canon rumors FORUM

Rumors => Lenses => Topic started by: Jayden01 on March 15, 2012, 12:21:31 PM

Title: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Jayden01 on March 15, 2012, 12:21:31 PM
Hi folks,

i`d like to know from experienced people which third-party lenses are better than the canon and nikon originals. Maybe there is none, but i`d love to hear your opinion, espiacially on primes.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 15, 2012, 01:16:02 PM
I think there are likely very few, if any, 3rd party lenses that are better than the branded equivalents across the board.  Rather, 3rd party lenses fill two needs - lower cost than the equivalent, and different selection than the brand. 

For example, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is a cost-effective substitute for a fast standard zoom for APS-C, the Sigma 70-200 OS is a cheaper substitute for the Canon/Nikon verisons. 

I think the latter is where 3rd party lenses are good choices.  There's no fast ultrawide zoom for APS-C other than the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8.  There's no brand equivalent to the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS, which is an excellent lens by most accounts.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: AJ on March 15, 2012, 04:14:31 PM
People say some Zeiss lenses are better than Canon's or Nikon's.  For example Zeiss 21/2.8 beats Canon 20/2.8 by quite a margin.  I have no experience with Zeiss myself.

Tamron lenses are generally cheaper.  I can't think of any Tamrons currently on the market today that are better or don't have a Canon equivalent.  Maybe Tamron 18-270, which is the zoomiest of the superzooms.

I have a Tamron 90/2.8 which is said to be equally sharp as Canon 100/2.8.  It's much lighter, which is why I chose it (I'm a traveler, hiker).  My Tamron 17-50/2.8 is also lighter than my Canon 17-55/2.8 IS, but optically the Canon is just a tad better.

Sigma makes some extreme wideangle zoom lenses (8-16 crop and 12-24 FF) that don't have a Canon counterpart. 

Sigma also has some unparalleled long glass, e.g. 120-300/2.8 OS that Neuro points out (on my wishlist), 300-800/5.6 (I played with it in my camera shop - this thing is HUGE and the tripod needed is even huger.  Then there is the ginormous 200-500/2.8

Some say Sigma 85/1.4 beats Nikon's 85/1.4, but it's not quite as good as Canon's 85/1.2  I'm just repeating internet hearsay, I don't have experience with this Sigma lens myself.

Similarly, Samyang 35/1.4 is said to edge Canon's venerable 35/1.4L, and their 14/2.8 gives Canon's equivalent a run for the money.  Again I'm just repeating hearsay.

Tokina makes some cool lenses.  I have a 10-17 zoomable fish-eye.  It goes from 180 deg diagonal fisheye to barrel-distorted wideangle (unlike Canon 8-15 which goes from circular fisheye to diagonal fisheye.  I have a love-hate relationship with Tokina 10-17.  It's very sharp and provides a unique perspective, but the chromatic abberations and purple fringing drive me bonkers.  BTW this is a joint Tokina-Pentax venture.

I also have a Tokina 50-135/2.8.  It's essentially a 70-200/4 for crop.  I really like this lens, and I wish that Canon would make its own version of it, with ring-USM and IS.

Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: ruuneos on March 15, 2012, 04:31:01 PM
Or one more use if you have crop sensor you may want get 30mm instead of 50mm for getting that 50mm lens on crop sensors like 7D.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: AJ on March 15, 2012, 04:40:10 PM
Or one more use if you have crop sensor you may want get 30mm instead of 50mm for getting that 50mm lens on crop sensors like 7D.
Yeah but Canon 35/1.4 is better than Sigma 30/1.4.  Yes 35 mm isn't 30 mm, but it's close.

I know because I own a 30/1.4...  Super creamy bokeh but not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Axilrod on March 15, 2012, 04:43:02 PM
+1 for Zeiss lenses but mainly if you are doing video or can live without manual focus.  The 21mm f/2.8 and 100mm f/2 makro are incredible lenses, and all of them have excellent sharpness across the frame.  I'm about to make the switch but can't bring used to get rid of my L glass.  But everytime I play with the Zeis stuff I want it more and more, but at the same time I shoot video mainly so I rarely use MF. They are definitely super high quality, but they are pricey so that's no surprise really.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 15, 2012, 11:23:37 PM
I absolutely love my Sigma 85mm f1.4
f2 is super sharp, noticably sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 IS II is at 85mm and f2.8

I chose it over the canon f1.2L due to considerably faster AF
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: NiceShotSteve on March 16, 2012, 12:01:18 AM
I know I'm going to get some flack for this, but the "best" lens is the one you carry with you to do the job you want. I have been using a Tamron 28-300 VC for international travel. It's easy on the shoulders when you're schlepping around the fifth cathedral of the day, and it produces very usable images across the range. Of course it's not the sharpest lens I own, but I get the shot while others are fumbling around changing lenses from wide to tele and back. It's also a bargain at about $600. Give it a try.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Bennymiata on March 19, 2012, 05:50:10 AM
Sigma 150mm F2.8 Macro with OS.
Unbelievable!

One of the test reports I read about it said it was the sharpest lens they ever tested, and the colour and contrast are pretty good too.
The bokeh is also very nice.

Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: bdeutsch on March 19, 2012, 10:58:22 AM
I absolutely love my Sigma 85mm f1.4
f2 is super sharp, noticably sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 IS II is at 85mm and f2.8

I chose it over the canon f1.2L due to considerably faster AF
I've been thinking about that lens -- seems like a great alternative to the very expensive 85 1.2.  I'm also eager to see reviews on the Tamron 24-70 2.8 vc.  It's been announced, but as far as I know, there's no release date on it yet.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: RichATL on March 19, 2012, 11:26:13 AM
Sigma has been stepping up it's game...

Their 24-70mm is quite an awesome lens...
very noisy...but really sharp and great resolving power

I personally only own the Sigma 20mm 1.8... and I LOVE IT...(using it on a crop sensor)

Does vignette quite a bit on ff, but it's also a very very sharp lens.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 19, 2012, 06:26:56 PM
Sigma has been stepping up it's game...

Their 24-70mm is quite an awesome lens...
very noisy...but really sharp and great resolving power

I personally only own the Sigma 20mm 1.8... and I LOVE IT...(using it on a crop sensor)

Does vignette quite a bit on ff, but it's also a very very sharp lens.

Really? Since I got the 85 and saw how good it was I was considering this but the reviews are realt great
http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Sigma-20mm-f-1.8-EX-DG-Lens-Review.aspx (http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Sigma-20mm-f-1.8-EX-DG-Lens-Review.aspx)
i wonder if a update is in the pipeline, if it came out in the same build quality as the 85 i would snap it up
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: underjammer on March 21, 2012, 01:01:52 AM
Sigma has been stepping up it's game...

Their 24-70mm is quite an awesome lens...
very noisy...but really sharp and great resolving power

I personally only own the Sigma 20mm 1.8... and I LOVE IT...(using it on a crop sensor)

Does vignette quite a bit on ff, but it's also a very very sharp lens.

Really? Since I got the 85 and saw how good it was I was considering this but the reviews are realt great
http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Sigma-20mm-f-1.8-EX-DG-Lens-Review.aspx (http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Sigma-20mm-f-1.8-EX-DG-Lens-Review.aspx)
i wonder if a update is in the pipeline, if it came out in the same build quality as the 85 i would snap it up

Have you ever seen / read any of lightrules' (previously known as fstopjojo) lens tests?  They are mostly years old, but he was pretty thorough comparing lenses, and he showed good results from the Sigma 20mm 1.8.  He called it "El Hombre".

Here's the page of lens tests:
http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/lenstests (http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/lenstests)
The Sigma 20mm is tested in Popeye vs El Hombre and the 20mm shoot out.  Maybe another one, too?

And to the original question, I'll agree that third party lenses are more of a compromise, rather than some of them being particularly "better" than a Canon or Nikon equivalent.  Price vs performance or something that Canon/Nikon doesn't offer.  If you buy one, and it turns out it doesn't work for you, the nice thing about lenses is you can buy them and sell them without much of a loss, if you're not afraid to buy used.  Or you can rent one, if you want to buy new, and are looking at a big ticket lens..  For renting, just make sure you'll be getting enough hands-on use with it in the rental time-period.

A good compromise lens, if you ask me, as others have also mentioned, is the Sigma 85mm 1.4..  it's a pretty excellent lens (I have one).  It's cheaper than the Canon by a LOT, but it doesn't have weather sealing.  I don't need weather sealing, so that's not a problem for me..  Also, the bokeh comparison at the-digital-picture between it and the Canon 1.2 show that the 1.2 definitely has a leg up on the Sigma.  But sharpness, they are pretty similar.  I've never used a Canon 1.2, either, so I have no idea for sure..  But I reeally like my Sigma 85mm.

I also have the Sigma 120-300 2.8 (non OS).  I bought it used and cheap, and I love it.  It has a major weakness, though...  chromatic aberration.  I probably would be more annoyed about that if I had paid full price, but that's just me..  I otherwise love the zoom range and f/2.8 separation at 300mm.

I also have the Tokina 50-135 2.8, which I also got used and cheap (I can never say no to checking out a different lens, especially if I'll make money if I don't like it..  : D).  It's autofocus is loud, but otherwise pretty good.  And it's nice and sharp wide open, but I noticed some focus shift when stopping down around f4..  By f/5.6 it's fine, if I recall.  Pretty much I just use it wide open.  I love it's size, and it's available for pretty cheap used.  I didn't know what to expect when I got, and I was pleasantly surprised by it.  : D  The crop-version of the 70-200's are a nice alternative to the full size thing.

I also have the Sigma 8mm f/3.5 fish eye..  When I bought it, it was the only one available.  Now there's the manual focus Samyang, which is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper..  And you really don't need autofocus at that focal length.  : D  I know nothing else about the Samyang other than I can probably never sell my Sigma without taking a huge hit, because of it, hehe.  : D

There was also mention of Zeiss lenses and the Samyang 35mm.  The Samyang 35 is on my list of lenses I'd like to randomly acquire at some point..  The main compromise with those guys is that they are manual focus..  The Samyang is nice and cheap.. don't need autofocus?  Want to have a go with a beefy aperture prime and get comfy with manual focus at the same time?  Then thumbs up to that Samyang!  Just remember you need a proper focusing screen, and don't expect to take sharp pictures of moving subjects til you master manual focus.  (They have an 85mm, too..  They also have a 14mm, but it has the wavey distortion..  which is hard to remove from hard lines.. architecture, and umm, maybe that's it?  hehe..)  The Zeiss lenses, on the other hand, are NOT cheap.  So that's a serious decision to get a Zeiss lens.  I've never used one.. but they have a serious following..  And they LOOK dang sexy, I won't lie..  But I have no idea how they perform.  Even if they destroy a Canon L lens, you're still stuck with manual focus.  Which is perfectly fine for some situations!  Just the right situation..  Maybe people like Zeiss for video, too?  Now I'm just making stuff up..  : D

The lens descriptions at lensrentals.com I find to be particularly excellent for comparing 3rd party to Canon / Nikon.  They give a no-nonsense write-up of what to expect.  They also specifically don't offer some 3rd party lenses..  I'm not sure if EVERY case is because of poor performance, but some of them are..  For example, there are stories in the descriptions how they dropped previous versions of some lenses because of unacceptable levels of malfunctions, etc etc etc.

Everything's a compromise!  But I sure can say that my Sigma 85mm 1.4 is worth every penny I spent on it (which I didn't get used and cheap..).  Will it stop working some day?  Beats me, but I haven't spent 1 second even worrying about it..  (But I've had my 8mm fisheye for 5 years, and it's been 100%, so that's where I'm coming from..  I believe that lens had just come out, so it was kind of a "new" Sigma, rather than their older more-horry-story-lenses.)

Interestingly, I see a LOT of Sigma 50mm macro lenses on eBay that are listed as "autofocus does not work"..  I have no idea if those are older lenses or what, but I see more of those than not.  Maybe everyone with a working 50mm just loves it and holds onto it for dear life!  A Sigma macro lens, for the right price, is also on my list of lenses to acquire..  If I were going to buy one new, I'd probably get the Canon 100mm IS L, but those Sigmas can go for $200-400, which is pretty hard to pass up for the performance..  I used to know the working distances of all the macros, but I don't remember..  I think when I fell in love with the Canon 100mm macro IS, I just stopped caring about the others, haha..  : D  But still I wouldn't pass one up for the right price.

And really this needs to be put in perspective..  None of the lenses I listed are general-purpose lenses (OK, the Tokina is fairly general purpose, but I would say it's not nearly as versatile as the canon 50-250).  But they all have their place.  And the journey of picking that best lens for your situation sure can be enjoyable, but don't lose sleep over it, hehe.  Been there, done that, haha.  Seriously, whatever you have, you'll use and love.  And if you don't love it, you'll probably get rid of it, and get something different!  : D  Everything's a compromise, really, haha.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Drizzt321 on March 21, 2012, 01:48:21 AM
I've heard some good things about the Sigma 50-500mm, aka the Bigma is actually quite good. Maybe not the absolute best in terms of sharpness/IQ throughout the entire range, but quite good for being basically a superzoom. I'm quite tempted to rent one once it warms up here in SoCal and hit the beach ;)
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 21, 2012, 01:56:05 AM
I absolutely love my Sigma 85mm f1.4
f2 is super sharp, noticably sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 IS II is at 85mm and f2.8

I chose it over the canon f1.2L due to considerably faster AF

Thats actually something I've been considering - How much better is it over the 50mm 1.4?

Also, more importantly, how sharp is it at f/1.4 and f/1.8? If its soft there will I be better off with the Canon 1.8?

Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: jhanken on March 21, 2012, 02:13:17 AM
Had the privilege of using a Zeiss 35mm f2.0, and was truly impressed by the quality of the color from the lens.  I cant exactly describe why it was so astonishing, but it was quite impressive.  Yes, the manual focus is an issue, but with the wide angle perhaps less so.

I love the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, on record as saying so a few times.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: scottk on March 21, 2012, 02:24:30 AM
Sigma 85 1.4 is a gem.

Tamron 17-50 2.8 is a GREAT buy for the crop crowd.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: scottk on March 21, 2012, 02:25:26 AM
Oh yes, the tokina 11-16 2.8. The BEST fast ultrawide for crop sensors on the market. Canon has no equivalent.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: JonasP on March 21, 2012, 02:44:26 AM
I love Zeiss glass. Better or worse is a lot of times subjective at this high level but I like their look better somehow.
Plus they make you work at focusing which is a good thing.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: woofmeow on March 21, 2012, 04:36:06 AM
Love zeiss, too. It makes you think when taking photos and enjoy the process, instead of pushing one button for all-auto&flat. But costly.
Tokina has lovely wide angles for nice price.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 21, 2012, 06:30:23 AM
Thing about Zeiss is its a totally different market from the others though... Most third party options are there to be the cheaper, budget alternative, with accordingly lower build quality (generally) and less IQ (generally)

Zeiss, on the other hand, is a pricy option for high quality glass.... Usually on the wide angle end

I'm generalizing a bit, yes, but thats what it is
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 21, 2012, 09:39:09 PM
I absolutely love my Sigma 85mm f1.4
f2 is super sharp, noticably sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 IS II is at 85mm and f2.8

I chose it over the canon f1.2L due to considerably faster AF

Thats actually something I've been considering - How much better is it over the 50mm 1.4?

Also, more importantly, how sharp is it at f/1.4 and f/1.8? If its soft there will I be better off with the Canon 1.8?
at f1.4 it is about as sharp as the 70-200 f2.8 ISII is at f2.8
at f2 it's in another league
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 21, 2012, 09:47:40 PM
I absolutely love my Sigma 85mm f1.4
f2 is super sharp, noticably sharper than the 70-200 f2.8 IS II is at 85mm and f2.8

I chose it over the canon f1.2L due to considerably faster AF

Thats actually something I've been considering - How much better is it over the 50mm 1.4?

Also, more importantly, how sharp is it at f/1.4 and f/1.8? If its soft there will I be better off with the Canon 1.8?
at f1.4 it is about as sharp as the 70-200 f2.8 ISII is at f2.8
at f2 it's in another league

Thats interesting... the people I shoot with here have been advising me against it, saying its soft... And I should be going for the Canon 1.8 instead. Pity there aren't copies available for me to test... =(

Thanks, Wombat
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 22, 2012, 10:34:32 PM
ha soft.
I just posted some raws in the thread about 5Dmk3 AF and sensor improvements
both with the sigma and one with each body

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html)
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 23, 2012, 12:26:06 AM
ha soft.
I just posted some raws in the thread about 5Dmk3 AF and sensor improvements
both with the sigma and one with each body

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html)

Do you have a good copy or are the new copies all generally like that? =)
Not that I don't trust you, mind, just would like to get as much information as I can before I place an order on something I won't get to even try until I pay for it...

Also: Any AF issues? bad focusing, etc
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 23, 2012, 12:50:43 AM
ha soft.
I just posted some raws in the thread about 5Dmk3 AF and sensor improvements
both with the sigma and one with each body

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html)

Do you have a good copy or are the new copies all generally like that? =)
Not that I don't trust you, mind, just would like to get as much information as I can before I place an order on something I won't get to even try until I pay for it...

Also: Any AF issues? bad focusing, etc

Yes mine was heavily front focusing when i got it, needed +13 microadjust to get it in line
I sent it back and sigma reprogrammed it and now its pretty good still needs a little micro adjust but so do some of my canons but not that much though.

As far as AF speed and accuracy its spot on. the speed is at least 3 times faster than the canon 85 1.2 which is why i chose the sigma over the canon (it also happened to be 2.5 times cheaper :) ) I would recommend buying it from a bricks and mortar store you can go back to if anything is off in the AF department. Its one of my favourite lenses, (cant decide bewteen this and the 16-35 f2.8 II) i love them both but for different reasons.

It also has 9 circular apertutre blades which gives it really nice blur and bokeh
Build quality is really top notch and the MF ring is super smooth and firm (no slop or play in it so has nice control)
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: te4o on March 23, 2012, 12:56:06 AM
Jayden, you set the topic as "best" 3rd party lenses. What is that? Best price? Best IQ or AF? Very general.
I must add to the comments about Zeiss that I found them best for my photography style: and dangerous for my bank account.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 23, 2012, 01:00:08 AM
if zeiss made AF lenses my bank account would be screaming in pain  :-[
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 23, 2012, 01:29:51 AM
ha soft.
I just posted some raws in the thread about 5Dmk3 AF and sensor improvements
both with the sigma and one with each body

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,4678.30.html)

Do you have a good copy or are the new copies all generally like that? =)
Not that I don't trust you, mind, just would like to get as much information as I can before I place an order on something I won't get to even try until I pay for it...

Also: Any AF issues? bad focusing, etc

Yes mine was heavily front focusing when i got it, needed +13 microadjust to get it in line
I sent it back and sigma reprogrammed it and now its pretty good still needs a little micro adjust but so do some of my canons but not that much though.

As far as AF speed and accuracy its spot on. the speed is at least 3 times faster than the canon 85 1.2 which is why i chose the sigma over the canon (it also happened to be 2.5 times cheaper :) ) I would recommend buying it from a bricks and mortar store you can go back to if anything is off in the AF department. Its one of my favourite lenses, (cant decide bewteen this and the 16-35 f2.8 II) i love them both but for different reasons.

It also has 9 circular apertutre blades which gives it really nice blur and bokeh
Build quality is really top notch and the MF ring is super smooth and firm (no slop or play in it so has nice control)

Ah, so your initial one was a bit off and needed some microadjustment, but after it was checked by Sigma it was okay? Did you send your body in with it, or was it just the lens?

I'd go to a bricks and mortar store if I could - problem for me is where I live there are no stores that carry these in stock - indeed, very few lenses are ever carried in stock, they have to order them in. Which is a real pity, really. Pretty much the equivalent of being in Horsham/Mildura I guess? Bigger city maybe, but more or less what you can get down in those areas down in VIC...

That said, one of the local websites has it on sale, and the 50 1.4 Sigma is too, so I'm really tempted by both... Wonder if anyone local has it so I can test i out...  :-\

Of course, theres the Canon 1.8 as well, which is even cheaper...

*thinks*
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 23, 2012, 01:32:59 AM
just sent the lens in I didnt want it matched to a boday as I have 4 bodies and my parents havea 600D my brother has a 550D and those bodies dont have micro adjust so i wanted it set as neutral as possible, i was happy to need to compensate my bodies with a micro adjust a little I just was worried about having to push it as far out as 13.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: D.Sim on March 23, 2012, 01:39:37 AM
that makes sense...

Cheers mate. helps a bit in the decision making
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Enthusiast on March 23, 2012, 04:44:07 PM
Just some more experience with the sigmas

I do have several Sigma primes from fisheye to 105 macro.
The elder types have a bit of a crappy usablity because you have to switch to pieces for autofocus/manual changing but the HSM pieces are all very good. The 85mm 1.4 is the best lens I had ever on a camera, even better than the Canon 85mm 1.2 L. The L hase a very nice and a bit dreamy IQ but you have 30-50% scrap in your pictures because people moving out of focus before the focus finished. The Sigma is much faster, that makes it much easier, even in low light.
The autofocus in spot on at all apertures (not like the 50 1,4 witch is fine at 1.4 and >2.0). I bought one of the first lenses came to Germany, it could not be an improvement later in the production.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Jemlnlx on March 23, 2012, 05:04:56 PM
Im sure they've been mentioned but Im a big fan of the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro and the 17-50mm f/2.8 for Crop Sensors. Ive have owned both in the past and loved them both. The 90mm is super sharp and the 17-50 really sharp as well. It has a crop equivalent of about 24-75 and is about half the price of Canon's 24-70mm.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: John Thomas on March 24, 2012, 01:00:34 PM
Tokina AT-X PRO FX 16-28mm F/2.8

A very good UWA for FF sensors. Very sharp. Top notch image quality, much better than Canon 17-40 F/4 L. Tokina is better at F/2.8 compared with Canon at F/4. The price is very affordable - cheaper than Canon 17-40 and approx. one 3rd from Canon 16-36 F/2.8 L. The focus is very very quick and accurate. The build quality is impressive.

Drawbacks are:
- heavy
- (normally) doesn't take filters, but one can put Lee's filters on it.

Generally, I'm very pleased with this lens.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: pwp on March 25, 2012, 06:57:53 PM
The OP was asking about primes in particular. I have waded through a raft of 50mm glass over the years and have settled pretty comfortably with a Sigma 50 f/1.4. As I shoot people and like to include action, AF is very important to me. However if I was inclined towards more static subjects, and had ultra IQ as a very high priority, then a Zeiss manual focus lens would be appealing.

For general shooting, Sigma seems to have a very strong range of viable alternative glass to the Canon/Nikon offerings.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: wickidwombat on March 25, 2012, 07:15:36 PM
The OP was asking about primes in particular. I have waded through a raft of 50mm glass over the years and have settled pretty comfortably with a Sigma 50 f/1.4. As I shoot people and like to include action, AF is very important to me. However if I was inclined towards more static subjects, and had ultra IQ as a very high priority, then a Zeiss manual focus lens would be appealing.

For general shooting, Sigma seems to have a very strong range of viable alternative glass to the Canon/Nikon offerings.

Paul Wright

What is your opinion of the sigma 1.4 vs the canon 1.4 especially at f1.4 to f2
I've been wondering if the 50 siggy is as good as the 85, the 50 is an older design though isnt it?
I wonder if sigma will update the 50 to the same level as the 85, if they did that i'd find it hard to resist getting one.
I find the canon not so good wide open but once its down to f2 its improving and its very sharp by f2.8
I'm really hoping for an update
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Enthusiast on March 26, 2012, 03:48:49 AM
My expirience with the Sigma 50mm 1.4:
It´s very good at 1.4 and 2.0 in comparision to the Canon it´s a bit sharper wide open.
At 1.6 and 1.8 they are not exact in focus both due to focus movement.

Bad: it´s bigger and havier than the Canon

Nice:
- 77mm Filter, same as nearly all my other lenses
- less vingetting
- fast and silent focus
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: RichATL on April 23, 2012, 05:45:20 PM
Loving my Sigma 70-200 2.8 (non-OS)...
Super sharp, silent, and inexpensive.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: skitron on April 24, 2012, 02:05:45 PM
I've been wondering if the 50 siggy is as good as the 85, the 50 is an older design though isnt it?
I wonder if sigma will update the 50 to the same level as the 85, if they did that i'd find it hard to resist getting one.

Rumor has it the "new finish" had optical updates as well. I have a "new finish" 50 and it doesn't have anywhere near the focus shift displayed in reviews of early ones. Mine has pretty much the same shift as displayed on photozone.de for the Sigma 85. All to say worth a try if buying where you can return if needed.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: ruuneos on April 28, 2012, 01:02:02 PM
Till 30.4 local store got deal offer for Canon 50mm F1.4 30% sale so which one to get Sigma 50mm or Canon 50mm f1.4?
Canon is smaller and bit less weight than Sigma and it's pretty sharp on f5.6 and Sigma is sharpest in f?
Sigma got big plus for inc. lens hood

Which one to get?
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: liberace on April 28, 2012, 02:21:37 PM
Till 30.4 local store got deal offer for Canon 50mm F1.4 30% sale so which one to get Sigma 50mm or Canon 50mm f1.4?
Canon is smaller and bit less weight than Sigma and it's pretty sharp on f5.6 and Sigma is sharpest in f?
Sigma got big plus for inc. lens hood

Which one to get?

You should really go off more than the opinion of a few guys off a forum, but I really prefer the Sigma. I normally use it at f/2.0 on a 7D.

I have LOTS of L glass. The only non-Canon lenses I own are the Tokina 11-16mm and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Arkarch on April 28, 2012, 05:00:48 PM
I got the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 recently -  amazing, sharp, beautiful color, "3D".
With my 5D mark III - Wow!

I want to go out and shoot just so I can play with that lens.

Keep in mind Zeiss is for Full Frame.  Its way too much price for Crop if you are not using that awesome sharp edge.  Though I may use my 21mm sometime as a "35" on my 7D when needed.

Yes it is manual focus but the camera's Focus Assist beep/flash confirms you are are on target.  I actually love that - I can set my focus on what I want in the frame, then frame it up without AF messing it up.   Yes, you can switch the AF point or switch to MF, but its just so pure with the Zeiss.

My lens strategy - Canon "L" on the long (got the 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM II for starters - want the 100 Macro and 400 DO).  And Zeiss on the wide end (the 15 and 35 are next).  And a mix in the middle (the new 24-70 II should be phenomenal, and the 85 is going to be a debate of sharp/microcontrast vs aperture/AF).

Keep in mind you can buy Zeiss in ZF or ZF.2 as a Nikon native F and convert to Canon EF-mount if you are thinking playing both sides of the line.  As much as the D800 is interesting to me, I have confidence Canon will match or surpass the resolution in a year so I am sticking with Zeiss ZE and keeping it simple.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: digitalninja on April 29, 2012, 06:57:07 PM
I love my sigma 50mm 1.4. The AF is great. I'm thinking about going for the sigma 85 soon.
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: FlowerPhotog on April 29, 2012, 09:03:21 PM
I have two Sigma's,  the 70mm 2.8 macro and the 150mm 2.8 macro (non-IS version).  Both of these lenses are very sharp, with the 70mm probably being the sharpest lens I own - it is incredibly sharp edge to edge on a full frame sensor.   The AF is good on both, but a little slow and noisy on the 70.   

The 150 macro has become my favorite flower lens since getting the 5D Mark III - the DOF on the full frame creates a very creamy bokeh that is so much better than on the crop sensor.   The ability to use a higher ISO without noise on the Mark III vs my t2i has also let me use the 150 handheld in many more situations by increasing the shutter speed.   Had to use a tripod with that lens most of the time on the t2i. 

Did a Lens-Align check on all my lenses when I got the 5D Mark III, and both the Sigma's didn't require any adjustment. However, one odd thing with both lenses is using Live View on my t2i works they both work fine, but on my new 5D Mark III they both seem to struggle locking on focus - even in good light.  Same shot with normal viewfinder AF they're are right on the money pretty quickly.

Just ordered the Zeiss 50mm 2.0 Makro-Planar ZE lens, so we'll see if that can overtake the Sigma 70 as my sharpest lens. 
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: Dave T on April 30, 2012, 01:53:56 PM
I'll ask this here since the thread has kind of turned into a "Sigma Talk" thing.

I'm looking very hard at a Sigma 70mm f2.8 Macro for a walk around/almost normal lens on my old 5D. I read great things about this lens but Sigma has a reputation for focusing problems. Anyone have the 70mm who can attest to its focusing qualities?

Dave
Title: Re: Best third-party lenses
Post by: FlowerPhotog on April 30, 2012, 03:07:11 PM
I mentioned in the previous post that I do have the Sigma 70 2.8 Macro.   Using normal viewfinder AF it is right on the money, on both my t2i and my 5D Mark III.  It does make more noise than any other lens I own while focusing, but it locks right on pretty quickly, espcially with the Mark III's improved AF system.  It does, however, have problems focusing with Live View on the 5D Mark III, often taking several runs at it before it finally locks on, but occasionally never getting there.     If I'm in a position to use Live View (ie, on a tripod), I will often do manual focusing.   No problems using Live View on the t2i, other than taking longer than viewfinder AF to lock on, but that's the case for most lenses.     The image quality of this lens is so superb, that I can live with the Live View issue.  Given the ability to use the 5D Mark III at higher ISO's (allowing higher shutter speeds) I find I am not using Live View and a tripod nearly as much,  so most of the time I use this lens now with normal viewfinder AF which works fine.     I  have taken some landscape shots with this lens and it is as sharp at infinity as it is close focusing on flowers, so it's a good all around lens regardless of subject being photographed.  One minor quibble is the hood is a screw-on type, so you can't easily put a lens cap on and off without removing the hood.