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Messages - Radiating

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16
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:20:36 PM »
The EF 50 f/1.2L and EF 85 f/1.2 excel at portraiture, where bokeh is king, and excessive sharpness just gets smoothed away in post production. People don't want portraits of their pores, they want portraits of their faces.

I do photo editing professionally, and work with many professional photographer's images. It is incredibly easy to make the Sigma 50mm ART look like the Canon 50mm L. Just turn sharpening to zero, and add some blur and chromatic aberration to the Sigma. You can always reduce the amount of detail in an image and make it softer. It is easy to destroy information, but you cannot create detail out of thin air.

So, you can faithfully replicate the 50L's rendering of OOF areas in terms of aesthetic quality?  Given that the number of aperture blades is an important factor in determining bokeh, what post-processing step/algorightm do you use to subtract one of the Sigma lens' 9 aperture blades so it has only the 8 blades of the Canon 50L?   ::)

Bokeh ≠ 'adding some blur'.

That comment was in regard to someone saying that the 50 Art may render the in-focus areas too sharply and show too many pores. It is very easy to make pores less apparent and in focus areas softer. The most inexperienced novice should have no trouble making the in-focus areas of the 50A appear like the 50L. It took me 2 minutes to create a preset that does that.

Bokeh is a whole other animal. I actually have created bokeh from scratch and also created detail by hand painting it from scratch. It's not cheap to have that kind of work done. In fact it's cheaper to just buy the correct equipment in the first place then to have your editor invent detail and background blur.

I don't think we can make the call quite yet on which has clearly better bokeh but the 50A's bokeh looks very close to the 50L's. It's a much smaller difference than say the Canon 50mm 1.4 USM and the 50L.

17
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 02:15:42 PM »
The EF 50 f/1.2L and EF 85 f/1.2 excel at portraiture, where bokeh is king, and excessive sharpness just gets smoothed away in post production. People don't want portraits of their pores, they want portraits of their faces.

I do photo editing professionally, and work with many professional photographer's images. It is incredibly easy to make the Sigma 50mm ART look like the Canon 50mm L. Just turn sharpening to zero, and add some blur and chromatic aberration to the Sigma. You can always reduce the amount of detail in an image and make it softer. It is easy to destroy information, but you cannot create detail out of thin air.

18
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:50:01 AM »
I don't get it. Bryan's test at TDP is a complete blowout; not even close. The Sigma is sharper in center and much much much sharper than the 1.2L away from center and in corners, and the CA on the 50L is bad, while nearly non-existent on the Sigma.
In comparing any two other lenses, where there is no brand loyalty or investment-justification involved, that kind of test result would simply be a clear blowout, and there would be no further discussion. Not here though. Here we see the defensive comments and a retreat to the trenches of the intangibles like bokeh (which is not clearly different in any sample shot I have seen anyone point to specifically) and creaminess, and the supposed uselessness of test charts (but only for this lens).

... And raise your hand if you would be noticing the same supposed intangible advantages of creaminess, bokeh, etc. in the Canon shots and test chart if the results had been accidentally switched?  If the Canon results had been swapped do the Sigma results.  If the two results had been switched, who right now honestly would still be pointing at the blurry purple-fringed chart and claiming that it's meaningless if that had been identified as the result for Sigma instead of the one for Canon?  I think what we would be seeing is a lot of people pointing at that purple blurry chart and saying look how worthless the sigma lens is compared to the incredibly sharp and clear canon one, if the charts and shots were swapped.

Thanks. This is really not a subtle difference. The 50mm f/1.4 Art is among the best lenses you can buy for any camera. It has performance at f/1.4 that equals the 135mm f/2.0L. At f/2.0 it equals the Canon 200mm f/2.0 IS which is regarded as the best autofocusing lens money can buy. While the 50L is the softest lens Canon currently makes in terms of average resolution.

Here's a comparison that I found very revealing, taken from one of the better SLR lounge raws, with my own sharpening and contrast preset applied to both in lightroom, and color corrected to match. Open both in separate tabs and flip back and forth and see if you can tell the difference:

http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/14119258/img/Picture-Box/SLR-IMG-3113.jpg

http://www1.picturepush.com/photo/a/14119259/img/Picture-Box/SLR-IMG-3119.jpg

19
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:03:41 PM »

Minimal difference in sharpness/CA  ?

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=941&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=403&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=1

Correct, difference is minimal given everything I've seen thus far - unless you make a living shooting flat sharpness test charts.

The 50 f/1.2L was designed with uncorrected field curvature+spherical aberration with a priority on bokeh.

If you shoot flat test charts, that could be a problem.  But since things we shoot generally are not a flat test chart and do have depth, real world performance in the shots I have seen appear to have minimal difference sharpness/CA.  Wide open the Sigma does have a slight advantage in sharpness/CA real world use, but I expected that given the larger f/1.4 retrofocal design - at narrower apertures the Canon actually appears to pull ahead of the Sigma in sharpness (likely due to reduction of field curvature).

Field curvature does not make a lens subpar even though it will not perform as well on a test chart (just ask the $10k+ Leica Noctilux).  In the end, the real world performance is what counts.  And, some lenses will sacrifice some test chart sharpness/aberrations for superior bokeh and real world performance.







This would be a real world comparison. There is a night and day difference in sharpness. With the way the forum downsizes images if that were displayed at 1080p the uncropped image would fit the whole screen.

20
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:13:17 PM »
The Canon also probably isn't built better, it's 3 times less reliable than the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is pretty bad.
Radiating, those are mostly good and valid points, but where did you get this last stat? 
Ah, I see, it must have come from the LensRentals Repair Data 3.0 post, but it says, "Two lenses (the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and the Sigma 100-300) have behaved so well they’ve dropped below the 10% repair rate cutoff."

Correct. Lens rentals keeps track of how reliable their collection of 12,000 lenses are. Of the 700 models of lenses they have, the 50mm f/1.2L has been listed on their worst list, or just barley made it off the list depending on the year. The Sigma 35mm has had dead average reliability with lens rentals, which roughly translates to being 3 times more reliable.

Quote
While digital sensors may let less of the oblique light hit the sensor, for you to say that f/1.2 "on a digital camera is a lie" is simply false and a one-dimensional interpretation.  The DxO 'fast lenses are for idiots' essay has one major flaw - depth of field.  That's why fast lenses are still relevant and why Sigma & co. are still making fast lenses in a time when the 200-400 1.4x is being used to cover indoor sports.

I'm not saying f/1.2 and f/1.4 are far apart, but f/1.2 and f/2 sure are, even if they are letting the same amount of light reach the sensor.  It probably needs to be updated, too, as microlenses and other factors may have changed things somewhat, at least if we're to believe some of the manufacturer's (Panasonic & Leica) literature.

Finally, science, graphs, test chart shots, and lousy comparisons aside, what really matters is the photo.  We can spend our entire lives measurebating, but that's just a sad way to live. 

I'm going to hold onto my 50L because it takes beautiful portraits and if I need sharper photos, I have plenty of lenses for that.  I'm positive the Sigma will be an excellent lens and take beautiful portraits as well.

Keep in mind the light reject by digital sensors at fast apertures is the same light that is responsible for additional background blur with a fast lens. So not only do you have a fraction of the low light performance you'd expect but you have a fraction of the additional background blur you'd expect.

For all intents and purposes there isn't a meaningful difference between the 50L @ f/1.2 and f/1.4:

f/1.4


f/1.2


21
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:55:58 AM »
Here's what I've been waiting for - a 50L to 50A comparison from SLR Lounge

I think it's enough to convince me to cancel my pre-order.  The Sigma is sharper, but not shockingly so, and the Canon's bokeh is slightly better (IMHO).  The Canon also appears to have ever-so-slightly better contrast, while the Sigma has better CA control, but again, only by a hair.

The other thing I've learned is that you'll have buy the USB dock to enable full time manual focus (which I guess isn't standard for Sigmas).  That's crappy. 

The 50L has killer build quality and USM in a much smaller package and I don't think the Sigma is worth 950 of my dollars for such subtle differences at f/1.4 in what for me, is a portrait lens. 

I guess I can't cancel it till the 24th, so I'll keep my mind open until then, but I think I'm going to cancel and resume the 50L II vigil ;)

This is exactly what I expected.  Sigma very slightly sharper, Canon better bokeh.

IMO no comparison if price not an issue, the Canon f/1.2L is the better lens.  Although I got my Canon for $1200 during the rebate season.

Reasons:

* Minimal difference in sharpness/CA
* Canon has better bokeh
* My bet is on Canon for faster autofocus
* Canon does f/1.2, sigma does not
* Canon is much smaller, and probably built better

You really are taking the wrong conclusion from this. There is a huge difference in sharpness and CA.

The SLRlounge comparison is to be frank one of the worst comparison between two lenses that I have ever seen published. Not only are the compositions all different, all the shots were hand held, not on a tripod and have different subject sizes, but the only 100% comparison is from the absolute center of the lens on a subject with little contrast. The rest are ultra small thumbnails that do not show any detail.

Here's something a little more revealing. I  took the liberty of downloading the SLR lounge images, and applying a typical lightroom preset I like to use to both (increased clarity and contrast and sharpness), I then played with the color correction independently, as the Canon delivered 200k difference in temperature)

I cropped both images to half the frame, to show detail better, and actually the Sigma required 10% tighter cropping, because again images from that review were not framed the same. So keep in mind this comparison actually has the Sigma at a 10% disadvantage.  Despite that the Sigma is way way sharper. (both are at f/1.4)





I also recommend opening up these images in separate tabs and switching back and forth:

http://www4.picturepush.com/photo/a/14116952/img/Picture-Box/20140413-IMG-3159.jpg

http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/14117183/img/Picture-Box/20140413-IMG-3156.jpg

Keep in mind these are not a 100% crop. This is a normal image at web resolution with only a half frame crop, like you'd get from turning a waist up shot into a chest up shot.

The difference is about as subtle as a lightning strike. I have no idea how anyone would conclude that they are remotely close. You can't even see the detail in the brick wall with the Canon, and the haziness and red glow of the Canon is very visible especially on contrasty corners like on that cement wall edge. And this is something you see obviously at web resolution.

Here's a more professional comparison between the L and the ART from Bryan at the digital picture:





It's night and day, I don't know how else to say that.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART is as sharp WIDE OPEN as the 50mm f/1.2L is at f/4.0

Sigma @f/1.4:



Canon @ f/4.0:



Bokeh is subjective so I won't address that, but technical tests have shown that the Canon 50mm f/1.2L has bokeh that isn't as smooth as the new Sigma. Some people like that, some people don't.

F/1.2 on a digital camera isn't really f/1.2 though. All digital sensors unlike film ignore the majority of the additional light that arrives at the lens after f/2.0, because they absorb instead of capture light at high angles of incidence which is where the additional light at fast apertures comes from. So the body simply raise the ISO in the background to compensate so your exposure calculations are the same.



There is also some rounding up that goes on with the Canon's f number, and with the Sigma they are actually rounding down the f number, so they are much closer than they seem aperture wise, though the Canon will have less vignette. The 50mm f/1.2L only lets around 10% more light hit the sensor than the 50mm f/1.4 ART, for all intents and purposes there is no difference.

The Canon also probably isn't built better, historical the 50L f/1.2 has been 3 times less reliable than the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is pretty bad.

22
Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 14, 2014, 11:23:15 PM »
Here's what I've been waiting for - a 50L to 50A comparison from SLR Lounge

I think it's enough to convince me to cancel my pre-order.  The Sigma is sharper, but not shockingly so, and the Canon's bokeh is slightly better (IMHO).  The Canon also appears to have ever-so-slightly better contrast, while the Sigma has better CA control, but again, only by a hair.

The other thing I've learned is that you'll have buy the USB dock to enable full time manual focus (which I guess isn't standard for Sigmas).  That's crappy. 

The 50L has killer build quality and USM in a much smaller package and I don't think the Sigma is worth 950 of my dollars for such subtle differences at f/1.4 in what for me, is a portrait lens. 

I guess I can't cancel it till the 24th, so I'll keep my mind open until then, but I think I'm going to cancel and resume the 50L II vigil ;)

Here's a more scientific comparison of sharpness. Seems the Sigma vs Canon L decision is really sharpness vs. bokeh, respectfully. If I had a 50L I probably wouldn't sell, but since I don't, I'm still super excited about my preorder :)

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=941&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=403&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=1

I think the slr lounge images really do not show what the difference between these two lenses is really like, they have low contrast and are far too smooth subjects. The images from the digital picture are much more staggering.

23
EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: EF-M 22-46mm f/3.5-5.6
« on: April 13, 2014, 09:47:37 AM »
Given that there's already an EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6, I expect this patent won't see the light of day as a product.

I would imagine that there is something else special about this lens such as being collapsible.

24
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Available for Preorder
« on: April 13, 2014, 12:15:43 AM »
...
So to get the single greatest improvement in a class of lenses for only $949 is the bargain of the century. Canon or Nikon would have charged you $3000.
...

To summarise, if Canon want to come out with a killer 50/1.4 lens that will replace their current 50/1.4 (and maybe 50/1.8), it needs to be:
1) cost less than $949 so that it is cheaper than the Sigma 50/1.4 Art
2) deliver better quality images than the 50/1.2L
3) provide at least IS and possibly weather sealing

... wait, no it doesn't ... all that Canon's next 50/1.4 lens will need is this:

1) a red ring around the lens.

and people will buy it in preference to the Sigma, regardless of price or performance.

It also needs to autofocus consistently, something Sigma's 18-35mm f1.8 and older 50mm f1.4 can't claim to do.

Bokeh looks clinical, not as soft as the old 50mm f1.4. But clean... Kind of want this lens.

The F stoppers review of the 50mm ART rates it as having a much higher keeper rate than the slow focusing 50mm F/1.2 Canon L and as having excellent focusing. Keep in mind this isn't a review from an amateur, the guys who made this claim shoot every single day. That's a very good indication.

The older 50mm f/1.4 was junk with focusing, I have the new 18-35mm though and have had zero problems with focusing

BUT the 50's are like night and day... which is why I am really curious about the art's bokeh.  If it can be described as magic... then that negates ALL of the 50L's claim to fame. 

The 50 Art actually used the 50L as a benchmark for bokeh, and in technical terms the Sigma has better bokeh than the 50L. The Sigma's circle of confusion, which is what defines bokeh is actually much creamier and less busy then the Canon, with fewer aberrations, softer edges and better texture. The Sigma is closer to what is considered ideal like what you get with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II. 50mm planar design lenses like the 50L are hard to tune for ideal bokeh so Canon actually had to compromise with their 50L lens on bokeh and the lens has several flaws, the 85L II is very forgiving design wise so you get much closer to the ideal, with no compromise, and a very soft circle of confusion.

I think that for most photographers who are trained on what looks "ideal" the Sigma definitely should be considered to best the Canon, they are both very similar to one another though.

There are a few schools of thought on bokeh though, some people don't like bokeh that is too creamy because it looks clinical. A lot of photographer want bokeh to have a hint of character and definition, while still being very creamy.

25
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Available for Preorder
« on: April 11, 2014, 11:59:50 PM »
This lens sounds great, but i'm just a little surprised that nobody thinks the price is high at all.
I don't think it's crazy expensive, but it definitely doesn't strike me as the bargain that many people make it out to be. What lenses are we comparing this with besides the Canon 1.2? Just a thought i'm having, I know the 50mm 1.4 Canon is old and poorly regarded but literally nobody is comparing these two lenses.
I had the old Sigma 50mm 1.4, and I LOVED it, the bokeh was awesome, and it was really sharp(I did have to return my first copy as it was very softttt.) But that lens was $400 new and worked fantastic for me for a couple years.
Is the new Sigma really twice as good as the old one?

Is the new Sigma really twice as good as the old one?

No. The new Sigma is more than twice as good as the old one. 240% better specifically.

If you're asking these kinds questions though I don't think you understand how important this Sigma lens is.

Sigma says it is positioning this lens to not even be remotely in competition with any other 50mm lens on the market. And all reviews have pointed to them being right. What that means is this 50mm lens makes all other non-zeiss competitors obsolete. It's like comparing a Mercedes AMG versus a snail in a race, it's just a different class.

The reason for this is that 50mm lenses have traditionally been of the double gauss (planar) design, which severely limits image quality at fast apertures. It's a very poor archaic design that results in around 4 times worse performance in every image clarity measurement. The reason for this is that to make a double gauss lens properly you would have to put elements inside of the mirror box to make the lens sharp. Because you can't put elements inside your mirror all 50mm lenses prior to 2014 for DSLRs have been soft.  The only upside to the double gauss design is a slightly more compact lens. There is literally no planar lens that performs even passably well wide open. The Zeiss Otus was the first retrofocal normal lens for full frame cameras and it showed there was a night and day difference compared to the double gauss design. The Sigma 50mm ART is the second.

Planar lenses have extremely poor performance wide open, lets use the lens rentals 50mm comparison as an example ( http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout), which tested 23 planar normal lenses. At f/1.4 planar lenses achieved scores in the 300s and 400s in that test for average MTF50 resolution. For comparison the Zeiss Otus delivers average resolution of 800. That's just under 5 times more spacial resolution than the lens it supersedes, the Zeiss 1.4 Planar, @ f/1.4. (remember we have to square linear resolution data to get normal resolution)

If you look at other points of comparison you can see that planar 50mm lenses scored poorly in haziness/glowiness and purple fringing, and often scored poorly in chromatic aberration, usually by a factor of 3-5.

It doesn't take a genius to see why this is important. We just went from having the sharpest 50mm prime being literally the bottom of the barrel, delivering image quality so poor camera phones from several years ago beat them when they are wide open to having a lens that is one of the sharpest primes money can buy. It's like comparing unarmed chimpanzees with nuclear weapons. The lens doubles or triples everything we know about 50mm lenses at the least. This is the greatest improvement in image quality that has ever happened in DSLR photography.

So to get the single greatest improvement in a class of lenses for only $949 is the bargain of the century. Canon or Nikon would have charged you $3000 and still wouldn't be able to keep these in stock.



Double Gauss lens f/1.4 (Zeiss 1.4 Planar)

Retrofocal Lens f/1.4 (Sigma, 35mm 1.4 - remember the 50mm 1.4 ART is slightly better than this, but this makes for a clear comparison):

26
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 06, 2014, 02:00:02 PM »
Sigma's famous statement: it wasn't looking to surpass Nikon and Canon, but rather the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 has a way to go judging by the graph in the review. I would have expected the FF graph to look like the 7D graph based on this bragging. The Otus' whole thing is sharp corners at f1.4. That's expensive to achieve.

You don't seem to know how to read the graph or what a typical graph is. This lens actually has LESS falloff in resolution between the center and corners than the Zeiss Otus, and 3 times less falloff in corner resolution than a typical competitor.

SLRGear hasn't reviewed the Otus, your statements are baseless.

Except SLRGEAR has reviewed hundreds of other lenses so it is incredibly easy to get a common lens to cross compare. You can do it with literrally dozens of lenses and get an direct comparison between the Otus and the Sigma. I've run the number and have comparison data between the two. There is a small margin of error due to testing methodology differences and copy variation, but this will strongly correlate to real world results.

Sigma's famous statement: it wasn't looking to surpass Nikon and Canon, but rather the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 has a way to go judging by the graph in the review. I would have expected the FF graph to look like the 7D graph based on this bragging. The Otus' whole thing is sharp corners at f1.4. That's expensive to achieve.

You don't seem to know how to read the graph or what a typical graph is. This lens actually has LESS falloff in resolution between the center and corners than the Zeiss Otus, and 3 times less falloff in corner resolution than a typical competitor. On top of that it's as sharp in the corners wide as most 50mm lenses are stopped down in average resolution at f/2.8. For all intents and purposes it's tack sharp on full frame in the corners wide open. All lenses have some sharpness falloff in the corners, the Otus has significant drop, but for both lenses we are talking about being ridiculously sharp in the center and nearly ridiculously sharp in the corners. The Sigma is 2-5 times sharper than any other 50mm prime with autofocus in terms of average resolution, so the whole image is very clear.


You're also missing the point of their quote. The Sigma 50 A is not competing with canon or nikon it's competing with zeiss and makes Canon and nikon obsolete. That's the point of the quote, and that's what they accomplished.

Dude, you are embarrassing yourself.

Honestly you sound ridicoulous. I've taken the time to very carefully get together data and make factual comparisons. You just put some random nonsense out there that has nothing to do with reality and is completely false. When I correct you it's embarassing?

Have you done any research or information gathering or number crunching related to this at all? Right. I didn't think so.

27
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 06, 2014, 09:11:55 AM »
Sigma's famous statement: it wasn't looking to surpass Nikon and Canon, but rather the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 has a way to go judging by the graph in the review. I would have expected the FF graph to look like the 7D graph based on this bragging. The Otus' whole thing is sharp corners at f1.4. That's expensive to achieve.

You don't seem to know how to read the graph or what a typical graph is. This lens actually has LESS falloff in resolution between the center and corners than the Zeiss Otus, and 3 times less falloff in corner resolution than a typical competitor. On top of that it's as sharp in the corners wide as most 50mm lenses are stopped down in average resolution at f/2.8. For all intents and purposes it's tack sharp on full frame in the corners wide open. All lenses have some sharpness falloff in the corners, the Otus has significant drop, but for both lenses we are talking about being ridiculously sharp in the center and nearly ridiculously sharp in the corners. The Sigma is 2-5 times sharper than any other 50mm prime with autofocus in terms of average resolution, so the whole image is very clear.


You're also missing the point of their quote. The Sigma 50 A is not competing with canon or nikon it's competing with zeiss and makes Canon and nikon obsolete. That's the point of the quote, and that's what they accomplished.

28
Lenses / Re: Should I buy the 35L now or wait for the price drop?
« on: March 28, 2014, 10:54:08 PM »
I'm also not sure how it's possible to use full time manual overide to manual focus and do minor adjustments on a tripod, because the autofocus will completely refocus between shots in that mode...

One can use back button focus.


People should stop buying them if there is an alternative that doesn't constantly fail. People buy the the 70-200mm L II despite it's extreme breakage rate not because of it.

True, and similarly people buy 35L despite those stats, and I am yet to see a single thread here complaining about the lens.

The OP wants a lens that isn't going to be defective and will be a safe investment.

Not really. The OP wants to get the 35L, period, and the only question is whether he should wait.

So the Canon has more defects but slightly less variation in good copies. The Sigma also does have slightly more nervous bokeh, but it also has stunning clarity and I think that images just look noticeably better when you average those two issues out.

True. So if the OP can get a 'good copy' of the 35L he/she is set, right? I understand the 35Art is a fantastic lens and more power to Sigma for that, but if someone has decided specifically not to go with it, is there much point in going over the same thing?
I hope the OP decides to get the 35L now and furthermore, decides to post some of the pictures here :)
Cheers

I don't think you're understanding my point. The OP gave us a set of reasons why he wanted to get the 35L. The Canon 35L is seriously much worse at fulfilling his needs than the Sigma 35A. It is a completely illogical purchase fueled by the fact that he got a bad copy of the Sigma.

It would be like buying a motorcycle to drive to work every day because your car crashed and you feel unsafe driving a car.

Like I said I've owned multiple copies of both the Sigma 35A and the Canon 35L. I initially went from the Canon, to the Sigma, and then back to the Canon because I really disliked the fact that lightroom didn't properly correct distortion for the 35A at the time (this is fixed now), and it had crazy levels of purple fringing which I hate, but I went back to the Sigma again because the stunning clarity of the Sigma made a huge difference in my photos. If the OP said that he wanted a 35mm lens with low purple fringing then I'd recommend the 35mm L. But the OP does not want a lens with low PF. He wants a lens that is reliable and a safe bet financially. The Sigma is way more reliable than the Canon, and is a much safer bet. It's basic logic.

29
Lenses / Re: Should I buy the 35L now or wait for the price drop?
« on: March 28, 2014, 04:17:32 PM »

Ok well if you have only heard good things about the Canon 35mm f/1.4L, let me tell you a few bad things.

- Lens Rentals rents out over 700 different of lenses with over 12,000 individual lenses in their arsenal. The 35mm f/1.4L is responsible for around HALF of all inoperable focusing system failures they have, despite the rest of their inventory being several hundred times larger. Out of the 700 different lenses they have, the 35mm f/1.4 L has consistently been in the BOTTOM 20 or worse. That means that 680 lenses are more reliable than the 35mm f/1.4 L.

Like I said if you have problems with lenses having focus calibration, then you don't want a 35mm f/1.4L

Check the link if you have any skepticism:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/09/lens-repair-data-4-0

"Canon 35mm f/1.4   14%   Calibration, decentered element, autofocus failure"

The Canon 35mm f/1.4, not only cannot focus properly and requires calibration, but it's focusing system simply breaks, and many copies are severely decentered.


With that said 80% of copies of pretty much any lens are going to be good. What probably happened to you is that you bought multiple copies from a bad batch. I have purchased 3 copies of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, to get the sharpest one and 2 copies of the Canon 35mm f/1.4 and haven't really had any issues with any of them, but what concerns me about the Canon is long term reliability. The lens simply breaks due to it's antiquated focusing system over time. You don't want to completely lose your investment.

If I were you I would just buy a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 from another source.

I don't want to go into a Canon vs Sigma argument, but here's the latest version of Roger's lens repair stats:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/08/lensrentals-repair-data-2012-2013

... drawing attention to a few points:

1. The main issue with the 35L is the AF/MF switch, which not many people need to use- it has instant manual override.
2. The rate of problems with the 35L has gone down.

The rate of problems with the 35L has only gone down a tiny bit, it's gone from being the 12th least reliable lens you can buy to the 15th least reliable lens you can buy, out of 700 other lenses. That is not good. I'm also not sure how it's possible to use full time manual overide to manual focus and do minor adjustments on a tripod, because the autofocus will completely refocus between shots in that mode...


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3. The much revered 70-200 II has a significantly higher breakage rate. Does not mean people should stop buying them.

People should stop buying them if there is an alternative that doesn't constantly fail. People buy the the 70-200mm L II despite it's extreme breakage rate not because of it.

The OP wants a lens that isn't going to be defective and will be a safe investment. The Sigma with it's lower defect rate and lower calibration issues rate, lack of risk in being replaced soon, lack of risk of dropping dead, and 4 times longer warranty is a much safer bet.

I would just get a working Sigma 35mm if I were the OP.



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Also, saying 35L is one of the least reliable lenses is probably overstretching the data. Again, quoting Roger Cicala:
"...from a pure resolution standpoint it has now been passed up by the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens, which is sharper both in the center and along the edges and corners. The Canon remains a bit more predictable, though, both in autofocus accuracy and bokeh"

From a pure accuracy standpoint the 35mm f/1.4 L will be more consistent. My Canon copies of the 35 1.4 had half the variation in focus accuracy of the Sigma 35 1.4, but we're talking about a difference of around 1/4 of an AFMA step so that's not really meaningful. I think what most people care about is whether a lens has severe focusing issues, ie severe defects not tiny little differences. The Sigma has fewer severe focusing defects related to calibration than the Canon. So the Canon has more defects but slightly less variation in good copies. The Sigma also does have slightly more nervous bokeh, but it also has stunning clarity and I think that images just look noticeably better when you average those two issues out.

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Lenses / Re: Should I buy the 35L now or wait for the price drop?
« on: March 28, 2014, 11:37:22 AM »
You seem very uninformed.

You are almost 1.1 times more likely to have a focusing issue with the Canon 35mm L than you are likely to have ANY issues with the Sigma 35mm A, based on actual reliability history from lens rentals which rents hundreds of copies of these lenses.

Read that a few times if you need to. You are MORE likely to have a FOCUSING issue with the Canon than you are likely to have ANY issues with the Sigma.

The Canon 35mm is a 16 year old lens and one of the least reliable lenses you can buy regardless of manufacturer, it has all the problems the Sigma has, and issues with dropping dead and decentering. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 is a brand new design, which comes with an incredibly long warranty.

If you're buying a used copy you're not going to have a few months left on the warranty at most with the Canon, which gives you a 1 year warranty.

Sigma gives you a 4 year warranty and it's a lens that is 2-3 times more reliable overall. The weight difference is also not noticeable, we're talking around a 10% difference. You'd be crazy to get the Canon for your needs.

The only reasons not to get the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is that is has harder to correct distortion and much stronger purple fringing, which can both be annoying to correct. Otherwise the Canon is inferior in every way.

Uninformed? I have personally tried 3 copies of the Sigma 35mm F1.4, and 2 or 3 Sigma 30mm F1.4 on three different Canon bodies (5DIII, 40D, 60D). All had either focus inaccuracies or focus inconsistencies. This is not user error, I have been shooting for 3.5 years, and I'm not trying to sound cocky, but I do know what I'm doing.
I have also personally worked with the one and only one qualified Sigma lens technician available in Israel to try and calibrate a few of the said lenses, using their lab tools and using Sigma's new USB dock - we were unsuccessful and eventually I got refunded for the copy I have originally purchased.

Maybe the Canon uses old technology, but do you have any references for what you're saying? This is the first time I'm hearing such a review on the 35L, usually I hear only good things about it.

Ok well if you have only heard good things about the Canon 35mm f/1.4L, let me tell you a few bad things.

- Lens Rentals rents out over 700 different of lenses with over 12,000 individual lenses in their arsenal. The 35mm f/1.4L is responsible for around HALF of all inoperable focusing system failures they have, despite the rest of their inventory being several hundred times larger. Out of the 700 different lenses they have, the 35mm f/1.4 L has consistently been in the BOTTOM 20 or worse. That means that 680 lenses are more reliable than the 35mm f/1.4 L.

Like I said if you have problems with lenses having focus calibration, then you don't want a 35mm f/1.4L

Check the link if you have any skepticism:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/09/lens-repair-data-4-0

"Canon 35mm f/1.4   14%   Calibration, decentered element, autofocus failure"

The Canon 35mm f/1.4, not only cannot focus properly and requires calibration, but it's focusing system simply breaks, and many copies are severely decentered.


With that said 80% of copies of pretty much any lens are going to be good. What probably happened to you is that you bought multiple copies from a bad batch. I have purchased 3 copies of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, to get the sharpest one and 2 copies of the Canon 35mm f/1.4 and haven't really had any issues with any of them, but what concerns me about the Canon is long term reliability. The lens simply breaks due to it's antiquated focusing system over time. You don't want to completely lose your investment.

If I were you I would just buy a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 from another source.

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