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Thread: which alternative to Canon lens?

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    which alternative to Canon lens?

    In a previous thread (which canon lens?), I was 'sold' the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS.

    Before I part with money, does anyone have any alternative non Canon suggestions? Ages ago a local shop suggested that Sigma or Tamron lenses were better value for money, not paying for the brand name, etc.

    Thanks again,

    Ken

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Ages ago a local shop suggested that Sigma or Tamron lenses were better value for money, not paying for the brand name, etc.
    Hi Ken,

    Loosly translated "they make bigger margins on 3rd party accessories".

    Some agree - some disagree - but personally, I've never seen the sense in buying a Ferrari and then mounting Ford wheels on it. Same with lenses, it's not just the "brand" one is paying for; perhaps the "brand" got to be where it is today by producing a higher-quality product than the competition?

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Well, the lower-cost 3rd-party alternative that's usually quoted for the EF-S 17-55 is the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, but the image quality is not up to par with the Canon. Whether the image quality hit (and possible future compatibilty issues) is worth the lower pricetag is a personal judgment call.

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Kathy Li is right.

    A very difficult determination - because it comes down (at least in part) to one's personal weighting system for value vs cost.

    Would I have looked at the Tamron if one had been in stock where I bought my Canon 17-55? Probably.

    Would I have picked the Tamron? I really can't say because I wasn't faced with the choice.

    I'm going to link you to the FM site where over 200 photographers have provided their comments on the Canon lens in their own words:

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=27&page=3

    I don't like linking to another forum, but this is the only one I know that has such a broad base of hands-on user comments.

    When you've finished reading them all, please report back.

    Glenn

    PS - the above reference is why I picked the Canon lens.

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Something has been in the back of my mind for awhile:

    Canon has made more lenses than Sigma, Tamron, Tokina put together.

    Canon should be able to design and manufacture lenses to the same quality as, as economically as, and hence for the same price, as those companies.

    Why don't they? With their size and capability, they could put these three firms out of business. Are they in business to be nice or to maximize profits?

    Glenn

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Actually, don't Tokina make the glass for both Nikon, and Canon?? I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not. Tokina makes boat-loads of lenses.

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    To clarify, I mean they actually make the "glass" - I don't mean to imply that Tokina make the lenses for Canon and Nikon.

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Actually, don't Tokina make the glass for both Nikon, and Canon??
    Can't speak for Nikon, but not as far as I'm aware for Canon.

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    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Even if they were to make the glass for Canon and Nikon, the bottom line is what you pay a premium for is quality control - in any manufacturing process, that is the most expensive part. Canon and Nikon (and all of the top end companies - not just in cameras, but in pretty much every field I've ever seen) do more quality control, ensuring that the product they send out the door meets a very strict set of criteria - if it doesn't, it either gets sent back through the process to fix the flaw, or it gets scrapped. Each one of those pieces that has to get reprocessed or scrapped cuts into the margins, which the company naturally passes along to the consumer.

    That being said, there are certainly times when you can make that trade-off in cost versus quality. I own lenses by Canon, Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina. I have some very nice Canon lenses, but at the same time, I have some that are kind of crap. I have some crap third party lenses, but also some that are very nice. Admittedly, early on I bought third party lenses because my budget wasn't as good, and I didn't know as much as I do now. But at the same time, I've also bought some lenses that just aren't available from Canon (like my Tokina 35mm macro lens, and my Sigma 150-500mm).

    But I go through the same debate each time I've save up enough budget for a new lens too!

    - Bill

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Thanks, I asked because this is the first time ever that I've had enough budget to even consider buying a 'branded' lens. From experience I know there's nothing wrong with Ford wheels (I've driven Ford's forever ) and they've never let me down yet but they would look silly on a Ferrari. Question is, is a 400D body a Ferrari? Probably not but as I do envisage 'moving up' in the medium term it seems make sense to go with the Canon lens now.

    Ken

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    From experience I know there's nothing wrong with Ford wheels
    Obviously you never drove any of those ones from some years back that they blamed on exploding and causing all those SUVs to flip...

    Yes, having the budget to buy the higher priced lens is nice... but I know exactly where you're coming from, and I know that you're looking at that budget and saying 'But if I buy this third party lens, I have $X left over to buy Y or Z'

    Always a tough spot...

    - Bill

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Obviously you never drove any of those ones from some years back that they blamed on exploding and causing all those SUVs to flip...
    Must have been a US thing, don't remember that story over here.

    Ken

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Must have been a US thing, don't remember that story over here.

    Ken
    Hate to say it, but I drive a Ford, and it's been pretty expensive to maintain - at 270,000km and I've already had to have the transmission rebuilt - engine needs to be rebuilt now - rear brakes have had to be rebuilt (twice) - distributor and oxygen sensors (another $2300!) - not to mention things like electric mirror and window problems But the wheels have been OK

    I'm reminded of a chuckle I had watching The Simpsons ... Homer and Marge were caught up in traffic on the freeway - trying to get somewhere in a hurry. They were surrounded by SUVs. Marge says "how are we going to make it past all these SUVs" - Homer says "It's OK - there's a gentle curve up ahead" ... and sure enough, as soon as the SUVs hit the gentle curve they ALL slide off the road - roll over - and catch fire!

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    - at 270,000km
    That could be you problem

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    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Oh - I drive a Ford too...

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    I have one Sigma lens which I will probably keep forever. Not because it is such a great lens (it is fairly nice) but, because chances are I will never be able to sell it.

    You see, Sigma reverse engineers their lenses for Canon cameras (I don't know about their lenses with Nikon mounts). That means that when Canon introduces a new body, Sigma will buy the body and retrofit their lenses to interface with the new technology. They do this free, which is nice. Except if they have changed or discontinued the lens, that is NOT NICE!

    And that means that I cannot get my 28mm f/1.8 Sigma rechipped to be able to use it with any Canon camera newer than the old Canon 10D. Anyone have an ancient Canon DSLR that they want to buy a 28mm f/1.8 lens for? Remember, it will never fit a newer camera than the 10D!

    The same doesn't appear to be true regarding the Tokina and Tamron lenses. I have used them with new Canons up to and including the 10D...

    You will often find qualifiers in the statements when people are comparing some 3rd party lenses with the Canon top-line lenses such as the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lenses... These qualifiers are: almost as good, except for ___, great for the price, and so on.

    The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 non-VC lens is almost as good as the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS except, the focus in low light is not quite as fast and accurate and it doesn't have IS. The VC version of that lens is described as, very nice but not equalling the IQ of the Canon or the non-VC Tamron model. I never really look at evaluations regarding Sigma lens because: Fool me once, shame you! Fool me twice, shame on me!

    OTOH - I do have an old Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF SP lens that I bought used several years ago for a but over a hundred U.S. dollars which I dearly love. It ALMOST equals the Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens except that the auto-focus is a bit slow and cranky.

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    As I mentioend in the other thread, I've used the Canon 17 to 55/2.8IS.
    And I have interrogated tamron lens’s results.

    I can see the difference (in a good print – NOT pixel peeping)- between the Tamron 17 to 50 and the Canon 17 to 55 but not at all apertures and not at all Focal Lengths.

    The 400D is a camera which is enough of a Ferrari for that difference to be noticed by a sharp and trained eye. We have both a 400D and also a 450D.

    There are many of my colleagues who use both Tamron Lenses (the newer stabilized one and the older one) and they are very happy with the (saleable) results those lenses produce: mainly because the man in the street rarely will notice the difference in most shots, even if many shots are taken at F/2.8

    ***

    If I were buying an F/2.8 Zoom Lens, I (personally) would be expecting to use the lens at F/2.8 quite often, because that would suit my general needs and my general shooting style – and – as the IQ differential is more pronounced at F/2.8, then for me it would be a no brainer choice to buy the Canon.

    The reason why I have used the Canon lens so much, is because I was testing it with the view to buy three, to kit out bags for a Wedding Studio.

    ***

    Whether you consider the better IQ is worth the extra money, only you can decide – but my view is that there are other leverages in generally buying Canon Lenses for use with Canon cameras, mainly the fact that these lenses are expected to work and to work within the technical specs of Canon EOS as a System: and to me that has value, in and of itself.

    However I am not a salesman for Canon and (with due respect to you) the less expensive Tamron Lens might be the better choice for you, for example, if budget is more an imperative than IQ and if these are the main two criteria upon which your choice is based. And budget is the main reason why some of my friends use the Tamron lens - because they can buy two of them and still have change.

    Also you really need to be sure that you can see the difference in the IQ and if you can see it, then you need to be sure that the difference is an annoyance to you or that you can work around the limitations of the lens.

    WW

    PS - I concur with the implication in the second last para written by RPCrowe - I found that the the NON -VC tamron lens is the better TAMRON lens to buy, if you are prioritising IQ: but I guess you would have to buy one second hand now?

    Also - those Tamron 17 to 50 lenses: from memory, the zoom and focus turrets are the reverse motion of the Canon lenses, may not concern you, but can be of concern if the lens is to be used within a camera system and/or under the pressure of time
    Last edited by William W; 15th February 2012 at 01:12 AM. Reason: added PS

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    It seems that most folks responding to the OP are comparing the top-of-the-line lenses from the camera manufacturer to lenses that are massively less money, and saying that you can't get a better lens than the camera manufacturer's. This seems like a bizarre notion on many levels. For example, if you want to compare lenses where price is no object, compare the manufacturer's lenses with the expensive third party lenses. How many objective reviewers would say that Zeiss lenses are crap compared to Canon or Nikon lenses?

    OTOH, if you want to compare the optics and quality of a Tamron lens to those of Canon or Nikon, why not compare them at comparable price points. I have two Nikon lenses, the 35mm f/1.8 and the 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR. I really like the 35mm and am luke-warm about the 70-300mm. I have the Tokina 12-24 f/4 and love it. True, I think the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 is a better lens, but it is also four times the price. The Nikon offerings that are only twice the price are no better to my mind than the Tokina. I have the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and love it. The 3-4 times as expensive Nikon has better reviews, but I wouldn't trade even-up for it. The Tamron is a lot less weight and has wonderful IQ on a DX body. The IQ on a full frame is apparently less than the Nikon, but I don't have a FF camera, and I just don't want to lug around a heavier lens that has advantages that I can't see.

    I think that the kit lenses of Nikon and Canon are very good for what they are -- cheap and dark glass. But the notion that they are superior to third-party glass is questionable and needs to be evaluated on a lens-by-lens basis, taking into account what you actually value in your shooting.

    I have seen that Tokina showed a mock-up of a 70-200 f/4 VR lens with an ultrasonic motor that is expected to be available for Nikon bodies. I am very interested in this -- if it comes in at around $1K, I will gladly trade in my disappointing Nikon 70-300 for the "inferior" Tokina glass and let people who spent $2.5K for the Nikon f/2.8 version of the lens whinge on about how I have chosen second-best. As always, YMMV.

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    why not compare them at comparable price points.
    Hmm but unless you can correct me, neither Sigma nor Tamron make a 17-50ish lens at the same price of the Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS and since no one, including yourself, has suggested a third party Canon fit lens that covers the range of the Canon at the price of the Canon I presume no such lens exists.

    In other words, the advice given to me so far are practical opinions of stuff that is available to me in the shops (which is exactly what I wanted) and not an abstract discussion of the ideal that includes Nikon lenses for which, as a Canon owner, I have no use.

    Ken

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    Re: which alternative to Canon lens?

    this may be of interest

    http://photo.net/equipment/canon/efs17-55/

    it's a comparison of the Canon 17-55 IS f2.8 with the newish Sigma 17-50 OS f2.8.

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