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Author Topic: Canon wide angle prime lens vs. 24-70mm zoom  (Read 10958 times)

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« on: April 08, 2008, 06:29 »
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Hi again,

Would like to know if anyone could offer some input on whether to go for a Canon prime wide angle lens (24mm f/1.4) or the similarly priced Canon L 24-70mm f/2.8??

I'm looking to get one before I head off on a trekking and safari trip in Africa within a couple of months. So, I'd like something that could capture some very sharp landscapes. I'm worried about the sharpness difference between the prime and the zoom, after having been using a Canon L 28-70mm lately and not being all that impressed.

Has anyone used the 24mm f/1.4? With which body?

I'm mostly worried about the sharpness of the 24-70mm at the the wider zoom, where it will get much more use.

I have a sigma 10-20mm, which is good fun with the extra width, but its not all that sharp at all.

Cheers.


« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 07:06 »
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check out this page on fredmiranda

http://www.fredmiranda.com/24-70/

it is a comparison of the 24-70, 28-70 and 50mm prime.

I know it is not the 24 prime you are talking about but i am guessing that the primes will be pretty similar and it gives you an idea of how the 24-70 improved over the 28-70 (or not).

As a summery from the article though, it seems that at low aperatures, below f/4 the prime really stands out as superior.  Once you get up to f/4 there is really no difference.  If you want a flexible lens, go with the 24-70, if you HAVE to have pin sharp images at 2.8 go with the prime.

since you are shooting landscapes though, I wouldn't think there would be any problem shooting at f/16, or f/8.  Any differences in the lenses should be pretty much nil.

« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 07:19 »
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24mm is not a wide angle on cameras with crop factor (eos 3**D, eos 4**D, eos 20D, eos 30D, eos 40D)

« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 07:57 »
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24mm is not a wide angle on cameras with crop factor (eos 3**D, eos 4**D, eos 20D, eos 30D, eos 40D)
I will probably be taking my 40d and not a full frame camera (why won't they just release a new 5d already)..

Thanks, leaf. I just read that article the other day, though. It'd be nice to hear if anyone can confirm or deny that from experience. It does sounds like at the higher f-stops the difference in sharp is so little that it might be worth going for the zoom, and having a slightly more versatile lens.

« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 09:26 »
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Here is a good review including sharpness, aparently that guy did not  had as much luck with the 24-70 copies. http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/184-canon-ef-24-70mm-f28-usm-l-test-report--review?start=1

And here the 1.4 review: http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/152-canon-ef-24mm-f14-usm-l-test-report--review?start=1

I have the 24-70 and am very pleased with the images. Of course in general a prime is sharper but I am very satisfied with my copy. Even at 2.8 it is pretty sharp.

« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 09:41 »
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If you are planning to take the 40D as the only camera I would look into Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS. I read that it is better than the 24-70, nice wide angle on crop body and IS on top of it. All that for about the same price. And I have the 24-70 f/2.8 myself.

« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2008, 10:26 »
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If you are planning to take the 40D as the only camera I would look into Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS. I read that it is better than the 24-70, nice wide angle on crop body and IS on top of it. All that for about the same price. And I have the 24-70 f/2.8 myself.
I agree 17-55 would be good choice but remember that is  an EFS  lens and  won't work on a full frame body and if you are planning to upgrade to a full frame body  (like th new 5d as you mention above) I'd go for 24-70 if I were you as leaf mentioned I think it would be a more flexible lens than a prime when shooting landscape.

RT


« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2008, 13:42 »
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Without sounding too condecending, you ain't going to notice a lot of  difference in quality between a 24mm and a 24-70mm using a 40D, both lenses are top quality and can give great results.

If it was me out of those two I'd go for the 24-70, but then to be totally honest I wouldn't choose either, in the situation you describe I'd go for the 24-105mm, that way you can shoot landscapes and have a bit extra reach for some wildlife.

Either way it sounds like a nice trip, have fun.

« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2008, 14:04 »
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Without sounding too condecending, you ain't going to notice a lot of  difference in quality between a 24mm and a 24-70mm using a 40D, both lenses are top quality and can give great results.

If it was me out of those two I'd go for the 24-70, but then to be totally honest I wouldn't choose either, in the situation you describe I'd go for the 24-105mm, that way you can shoot landscapes and have a bit extra reach for some wildlife.

Either way it sounds like a nice trip, have fun.

Thanks, you're probably right. I use a 1ds Mark 2 as well, which i've been using someone else's 28-70 on, but i'm still not completely satisfied with the quality (maybe i need to give myself a break and focus on the content of the image ;)).. I think quality is more dependent on the glass than the body. I'm hesitant to take the 1ds to africa (kenya), tho without any assistants or any such things.

I have a canon L 70-200 with a 2x extender so i'm hoping thats enough to capture some of those furry critters.

This is probably an endless discussion. I started off wondering about the difference between the prime and the zoom at around 24mm of zoom, but there are just so many lenses and any L glass seems to be pretty top notch.

Anbody been or living in Africa with some essential tips?

« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2008, 14:31 »
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I have a canon L 70-200 with a 2x extender so i'm hoping thats enough to capture some of those furry critters.

Although I've never shot wildlife, I don't think this will be a long enough lens to get the shots you want. A 300mm or 400mm with a 2x will probably be much better. Also, if you have doubts about a 24-70 not being sharp enough, there's no way you're going to be happy when you start using an extender - I used to have one of these, but was unhappy with the results and ended up buying longer lenses instead.

Anbody been or living in Africa with some essential tips?

Nico Smit is undoubtedly the man to ask.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 14:38 by sharply_done »

« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2008, 15:05 »
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I have a canon L 70-200 with a 2x extender so i'm hoping thats enough to capture some of those furry critters.


Do you have a canon 2x extender? How does it perform with the 70-200?
I have a 70-200 2.8 is and I tried it with a cheap 2x extender and the results are horrible. Perhaps with the canon...????

« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2008, 15:44 »
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I've ordered the 2x extender, was a bit of an impulsive purchase as i'm yet to really see if it can still produce any sharp images. A larger lens wasn't really an option. I'll be sure to give an update when it arrives.

« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2008, 16:13 »
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In the last few years Kenya has become a politically unstable and violent place, so be very, very careful and keep your wits about you.

I was saddened to see that Guiseppe di Stefano, a famous tenor in the 60's and 70's and who had probably the best relationship with Maria Callas on stage and on record was recently mugged at his home in Kenya, and being now in his 80's he died from the injuries.

I've never been there and don't intend to, but I suggest you stick very close to your guides and have plenty of dollar bills in your pocket for gratuities and bribes.

« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2008, 16:19 »
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In the last few years Kenya has become a politically unstable and violent place, so be very, very careful and keep your wits about you.

I was saddened to see that Guiseppe di Stefano, a famous tenor in the 60's and 70's and who had probably the best relationship with Maria Callas on stage and on record was recently mugged at his home in Kenya, and being now in his 80's he died from the injuries.

I've never been there and don't intend to, but I suggest you stick very close to your guides and have plenty of dollar bills in your pocket for gratuities and bribes.
Indeed, though travel restrictions have now been lifted on a country that was considered in recent times to be one of the most stable in africa.

« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2008, 17:44 »
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Do you have a canon 2x extender? How does it perform with the 70-200?
I have a 70-200 2.8 is and I tried it with a cheap 2x extender and the results are horrible. Perhaps with the canon...????
As I said above, I used to have a Canon 2X, but got rid of it. I used it with my 70-200mm, 200mm, and 300mm 'L' lenses and found that it magically transformed a superior lens into a mediocre one. I couldn't afford a 600mm, so I ditched the 200mm and bought a 400mm instead.

If you're at all a stickler for sharpness, you won't like using an extender. You should also know that you can't autofocus unless you use the extender on an f/2.8 lens, and that it costs you two stops (i.e. you now have an f/5.6 lens), which means you'll have to stop down to f/11 before you begin to hit the 'sweet spot'.

Overall, I found the combination of f/2.8 + 2x to be too much of a difficult compromise in anything but ideal lighting conditions.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 17:47 by sharply_done »

« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2008, 18:18 »
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I haven't any experience with the extenders but from what I read 2x extenders aren't much preferred and it is said quality loss wasn't that bad with x1.4 extenders.Once again it's just what I read.

« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2008, 21:39 »
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Without sounding too condecending, you ain't going to notice a lot of  difference in quality between a 24mm and a 24-70mm using a 40D, both lenses are top quality and can give great results.

If it was me out of those two I'd go for the 24-70, but then to be totally honest I wouldn't choose either, in the situation you describe I'd go for the 24-105mm, that way you can shoot landscapes and have a bit extra reach for some wildlife.

Either way it sounds like a nice trip, have fun.


I had those exact thoughts and I went for 24-105mm. I may have been unlucky and I got a bad copy but my lens sucks big time.  Soft , but I mean "soft" all under f9 but the biggest problem is chromatic aberrations.

Recently I had a chance to try another copy , and was even worst than mine.



 

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