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Thread: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

  1. #1
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    Bayu W. Widarto

    Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Hello...there,

    I'm new to this community. I have a question about a lenses, in the very short time I'm planning to get a new Canon 5D MKII for my new DSLR camera. However, in order for me to save some $$ on a new "L" lenses, I will probably using my old lenses (temporarily) which I used to mount on Canon Elan II 35mm camera (Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 III USM and Sigma 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5).

    My question, I'm not so sure whether or not those old lenses will work on a new 5D MKII DSLR camera. Please, give me some feedback....

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Hi Bayu,

    Welcome to CiC.

    If the lens is an EF lens (as opposed to an EF-S lens) then it will work properly. I'm not familiar with Sigma lens models, but if it worked OK on the Elan II, then it should work OK on the 5D2.

  3. #3
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    The Canon will work but the Sigma will depend on its age - older Sigma lenses have a slightly different 'chip' in them and Canon have a habit of tweaking their bodies so older indi lenses won't work.

    Take it to the store when you buy and try it first. Personally I don't see the point in putting a very, very cheap lens onto a brand new, high pixel digital SLR. Full Frame bodies have very esoteric tastes when it comes to lenses and while I understand you are on a budget and are planning to get some L Series glass your first results will be so far from what the camera is capable of you may be so disappointed with your new purchase it might just tarnish your opinion of it in the long term.

    Just a suggestion but why not get a 50mm f1.8 with the body and use that to get you going. It is very inexpensive but very sharp and there is still a lot going for the 'standard lens' in modern photography.
    Last edited by Black Pearl; 14th August 2011 at 03:38 PM.

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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Bayu,
    I agree with Robin. I recently bought a 60D and can say that it's sharpness on the 18mp crop sensor is disappoint at times. I also have a 50mm f1.8 that is sharp. I have read that they have a tendency to front focus as mine does, but this should be an easy fix for that camera. I would get the camera and try it out. If you are having any questions about image quality, you could buy the cheap 50 1.8 as Robin suggested or try some different lenses at your local camera shop or club to find out. Good luck with your new camera!

  5. #5
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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    As Colin mentioned, the Canon lens will work on the 5Dii but, just how good the image quality will be is a question mark. However, since the Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 III USM was not an exceptionally good lens when it was new, I would expect that the results will not be as good as you hope or as the 5Dii is capable of obtaining.

    Sigma lenses are an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle. Sigma has never licensed Canon's technology and incorporated that into their lenses. Instead, they "reverse-engineer" their Canon mount Sigma lenses by purchasing the newest model Canon camera bodies and modify existing lenses to work with the new Canon cameras. The problem occurs when Sigma either discontinues a lens or replaces it with a newer model. Then Sigma will not or cannot (amounts to the same thing for the lens owner) rechip the lens for any new models. The Sigma folks may have modified this procedure for their newer lenses but, there are older Sigmas which, although they will physically fit the Canon EF mount, are not compatible with the newer EOS cameras.

    I have been the victim of this "reverse-engineering" problem and have a very nice Sigma 28mm lens which I purchased for my 10D when I owned that camera. It is a very nice lens "for the 10D" but, cannot work on any body newer than the 10D and Sigma will not modify the lens to make it work...

    But what the heck... Since you already have the two lenses, try them and see what kind of quality the Canon will produce and if the Sigma will work at all.

    As Robin suggests... The 50mm f/1.8 Mark-I or Mark-II would be a normal angle lens that is inexpensive and would provide decent quality and perhaps hold you over until you can afford a better lens. BTW: The 28-75mm f/2.8 Tamron is a pretty nice lens at a lot lower price than "L" glass. The focal range of that lens is pretty nice on a full frame camera...

  6. #6
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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Thank you all for giving me such a valuable opinion, I really appreciate it. I guess what I have to do next is go to a local camera store and try my old lenses on a new camera body like Robin and Richard suggested and see what happen.

    Anyway, I realized that I’m not expecting to get a top notch IQ with the old lenses which I will pairing them with the current technology of DSLR, and you’re right Robin after I browsed over my local camera store’s homepage I found that the EF 50mm f/1.8is not an expensive lens after all. Hey…I will get that lens before I get the "real one!!"

    One more thing guys, since I actually already falling in love with EF 24-70mm f/2.8L where I will definitely get it if my budget is allow (hopefully one to two months from now), just for curiosity is that lens will get replace by new f/2.8L II model anytime soon? That’s what I read over many related photography topics on the net.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Your guess is as good as ours. Rumors of a Mk II / IS version of the 24-70L have been with us for YEARS. Basically, taking anything you read on a rumor site with a big ol' saltlick. 90% of the time, what you're reading is someone's wishlist, rather than hard technical specs of anything in the real world. Very few people seem to have a realistic grasp on the limitations of hardware product development. To me, nothing's certain until the press release pops up on dpreview.

    However, since you're going to be waiting a month or two anyway, you're safe. The fall product announcements are likely to be happening over that time period, so if an EF 24-70 f/2.8L IS USM is imminent, you'll find out about it before you plunk any cash down on the counter for the lens. Rumors of a 5D mk III are saying spring of next year, but I remain skeptical. I seem to be the only person who's ever noticed that the 5D always shadows a 1Ds announcement by exaactly one year. And the 1Ds Mk IV has yet to make an appearance... Until Nikon has a D700 successor that can match/exceed the 5D II's resolution and HD video performance, I don't think there's much pressure on Canon to refresh the model. People just assume that since it was three years after the 5D that the 5D Mark II came along that the Mark III is due any day now.

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    Re: Canon 5D MKII with old lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Your guess is as good as ours. Rumors of a Mk II / IS version of the 24-70L have been with us for YEARS. Basically, taking anything you read on a rumor site with a big ol' saltlick. 90% of the time, what you're reading is someone's wishlist, rather than hard technical specs of anything in the real world. Very few people seem to have a realistic grasp on the limitations of hardware product development. To me, nothing's certain until the press release pops up on dpreview.
    I agree. Keeping in mind too, that even WHEN they announce it (and I say WHEN as opposed to IF, because I think it'll have to come eventually), it may still be the best part of a year before they're available in any kind of quantities.

    Case in point - Canon announced the new 8-15/F4 fisheye almost a year a go to the day -- and only now are B&H taking PRE-orders for it.

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