September 18, 2014, 02:03:38 AM

Author Topic: Lens choice advice please??  (Read 7082 times)

FTb-n

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 196
    • View Profile
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2012, 07:45:19 PM »
As for brand, I'm in the Canon only camp, especially with today's auto-focus systems.  With third-party lenses, you risk focus software issues.  In theory, they have been tested with current Canon bodies, but when you upgrade down the road, that third-party lens may hiccup with updated focus software on next generation bodies.

The 50 1.8 is a great lens.  Mine is from a film Rebel G and has held up well despite it's plastic construction.  With a crop body, I wanted a little wider lens and went with the 35 2.0.  This is another great lens for crop (but soft in the corners on full frame).  However, the 35 is almost three times the price of the 50 1.8.

My new favorite grab shot lens is the 40 2.8 pancake.  With current rebates, it's only $150.  You lose just over a stop in speed from the 50 and a stop from the 35, but you have to stop down both of these lenses to 2.8 to get close to the IQ of the 40.  Both the 50 and the 35 are weakest in the corners which makes them great for crop bodies where the "corners" are "cropped" out.  But, the 40 is sharper at 2.8 from corner to corner. 

The 40 equates to a 64 on full frame (or film), so it is a little long.  Some may find it too long for indoor family gatherings, but I most often want to get a little closer and find this focal length to be very workable.

As for IS, it ALWAYS helps.  Many suggest that it's unnecessary with faster shutter speeds, but I find that it gives you a bit more edge in sharpness.  Everything you do to eliminate hand held movement is a plus. 

I prefer available light and often push the limits of ISO and f-stop on my lenses.  As much as I like the 40, whenever shooting slower than an 1/60 of a second, I get more reliable results with my IS zoom.  When shooting candids, I can often get good results with 1/30 second with IS on.  If my subject is stationary, 1/15 will work.

For budget zoom, I'd recommend the 18-135 f3.5-5.6 IS, either the old model or the STM version.

For crop, my working lenses are the 70-200 f2.8L II (my absolute favorite lens) and the 17-55 f2.8 IS.  But, neither is cheap.

Also, consider shopping the Canon refurbished store.  I have full confidence in lenses and bodies refurbished by Canon.
5D3, 7D | 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 24-105 f4L IS, 35 f2 IS, 17-55 f2.8 IS, 40 f2.8...  |  PowerShot S100

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2012, 07:45:19 PM »

kdsand

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
  • Newt II a human stampede
    • View Profile
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2012, 09:01:15 PM »
60D, t2i, Magic Lantern, Manfrotto, Joby, Domke, SanDisk and excetera excetera

phoenix7

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2012, 12:46:06 AM »

Like I've said though 18mm just doesn't feel wide enough. So I've realised that I'm going to have to spend a little more money. So, lenses I've been looking at are:
- Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6
- Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
- Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

The reviews are just so varied that I'm not quite sure which to focus on. Thoughts?

I am seduced by the 50mm, surely many of the best taken are from a full frame? Doesn't that mean a 28mm or 35mm is a substitute? I'm just finding it a little hard to justify it when my 18-55 covers the same range.

Thanks again!

If you really want wide and you are upping your budget to consider those wide zooms you
might what to think of an 8mm fisheye.  Heavy distortion but a fairly easy fix most photo
software.  The Bower/Rokinon/et al 8mm f/3.5 might be something to look at.  I've heard
good things about those Samyang lenses, esp. the 14mm UWA which I've considered getting
as well since it is fairly inexpensive.  Also as for Tamron in general, I have the 70-300 Di VC.
Really nice tele-zoom so I wouldn't hesitate on a Tamron zoom at the other end personally.


I love my Plastic Fantastic.  She's a great little lens.  There are refurbs on Canon's online shop
for $80 right now.  Primes are in a class by themselves.  Less things mechanically to go wrong
in general.  Also you get a fixed f-stop which is usually much larger than any sort of zoom.  That
is why I suggested getting a m42 screw mount prime as my first choice for your situation and
budget.  Those things are rugged and seemingly last forever.
And then there are lenses like this:
http://www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?p=133996
:)




Zv

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1232
    • View Profile
    • Zee-bytes
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2012, 02:31:02 AM »
Nothing wrong with the new 18-55 kit lens, if you use lightroom or ACR you can correct the color and distortion to give pretty good images. Sharpen using the smart sharpen in Photoshop and you will see a huge difference, almost like you bought a new lens. Some clever PP might be all you need. (assuming you shoot RAW).

A tripod will help but good technique and IS can get you clean shots at relatively slow SS. At 18mm on crop, you could get away with 1/8s with good IS. You might have to take multiple shots but it is possible. Of course thats an extreme, you could just crank up ISO a bit and shoot around 1/30.

If you do go tripod route, make sure to switch IS off, use live view with manual focus and mirror lock. Release the shutter with a remote or 2s timer. Make sure the tripod is weighed down. That will help you get sharper images.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 02:34:15 AM by Zv »
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

EOS M | 22 f/2 | 11-22 IS

Quasimodo

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 865
  • Easily intrigued :)
    • View Profile
    • 500px.com
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2012, 05:52:49 AM »

[/quote]


I'd recommend a tripod, honestly. If you're getting image shake that can help, and then you can stop down all you want to improve image quality. Or saving up for the 11-16mm or 10-122mm (for architecture) and fixing distortion in post. Or getting the 30mm f1.4 Sigma (or 28mm f1.8 Canon) as a general purpose lens, though it is not great for architecture.

The $12 fotodiox macro tube is nice for macro, though. That's one thing that's cheap and useful.
[/quote]

I agree that a tripod is what is needed here. Before I had my 17mm TS I often shot buildings and other architectural shots with regular lenses. If you have photoshop or photoshop elements, corrections are easy to do, just be sure that you have enough space around the building (becase as you are bending the picture, it 'cuts' away either at the top sides or the bottom sides). Another thing you could try in photoshop is stitching. If the focal lenght is limiting you, try shooting several shots of the object horizontally (with 25% or so overlapping to allow the software to find the information it needs) and let photoshop do the stitching. In my opinion that works well :)
1Dx, 5DII w/grip, 3x600 EX RT, ST-E3
Canon: 8-15L, 16-35L II,  24-105L , 70-200L IS II, 17L TS, 135L, 100L, 2x III TC, 40 F2.8 STM, 50 F1.4. Sigma 35 F1.4 Art, Sigma 85 F1.4, Sigma 150-500.
www.500px.com/gerhard1972

lego_boy

  • Guest
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2012, 09:40:58 AM »
FTb-n:

With the 50mm; everyone raves about its clarity, beautiful bokeh etc, all for an amazing price.
I agree the 35mm is 3x the price....but that aside....do you still think it has the same qualities?

I would consider the 40mm, but given it doesn't quite have the width I'd want from it, nor is it as cheap as the 50mm...if I'm paying more I may as well go for the 35mm and get close to the Nifty.(if you agree with my question above).

Again, this aside...this lens would only be an option if I thought my 18-55mm IS Mkii wasn't giving me what I need (or you guys said...."one of these primes will blow your mind...you have to get one!!!"). For now I think my money is probably  best spent getting something wider and a I'll buy a prime if I find some money burning a hole in my pocket.

Given the non-canon thing aside (im willing to take my chance given the cost difference) do you not reckon much to those lenses? Which do you think is the best of the bunch??


phoenix7:

Yes, I am looking at upping my budget.....it seems I'm going to have to.... For some reason (maybe it's my naivety) but I have always disliked the "fish-eye" look....I have always seen distortion as a negative quality..and I agree you can improve this with Photoshop...but I think the less work you have to do the better. So I don't really feel I want SUPER-wider.....just wide enough.

You mention the Samyang 14mm over the lenses I'd suggested.....those were the 10-20mm ish...giving me quite a nice range...do you think the 14mm is far superior in quality than those to justify the increased range? Are those lenses not regarded as good?

That little lens is mind blowing....I need to take a trip to Russia to find me one of those!!
Yes sorry...I'd glanced over your M42 suggestion....Just because I wouldn't really know where to start with them...a quick ebay search throws up these (industar/pentax/Carl zeiss): http://bit.ly/UmIGne


Thanks again all for your various comments/advice....all noted...I've learnt so much over the past 2 weeks...(given that at the start I was at the level where I didn't fully know the difference between APS_C and FF)



Quasimodo

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 865
  • Easily intrigued :)
    • View Profile
    • 500px.com
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »
I have gotten some really good advice in here. If you want additional places to look, I would go to the review sites, and in this order:

photozone.de

the-digital-picture.com

Dpreview.com

And you have a bunch of other quite good places as well, such as the luminous landscape, or lensrentals.com

sometimes if I have the time, and or are bored, I even check out customer reviews on the B&H site. The latter is also a good place to know how much you should pay seccond hand, because B&H and Adorama with their riddiculous prices (low as compared to other places in the world) is a good point of reference. You should at least not pay more for second hand lenses than what you can get greymarket lenses for at B&H.

G.
1Dx, 5DII w/grip, 3x600 EX RT, ST-E3
Canon: 8-15L, 16-35L II,  24-105L , 70-200L IS II, 17L TS, 135L, 100L, 2x III TC, 40 F2.8 STM, 50 F1.4. Sigma 35 F1.4 Art, Sigma 85 F1.4, Sigma 150-500.
www.500px.com/gerhard1972

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »

Zv

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1232
    • View Profile
    • Zee-bytes
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2012, 12:18:34 PM »
What you want really is the EFS Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, why not just admit it!  ;) Save for that. Don't waste money on cheaper stuff, you'll regret it later. The Canon holds its value really well. Theres rumors of a replacement to the 10-22 so you could wait and snap up a second hand version one. At around 12mm and f/5.6 the Canon produces very nice sharp images. It is worth every penny and a must have lens on aps-c cameras IMO.
5D II | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50 f/1.4

EOS M | 22 f/2 | 11-22 IS

FTb-n

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 196
    • View Profile
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2012, 02:20:10 PM »
Both the 50 1.8 and the 35 2.0 have 5 bladed diaphragms which can (but not always) lead to pentagon looking bokeh.  The 40 2.8 has 7 rounded blades that many consider more appealing in the bokeh department.  Reality is sometimes different than head-to-head specs suggest.

I bought my 35 because I needed a low light lens wider than my 50 for a wedding and I wasn't ready to invest in the 17-55 f2.8 IS.  (I wasn't the wedding photographer, I was the brother-in-law who couldn't leave the camera home.)

My subject matter is mostly people in less than ideal lighting situations so I often shoot wide open or close to it.  I do find the larger aperture bokeh on the 35 to be quite appealing.  Below is a shot from that wedding.

I love the 40 2.8.  It's fantastically sharp, freakishly small, and focuses down to 12 inches.  However, I  won't part with my 35.  There are times when I want the extra stop and it focuses down to 9.6 inches.  I don't have much need for macro, but every once in while I find this quite handy.

Admittedly, part of the appeal to the 40 is it's size.  The 35 and the 50 are twice as deep, but still rather small.  Of the three, I do believe that the 35 2.0 is the most versatile.  It offers the extra stop over the 40 and extra reach.  Another minor consideration, wider non-IS lenses are easier to hand-hold at slower speeds.

My 50 is stored in the "mostly retired, but can't quite part with it" camera bin in the basement.  Both my 35 and 40 are kept handy.

One note to be aware of.  None of these lenses are USM.  The 50 and the 35 each have noticeable motor noise when focusing from far to near and vice-versa.  In practice, this isn't a big issue.  Once you pre-focus, the little adjustments needed to track your subject is much less noticeable.  But, the whir from quick grab shot of child or a pet could alert the subject.  The 40 uses the new STM system which is almost as quiet as the USM.

As for third-party, I won't say don't buy, just know what your getting.  I've read good things about Sigma, including the 30 1.4 (which compares to a 48mm on full frame).   Frankly, a 30 1.4 is quite attractive on a crop body.

Check out www.The-Digital-Picture.com for lens reviews, both Canon and third-party.  Also check out the head-to-head test tools such as the link below.  Just be aware of which body is used in the test.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=810&Camera=453&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=122&Sample=0&CameraComp=736&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0


Photo taken with Canon 60D/35 f2.0, ISO 3200, 1/30 sec at f2.0 (roughly 50% crop to get under 4 MB upload max and show bokeh in window):
5D3, 7D | 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 24-105 f4L IS, 35 f2 IS, 17-55 f2.8 IS, 40 f2.8...  |  PowerShot S100

phoenix7

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2012, 11:34:12 PM »


Given the non-canon thing aside (im willing to take my chance given the cost difference) do you not reckon much to those lenses? Which do you think is the best of the bunch??


phoenix7:

Yes, I am looking at upping my budget.....it seems I'm going to have to.... For some reason (maybe it's my naivety) but I have always disliked the "fish-eye" look....I have always seen distortion as a negative quality..and I agree you can improve this with Photoshop...but I think the less work you have to do the better. So I don't really feel I want SUPER-wider.....just wide enough.

You mention the Samyang 14mm over the lenses I'd suggested.....those were the 10-20mm ish...giving me quite a nice range...do you think the 14mm is far superior in quality than those to justify the increased range? Are those lenses not regarded as good?

That little lens is mind blowing....I need to take a trip to Russia to find me one of those!!
Yes sorry...I'd glanced over your M42 suggestion....Just because I wouldn't really know where to start with them...a quick ebay search throws up these (industar/pentax/Carl zeiss): http://bit.ly/UmIGne


given architecture as your main focus I wouldn't bother with a 35mm, or even the 50mm
tho if you want to take portraits (esp. posed) of friends and family the 50mm f/1.8 II is the one
to get on on a crop sensor.  As I mentioned I've had enjoyed the one Tamron lens I do have
and so would recommend that brand.  I haven't heard as many good things about Sigma until
lately, especially with customer service but that seems to be changing for the better as much
as their new 35mm appears to be changing their lens quality.

Yes, I'm not much for that fisheye look either; just threw that out for another option.  Probably
have too many now. :)

I think 14mm would be a good option, no fisheye though some distortion from what I've read
but nothing odd that can't be easily fixed, and it's fairly fast if you need the extra light.  The only
cravat is manual focus only.  That has been why I've hesitated.  I still have issues getting focus
on AF lenses sometimes. :)

Don't forget, you've already mentioned the fov was something you didn't care for at 18mm as
it is, so the tele end of those 10-20/22 lens aren't something you may use much.  Of course that's
situational and with a tripod to help out you may find that it isn't as bad as you had thought.

Zeiss are good, new or old.  But the first ones I heard about were the (Super)Takumar/SMC from
Pentax.  http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=super+takumar&_sacat=0&_odkw=m42+50mm&_sop=1&_osacat=0&_from=R40
I keep lurking on ebay for one of the 28mm f/3.5 SMC.
http://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/index.html#Pentax
Since there are 2 out of 3 types shown in the list are "green".  I really want the radioactive 50 1.4...
just because. :P



As an aside... wow https://store.canon-europe.com/ really sucks.  Hard to navigate, not much
stock and no refurbs that I could find.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Lens choice advice please??
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2012, 11:34:12 PM »