Budget Ultra-Wide: the Bower 14mm/f2.8


In the right hands, a 14mm ultra wide-angle lens can produce incredibly dramatic imagery, especially travel landscapes and all the tight places you've never quite been able to squeeze into the frame using the kit zoom that came with your DSLR. But ultra wide-angle lenses—especially the faster f/2.8 versions—are often out of the price range of many enthusiasts. Thanks to Bower, you can now crack the 28mm wide-angle barrier for well under $500. How "well" under $500? How'z about $426? Got your attention yet?

The Bower 14mm /f2.8 ultra wide-angle lens is available for use with APS-C and full-frame* DSLRs from Canon, Nikon and Sony/Minolta AF, as well as APS-C format DSLRs from Pentax and Samsung. Along with a fast-for-its-focal length f2.8 maximum aperture, the Bower 14mm ultra-wide has a whopping 114-degree angle of view (AOV) when used with a full-frame DSLR, and a not-too-shabby 92.5 AOV when used with APS-C format DSLRs from Nikon and Sony/Minolta AF DSLRs (89-degree AOV with Canon-mount APS-C form DSLRs).

The Bower 14mm/f2.8 ultra-wide is designed to capture dramatic landscapes, architecture and interior photgraphy. It contains 14 elements in 12 groups, including two aspherical and two ED elements designed to better ensure high levels of optical performance, minimal lens flare and chromatic aberrations.

In addition to a broad AOV, the Bower 14mm/f2.8 also features a minimum close-focusing distance of 11 inches (0.28 m), which allows for dramatic close-ups.

* Note: Though this lens is designed to cover the imaging sensor of a full-frame DSLR, it is better optimized for use with DSLRs containing smaller APS-C format sensors. As such, you might notice softer focus and some light fall-off towards the edges of the frame when using a full-frame DSLR. If you do plan on using this lens with a full-frame DSLR, we recommend you set the lens no wider (faster) than f/8 for optimal image quality.

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I agree, having a 2.8 would be nice. However, I do prefer the having a zoom. The

Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f / 3.5-4.5 DI II Zoom is a great lens at a great price of 449.99 after rebates. It gives the flexibility of the nice ultra-wide for scenics. In bright light....you're not hindered by the slower aperature (which is more commonly found amoung non-pros). But that's only my opinion.

I have it and its excellent peace of hardware and may give u pretty good picture - very sharp on 21m sensor but  huge barrell distortion which could be remedied in recent PTLens. Recomended!  Scientific review here


In my experience there are really only two kinds of sharpness; yes and no. Of course, it may be that this lens is both, depending on what size sensor your camera has.  I read the description to say "although it covers a full frame, its intended for smaller sensors".  At least they're being upfront about it.  

In my experience there are really only two kinds of sharpness; yes and no. Of course, it may be that this lens is both, depending on what size sensor your camera has.  I read the description to say "although it covers a full frame, its intended for smaller sensors".  At least they're being upfront about it.  

the sigma 10-20 is a great wide (f4)
but if there are people in the shot i go back to my old 19-35 on a d90 both lens are tack sharp

Unfortunately all to many people get in to a full frame camera without fully understanding their own reasoning, or the needs of the camera they're buying.

to get quality you've got to pay to play, and this lens on full frame simply doesn't cut it. Is it a great buy for the money? Sure, if you're shooting a crop body. But if you're shelling out the money for a full frame DSLR you should already know that these budget lenses aren't going to give you favorable results and just move on. Why spend 2000+ on a body and then cheap out on glass? Include the glass in your budget, if you can't afford to upgrade both keep saving until you can and THEN upgrade to full frame...if you even need it at all.

Why would I opt for a f2.8 lens that should be set F8 and above?

Can buy a slower (but faster) lens with real glass.

I too have have the Tonika 11-16mm f2.8. It's my only non-Canon lens. I highly recommend it.

I have same for $ 350 under Rokinon name still; testing this chipo !

For Nikon shooters, check out the 18-35. If you can live without the extra 4mm and 2.8 (it's 3.5 at full wide) it's one of the great Nikon bargains, esp. on an APS camera. I use mine with an adapter on Canon SLRs for video as well. B&H sells the US version for $609. I got mine used for about $350. I've shot a ton of product stills with it, and just shot a TV spot on the Canon using it for wide work.

It has a fair amount of barrel distortion full-frame - for the work I do, I want some distortion when shooting wide. It's not a great architectural lens - but SLRs aren't that great for shooting architecture anyway. Got a view camera for those gigs.

the Tokina is  softer than this lens,  It does say BUDGET in the topic header..

Question: this lense is manual focus only?  Bower's website doesn't have a full product listing yet.  But considering the value, it wouldn't bother me if no AF.  I'm just lazy sometimes:)

"Who would go out and purposely buy a fuzzy lens?"

Stanley Kubrick, for one. He loved wide-angle lenses, but those he used for A Clockwork Orange were of poor quality. This is visible even on the DVD, and extremely visible on the Blu-ray. You can plainly see the jump (downward) in image quality when he uses one of them.

It's still difficult to make a high-quality full-frame 14mm lens, especially at f/2.8. One shouldn't expect the highest quality from an under-$500 product.

Be grateful that B&H is honest about the lens's limitations.

In other words.... optimized for c sized snsors means in English... a piece of junk for a full framed camera...

Why would go out and purposely buy a fuzzy lens?

On 50d, 14 * 1.6 = 22.4mm

On Nikon APS-C 14 * 1.5 = 21mm

What would the 35mm equiv.of 14mm be if used on a Canon 50D?

The tokina is only a few dollars more for an actually amazing lens which can auto-focus and take filters. 


This isn't availabe for the Canon 7d?

Isn't this the Samyang 14mm 2.8?

How about some sample pictures?