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Old 04-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #1
mellobudd
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educate me on lenses

im planning to buy some lenses this summer, and i wonder which one will give me the best clarity, range, and i have a moderate budget: Sigma lenses or Canon? btw, i have a canon 40D.

SIGMA 150MM F2.8 EX DG MACRO CANON 72MM
V.S.
CANON EF 70-200MM F4L USM

SIGMA 24-70MM 2.8 EX DG CANON MACRO(82MM
V.S.
CANON EF 17-40 F4.0L USM

i know most of you guys (esp.canon users) will stick with the canon's...but i noticed that sigmas are sometimes half the price? are they really not that good? i read from shutterbug magazine that comparing these lenses side by side really shows the difference. well, i guess you get what you pay for right?
im only a novice photographer and i just want to get the "best bang for the buck" type of lenses that suits my photography style (wedding, sports, landscape, etc.) or is there such thing for the lenses? and also there's tamron's, lens babies..but i would'nt really know what's the deal with these brands...plus im tired on reading reviews about them, sometimes i just want to cut to the chase and just buy every lenses that i want...i need to hear from the experts here on max..thanks in advance.

Ian
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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anybody here uses canon 85mm f/1.8? or a 14mm f/2.8 lens? are these any better than a 17-85mm f4-5.6 in portraiture/outdoor, studio work?
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Depending on the lens, Sigmas can be every bit as good and in some cases better than Canons. A budget # will help to understand what lenses you should be looking at but when you say that your photography style is Weddings, sports, landscapes, you are looking a 3 very different styles of lens really.

For landscapes on a crop sensor 40D, I wouldn't necessarily say that the 17-40L is wide enough. I would go with something like a Sigma 10-20mm or Tokina 12-24mm. Sports, the 70-200 F/4 is great and reasonably priced but the F/4 won't likely be fast enough for any poorly lit indoor sports. For these you'd need to jump to the Canon or Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. The Sigma is close to as good and considerably less expensive here. For weddings/portraits, the Canon 85/1.8 is a good choice as would the 50/1.8 (the 50 only costs $75ish), 14 is too wide for portraits in my opinion. The 17-85 isn't overly sharp or really great for portraits, etc. Also in portrait range an amazingly sharp lens for a great vallue is the Tamron 17-50, check that one out.

Good luck, I'm currently building up my lens collection too
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellobudd View Post
anybody here uses canon 85mm f/1.8? or a 14mm f/2.8 lens? are these any better than a 17-85mm f4-5.6 in portraiture/outdoor, studio work?
I haven't used the specific lenses you mention, but in my experience the prime lenses (no zoom) give noticeably better quality. Like night and day in some cases :/ I'm starting to almost hate my 16-35 lens, even though it is L series, while my the 135 is turning into my favourite, despite the limitation of a lens with no zoom.

For portraits I'd definitely stick with a prime lens. I've got the small 50 as well, can't beat it for the price and it's got great quality due to the simplicity of the glass.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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had no experience with all the lenses uve listed, but you should go to www.fredmiranda.com, and go to the "reviews" section, there you can read first hand reviews from people that actually OWN those lenses. Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antz_Marchin View Post
Depending on the lens, Sigmas can be every bit as good and in some cases better than Canons. A budget # will help to understand what lenses you should be looking at but when you say that your photography style is Weddings, sports, landscapes, you are looking a 3 very different styles of lens really.

For landscapes on a crop sensor 40D, I wouldn't necessarily say that the 17-40L is wide enough. I would go with something like a Sigma 10-20mm or Tokina 12-24mm. Sports, the 70-200 F/4 is great and reasonably priced but the F/4 won't likely be fast enough for any poorly lit indoor sports. For these you'd need to jump to the Canon or Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. The Sigma is close to as good and considerably less expensive here. For weddings/portraits, the Canon 85/1.8 is a good choice as would the 50/1.8 (the 50 only costs $75ish), 14 is too wide for portraits in my opinion. The 17-85 isn't overly sharp or really great for portraits, etc. Also in portrait range an amazingly sharp lens for a great vallue is the Tamron 17-50, check that one out.

Good luck, I'm currently building up my lens collection too

Thank you so much Antz! I thought nobody was ever gonna respond! I was talking to an instructor today and also recommended those lenses that you mentioned. Sigma's are really good with their 2.8's considering the price compared to a canon, but i couldn't really tell
the difference until I have them side by side. I bought a Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 for $100 almost brand new. I was stunned by the quality of the images that I got esp in the macro mode. Though speed was lacking, I still liked how sharp the images came out. Around 200 it becomes soft, but hey can't complain here with the price. I also tried the 50mm f1.8 that canon sells, but i returned it after some shots. I didn't like the fact that it was a fixed focus lens..maybe Im looking for the lens that will suit the versatility of what I wanted to do, without having to carry a huge bag and a light pocket. I will post some pics here soon. Thanks again AntZ! much much appreciated!

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Old 04-15-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rost12 View Post
I haven't used the specific lenses you mention, but in my experience the prime lenses (no zoom) give noticeably better quality. Like night and day in some cases :/ I'm starting to almost hate my 16-35 lens, even though it is L series, while my the 135 is turning into my favourite, despite the limitation of a lens with no zoom.

For portraits I'd definitely stick with a prime lens. I've got the small 50 as well, can't beat it for the price and it's got great quality due to the simplicity of the glass.
maybe I have to get that 50mm back..hey if ever you want to get rid of that 2.8 16-35mm let me know good stuff you have...
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerisabe View Post
had no experience with all the lenses uve listed, but you should go to www.fredmiranda.com, and go to the "reviews" section, there you can read first hand reviews from people that actually OWN those lenses. Good luck.

yeah, i HAVE read all his reviews with those particular lenses, i just wanted to know WHO in max is actually using one..maybe just to see them in person or learn from their experience with those brands...and maybe that's the reason why I bought one today, because I wouldn't really know until I have one..though sometimes I wish I could afford to get the "L" all the time.

thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #9
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its not only HIS reviews, in the forum members reviews, so it's not only a ONE person review there. That's whats good about it. Good that you already bought it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerisabe View Post
its not only HIS reviews, in the forum members reviews, so it's not only a ONE person review there. That's whats good about it. Good that you already bought it.
yeah i found the site with a lot of tamron users, i bought one just to compare..so far its been doing quite well, it's noisy though if switched to auto...are you a nikon user?

edit: sorry, you're a mark III user. hands down.

Last edited by mellobudd; 04-15-2008 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:52 PM   #11
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certain tamron lens have better sharpness even compared to some canon lens from what ive heard, just make sure ure getting a sharp copy.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #12
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A good all around lens 24-70 f 2.8 or the 24-100 f 4 IS

I myself use the 24-70 Outstanding
I rarely changes lens I also have 50 1.8 and 2 other crappy lens
great wide angle and portrait lens

I know there on the pricey side but well worth the money
look on craigslist might find some used there save some money
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:13 PM   #13
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My experience is with the Sigma 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Lens and I found it to be very soft in the long end.

Here is a comparison of this Sigma vs. the Olympus ZD 5-200mm.

First pic, the Sigma:

Second pic the ZD Olympus.






Now compare the difference. The first Sigma pic is very soft. I used to own the Sigma 55-200mm and then sold it and bought the ZD Olympus 50-200mm. Like night and day.

Mind you, every lense may vary and this might not be the case everytime as some copies of Sigma lenses are probably sharp. I can only say in this case when comparing these two lenses.

btw, pics are courtesy of Steve's Digicams Forums member Norm.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P5261725-01a.jpg (120.9 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg P7102587a.jpg (73.9 KB, 65 views)
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Last edited by WhadUpp; 04-15-2008 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:51 PM   #14
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take a look at http://www.the-digital-picture.com/

they have reviews of almost ALL canon lenses and a few aftermarket ones compatible with the EOS system. They do extensive comparisons and even have ISO charts available that allow you to compare each lens at specific focal lengths (for zooms) and f-stops to other lenses.

Keep in mind that its almost impossible to compare primes to zooms. The primes will generally always be faster (lower f/stop) and sharper. The other benefit to primes is that they will also have no issues focusing at infinity (lower quality zooms have this issue).

I'd stay away from sigma, tamron, and other lenses. They are generally cheaper, lower quality construction and have quality control issues, so you might end up with a bad sample that does not perform as good as it should. For now, stick with canon.

It all comes down to application, primes are generally better when you have time to setup a picture, frame it, and need a fast and sharp lens. Where zooms are more practical in journalistic style photography or event photography.

As a beginner I'd suggest you start of with a general purpose prime such as a 50mm. You can get the canon 50mm f/1.8 II for around $100.00 new and its a very cheap but sharp lens. It will also teach you to frame the picture properly, focus on your DOF, and its not so bad to use your legs for zoom You'll find that you can also use it indoors without a flash...

Always review lenses and test them before you buy it... but the link above is a good place to start...

Good luck!

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Old 04-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #15
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^^Thanks Tom! btw, you have a beautiful camera..goodluck on the sale though..

anyways, i took some pictures today with the tamron 70-300mm using its macro mode 1:2

Maxphoto.jpg Maxphoto3.jpg

I will post some more later but using Canon's 70-200mm L non IS though..

thanks for your advise guys!

Edit: i forgot to mention that these are stock photos (no post process)..just resized the pic..
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