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Author Topic: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?  (Read 13914 times)

dilbert

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Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« on: December 22, 2012, 09:44:58 AM »
In the last 12 to 24 months we've seen an array of new lenses from Tamron and Sigma that seem to be laying down the gauntlet to Canon/Nikon in the area of providing good IQ that perhaps started with the 50/1.4 from Sigma. Why the Sigma 50/1.4? Because it tests better than both the Canon and Nikon equivalents albeit, it is more expensive however when Canon replaces the 50/1.4 with a 50/1.4 IS, the Sigma will be cheaper.

But if we look elsewhere, what do we see?
Sigma's new 35/1.4 delivers better IQ than either Canon or Nikon for substantially less.
Tamron's 24-70/2.8 bests Canon's version 1 and is almost comparable to version 2 at almost half the price.
And so on.

Maybe 5 years ago when there was no alternative to the IQ of Canon's lenses it made sense to have a full kit of Canon lenses but today surely you'd have to ask yourself why you were willing to pay a premium for a different name.

Is the smart shooter now only buying maybe one or two Canon lenses and at least the same if not more 3rd party?

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Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« on: December 22, 2012, 09:44:58 AM »

FatDaddyJones

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 10:15:35 AM »
I'm really struggling as to whether or not to buy the Tamron 24-70 over a Canon lens, because of the price point for the new Canon 24-70 II vs the Tamron. It's really down to the Tamron or a similarly priced Canon lens, probably the 24-105 f/4. That being said, privatebydesign has a good point about the resale value which should also be consideration. Of course, you are buying equipment to take pictures now, so resale value and depreciation, although important, should be a secondary consideration to what your current needs are. I'm just thinking aloud as I ponder the question that you pose. Is is hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now? Yup. What will I choose? Canon or 3rd Party? I dunno. Haven't made my mind up yet.
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Nishi Drew

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 10:52:54 AM »
Ger what you need now based on what you can afford and whether or not it make the cut.
The lens communication protocol changing could happen, but that's most likely what Sigma is doing with the release of a USB lens dock, not to fine tune and adjust the AF of the lens, but to possibly update the firmware if in case Canon does such a thing.

I started on Sigma gear, I briefly went with Canon, and now I'm back to Sigma and no complaints (my Sigma 70-300 was soft, it's AF accuracy was 1/10, but it was fine as a starter lens until the AF completely died). Anyways, it's hard to say whether it's easier to buy third party lenses, because people looked at alternative brands strictly for them being cheaper. Now, they're bringing out gear that holds it's own against the big names, but of course, you spend more money and anything's possible right? The new Sig and Tammy lenses are fantastic, but are by no means affordable for the masses, while Canon is pushing the price of it's new products every time as well, so relatively Sig and Tam are still affordable.

Like with the Sig 35mm, it's not quite "wow that cheap lens maker made a lens that beats Canikon!" but rather "They decided to make a really expensive piece of glass that... no wonder, beats the older lenses".
As for resale value... well, if you're insecure and feel like you will jump over to another system and need to get all your money's worth out of your gear you're getting rid of then yeah. But at least for me, I'm buying gear to use, not eventually sell.


robbymack

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 11:38:38 AM »
No, for me, it is not hard to not buy third party lenses.

I foresee a similar situation to the one Sigma had in the early 2000's, Canon will change or break the lens communication protocol and third party lens owners will be screwed, and the more successful third party manufacturers are the more inclined Canon are to do it and the sooner it will happen.

I don't care how good the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 IS is, or how much less it will be compared to a Canon version, should they ever decide to actually sell one, I wouldn't buy it. I might be in a very small minority here but to me that is a very important consideration in lens purchases.

For instance, I bought a 300 f2.8 IS nearly ten years ago, I could sell it today for the same as I paid for it, that kind of depreciation is unheard of for buisness capital purchases, same with my 70-200 f2.8 IS and 24-70! They hold their value like that for a reason, on the other hand your new Sigma tele zoom is worth half what you paid for it one second after your return policy runs out.

I don't buy the "resale" argument. If its a good piece of kit it holds its value whether canikon or otherwise. It's also maybe the worst reason to not buy something, I buy gear to use it, if it fits my needs and budget, resale value is the last thing on my mind. If it was first thing on my mind I'd buy nothing but used gear.

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 11:38:50 AM »
I've had it with most third party lenses.  Poor optics, poor reliability, and low resale value.  It would be hard to get me to buy one.  I do have one old Tokina 17mm f/3.5 that is hard to part with.  Tokina has been the best of a poor lot for me.
I've owned a dozen or so sigma lennses, I had to pay $125 to get my 105mm macro rechipped so it would work with my DSLR even though Sigma sold it as EOS compatible.  The others could not be rechipped, just junk.  I've also had some newer ones, only the 17-70mm had reasonably good IQ, but the AF ring was so stiff that it was jerky and impossible to manually focus.
 
Tamron lenses have at least all worked for me, just the poor optics is the deal breaker. 
 
I bought a 14mm Rokinon, and sent it back 2 days later, it was by far the worst lens I've ever owned. 
 
My Tokina 400mm and 17mm are the only ones with very good to excellent IQ.  The 400mm had a loose focus ring, and was difficult to AF, but images were good for the price.
 
I also have a Tamron zoom for sony Minolta.  It mostly hunts for focus while my Minolta lenses focus fine.  I would have sold it, but don't want to unload junk on some unsuspecting person who reads the hype about how good they are.

PackLight

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 12:11:16 PM »
I agree with the title of the thread, but not the manufactures listed.

I had the Zeiss 21mm and 100mm in the basket twice yesterday.
I had to show restraint, especially with overnight Christmas Eve delivery free.

I don't think the IQ and resell arguments hold up in this case.

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 12:12:15 PM »
Quote
good IQ that perhaps started with the 50/1.4 from Sigma

On FF, 50/1.4 from Sigma is worth than Canon

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/522-sigma50f14eosff?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/564-canon50f14ff?start=1

Canon 24-70 IQ outperforms Tamron
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1


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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 12:12:15 PM »

crasher8

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 12:16:14 PM »
I believe in the resale argument. I have sold 8 EF lenses in the past two years and made money on 3, broke even on 3 and lost a combined amount of 20 on lenses that were 1-3 years old. In the past I have always had to take a loss on Nikon gear. Same with Apple products, I have sold two Macbook Pros and have only taken a 100 hit on each of them at 3-4 years old.

Maybe I'm just a good Ebayer.

East Wind Photography

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »
You are not alone.  Definitely EF lenses have been a good investment.  But more importantly the reason why most of us stick with EF equipment and particularly L series is not just about IQ.  It's about consistent color, contrast, and reliability across the product line.  I can go from one EF lens to another and not have to worry much about color calibration or lack of contrast.  I've done that with sigma and tamron and had to spend much more time in post normalizing all of the images.  Very frustrating trying to explain all of that to your customer who only cares about great shots.

So if you cant afford EF lenses or are not a pro then 3rd party lenses can make sense.  IQ is great just expect to make some concessions in color and contrast consistency.  For me EF L series is the only way to go and I'm willing to pay for it.

I believe in the resale argument. I have sold 8 EF lenses in the past two years and made money on 3, broke even on 3 and lost a combined amount of 20 on lenses that were 1-3 years old. In the past I have always had to take a loss on Nikon gear. Same with Apple products, I have sold two Macbook Pros and have only taken a 100 hit on each of them at 3-4 years old.

Maybe I'm just a good Ebayer.

picturesbyme

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2012, 01:34:55 PM »
But more importantly the reason why most of us stick with EF equipment and particularly L series is not just about IQ.  It's about consistent color, contrast, and reliability across the product line.  I can go from one EF lens to another and not have to worry much about color calibration or lack of contrast.

About the color and contrast... only partially true.
I have a 24TS L, a 200L and a 24-70L and all have different color and contrast to each other. (I like all though..)

The resale value... well, that depends, on the lens, on the seller, on the deal you got on the first place.
I owned and sold a lot of lenses in the past years and sold almost all of them with a small profit or around 0-5% loss. If one doesn't know how, when to sell, then he/she can lose money on anything.
I was looking at a Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS for a year and even used I couldn't find it much less than the going 1250, yet the canon 70-200s were pretty low at times compared to the retail.. i.e. the new Canon f4 is $559, the f4IS 1099, the f2.8II 1999 now, (ebay completed listings shows as low as 1250-1700 for the 2.8II)

Quality and price doesn't always walk hand in hand and the latest and greatest from a 3rd party could easily beat a larger company's old design, in cases even the newer ones as part of their price is the Logo and that has not much to do creating images or a tool being great but to show off on the vacation, on a wedding, in front of friends and family  ;)

...so bottom line is ... whatever justifies our spending, right... ? ;)

Imagination_landB

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 01:38:08 PM »

Canon 24-70 IQ outperforms Tamron
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/773-canon2470f28mk2ff?start=1

Yeah sure.  what a good example to compare a 1200$ lens to a 2200$ lens..
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Albi86

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 02:18:50 PM »
It's never been hard for me to buy Sigma or Tamron lenses. I think most people have quite an exagerated idea of how many problems you will face - in my experience none at all.

Of course sometimes you have to do compromises. People expecting the best mechanics and the best optics at dirt cheap prices are just fools. That said, I prefer the compromise of most 3rd party lenses to the branded ones. In fact, I was much happier with my Sigma 17-70 than with the Canon 15-85, although the former costed around 40% less. The Tamron 70-300 actually offered better performance than the Canon counterpart, and even at a much lower price.

People talking about "performance consistency" of L lenses have maybe lost some interesting talks about sample variations in the 2200$ 24-70 II.

The truth is that recent Sigma and Tamron lenses are up to most tasks and 95% of users would have little or nothing to complain about. In fact, most people complaining about the Tamron 24-70 are people who don't own one. On a more personal perspective, I happen to like Sigma color rendition better than the Canon's.

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 02:25:25 PM »
The first lens I owned was the Tamron 18-200, which sucked sp bad I can't even begin to tell, sold it after two weeks. The second third-party I've had is the Sigma 15mm fisheye, I really liked that, but it overexposed masivly on every body I tried it on, however, sharpness was really good. Sold it because I got bored of fisheye.

Now, the last 7 years I have been an L-coholic, and I still use *sigh* the meetings doesn't help... But I am very interested in the Sigma 35 and very curious about it's abillity, I've even thought about selling my 35 L to buy&try, but I'm liking the 35 L I have soo much I can't get myself to trade it for the Sigma. I'm still hoping for not too far off announcment of the 35 L II. The AF for instance will be better suited for a 1d X and 5d3 than the Sigma.
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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 02:25:25 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 02:52:09 PM »
Isn't Sigma promising some type of magical USB calibration dock for their new lenses? Won't that help with "future proofing" them in the event Canon changes the communication? I don't own any 3rd party lenses.
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syder

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 03:40:53 PM »
It depends on the lens...

Something like the Canon 70-200 2.8L ii still significantly outperforms the third party alternatives, so for many the superior performance is worth the extra cost. In other places like the mpe65 and tse lenses there still isn't much to compete with Canon's own offerings (although it will be interesting to see what the samyang 24mm ts lens is like when it's released).

On the other hand there are places where the third party options have been superior for a while now... On crop cameras the tokina 11-16 f2.8 is imo the best ultra-wide you can pick up. Certainly if you do video, then it blows away the Canon 10-22 which is slower and lacks a constant aperture. Similarly many of the zeiss lenses have long been considered to outperform Canon's own lenses (albeit for a high price and without AF).

I've owned numerous lenses, both Canon and third party, and can't say I've had any major problems with any of them. Some of the third party lenses had worse image quality, be it lack of sharpness or distortion issues - but then that was the cost of buying significantly cheaper glass. Then again the Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 kit lens is comfortably the worst lens I've ever owned.

On the other hand my Tokina 35mm f2.8 macro is sharper at f2.8 than my canon 50mm f1.4 and at least as sharp as the 85mm f1.8 are at the same aperture (ie the tokina is wide open and the two canons are stopped down, it is however a crop only lens so wont work on the 5dm3). I also sold a Canon 100mm macro to buy a sigma 150mm macro which I have to say I far prefer (the focal length suits me better and it's also an f2.8 lens)

The Tamron 24-70 f2.8 looks like a great lens - and I probably would have bought one by now if it wasn't for the fact that one of the places I work have some Canon 24-70 mark i and ii's that I can borrow. The sigma 35mm looks even better.

People should be happy that third party manufacturers are producing such high quality, (relatively) affordable glass. Some will undoubtedly refuse to consider any third party option, no matter the quality or the price... Let them, and go grab yourselves a bargain  ;)

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Re: Is it hard not to buy 3rd party lenses now?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 03:40:53 PM »