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Author Topic: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...  (Read 7877 times)

Aditya

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 12:09:01 PM »
I found myself in a similar situation a while back--I started off with a Rebel XT and ended slowly upgrading to a 7D and 5D MKII.  Although much depends on your focal range needs I second the opinions here that L lenses are the best investment for both lens & image quality.  Your 24-105 is a really great lens and you may be disappointed with the results from lesser quality glass. 

Most of the time I shoot with an 85mm 1.8 and the 135 2L (both reasonably priced).  Other good L-series values are the 17-40 and the 70-200 f4, the non-IS version being a affordable complement to your 24-105.

You should check out the Fred Miranda lens reviews page too for more feedback.

Good luck!

Hey Photo Folks,

I'm consider new to the photo community...well, at least most recently with intense regained interest.  I bought a Rebel 4 yrs ago and used it just for lesiure.  Recently, I just bought the 5D Mark II and got it w/the kit lens (24-105).  I also have the 50mm 1.8, but is looking to increase my lenses.  Should I buy mainly Canon L lenses or consider 3rd parties, such as Sigma and Tamron, etc.?   Your inputs are much appreciated.  Thanks.

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 12:09:01 PM »

Marsu42

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2012, 12:09:33 PM »
Most of the white lenses (including the 70-200/4 lenses) have fluotite in them, but for lenses without fluorite elements (e.g. the 70-300 L) it's pure marketing.

Thanks for the explanation! I'm reading that fluorite elements help color rendition - does that make a big difference? I'm asking because I've got the fluorite-less 70-300L and it does take color pictures, too...

PS: Is there a technical reason for painting a red ring on lenses, too :-p ?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2012, 12:16:36 PM »
I'm reading that fluorite elements help color rendition - does that make a big difference?

Fluorite has better refractive properties than glass, meaning it reduces chromatic aberration.  If you compare Canon lenses with fluorite elements to their Nikon counterparts, you'll find that most of the Nikon lenses have an extra ED element compared to the Canon lenses - so, the fluorite element is essentially doing the job of two ED elements in reducing CA.
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Marsu42

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2012, 12:23:18 PM »
so, the fluorite element is essentially doing the job of two ED elements in reducing CA.

... doesn't sound like a big deal nowadays - first off, on my 70-300L I'm getting hardly any CAs (no wonder using f4-f5.6) and in addition to that, if there were some I'd remove them with one click in LR4. Am I missing something?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 12:31:08 PM »
... doesn't sound like a big deal nowadays - first off, on my 70-300L I'm getting hardly any CAs (no wonder using f4-f5.6) and in addition to that, if there were some I'd remove them with one click in LR4. Am I missing something?

Not really, except that as a 'slow' lens the 70-300 L would have less CA anyway, compared to an f/2.8 lens.  But by that logic, everything can be fixed in post.  Why have good metering, just adjust exposure.  Why have a fast lens, just add OOF blur later.  Ok, I exaggerate.  But, that one click in LR4 isn't magic - there are consequences to fixing things in post (in this case, loss of sharpness, or increase in noise if the tool compensates for the reduced sharpness).
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Marsu42

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 12:36:22 PM »
But by that logic, everything can be fixed in post.  Why have good metering, just adjust exposure.  Why have a fast lens, just add OOF blur later.  Ok, I exaggerate.

Indeed: postprocessing blur certainly is a difference to real bokeh, even using the latest plugins. And metering doesn't matter that much anymore to me when shooting raw with the added dynamic range. Color rendition is a problem if you don't remember how the original situation was, and btw nobody else will either. CAs are really the smallest problem to me since they only occur on a f4-5.6 lens at extremely high contrast borders. Thus, this is what I find important about a lens' iq: sharpness > bokeh >> color >>> CAs

RunAndGun

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 12:38:29 PM »
I'd rather have an optically superior lens than an inferior one.  And if having a fluorite element allows them to remove an element, that allows the lens to be lighter and possibly smaller.  Call me old school, and maybe working in TV has something to do with it, too, but I don't want to rely on post.  Do it right(or as close to it as possible) to begin with.  It's great that we can fix SO much in post nowadays, but I'd rather have as clean an image as possible from the start.

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 12:38:29 PM »

Alangeli

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 12:43:25 PM »
.. I've got the fluorite-less 70-300L ...

The 70-300L does have fluorite elements.
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Marsu42

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2012, 12:45:36 PM »
The 70-300L does have fluorite elements.

Um, link? Usually Dr. Neuro isn't wrong on something like this...

I'd rather have an optically superior lens than an inferior one.  And if having a fluorite element allows them to remove an element, that allows the lens to be lighter and possibly smaller.

The question is: Did Canon leave out the fluorite element out of the 70-300L because they're just cheap and wanted to save the money, or did their research show that CAs aren't a problem with this lens anyway? Well, we'll never know - but if they saved $200 for leaving out something I wouldn't have noticed anyway, me and my purse say it's ok.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2012, 12:49:46 PM »
Thus, this is what I find important about a lens' iq: sharpness > bokeh >> color >>> CAs

Depends on the lens and the situation.  For example, I'd be quite concerned about CA in a shot like this (from a 50L):



Think that one click in LR4 would fix that?   :P

The 70-300L does have fluorite elements.

Really?  Can you provide a link that supports that?  The description states, "It features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration," nothing about fluorite, and the block diagram of the lens in Canon's technical hall does not show any fluorite elements, either...  ??
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Neeneko

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2012, 12:50:06 PM »
In general what you encounter with lenses is the law of diminishing returns, you increasingly pay significantly more for smaller and smaller gains.  L glass tends to be significantly more expensive then non-L with fairly marginal improvements, but is fairly consistent in quality.

Non L Canon and Sigma stuff has to be looked at on a lens by lens basis, with some being 'meh' and some being very good.  Zeiss tends to be like the L stuff, marginally better with significantly higher costs, but better resale value.  There is also, as others have said, compatibility issues since 3rd party lenses are reverse engineered, but this is rarely actually much of a problem since Sigma and Zeiss tend to know what they are doing.

Personally I have some L, some regular, some Sigma, and some Nikkor M39 stuff that I use on my camera and have found that if you get a good lens they are all pretty similar in quality.. provided you avoid the lemons.

Marsu42

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2012, 12:54:35 PM »
inge.jpg[/img]
Think that one click in LR4 would fix that?   :P

Of course you're right, I was talking of moderate CAs on tele zooms... but looking at your sample (I guess it's from a corner at wide open aperture): Did you actually try to fix this with LR4's lens profile CA reduction? I'm asking because it really does a good job, esp. since there's nothing else purple in your shot - but of course sharpness will suffer.

Alangeli

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2012, 01:02:28 PM »
The 70-300L does have fluorite elements.

Um, link? Usually Dr. Neuro isn't wrong on something like this...

Sorry, I was wrong, I always thought that this lens also got a fluorite element.
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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2012, 01:02:28 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2012, 01:29:10 PM »
inge.jpg[/img]
Think that one click in LR4 would fix that?   :P

Of course you're right, I was talking of moderate CAs on tele zooms... but looking at your sample (I guess it's from a corner at wide open aperture): Did you actually try to fix this with LR4's lens profile CA reduction? I'm asking because it really does a good job, esp. since there's nothing else purple in your shot - but of course sharpness will suffer.

Not my shot, it's from photozone's review of the 50L on APS-C, and I'd guess it's the full image, not a corner crop (this is longitudinal CA, which affects the whole frame, unlike lateral CA which is worse at the edges).
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AJ

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2012, 02:39:30 PM »
Yes you should consider third-party lenses.

For years I've enjoyed lenses from Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina.  Zeiss is another good brand.  All these manufacturers make superb lenses as well as duds.  Do your research before buying one of these lenses to know what you're getting.  If you don't want to do your research then buying a Canon L is pretty much a guarantee of quality.

As for sample variance.  All manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Tamron and Sigma make duds.  It's probably true that Tamron and Sigma are more prone to manufacturing defects like decentering.  That said, buying an L lens is no guarantee.  My friend bought a badly decentered 70-200/4.  Canon eventually fixed it, but it took six months.  Read the photozone reviews about 24-70/2.8L and 24-104/4L for more stories of bad copies of L lenses.  If you're concerned about getting a bad sample, buy from a bricks+mortar shop who will stand behind their products with exchanges and refunds.

I think it's a real shame - IMO Canon should test every individual 70-300L before putting it on the shelf.  This way "L" would actually be a guarantee of quality.  "L" would actually mean something.

It is said that 3rd party manufacturers are no insurance for future compatibility.  Perhaps this is true.  However Canon has changed their lens mount too, rendering old lenses useless.  Today, a lot of FD glass sells for pennies to the dollar because of this.  When Sigma lenses started misbehaving years ago, Sigma offered free chip upgrades.

So, let me make an analogy.  Suppose you ask what's good for dinner and someone suggests filet mignon (Canon L).  It's certainly a good suggestion, one you can't go wrong with, but there are other cuts of beef out there (Canon non-L) as well as pork and chicken (Tamron and Sigma).

I love my Tamron 17-50/2.8, Tamron 90/2.8, and Sigma 10-20 dearly.  These lenses have performed for me year after year.  They don't owe me anything, and I don't care about their resale value.

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Re: Canon lenses vs 3rd parties...
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2012, 02:39:30 PM »