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Author Topic: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?  (Read 5549 times)

RobT

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Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:45:03 AM »
I know that there are countless reviews across the internet comparing sharpness, resolution, IQ at different aperture settings, flare control, etc, but I feel that in spite of any amount of numbers, it's the overall look and feel of the image that convinces me.

I'm a portrait photographer on and off the clock, so I'm going to be shooting f/2.0 and below all the time unless it's a large group of people. I could care less if a lens is 2x sharper at 2.8 than it is at 1.4 because the look of that wide aperture sets an image apart more than a little sharpness in my opinion and style.

Ultimately I know this is a matter of personal preference, but I'm really looking for opinions from those of you who have used both cheap and expensive lenses and can vouch for that "look" that Canon glass is famous for. My wife and I are about to make a huge purchase for our business and upgrade a lot of equipment, and I'd like to know if some of those fancy lenses are unmatched in their feel for portraiture of if I can save some money initially by sticking with the cheaper options.

Does the 85L shot at f/1.8 stand out from the lesser 85 at f/1.8? If any of you have started using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, does it compete with the contrast and OOF effect of Canon's 35mm?

So far I've always loved the look of Canon's lenses, but comparisons like these make me think I can save hundreds of dollars and still have the look I'm going for:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8913259@N03/8290157365/#in/set-72157632294925060/

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Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:45:03 AM »

glongstaff

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 08:51:48 AM »
Personally, I alwasy says its what you feel to be right for the job at hand, what you feel comfy with and at the right cost.

Yes the 'L' series lenses will be top whack due to the extra quality of the lenses and all that resides with them (ie less distortion/vignetting) and at the f/stops your looking at the dof.
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Nishi Drew

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2012, 09:35:54 AM »
A lot of the unique 'look' a lens gives is with the bokeh, how the back/foreground is rendered. Almost all the L lenses produce great bokeh, smooth with good CA control and not too much 'distortion', although this isn't necessarily true with every lens. Beyond that there's color reproduction, the L lenses bring out good colors, like reds and blues, though that's not considered so important these days as so much can be altered in post for color.
Then contrast and sharpness do help, but yeah, they don't do much in giving a certain look.

But, other lenses compete, or are just as good as the L primes. Try telling apart Sigma's 85mm to the 85L, or Sigma's 50mm to the 50L, they're very close in overall look, the only real teller is that both Ls can go F/1.2, and that has a special feel to it, and super shallow. Really, pros these days will choose L for the build quality, weather sealing and reassurance that they will work and get the job done. Sharp all around and will last a good while

bchernicoff

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 09:53:06 AM »
I am very happy with my Sigma primes. I have the 35, 50, and 85 1.4's. I've previously owned Canon's 85 1.2 L II, and had loaners of their 50 1.2 L and 35 1.4 L.

I posted some Sigma 35mm samples here: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11210.msg203012#msg203012

And some 85mm examples here: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10747.msg193668#msg193668
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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 10:16:09 AM »
So far I've always loved the look of Canon's lenses, but comparisons like these make me think I can save hundreds of dollars and still have the look I'm going for:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8913259@N03/8290157365/#in/set-72157632294925060/


If you can not see the diffrence in the two pics you would probably be fine with the Sigma.

Take a look at this;

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=829&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=121&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

It looks like the Sigma is sharper in the center, but softer in the corners.

Personally, I stick with Canon and have no regrets.


bigmag13

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 11:02:48 AM »
If you shoot mainly portraits also look into Zeiss. there manual focus only but give a great look wide open
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friedrice1212

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 11:22:30 AM »
If you shoot mainly portraits also look into Zeiss. there manual focus only but give a great look wide open

So true. Zeiss 85 is an amazing piece of glass right up there with the 85L, at half the price. Pair that with the super-precision focussing screen and you're good to go, if you have a 5D2 or a 6D that is. But even with the regular finder it's not a challenge to manually focus if you practice.

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 11:22:30 AM »

RobT

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2012, 11:27:18 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.

I'd explore Zeiss options but AF is a must for me. Children and weddings don't always wait for MF.

Drizzt321

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.

I'd explore Zeiss options but AF is a must for me. Children and weddings don't always wait for MF.

I expect people were seeing you were a portrait photographer, and thinking either you were mostly working with posed subjects where you could much more easily use a MF lens. Children (especially running around) and weddings definitely need to have a good AF lens. From what I've heard, the Canon 85L tends to focus slower than many other lenses, although on a 1D body it AF a bit faster.

Really, pros these days will choose L for the build quality, weather sealing and reassurance that they will work and get the job done. Sharp all around and will last a good while

This is my impression as well, and while I'm not a working professional, the weather sealing and build quality are a big factor for me. That said, there are some 3rd party lenses that are seriously challenging Canon's L lenses, such as the Tamron 24-70 I'm considering. Not sure how weather sealed it is, but the build quality certainly seems pretty good, and IQ seems to be better than the Canon 24-70 v1. Sigma, as you've noticed, certainly has a few new lenses which seem to be doing quite well, and something I may consider when I need those focal lengths.
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Axilrod

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 01:19:15 PM »
So true. Zeiss 85 is an amazing piece of glass right up there with the 85L, at half the price. Pair that with the super-precision focussing screen and you're good to go, if you have a 5D2 or a 6D that is. But even with the regular finder it's not a challenge to manually focus if you practice.

Honestly when I started shooting Zeiss stuff I was very impressed with the 21mm f/2.8 (compared to my 16-35mm), I was really impressed with the 50mm f/2 Makro compared to my 50L (no comparison), and was very impressed with the 100 Makro compared to the 100L (although I don't know that it's worth 2x the price with no AF/IS).  The only one I wasn't really impressed by relative to it's Canon counterpart was the 85mm.  I mean it's a great lens, I just felt that the 85L is noticeably better.  Although I have been nothing but impressed with samples from the Sigma 85mm and 35mm, I think both are about just as good as the Canon stuff (especially when you factor in price).
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bdunbar79

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 12:52:11 AM »
Problem is that you are lumping all Canon L lenses into a certain class.  Like everything, some are better than others.  Some non-L's are better than older L's, etc.  The comparison you showed does not suprise me with the 35L.  The 35L I think is one of Canon's "weaker" L primes, whereas the 24L, 85L, 135L, and 200L are very strong.  (35L and 50L I don't particularly care for).  To answer your question regarding the 85L vs. 85 f/1.8 at let's say, f/2:  Yes, I think the 85L II does look better overall.  With the 50L and 50 f/1.4, I could never tell the difference in anything between these two lenses at f/2.

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 02:50:09 AM »
Problem is that you are lumping all Canon L lenses into a certain class.  Like everything, some are better than others.  Some non-L's are better than older L's, etc.  The comparison you showed does not suprise me with the 35L.  The 35L I think is one of Canon's "weaker" L primes, whereas the 24L, 85L, 135L, and 200L are very strong.  (35L and 50L I don't particularly care for).  To answer your question regarding the 85L vs. 85 f/1.8 at let's say, f/2:  Yes, I think the 85L II does look better overall.  With the 50L and 50 f/1.4, I could never tell the difference in anything between these two lenses at f/2.
Hmm, coming from one of the guys I really respects on this forum I will now look at my 35L im a different way from now on.  :D Seriously, about the 35L, if you disregard the last few weeks with people suddenly considering the new Sigma 35 as a gift from god the only real criticism Ive read about that lens is the lack of weather sealing. I love that lens, it's my only prime and Ive taken some magic pictures with it. On the other hand, photography is not what puts food on the table in my house.

bycostello

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 06:38:03 AM »
more photo less tech...  i think is what ur saying

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 06:38:03 AM »

RobT

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 07:27:05 AM »
Problem is that you are lumping all Canon L lenses into a certain class.  Like everything, some are better than others.  Some non-L's are better than older L's, etc.  The comparison you showed does not suprise me with the 35L.  The 35L I think is one of Canon's "weaker" L primes, whereas the 24L, 85L, 135L, and 200L are very strong.  (35L and 50L I don't particularly care for).  To answer your question regarding the 85L vs. 85 f/1.8 at let's say, f/2:  Yes, I think the 85L II does look better overall.  With the 50L and 50 f/1.4, I could never tell the difference in anything between these two lenses at f/2.

Thanks, your post really helped solidify what I should be thinking in terms of this order we're going to place.
I think the 85L is a must, the Sigma 35 is a no brainer (at least until reviews of Canon's replacement for the 35L), and the 50mm length can be covered by the 1.4 for awhile.

Would you guys suggest anything else to think about adding to the bill? I know there is an army of people supporting the 70-200 mkII, but I already love the look and personality of primes, and I just don't think I'd get as much enjoyment out of a zoom lens.

bdunbar79

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 11:27:56 AM »
Problem is that you are lumping all Canon L lenses into a certain class.  Like everything, some are better than others.  Some non-L's are better than older L's, etc.  The comparison you showed does not suprise me with the 35L.  The 35L I think is one of Canon's "weaker" L primes, whereas the 24L, 85L, 135L, and 200L are very strong.  (35L and 50L I don't particularly care for).  To answer your question regarding the 85L vs. 85 f/1.8 at let's say, f/2:  Yes, I think the 85L II does look better overall.  With the 50L and 50 f/1.4, I could never tell the difference in anything between these two lenses at f/2.
Hmm, coming from one of the guys I really respects on this forum I will now look at my 35L im a different way from now on.  :D Seriously, about the 35L, if you disregard the last few weeks with people suddenly considering the new Sigma 35 as a gift from god the only real criticism Ive read about that lens is the lack of weather sealing. I love that lens, it's my only prime and Ive taken some magic pictures with it. On the other hand, photography is not what puts food on the table in my house.

No, haha, I don't mean the 35L is a bad lens at all.  It is a great lens.  Look at it compared to Canon's 35 f/2 lens.  It is much better.  So with regards to the 35L, it certainly fits the question of whether the L lens has a different look.  It certainly does!  I was just comparing to the other L primes, which is stiff competition I agree.

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Re: Do other lenses compete with the "look" of L primes?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 11:27:56 AM »