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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 07, 2014, 12:50:39 PM »

That would be a rather different market to the art line up so far I'd say, they might not be small but they are small/cheap enough for the average user where as a 24-70mm f/2 would be a beast of a lens.

My guess would be if they do release an F/2 zoom it'll follow the 18-35mm F/1.8 and have a more limited range, maybe something like 35-70mm f/2.

True. The size/weight of the 24-70 doesn't bother me (seems small and light compared to 70-200 IS!), but I wouldn't really want my 24-70 zoom to be much bigger or heavier than it already is.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 07, 2014, 12:25:11 PM »

Rumor has it that it is a  24-70 f2 in the pipeline.

Really? Now that is interesting. Makes sense given the 18-35/1.8.

I'm really curious about the new 50/1.4. Hope the AF is more consistent from copy to copy. Took me 3 tries to get a good copy of the 35A.

I'm also torn between the Sigma and the rumored Canon 50 IS. I shoot with a Canon 24-70 II and 70-200 IS primarily, and both are big and heavy. I find that smaller/lighter primes are a nice contrast to the bigger zooms.

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FWIW, I used to shoot primes exclusively. I had a 35, 50, 85, 135. I was mostly doing fine art and street stuff, but 2.5 years ago I had a kid. Now I've sold all of the primes except the 35 and do 90% of my shooting with the 24-70 II and 70-200 IS. Since my 2.5 year old daughter rarely stops moving, f/2.8 is plenty wide enough in most cases, and the convenience and flexibility of the zooms outweighs the extra light and shallower DOF of the primes. And as others have pointed out the IQ, AF speed, flare control, bokeh, etc. of these new zooms is so good that I don't find myself missing the primes for that reason.

I still use the 35 (Sigma Art) for indoor work and when I don't want to lug one of the zooms around—though truthfully the size/weight difference between the Sigma 35A and 24-70 isn't that significant. I am considering trading the Sigma 35A for the 50A when it comes out, because I think the 50A might be more versatile as my single prime.

At some point when my daughter gets older and stops moving so continuously I might reacquire some primes for more deliberate work. But right now the zooms suit me best.

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Lenses / Re: Has Sigma announced plans for a 50mm "Art" lens?
« on: March 17, 2014, 11:12:54 PM »
Sigma has announced a new lens "50mm Art" which is due in stores in April. Rumor has it that image quality equal to or better than "35mm Art".

Wow! Somehow I missed that. Thanks for the heads up—I'll be first in line.

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Lenses / Has Sigma announced plans for a 50mm "Art" lens?
« on: March 17, 2014, 08:25:38 PM »
I saw the recent rumor (CR1) of a Canon 50mm IS f1.8 or 2.0. While I'm sure this will be a great lens for many people, I have no need for IS at 50mm (as I mostly shoot pictures of my daughter, who never stops moving) and I'm more interested in a wider aperture. I've owned two copies of the 50L and had a love/hate relationship with it. What I'm really looking for is a 50/1.4 or 50/1.2 that is sharp wide open, focuses accurately, and has great color/contrast. In other words, I want the Sigma 35/1.4 version of a 50mm lens, and it seems Sigma would again be the company to do it.

Have they announced any intention to do so?

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Lenses / Re: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II Mentioned [CR1]
« on: June 24, 2013, 05:03:36 PM »
Not a Sigma fan boy by any stretch of the imagination, but have to agree that it will be difficult to improve on the Sigma 35 optically. The thing is razor sharp at f/1.4 and doesn't really have any optical flaws to speak of. There's a reason people rave about it.

AF is another story. I'm on my 3rd copy of this lens. The first two were erratic and inconsistent, so I returned them (which was a shame, because it's such an incredible lens). This 3rd copy is better, and using the USB dock I think I've been able to calibrate it so that it's very accurate. Still, that's taken a lot of time and effort (and 3 copies, to boot). If the Canon 35L II was out now, I probably would have been willing to pay $1,500 for it if it matched the Sigma's optics but had more consistent AF out of the box (like my other Canon lenses typically do).

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After my experience with the Sigma Art 35, and their new dock, I'll wait until they release their Art 50 lens. If it's as good as their 35, I'll be all over it.

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Lenses / Re: How "real" is the Sigma Art 135/1.8 OIS rumor?
« on: May 19, 2013, 03:11:12 PM »
Oops. Just found the original rumor: http://www.canonrumors.com/2013/04/135mm-f1-8-dg-os-art-next-from-sigma-cr1/

Looks like it's not certain at all.

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Lenses / How "real" is the Sigma Art 135/1.8 OIS rumor?
« on: May 19, 2013, 02:20:05 PM »
I am trying out the 135L right now. It's a phenomenal lens, of course. But I do find situations where OIS would be helpful, and a little extra light-gathering capability never hurts.

Has Sigma actually announced that the 135/1.8 OIS is coming, or is that more of an unsubstantiated rumor at this point?

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Lenses / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 06, 2013, 08:47:30 AM »
Your 24-70 f/2.8II is an absolutely awesome lens. Why would you consider focal lengths that fall in the 24-70 range? My 24-70 f/2.8II is so good I've sold my primes as they were sitting unused. I'm talking about the highly regarded EF 24 f/1.4II and a Sigma 50 F/1.4. I don't miss either of them.

Shooting kids? You next purchase really should be a longer lens. You'll be familiar with the advantages of a zoom. Look at the 70-200 f/2.8isII. Plenty of photographers on the planet would name this as their all-time favourite, most used lens. It's heavy & expensive, but wow does it deliver...

I doubt there is a Canon pro shooter on the anywhere on the planet who doesn't have one, or have it on their shopping list.

-PW

Couldn't agree more. I might not be a pro, but I've been a parent for more that ten years now and zooms rule. The kids just doesn't move from your side to another, they actually move towards you and away from you also. No offense, but there can be a tendency to prime snobbery here. I can understand that in  a studio environment or any controled situation primes are very good, but for many other situations I think zooms are great. Especiall when they are as good as the 70-200 or the new 24-70 MkII (haven't tried that one though)


I can't speak for anyone else, but here's why I want primes in addition to the 24-70 II (which indeed is a fantastic lens):
More light gathering capabilities. I have a custom setting with a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 to freeze movement and prevent blur. When I'm shooting indoors, which is often, f/2.8 and 1/250 often yields an ISO that is fairly high. Even with the 5DIII's excellent high ISO, I prefer to keep it as low as possible.
Shallower depth-of-field. I think super shallow DOF can be overused, but I like having the option of really isolating my subject from the background. See below for an example of a picture I took with the 85/1.4 a while back.
Creative limitation. In my case, having one fewer choice to make (i.e. focal length) can lead to more creative compositions. This is why I sometimes prefer primes to zooms, even if the zooms are more flexible.

I am definitely considering a 70-200 II, but not right at this moment. I just don't think I'd use it enough, given my shooting style and my tendency to work very close to my subject. I'm not even sure I'd use a 135 much, but I'm going to give that a shot next. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind and get an 85 and 135 in addition to the 24-70 instead of a 35 & 85. We'll see.


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Lenses / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 05:09:38 PM »

Get the 135L first and it's the start of a long and enduring love affair. It's my favorite lens. I got both the Sigmas you mention, and the 35 is great, and the 85 will also be great, .... until you try the 1.2 ;) Sure it is slower (the fastest is actually the 1.8, then Sigma 1.4, and then the 1.2), but there is something about the dreamy IQ of the 1.2 that keeps you wanting it badly. I saw someone suggested the 100L here. Great lens, but imo the AF is a bit too slow for action portraits.

Just my two cents.

Way back when I had a Canon 30D, I tried the 135L. It was amazing—definitely one of the most impressive lenses (if not the most) I've ever used. But I don't think I've ever tried a 135mm on full frame, and I don't even have a zoom in that range, so I probably should give it a shot.

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Lenses / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 02:12:31 PM »
I'll definitely have to think more about this. First step, maybe I should see if I can get by with the 24-70 II indoors. I do have a 430 EX flash I sometimes use with a "black foamie thing" (as recommended here: http://neilvn.com/tangents/about/black-foamie-thing/), but frankly I don't like the extra bulk of flash.

The other question is whether I can live with a max aperture of 2.8 between 24-70mm from a depth of field perspective. In Justin's review of the Sigma 35/1.4 on this site, he says "The fast aperture and shallow depth of field will capture special moments with amazing clarity while isolating distracting backgrounds." I wouldn't have that ability with the 24-70.

That said, maybe the solution is to go with the 35 & 85 right now, since those are the focal lengths I think I'll use most, and get the 135 later. The 50 & 100 might not make as much sense if I plan to get the 135 eventually.

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Lenses / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:43:29 PM »
You have the zoom lens, buy the focal length that you find yourself using. 
 

Personally, I'd get a 85mm and 135mm, two focal lengths you do not have now, and the classic portrait  focal lengths for 35mm cameras for the past 60 or 70 years.  Even 50mm is a bit wide for portraits, but will do.

I think a 135mm will become more useful as my daughter gets older. Right now, because she's still so young, when I'm with her I'm usually pretty close to her and the 135mm would be too long.

The problem with 24-70 + 85 + 135 is that I wouldn't have a lens suitable for indoor use in tighter spaces.

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Lenses / 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:11:40 PM »
I have a Canon 5DIII and 24-70 II. I take pictures of my 21-month old daughter exclusively at this point. (I used to do more street, fine art, etc. but don't have time anymore and won't for the foreseeable future.)

I want to add a couple of fast primes for lower light work and shallower depth-of-field. I'm trying to decide between a 35 & 85 and a 50 & 100. My decision will be based on focal length preference, of course, but also on the quality/price/value of lenses available at those focal lengths.

I'm somewhat leaning toward 35 & 85, for a few reasons. First, from what I can tell, the Sigma 35/1.4 is probably the most highly regarded of all of the 35 and 50 autofocus lenses. Second, I like environmental portraiture and tend to shoot quite a bit indoors, so the wider perspective of the 35 might be a better fit there. Third, it seems the portrait options are better at 85 than at 100? The 85L II is legendary, and many agree that the Sigma 85 comes close to it at less than half the price.

On the other hand, 50 is a great focal length for general work and casual portraits, and the 50L has beautiful, creamy bokeh and a nice look. (I actually own the 50L now, and enjoy it.) The Canon 100/2, while not as highly regarded as the Canon 85L or Sigma 85, is still a great lens by most accounts.

I guess this also depends somewhat on my future lens plans. Frankly, the only additional lens I can imagine getting in the future (assuming my subject matter doesn't change) is a telephoto. I would probably either choose the 70-200 IS or the 135L.

Curious to hear if you have any thoughts about this choice? Thanks.

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Has there been any indication whatsoever that Sigma is going to produce an updated 50/1.4 anytime soon? I've seen these rumors of a 24mm and 135mm, but other than the fact that we might expect a 50, have any rumors about it surfaced?

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