Lens brand choice preference
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Photography


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-29-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
reignOfFred
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 703
Default

Lens brand choice preference


Well, I'm killing time here on the web and thought I'd use this forum for another hobby I'm getting into - not ready to join a photo forum right now.

I resently invested in a Canon T3i with the kit lense and am soon looking at purchasing a telephoto and wide angle lense of higher quality.

I was aiming toward keeping it canon and looking at the L line, but today I overheard a couple of guys at work talking about how much better Sigma lenses are over Canon, and a little while back in a store I heard someone talking about how great his Tokina lenses are.

Anyway, this is an aquarium forum, but I'm curious as to what some of you photo buffs think about it all - this is not chump change and I really want to be happy with my choice, because while I'm sure I will eventually replace the camera, given how fast they improve, I want lenses to last. The telephoto will be the first purchase.

Sooooo.... Whataya all think?
reignOfFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-29-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
FlyingGiraffes
Planted Member
 
FlyingGiraffes's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: CA
Posts: 217
Default

To be honest, high end sigma/tokina lenses can compare or be better than a lot of canon's regular offerings. Once you get into the L series you'll run into much stiffer competition. Pricing wise you'll save a lot of money. Sigma's 24-70 2.8 -$800 and Canon's 24-70 2.8 - $1,300.

The people with sigma lenses probably have crappy canon lenses if they're talking that way. It's very easy to see when people are spreading misinformation or not. Just look up some reviews and you can compare 100% crops.

If you really want to be happy with your choice, get L glass. I haven't regretted it.
FlyingGiraffes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 02:21 AM   #3
2in10
Planted Tank Guru
 
2in10's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sparks, NV
Posts: 2,585
Default

There may be issues with the lens and the body communicating from what I have read also. AF and IS may not work well with non Canon lenses.
2in10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
TickleMyElmo
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
TickleMyElmo's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 807
Default

Do it right the first time. Canon glass for Canon cameras, Nikon glass for Nikon cameras.
TickleMyElmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 02:29 AM   #5
GraphicGr8s
Banned
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 2,504
Default

I love these types of questions. The big manufacturers all make good glass. The big manufactures all make some crummy glass. There is some 30+ year old glass that glass made today wouldn't stand a chance against.
Read the reviews but here is the real question: Will you really, I mean really notice the difference between the Sigma and the Canon? And if you do, is that difference worth the $500? The variant of that I ask myself is "Will my client notice the difference?"

Quote:
Do it right the first time. Canon glass for Canon cameras, Nikon glass for Nikon cameras.
If I would have followed that advice I'd have missed a lot of great glass over the last 40 years.
__________________
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Life is simple…People complicate it
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 03:03 AM   #6
Mr. Appleton
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 276
Default

By and large, I would recommend sticking with the brand name lenses. Since the third parties reverse engineer the communication between lens and body, it's not always guaranteed that new cameras will be able to understand the off-brand lenses or there may be some issues.

The quality of the glass and build of the lens is another area where there are significant differences. At the entry level, I'd say that Sigma/Tokina makes some decent alternatives to Nikon/Canon but the difference in quality will only become more exaggerated at the upper end of the lens lineups. I've dropped some of my pro Nikon lenses 4+ft onto hard concrete and they're barely scratched. They're work-horses.

Also, Canon and Nikon lenses retain value ridiculously well whereas Sigma/Tamron/Tokina depreciate significantly from new. Better for when you want to upgrade/switch it up and you see that you can sell it for 80-90% of what you bought it for. My girlfriend just sold her Canon 17-40L lens for $50 MORE than she bought it for brand new a few years ago.

Sigma definitely does a few of the prime lenses well but the price differential is such that I'd rather buy the Nikon, especially if you factor in the re-sale value.

Bottom line, it's all about having a good comparison. Just try both and see.
Mr. Appleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
blink
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 564
Default

I've got a Tamron 28-75 2.8 and I love it, monster of a performer for about 1/3 of the cost of the Canon 24-70.
No, I won't say that it's an optically better lens than the Canon, but I've shot both on my 5D and 7D and unless I'm zoomed in and counting pixels I literally can't tell the difference except for a TINY hint of vignetting with the Tamron on the 5D.
For my hobby use and my fiancee's business use when you factor in the price difference and reduced weight it's a true winner in my books.

That being said, I went in knowing exactly what I was buying and I found a clerk who was willing to work with me, we tested 4 of the Tamrons, taking shots and loading them to my laptop till I found the lens I was willing to buy. The guy really went the extra mile and it was well worth spending a bit of time to make sure the lens I got was sharp and clear because the first three had little flaws.
The first, second, third, fourth and fifth Canon 24-70s I've rented have all been just as good as expected... I think this quality and consistency is the majority of what makes the big price difference and performance bias.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/
http://www.kenrockwell.com/
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/

There are dozens of review sites, but these three are my staples and I generally check them in that order.

So, in closing, feel free to buy off-brand lenses, but do your research and TRY THEM before you drop the dollars... support your local camera store (sure hope you have a good one) and they will (generally) support you.
__________________
"Do not need anything to block the Seascapes."

My 25 gallon Solana cube

12G Rimless Club
blink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
jack25
Algae Grower
 
jack25's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 112
Default


I agree with Blink on the Tamron 28-75. I have it and it's my walk-around lense. For wide angle let me recommend the Tokina 11-16 also at 2.8. I don't have the Tokina but I've heard really great reviews. It goes for around $650 or so. I am shooting with a Canon 50D.
jack25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
reignOfFred
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 703
Default

this gives me some things to consider. I'm no pro and don't plan on blowing up photos to poster size, so small differences in photo quality I might not even notice, especially if I can save 40% on a lense only, say, 5% less quality. build quality is important too though.

The compatitibility issue is a big concern now that you bring it up, but I imagine a good store should let me try lenses on my camera first? I bought the camera from an electronics box store, but will certainly spend time finding a food camera shop for the lenses.

I will certainly now take the tamron glass into consideration too.

any recommendation for a telephoto more on the range of 200mm (or more)? I really want to take a shot at wildlife photography, I live near a million mountain trails and can find plenty - capturing them is a different story of course.

I do check out reviews and take them into consideration, and I hope I can find a store with helpful and knowledgable staff (certainly can't find a fish store like that lol) but of course there is a lot of brand bias and what the pros need might not necessarily be best for me, so I also like to hear from the regular folks who also do it as a hobby.
reignOfFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (175/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,087
Default

Generally speaking, in the higher dollar range you get more lens for less money if you go with one of the "others". As a trade-off, there is a chance that you get a lemon and if you realize it in time, you can return it or get it fixed. There is also a risk that a 3rd party lens that worked fine with your last body won't work with a newer one. Although if you take good care of your lenses often you can sell them with little loss.

Canons kit lenses have improved a lot. Both the IS 18-55 and the 55-250 are among the best values you can find out there. From a hobbyist pixelpeeper's view, the (perception of?) higher IQ that L lenses or "better" third party lenses provide is not worth the additional money and weight to me. Obviously professional photographers have other priorities and funding.

So, for a tele, I would highly recommend the 55-250. If it doesn't outlast you, heck, it is a $140 lens, you can find it for $100 used. Wide-angles are a more difficult decision. There seems to be a clearer correlation between price and IQ, so it depends on how deep your pocket is...

I am looking at the Canon 10-22 and the Sigma 8-16 as my options. If I had the money. For now, I just stitch 'em together.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:51 PM   #11
reignOfFred
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 703
Default

I admit to being critical with the kit lens based on pixel peeping - it's like I want the image to be super sharp even if I don't 'need' it (I guess the way a hot rodder "needs" a car to go 200 mph even though the speed limits are 70).' I'm not rich or poor, but do have a bad habit of spending more on things than I should to get 'the bests' even if I don't need it, while not saving enough. I'm trying to break the habit. Not doing good.

Another thing is that for capturing good shots from my understanding especially telephoto or 'dusk' type settings, speed is important? Is there really a big difference between, say, a 3.6 ap versus 2.8, or 1.8? For the non-pro of course.

FYI I'm Also, I'm considering taking a photography course in the fall at the tech college, just for fun really, and also because I have a pretty mindless job and feel myself getting dumber over time and a course might be good for me heh.
reignOfFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (175/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,087
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignOfFred View Post
I admit to being critical with the kit lens based on pixel peeping - it's like I want the image to be super sharp even if I don't 'need' it (I guess the way a hot rodder "needs" a car to go 200 mph even though the speed limits are 70).' I'm not rich or poor, but do have a bad habit of spending more on things than I should to get 'the bests' even if I don't need it, while not saving enough. I'm trying to break the habit. Not doing good.
Yeah, I am the same way. I want my images tack sharp too. Just keep in mind that the lens is only one piece of the "whole picture". Getting a more expensive lens does not automatically make your photos appear sharper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignOfFred View Post
Another thing is that for capturing good shots from my understanding especially telephoto or 'dusk' type settings, speed is important? Is there really a big difference between, say, a 3.6 ap versus 2.8, or 1.8? For the non-pro of course.
Yes, there is a big difference. Going from 1.8 to 3.5 effectively halves the light that makes it to the sensor.

However...

Going from a f4 to a f2.8 telephoto lens also makes a huge impact on wallet, size and weight. So YOU have to decide if you NEED that 2.8 (a professional sports photog sure does), or if 4 is sufficient for you. That 2.8 at dusk might still be as hopeless as the 4. Know what I mean?

The other thing with aperture, as it opens up you lose depth of field, which becomes awfully narrow with a tele at 2.8, which means your object better not be very 3 dimensional and your focus is spot on. Just for that reason, you will find yourself use mid range apertures much more often than the extremes. Of course, it is nice to have, just like the ability to go 200 mph. But is it worth it to you?

I am NOT trying to talk you out of your L lens collection. Best thing would be to borrow a couple of lenses and see for yourself.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #13
blink
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 564
Default

You've got a great camera shop in calgary (just noticed where your from)
"The Camera Shop"
Should be able to help you out, always been great when ive been in cowtown.
Vistek has always been good to me too and they rent lenses cheap, highly recommend taking the potential lens for a $30/weekend test drive

The aperature is of huge importance IMO, makes poor light shooting possible for less pro people like me.
__________________
"Do not need anything to block the Seascapes."

My 25 gallon Solana cube

12G Rimless Club
blink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #14
GraphicGr8s
Banned
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 2,504
Default

One of the good things about owning a Nikon or a Canon is you can rent lenses. So if you're thinking about an expensive lens rent one for a week.

As for a zoom tele. How about the Sigma Bigma? Now that's a lens.
__________________
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Life is simple…People complicate it
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 10:26 PM   #15
Bettatail
Planted Tank Guru
 
Bettatail's Avatar
 
PTrader: (86/98%)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 2,481
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post

As for a zoom tele. How about the Sigma Bigma? Now that's a lens.




Bettatail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012