Canon Wide-Angle Showdown

I had to chance to try out the EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
ef_s10~22_35~45_usm.jpg

vs. my EF 17-40 f/4 L
ef_17~40_4l_usm.jpg

Unfortunately, no one has given me a EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L to try yet ;)

I tested both lenses on a tripod with mirror lockup at my aprt. complex for two different focal length: 17mm and 20mm.

The purpose of the test was to see how well the 10-22 would suit replacing my 17-40... since I still don't find the 17-40 wide enough!

17mm:
http://convectionconnection.com/17mm.jpg

20mm:
http://convectionconnection.com/20mm.jpg

Summary:
The 17-40mm has a slight advantage in contrast over the 10-22mm (sorry I didn't include the full shots). That said, the contrast difference is so small... it's nothing to write home about.

Sharpness wise, the L lens shows its stuff at the wide angle (17mm) compared to the 10-22 at the same focal length. The L is noticably sharper wide open, and even at stopped down aperatures, beats out the 10-22 *slightly*. That said, if you are shooting at f/11... you'll probably never notice the difference.

At 20mm, however, the lenses are so similar, I can't tell the difference. Note that I compared both wide open... at 20mm, this is f/4 on the 17-40 and f/4.5 on the 10-22.

What about distortion? I can't tell a difference, however, the frame I took wasn't very well suited for this observation. The 17-40 had *slightly* better handling of chromatic abberation near the corner of the frame.

Finally, a quick comparison of the field of view for 10 and 17mm...
17-10.jpg


In the end... it's a tough call.

17-40L advantages:
-Performs well wide open.
-Slightly better contrast
-cheaper than the 10-22mm
-constant aperature means you don't need to refocus when zooming.
-can be used on all canon EF bodies
-slightly better in the CA dept.
-built like a tank.

17-40 disadvantages:
-not 10mm!

10-22 advantages:
-Performance is similar to the 17-40 stopped down.
-Widest option for 1.6x bodies.
-built solid... not quite like the 17-40 though.

10-22 disadvantages:
-costs much more.
-not as hot wide open (where we'll shoot often chasing!)

So what am I going to do? Not sure yet. As a walk around lens, I'd keep the 17-40. My only reservation is the need for a wider solution for chasing. Ugh.... why can't they just make a 10 or 12 mm prime?

I may try and sell the 17-40, then pick up a 10-22 for extreme WA. For not quite as wide angle, I could pick up a 24-105 f/4 IS... which should suit me well for chasing. I don't have a zoom beyond 40mm as it stands right now, so a versatile wide-short telephoto lens would be handy. Supposedly the optics are pretty darn good on this new lens.

Aaron
 
Thanks for the test. As a chaser that shoots video and stills the wide open sharpness factor is a pretty big one for me. As much as I'd like to be able to stop a lens down and have it mounted that just never seems to work out. I refuse to bump the ISO up past 100 during any amount of daylight shooting(low detail cloud/sky scenes just love to show off noise). So I'm left with having to shoot something handheld(pushed up against a door window or something) and often having to leave it at F4 to have even just a 1/30 shutter. F8 in same lighting and that is going to have to be mounted. Try doing all that and video on a close tornado given the op..not happening. So, F4(or something pretty wide open) is really important to be sharp and the 17-40L shines there. Pretty big difference at 17mm on those test shots at F4. Looking at the vent stack on the roof makes me think back about my 18-55 pos. Though that is even noticeably better than the kit lens. Most softness can be sharpened enough to work, but that one is pushing it I think. Also if a chaser is thinking about going "all out" and getting the 16-35 instead, I'd look at the comparisons online at wide open aperatures. I don't know of a wide angle zoom that is sharper than the 17-40L at 17mm wide open. That is just a VERY useful combo to have available in a lens while chasing.
 
Cool tests Aaron - I love finding this stuff here as I rarely have time to track these down on the net. I agree with Mike's thoughts completely - the f4 sharpness is critical given the frequent low-light shots when storm chasing, or even taking action shots and hoping for some reasonable sharpness and contrast. I've been really happy with the 17-40L, and I'm willing to wait a few years for the full frame cmos sensors to get down to affordable prices, at most 5 years down the line I'd think. While Canon appears comitted to keeping a line of 1.6x sensors around for years to come - I have to think the noise performance on full frame sensors will make them must have once the next generation of processing comes along.

Glen
 
How about the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6? I was just going to start a new thread about this lens. It seems perfect for storm structure shots, but now that I read this, the f/4 is probably too slow for shooting conditions under the base of a monster meso.

I really want to get this lens or the Tokina 12-24mm f/4, which is slightly faster but with seemingly more chromatic aberration at the edges. Both of these lenses are $500, which is less than half the price of the Nikkor equivalent, so I'm having trouble deciding between the two.

I'd love to have a wide angle lens that fits a Nikon for the chase tour I'm taking with Siler Lining Tours in the spring. Any thoughts? Reccomendations? Sample pics?
 
I picked up a Canon 10-22 in Tokyo back in August. I've been impressed with its performance on my Digital Rebel.

090705_large.jpg


092605_large.jpg


090905_large.jpg


It's a fun lens. Obviously, I'm itching to use it in a chase setting.

Having an EF-S mount, I was a little apprehensive about buying it, not knowing how much longer I'd be shooting with a cropped sensor camera. So, it was a bit of a toss-up between the 10-22 and the 17-40. In the end, wide won out. I don't see myself upgrading to a 5D anytime soon, and even if I do, I figure I can sell the 10-22 for a decent price.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Lawson
I picked up a Canon 10-22 in Tokyo back in August. I've been impressed with its performance on my Digital Rebel.

092605_large.jpg


It's a fun lens. Obviously, I'm itching to use it in a chase setting.

Having an EF-S mount, I was a little apprehensive about buying it, not knowing how much longer I'd be shooting with a cropped sensor camera. So, it was a bit of a toss-up between the 10-22 and the 17-40. In the end, wide won out. I don't see myself upgrading to a 5D anytime soon, and even if I do, I figure I can sell the 10-22 for a decent price.

Wow, Jeff. This picture is amazing! The clarity is so good, and so smooth. Looks like a good wide angle lense.
 
I'd be happy to do a complete test on a full suite of lenses... if someone wants to let me borrow them ;)

In the past I had a Sigma 20mm f/1.8 prime. Very nice wide angle lens, although it did suffer from some severe flare problems. Other than that, it was very sharp and distortion free.


BTW: I've heard the Tokina beats out the sigma from a few online forums... i'll see if I can track down the posts about it.

Aaron
 
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