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Thread: Lens decision

  1. #1

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    Lens decision

    Hi everybody,
    I'm looking to replace the kit lens 18-55mm of my T2i with a Sigma lens . I don't know what to choose between:
    Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 or Sigma 18-35mm f1.8. The first one is 300$ cheaper but that is not a factor, I want a fast focus, sharp image(landscape, travel)
    Thank you,
    Dora

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Lens decision

    Is there something wrong with the kit lens that you want to replace it with more or less the same focal lengths you already own? Unless you are looking at existing light (night) photography, I would have thought it to be adequate, especially for landscape work where you are going to be stopping down a bit anyways.

    The cheaper Sigma is going to gain you around a stop versus your Canon and the faster one 1-1/3 stops over the less expensive Sigma at the short end and more at the longer end; but the f/1.8 is effectively a wide angle to normal range lens (not a range I would pick for my travel photography); and you might miss the short telephoto length of your current lens.

    I tend to not duplicate focal lengths I already own, unless there is a specific feature I am looking for in the lens. You might want to review the focal lengths you usually shoot at to give you some guidance here; the metadata from your camera will record the focal length that each of your shots were taken at.

    My second question is why the Sigma? The reason I ask is we own one Sigma and will likely never buy another, based on the relliability problems we had with it (back to Sigma twice within 6 months of purchase; both times with problems with the onboard autofocus; in one instance the circuit board and autofocus motor had died and in the second case, the circuit board died again).
    Last edited by Manfred M; 15th August 2013 at 03:09 PM.

  3. #3
    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    My second question is why the Sigma? The reason I ask is we own one Sigma and will likely never buy another,...
    I've never had a problem with any Sigma lens I've ever owned and used on my 20D and 5D but of course I may just have been lucky

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    Hi everybody,
    I'm looking to replace the kit lens 18-55mm of my T2i with a Sigma lens . I don't know what to choose between:
    Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 or Sigma 18-35mm f1.8. The first one is 300$ cheaper but that is not a factor, I want a fast focus, sharp image(landscape, travel)
    Thank you,
    Dora
    I can give you a little feedback on the 17-70mm. I tried one once and found that the f2.8 disappeared as soon as I even thought about moving the zoom ring. I went for a 17-50mm f2.8 instead but these days that 18-35mm f1.8 does seem to be a tempting lens and it seems to be getting very good reviews and it could well be a good choice if the rather narrow focal range is acceptable.

  4. #4

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    Re: Lens decision

    Well, I wanted a larger aperture without spending 1000$+. I read good reviews about Sigma, but it seems that you had problems with it. Thank you for sharing your insight

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    Well, I wanted a larger aperture without spending 1000$+. I read good reviews about Sigma, but it seems that you had problems with it. Thank you for sharing your insight
    I did not have problems with it; our problem lens is the 150-500mm. I have not looked at the shorter Sigmas. My general purpose lens on both my crop frame and full-frame body is the f/2.8 24-70mm; and is is getting into the $2K range pricewise.

  6. #6
    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    Well, I wanted a larger aperture without spending 1000$+.
    The 17-70mm is popular and I'm sure that there are many happy users.

    For a larger aperture you could also look at the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and there's the more expensive Canon 17-55mm f2.8.

  7. #7
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    Re: Lens decision

    I have the 17-70 on a 600D. I've had it 18 months or so and been quite happy with it, though I may not be very exacting. You've probably read that some examples may have a problem with back focusing, but I haven't noticed it. It is my standard walkabout lens.

  8. #8

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    Re: Lens decision

    18-35mm f1.8 does seem to be a tempting lens and it seems to be getting very good reviews and it could well be a good choice if the rather narrow focal range is acceptable
    I'm tempted too but 17-70 seems to be the suitable replacement
    Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
    Choosing between 2 manufacturers ? Please help
    Thank you Alan

  9. #9
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    Re: Lens decision

    I have always recommended a mid range zoom (17 or 18mm to 50 or 55mm) as my primary tool. I want that lens to have an f/2.8 aperture, effective image stabilization (or whatever the manufacturer calls its shake control), fast and accurate auto-focus and top-line image quality. I could justify each one of these parameters but, here is not the place to do that.

    Since I will shoot the majority of my images with the mid range zoom (about 2/3 of my images on any photo jaunt) I want the very best quality lens that I can afford. And since I keep my lenses for an extended time, the difference in price between a top-line lens and a lesser quality lens is not critical; if amortized over the time that I keep the equipment. As an example, I have used my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens for around six years and paid about $1,000 U.S. Dollars for the lens. The amortized cost amounts to $3.20 U.S.D. per week. If I bought a $700 U.S.D. lens instead, my amortized cost would be $2.24 U.S.D. per week. However, my lens still has a lot of life left in it which will further reduce the amortized cost. This is the way I tend to think about all my camera gear purchases...

    My choice as a mid-range zoom is the EF 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and I have owned and used his lens since shortly after it was introduced. In fact, I prefer this over the 24-70mm f/2.8L on my 7D.

    The only problem for me with the 17-55mm lens is that it is not long enough. However, for my style of photography, 70mm is not long enough either, even on a 1.6x camera (I have used the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L extensively on crop format cameras); nor is the 105mm of the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens quite the ticket. That lens also brings two additional problems into the equation when shooting with a crop camera: it is not wide enough and the f/4 aperture is too slow for me to use as a mid-range zoom.

    I solve this problem in an expensive and weighty way; I shoot with two 1.6x cameras (7D) and have the mid-range zoom on one camera and an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on the other body. That is the nicest combination I have ever used in well over 50-years in photography! Certainly, not the first choice for many photographers but, I have carried the two camera - two lens system through China and Europe and love it. I am also 73 years old and I can haul the weight of this setup...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 15th August 2013 at 09:42 PM.

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    Re: Lens decision

    My Canon 24-105 died last weekend so I have been searching around for a replacement.

    After reading a few reviews I went for the Tamron 24-70. F2.8 and VC (their version of stabilisation control)

    I was intending to give a few views of this lens in another post when I have taken more shots and fully tested it.

    The reviews all recommended it over more expensive Canon alternatives, particularly due to the VC which many similar lenses don't have.

    As far as I have used it . . .

    Heavy large lens, all plastic but appears to be substantial high impact plastic and everything is very firm.

    F2.8 is giving rather soft results but this quickly improves and seems very sharp from F4 to F11 with a slight drop off at F16 which is quite normal. Auto Focus is quick and quiet.

    I paid 800 in the UK; so probably the same in US dollars!

    Is that more than your budget?

    I've had Sigma lenses before, as well as Canon. My first Sigma was the 28-300 which was a cheapie with matching quality. My 150-500 is excellent; but there were some initial production quality problems with that model.

    Tamron certainly wasn't my first choice but it appears they are now attempting to take a share of the better quality market.

  11. #11

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    Re: Lens decision

    I own a Canon 400D and use a Canon EFS 17-55 f2.8 IS as the std lens. It wasn't cheap but it was worth every penny.

    For more reach I have a Canon 55-250 f4-5.6 IS II. That was cheap and can't compete with the L series 70-200 but it's OK for my limited skills.

    Ken

  12. #12
    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    I'm tempted too but 17-70 seems to be the suitable replacement

    Choosing between 2 manufacturers ? Please help
    Thank you Alan
    Personally I went for the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 but in the real world I doubt that there's any real difference between it and the very similar Sigma 18-50mm f2.8.

    I believe that you can now get image stabilised versions of each.

    The Canon 17-55mm IS is more expensive and I believe quite a bit bigger and heavier. It wasn't out when I bought the Tamron but if it had been I'd still have gone for the more compact and lighter Tamron, or Sigma

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    Re: Lens decision

    I think people do others a serious disfavour the way they go on about kit lenses not being the best ... I am sure they are right but also sure the differences do not justify the expenditure when the person cannot afford the best. As for a one stop difference that is neither here nor there with digital, either on opening the lens for less depth of field or likewise to cope with low light as both can be coped with in editing if you have purchased a good editor which will cost less than almost any lens.

  14. #14

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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I think people do others a serious disfavour the way they go on about kit lenses not being the best ... I am sure they are right but also sure the differences do not justify the expenditure when the person cannot afford the best. As for a one stop difference that is neither here nor there with digital, either on opening the lens for less depth of field or likewise to cope with low light as both can be coped with in editing if you have purchased a good editor which will cost less than almost any lens.
    Absolutely!

  15. #15
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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I think people do others a serious disfavour the way they go on about kit lenses not being the best ... I am sure they are right but also sure the differences do not justify the expenditure when the person cannot afford the best. As for a one stop difference that is neither here nor there with digital, either on opening the lens for less depth of field or likewise to cope with low light as both can be coped with in editing if you have purchased a good editor which will cost less than almost any lens.
    With respect, this is nonsense. The original poster here had already concluded a desire to replace the kit lens. The very first response here, from a respected member, questioned whether that is a good idea. Nor is it really true to say that the aperture improvement over a kit lens can easily be addressed in processing. In low light a larger aperture gives much more flexibility. If one wishes to control depth of field with that larger aperture, then the bokeh achieved by a good lens in the out of focus areas is very difficult indeed to replicated in post processing.

    Whilst it is true that kit lenses may well be adequate for the needs of many (including me for some years) , it is not at all my experience that regular posters here disparage kit lenses needlessly and encourage "upgrades". On the contrary, the general theme of most responses in most threads I have seen, is to question what kind of photography is desired, and then give practical advice on how to achieve it. The big benefit of this CIC forum is that it is not a fanboy site promoting equipment mindlessly.

    Kind regards

    Adrian

  16. #16

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    Re: Lens decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I think people do others a serious disfavour the way they go on about kit lenses not being the best ... I am sure they are right but also sure the differences do not justify the expenditure when the person cannot afford the best.
    There are always options between "kit lenses" and "the best".

  17. #17

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    Re: Lens decision

    Although 17-70 seems to be the ideal compromise, after reading so many mixed reviews about Sigma 17-70mm (including Karl post Issues with Sigma 17 - 70mm lens) I decided to go for the new 18-35mm.
    Thanks everyone for your help
    Dora

  18. #18

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    Re: Lens decision

    Dora,

    Congratulations on being on the cutting edge. I have the Sigma 17-70 (earlier 2.8-4 version) and have been happy with it. But, Sigma keeps on popping out desirable new lenses at a good pace and the 18-35 is one of their most radical designs yet. I hope you post some of your results as you get used to the lens. Already having the 17-70, I can't imagine what I would do with the 18-35. Maybe you can show me. Enjoy!

  19. #19

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    Re: Lens decision

    Larry, I'm on a waiting list, but for sure I'll show you the pictures. Thank you

  20. #20

    Re: Lens decision

    I read something about Sigma lenses, the contact part. I bought a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro and I can not make it autofocus in my D5100. Maybe it has that problem ...thanks anyway. I have learnt a lot reading comments.

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