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Author Topic: Criteria when buying lens  (Read 6519 times)

leadin2

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Criteria when buying lens
« on: November 18, 2017, 07:21:52 AM »
There are too many lens choices of the same focal length in the market. What are your considerations and which are your most important criteria? Here are some picks for you:

1) Sharpest among all
2) Lowest CA among all
3) Weigh below a certain limit
4) I have a Budget
5) I only buy lens f/2.8 and bigger
6) Vignette to the minimum
7) I follow reviewer’s recommendation
8) I swear by DXO marks
9) I have to see photos taken with the lens to decide
10) I have to feel and play around with it first
11) Only lens by Canon
12) Image Stabilizer is an important factor
13) Fast, accurate and consistent AF
14) Corner sharpness
15) Flare control
16) I care about the material and feel of the lens
17) Others

For me, I always consider the weight first, followed by Budget. I do read reviews for reference (my favourite is photozone.de) and if I cannot make up my mind, I will rent to test out the lens. I am 3, 4, 10 and 11. If the lens has IS and not crazy price, it might become my favourite pick.

What’s yours?

Edit: Added/edited the list
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 07:20:32 AM by leadin2 »

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Criteria when buying lens
« on: November 18, 2017, 07:21:52 AM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 08:07:58 AM »
You missed off AF accuracy and consistency. That would be a primary consideration of mine and one of the main reasons I rarely consider third party lenses.

As for budget, whilst I am not wealthy I don't consider budget, I figure if I need the lens then it has value whatever the price.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

haggie

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 09:58:20 AM »
I agree with privatebydesign that AF accuracy and consistency are important. For some photographic situations they are perhaps the most important: an otherwise perfect lens is of no use for shooting fast subjects when it focusses too slow or with bad repetative accuracy.

For single shot this means that the lens must achieving the same focus in the same circumstances, so no hysteresis. I appreciate that for moving subjects the camera's feature are a major factor. But it all starts with a lens being able to focus accurately and consistently.

In addition, a good lens has at least these characteristics to impress me (some are in conjunction with the body used):
- high rendering of detail - also at the outer edges;
- high accutance - also at the outer edges;
- not much CA;
- not much vignette;
- not too heavy for it's maximum aperture value.

These properties lead to sharp images with enough fine detail for a mixture of photographic situations.
Canon EOS 80D          ;          Canon EOS 7D Mk II          ;          Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM          ;         Canon EF-S 15-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM          ;          Canon  EF-S 10-18 IS STM f/4.5-5.6

Zeidora

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 11:23:57 AM »
1) Do I need it, what will I use it for?
2) Does Zeiss have a lens for this?
3) If not, what compromise am I willing to accept?
a) AF - will turn it off, how easy to manually focus?
b) build quality, metal vs. plastic.
z) [zoom: not interested]
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

Viggo

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 12:49:19 PM »
Checklist, for me, in this order usually:

Largest possible aperture
AF
No distortion
Build and weather sealing
Wide open performance, CA, vignetting corner sharpness
Color, contrast
Overall sharpness
Flare control

Things I don’t really consider;

Sigma
Weight
Price
1dx mkII, 35 L II, Zeiss 50 f2 mp, 85 L IS, Broncolor Siros 800 L.

picturefan

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 04:21:03 PM »
This is my criteria:

1) Do I really need the product???
2) Will it increase my creative possibilities (better f-stop, different focal lenght)?
3) Performance, quality, testing results
4) Fair pricing
4) Build, durability and weather sealing
5) Service from the manufacturer
.
.
.
9) Brand! (I. e. - if Canon delivers all this in their products, I would surely prefer)

Drum

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 09:10:52 PM »
If the lens does something that I can't already cover with my existing lenses I will consider buying it. There is no point saying I'll only buy an f2.8 or wider as some don't have that (eg a Tilt shift or UWA zoom like the 11-24 or anything over 400mm) Sharpness along with AF accuracy is very important. AF speed can be a secondary consideration if the lens isn't being used for sport eg a macro lens vs a 70-200. Budget is considered Last I have bought one lens over another because of price, but my collection now is different to what it was 5 years ago. to illustrate my points this is the list of the lenses i own;
Canon 16-35 f4 L       (budget vs the f2.8 version)
Canon 24-70 f2.8ii L   (not budget conscious
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 G2 (my budget lens vs Canon ISii)
Canon 100 f2.8L Macro (my slowest AF speed )
Canon 100-400 ii f4.5-5.6 (slowest aperture great af accuracy and speed no budget)

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 09:10:52 PM »

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 09:48:29 PM »
1. Build quality.
2. AF accuracy and consistency.
3. Sharpness
4. F/2.8 or wider
5. Compatibility with new bodies without waiting on firmware updates from manufacturers.
6. Best service and support in the industry.
7. Image stabilization.
8. Canon, which usually checks all the above boxes for me.
9.' Don't care about price.
10. Don't care about weight. I like a heavy lens.
11. I'll never buy a lens with a soft metal (brass) mount like the Sigma 85 Art.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 06:22:44 AM by CanonFanBoy »
5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L II, 135 f/2L, Streaklight 360ws, Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO, 36x m42 screw mount lenses adapted to my DSLR. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

slclick

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 11:46:16 PM »
1.native
2.what opportunities with this/these focal length(s) will I gain from other glass I  currently own and if ranges overlap, does this lens offer characteristics which will yield a more pleasing look in my images?
3. AF speed and accuracy
4. sharpness from center to corner
5. price
6. distortion
7. abberations such as CA
8. contrast, micro contrast, color rendition
9. weight
That's it, I'm switching to Rollei

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 08:28:47 PM »
1) Do I need it, what will I use it for?
2) Does Zeiss have a lens for this?
3) If not, what compromise am I willing to accept?
a) AF - will turn it off, how easy to manually focus?
b) build quality, metal vs. plastic.
z) [zoom: not interested]

I might have to rent a Ziess lens to try it out. I'm just terrible at MF. The focusing screen on my old A-1 film camera helps, but not the one on the 5D III.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 08:57:34 PM by CanonFanBoy »
5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L II, 135 f/2L, Streaklight 360ws, Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO, 36x m42 screw mount lenses adapted to my DSLR. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

slclick

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2017, 08:33:10 PM »
1) Do I need it, what will I use it for?
2) Does Zeiss have a lens for this?
3) If not, what compromise am I willing to accept?
a) AF - will turn it off, how easy to manually focus?
b) build quality, metal vs. plastic.
z) [zoom: not interested]

I might have to rent a Ziess lens to try it out. I'm just terrible at MF. The focusing screen on my old A-1 film camera helps, but not the one on the 5D III.

If only my 5D3 had the magnify and peaking my M5 has.
That's it, I'm switching to Rollei

johnf3f

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2017, 08:25:26 PM »
For me it has to be a sharp lens with excellent colour rendition. Fast AF and top notch tracking are essential. F Stop is very much dependant on focal length - I can manage my 800 F5.6 but an 800mm F4 or F2.8 is simply silly!

Looking at the shorter end then it is totally down to what you use the lens for. For me F5.6 is plenty up to about 200mm. For others a wider aperture may be just the job?

The one thing I do not want is IS/OS/VR etc. Why? Simply because I have wasted a lot of petrol/time/effort etc going to locations only to have stabilisers muck up my day!

Just my 2p
Canon 1DX, 7D2, 16-35 F4 L IS, 24-70 F2.8 V2, 100 F2.8 Macro, 100-400 L IS Mk2, 300 F2.8 L IS, 800 F5.6 L IS, Holga Pinhole lens.

AlanF

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2017, 06:39:38 AM »

The one thing I do not want is IS/OS/VR etc. Why? Simply because I have wasted a lot of petrol/time/effort etc going to locations only to have stabilisers muck up my day!

Just my 2p

Your gear list is: Canon 1DX, 7D2, 16-35 F4 L IS, 24-70 F2.8 V2, 100 F2.8 Macro, 100-400 L IS Mk2, 300 F2.8 L IS, 800 F5.6 L IS, Holga Pinhole lens.
How do the stabilisers on your telephotos muck up your day?  Do you turn off the IS on those lenses when you them? I'm not disputing your choice, just that I am just curious as to why you made such a strong statement.
5D IV, 5DS R, 400mm DO II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, EF 1.8 STM,  EF 24-105, 100-400 II, EF-S 15-85, Sigma 150-600mm C, EOS-M5 15-45, f/2 22, 11-22, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye: sold 7D II, EOS-M, Powershot G3 X,  Sigma 10-20, EF 300/2.8 II, 70-200/4 IS.

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2017, 06:39:38 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2017, 07:30:19 AM »
Here are some picks for you:

1) Sharpest among all
2) Lowest CA among all
3) Weigh below a certain limit
4) I have a Budget
5) I only buy lens f/2.8 and bigger
6) Vignette to the minimum
7) I follow reviewer’s recommendation
8) I swear by DXO marks
9) I have to see photos taken with the lens to decide
10) I have to feel and play around with it first
11) Only lens by Canon
12) Image Stabilizer is an important factor
13) Fast, accurate and consistent AF
14) Corner sharpness
15) Flare control
16) I care about the material and feel of the lens
17) Others

You left off the most important criterion:

EOS 1D X, EOS M6, lots of lenses
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hne

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 08:04:50 AM »
I am fortunate enough to have enough money to generally be able to buy what I want, perhaps after saving up for a year or two. I do it like this:

  • Identify my need, the hard requirements (this prunes the MF lenses)
  • Value the added features the competing offers
  • Find the prices for the options (often includes used-market price surveys and forecasts)
  • Order options in value/cost ratio order and see what kind of saving scheme would be needed
  • Put the best-looking option on my prioritised wish-list. Depending on needs, it makes no sense to save up for several years, in which case it goes way down the list or a cheaper option with similar value/cost ratio is selected

I saved up for 1.5 years to get either the 5DmkIV or the 6DmkII. I've put money aside for 1 year (just a bit at a time, no pressing need) to upgrade my 85mm lens, with the intention of getting the Tamron 85/1.8 VC unless someone else also figured out a way to get a stabiliser into a portrait prime while I saved up.

The Sigma 85A came in at about $750 value for its $1200 cost so that was not an option for me, and 85/1.2LII does only slightly better.

The new Canon 85/1.4L IS gets the same value/cost ratio for me as the Tamron. More trusted AF wins the argument over half the price (since the value/cost is the same). Canon takes my money.
Preferred gear: 5D IV, 35/1.4L, 85/1.4L IS, 70-200/2.8L IS, Elinchrom ELB500 + RX
Backup: 5D II, 17-40/4L, 85/1.8, 100-400/4.5-5.6L, Yongnuo + 622

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Re: Criteria when buying lens
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 08:04:50 AM »