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Author Topic: Extending my options  (Read 3031 times)

Haydn1971

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Extending my options
« on: December 30, 2011, 06:40:23 PM »
Been looking at my photos over the last few months and I'm starting to feel want a few more lens options, namely a long reach tele and a low light wide.  My current gear is in my sig, but I'm considering buying the Canon 28mm f1.8 and the 400mm f5.6, perhaps with a 1.4x extender at a later stage.  I'm not ready to buy yet, the wide is probably priority in the next few months, the 400mm later in the year, maybe next, but both lens have mixed reviews, both good and bad, but im mindful that a replacement 400mm would probably have IS and be priced above my comfort level. 

Whats the feelings on here, anyone own either, good/bad experiences...  Is the Sigma 30mm better, would a 300mm f4 IS with a 1.4x be better ?  I just don't think that a 17-55mm f2.8 will cut it in the low light I'm taking photos in and struggling to justify £2k extra on a 5DII/III, plus the 400mm I want in the longer term.

I'm Still considering a longer term replacement for the 70-300mm non L, but that's a few years off, I'm generally happy with that apart from the AF and long end, so a 70-200mm F4 or 70-300mm L are looking like good contenders a few years down the line, with a replacement camera at that time too.
Regards, Haydn

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Extending my options
« on: December 30, 2011, 06:40:23 PM »

Kernuak

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 07:01:55 PM »
My first thought is, that 28mm isn't really wide on a crop, it's almost a standard FF equivalent. However, I can't think of much in the way of alternatives in that sort of price range, except Sigma, which has a a couple of wider f/1.8 primes, although I'm not sure on the cost. I haven't used the 400mm, but when I was looking a few years ago, reviews were mixed on whether the 400mm f/5.6 or the 100-400 were better. I certainly got alot of sharp images with the 100-400 when I used it regularly, although I rarely use it now. Most on here seem to regard the prime as being sharper though.
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Haydn1971

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 07:10:25 PM »
Agreed, 28mm couldn't be considered really wide on crop, but would be wide enough for my uses, which is generally indoor casual portraits of family and friends going about daily life.  The 50mm that I have is nice in wider spaces, but too tight in house type spaces.  The Canon 24mm f1.4 would be really nice, but justifiable ?  I dunno... 
Regards, Haydn

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jcns

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 07:31:47 PM »
50D owner
I bought the 28mm 1.8 several months ago.  It's a fine less, the bokeh is excellent, great low light capabilities, sharp after f4.  No issues at all.  I was not happy with the color out of that lens mainly because I use L lenses so the colors were a bit off when compared to my other lenses.  I upgraded to the 35mm L 1.4.  If your budget allows get the 35mm, much faster focus, bokeh is better than the 28mm (others may have different results).
The 400mm is sharper than the 100-400; primes generally are.  I have the 100-400 and it's a fine less; you can get very sharp pictures with it, but there is a learning curve with it.  I don't use it often, but when I do the first several images are less than ideal in my opinion.

elflord

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 09:17:46 PM »
Whats the feelings on here, anyone own either, good/bad experiences...  Is the Sigma 30mm better, would a 300mm f4 IS with a 1.4x be better ?  I just don't think that a 17-55mm f2.8 will cut it in the low light I'm taking photos in and struggling to justify £2k extra on a 5DII/III, plus the 400mm I want in the longer term.

I was looking for a normal length prime for APS-C and rented the 28mm f/1.8, and both 35mm lenses. The 28mm f/1.8 was by far the weakest in image quality -- very soft wide open (though it is quite decent stopped down a bit). The 35mm f/2 is an excellent lens if you can live with its quirks -- lack of FTM focus, focus motor can be noisy when it hunts or needs to rapidly change from infinity to close or the other way around, and there are 5 blades on the aperture which results in pentagonal bokeh when stopped down (wide open of course oof highlights are circular)

Keep in mind that for wide shots, you might not always want the shallow depth of field that comes with a wider aperture -- depending on the shot you may need to stop down to get the depth of field that you want. Have you considered getting a flash ?

katwil

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 10:55:27 PM »
I’ve had the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for about 18 months, and have had good results in very low light settings.  95% of the time I shoot wider or longer than 30mm, so it’s really a special purpose lens for me.  I’ve heard concerns with back-focus using AF.  My copy was fine, but there could be some quality control issues there.  So while I can recommend the lens, I’d also recommend that you get it from a seller that has a good return/ refund policy.

boateggs

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 11:32:00 PM »
I’ve had the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for about 18 months, and have had good results in very low light settings  ...  I’ve heard concerns with back-focus using AF.  My copy was fine

Just got one of these.  I have a front focusing problem, but I am using it this weekend anyway and deal with it in the new year.  I went with the Sigma because all the reviews said that if you can deal with a non-Canon lens, it is better than the 35 f/2 or 24 f/2.8.  In reviews I read for the 28, it is stated that you should forget that lens and go with the 24, 35 or Sigma 30
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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 11:32:00 PM »

photophreek

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 11:47:22 PM »
I have both the 400 f/5.6 and the 100-400.  My copy of the 100-400 is very sharp and it's a great lens, but my 400 f/5.6 is sharper than the zoom.  I shoot birds with the 400mm on a tripod exclusively and it's one of my most used lens.  The AF on the 400mm is faster than the zoom and the lack of IS on the 400mm is not an issue for me.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 11:49:06 PM by photophreek »

elflord

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2011, 09:39:16 AM »
because all the reviews said that if you can deal with a non-Canon lens, it is better than the 35 f/2 or 24 f/2.8.

It's quite a different package compared to the 35/2.

35/2 pro: sharp across the (APS-C) frame, works on full frame cameras, accurate AF, high maximum magnification for a non macro lens  (about .25, I think it's the highest max magnification of the non macro canon lenses)
35/2 con: old AF system (sometimes noisy), 5 blade aperture (not as nice bokeh), can't manually adjust focus in auto mode

30 f/1.4 pro: a stop faster, modern AF system, wider angle (closer to 50mm equivalent) than the 35/2, 8 blade aperture, comes with hood, sharp in the center
30 f/1.4 con: APS-C only, some users have AF issues (which means either you return it, get sigma to recalibrate it or use micro focus adjust if your camera has it), borders are quite soft even when stopped down

overall, the sigma seems designed for a specific function -- shallow depth of field and/or low light photography on APS-C -- faster f stop and better bokeh really help here. For this purpose, soft corners don't hurt as much because usually that part of the image is out of focus anyway. The Canon looks more like a "walk around" lens -- good performance across the frame, can also serve as a poor mans macro lens.

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/298-sigma-af-30mm-f14-ex-hsm-dc-test-report--review?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/157-canon_35_2_50d?start=1

boateggs

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2011, 02:39:18 PM »
@elflord: thanks, I hadnt thought about it in that way.  Im relatively new to DSLRs and am glad that you skooled me, teaching me something and not steering the OP in the wrong direction
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katwil

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2011, 06:55:37 PM »
I would agree with elflord's assessment:

"overall, the sigma seems designed for a specific function -- shallow depth of field and/or low light photography on APS-C"

My interest in the Sigma 30 was to replicate the look of a FF 50mm lens on an aps-c body in low light situations.  Here’s one of the shots I took with the lens on my Canon XS.

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2011, 07:42:14 PM »
If you want low light and wide angle, there are more options with a FF body, but you lose out on the long end.  With prices dropping on the 5D MK II a trade up might be something to consider.

I have both 7D and 5D II, the 5D for low light, and the 7D for good light at normal to long telephoto.

On a FF camera, a 35mm lens is about as wide as a 22mm lens on my 7D.

briansquibb

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2012, 03:15:41 AM »
If you want low light and wide angle, there are more options with a FF body, but you lose out on the long end.  With prices dropping on the 5D MK II a trade up might be something to consider.

I have both 7D and 5D II, the 5D for low light, and the 7D for good light at normal to long telephoto.

On a FF camera, a 35mm lens is about as wide as a 22mm lens on my 7D.

+1

I am still not convinced about the 1DX and ff replacing the 1D4 - just for the crop issue

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Re: Extending my options
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2012, 03:15:41 AM »