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Author Topic: Help choosing a new medium tele prime  (Read 3637 times)

Setazo

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Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« on: February 23, 2012, 03:48:35 PM »
Hi. This is my first time righting in this forum, even though I have followed it for some time.

I'm into concert photography (mostly rock) and I'm currently using my canon 50mm 1.4 and sigma 30mm 1.4 on my 40d, when I shoot at concerts. I want to be able to get closer to the musicians, so I'm considering getting myself a new medium tele lens.

The options I've been looking into are:
1. Canon 85mm 1.8
2. Sigma 85mm 1.4
3. Canon 100mm 2.0
4. Canon 85mm 1.4 (I've seen this one be mentioned different places, but I can't find it anywhere for sale here in Denmark... :o

I would appreciate very much any advice, comment , suggestion.
Thanks

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Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« on: February 23, 2012, 03:48:35 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 03:53:30 PM »
The options I've been looking into are:

1. Canon 85mm 1.8 - excellent choice if you're on a tight budget
2. Sigma 85mm 1.4 - slightly faster, more expensive, Sigma lenses have QC issues so be sure you can return the lens
3. Canon 100mm 2.0 - close cousin to the 85/1.8, better if you need the extra 15mm
4. Canon 85mm 1.4 - there is no such lens, do you mean the 85/1.2L II?  If so, AF is probably too slow for your use.
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SpareImp

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 04:18:46 PM »
I can't speak for the others, but the Canon 85mm f/1.8 is a really good lens. Pretty sharp wide open and as good as it gets from f/2.8. Wonderful bokeh. The AF works great, too. No matter how good the other lenses may be, I doubt you'll be disappointed when it comes to this. Great value for the money.

Setazo

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 04:27:41 PM »
I suspected the canon 85mm 1.4 didn't exist, but it just keeps appearing in threads around... Must be typos  :)

Is the Sigma 85mm worth the money compared to the slightly slower canon?? Here in Denmark, the Sigma is 2X the price of the Canon...

neuroanatomist

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 04:47:05 PM »
Is the Sigma 85mm worth the money compared to the slightly slower canon?? Here in Denmark, the Sigma is 2X the price of the Canon...

For portraits, I'd say probably.  For concerts, I'd say probably not.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 06:25:30 PM »
I suspected the canon 85mm 1.4 didn't exist, but it just keeps appearing in threads around... Must be typos  :)

Is the Sigma 85mm worth the money compared to the slightly slower canon?? Here in Denmark, the Sigma is 2X the price of the Canon...

Yeah I'm a big fan of the sigma 1.4. It's my first and only sigma lens and ones of my favourite most used lenses
I highly recommend it
disclaimer: mine was front focusing so i sent it back had it recalibrated and its now all good, only requuires a small micro adjust on my cameras now :)
its AF is about 3 times faster than the canon f1.2L and it is 2.5 times cheaper
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 06:30:06 PM »
disclaimer: mine was front focusing so i sent it back had it recalibrated and its now all good, only requuires a small micro adjust on my cameras now

OP has a 40D, no AFMA (but no guarantee that a Canon 85/1.8 would be a perfect match, either).
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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 06:30:06 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 06:45:22 PM »
disclaimer: mine was front focusing so i sent it back had it recalibrated and its now all good, only requuires a small micro adjust on my cameras now

OP has a 40D, no AFMA (but no guarantee that a Canon 85/1.8 would be a perfect match, either).

yeah but what I discovered talking to the camera tech is that they can just keep tweeking the programing of the lenses internal AF software to make it match so you could send the body in with the lens for sigma to calibrate. Inconvenient yep but for the money its a stunning lens. I think my lens was away for about a week and a half the store sent it back twice because when they tested it they weren't happy.

One thing i will say is if you buy a sigma lens get it from a store that has good service  because its a bit of  lottery with regard to QC of the gear. Would I make the same purchase decision again? absolutely! if the f1.2L had better focus speed and didnt have that fly by wire manual focus i may have gone for it even though its like strapping a grapefruit to the front of your camera. It certainly looks impressive :D and at f1.2 it is extremely impressive definately sharper than the sigma is at 1.4. I tend to keep the sigma at f2 unless i really want to get super shallow DOF also at 1.4 the sigma has some colour fringing but lightroom takes this out automatically so its not really an issue but there is a noticable increase in sharpness with the extra stop down to f2
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Setazo

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 05:12:22 AM »
Thanks a lot for your comments everyone.

I gues I it all will come down to how tight my budget is.
Right now I'm leaning towards Canon 85mm 1.8, but I'm very tempted by the sigma 1.4...
I'll try to see if there is a shop in Copenhagen, which has both lenses and compare them myself

elflord

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 06:51:56 AM »
I suspected the canon 85mm 1.4 didn't exist, but it just keeps appearing in threads around... Must be typos  :)

Is the Sigma 85mm worth the money compared to the slightly slower canon?? Here in Denmark, the Sigma is 2X the price of the Canon...


"Worth the money" is in the eye of the beholder -- primes like a fast 50 or 85 are unbeatable value for money because they are inexpensive, fast and very good.

However, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4  is a step up -- 2/3 stop faster and improved image quality.

http://thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx

Another lens that is in a similar price ballpark that you should consider is the Canon 135f/2 L. You'll probably be far enough back to benefit from some extra reach.

Harv

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 07:46:54 AM »
Don't overlook the Canon 100 f/2.  Compared to the 85 f/1.8 it exhibits far less color fringing and is sharper.  There will not be a noticeable difference between f/1.8 and f/2.  The cost difference is not that great.

Here is a link where you can see the performance of the lenses side by side.....

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=106&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=1&LensComp=118&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0
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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 08:38:28 AM »
There's also the 135mm f/2 prime if you want a longer reach.

jm345

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 10:07:26 AM »
Both the Canon 85f/1.8 and 100f/2 are great lenses. Decent build quality and excellent image quality. (I haven't used the Sigma). You will have to decide how much more reach than your 50mm lens you want. But you should also consider your typical shutter speeds at the concerts, if handholding, since both the 85 and 100mm will require higher shutter speeds to obtain the sharpness the lens is capable of.

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 10:07:26 AM »

MK5GTI

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 10:31:47 AM »
i never shoot concert, so don't know how far you stand, but buying a 85mm compare to a 50mm isn't that much of a difference.

I also vote for the 135 F2, if budget don't allow that, maybe the 100mm F2?

underjammer

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 12:51:23 PM »
Just as a comparison, I took a few pictures with a few different lenses, and outlined them in the original 50mm image..  Consider the black borders "picture frames", and inside that border is the next image (border not included..)  The lenses used were the Canon 50mm 1.4 USM, the Sigma 85mm 1.4, and the Tokina 50-135.  135 is pretty tight compared to 50!  Not sure how much reach over your 50mm you need..

Also, not all same-focal-length-lenses are exactly the same focal lengths..  For all I know, the Sigma 85mm could be closer to 90mm, and the Canon 85mm closer to 80mm..  (It happens a lot...  I DO know that my Sigma 120-300 at 120 falls between that 100 and 135 shot, so those are probably pretty close..)

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Re: Help choosing a new medium tele prime
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 12:51:23 PM »