-27mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED OIS); $349 (16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED OIS); $559 (12-24mm ƒ/4-5.6 ED); $699 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 ED OIS); $1,299 (16-50mm ƒ/2-2.8 S ED OIS).

Available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony mounts, Sigma's wide-angle zooms include the 8-16mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DC HSM (DC indicates lenses designed for APS-C sensors, which will cause vignetting if used with full-frame cameras), the full-frame 12-24mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II and two 10-20mm zooms for APS-C cameras, one with a constant ƒ/3.5 aperture and the other with a variable ƒ/4-5.6, which is also available for Four Thirds mounts. For a longer reach, they also produce the 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS Macro HSM and the 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, which is available with or without macro. List Price: $399 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM | C); $479 (10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6 EX DC HSM); $499 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 II DC (OS)* HSM); $549 (18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC (OS)* Macro HSM); $649 (10-20mm ƒ/3.5 EX DC HSM); $699 (8-16mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DC HSM); $949 (12-24mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II). 

Sony lenses are currently available in two lines: A-mount for their line of APS-C and full-frame DSLRs, and E-mount for their mirrorless options. A-mount lenses can be mounted to E-mount mirrorless cameras via a lens adapter, while the reverse isn't true. Looking at newer E-mount lenses, Sony offers three versions of its 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 lens in varying weights and sizes, each equivalent to a 27-300mm zoom, as well as the retractable 16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, a 10-18mm ƒ/4 wide-angle zoom, an 18-105mm ƒ/4 G OSS, the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm ƒ/4 ZA OSS lens and a more standard 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. List Price: $349 (16-50mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 OSS); $599 (E PZ 18-105mm ƒ/4 G OSS); $849 (10-18mm ƒ/4 Wide-Angle Zoom); $999 (Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm ƒ/4 ZA OSS); $849 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Zoom); $899 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 OSS); $1,199 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Telephoto).

Tamron has a healthy selection of zooms available for Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras in both A-mount and now the mirrorless E-mount with the 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Di III VC. This lens is part of the new Di III line of mirrorless lens solutions while Di II lenses will work with APS-C cameras. Currently, the Di II system is comprised of five zooms that start fairly wide, including an extremely affordable 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 with macro, the 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3, the SP 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Di II and an SP AF17-50mm ƒ/2.8 available with VC Vibration Compensation for Canon and Nikon models but without for the other mounts. Including the SP 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 and the SP AF28-75mm ƒ/2.8, as well as other models, Tamron's pro Di line is available for full-frame camera mounts. List Price: $199 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di II Macro); $449 (18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD); $499 (SP AF28-75mm ƒ/2.8 XR Di LD [IF]); $499 (SP AF10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Di II); $499 (SP AF17-50mm ƒ/2.8 XR Di II LD [IF]); $649 (SP AF17-50mm ƒ/2.8 XR Di II VC LD [IF]); $739 (18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 Di III VC); $1,299 (SP 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 Di VC USD).

Similarly, Tokina divides their offerings for Canon, Nikon and Sony Alpha cameras into the APS-C DX or the 35mm full-frame FX lines. For DX, they include quite a few wide-angle zooms: the AT-X PRO 12-24mm ƒ/4, the AF 12-28mm ƒ/4 and the AF 11-16mm ƒ/2.8. Their AT-X 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 DX fish-eye lens is interesting in that it can be zoomed out to a wide angle at the 17mm end. It's a DX lens, but it's available as an NH (no built-in hood) version, allowing for more coverage for full-frame cameras, although there will be some vignetting at the wider end of the range. The FX line features the AT-X 16-28mm ƒ/2.8 PRO FX and the AT-X 17-35mm ƒ/4 PRO FX lenses. List Price: $399 (12-24mm ƒ/4 AT-X 124AF PRO DX II); $449 (11-16mm ƒ/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX); $489 (12-28mm ƒ/4 AT-X PRO DX); $499 (17-35mm ƒ/4 PRO FX); $559 (AT-X 107 AF DX fish-eye 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5); $619 (AT-X 107 AF NH fish-eye 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5); $649 (AT-X 16-28mm ƒ/2.8 PRO FX). 

Information From : http://www.dpmag.com/gear/lenses/toolbox-fast-wide-zooms.html

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