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Thread: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

  1. #1

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    3rd party lenses for Canon?

    OK, so now that I've finally got a camera(Canon T2i) and a couple of package lenses(18-55/55-250), I'm curious as to buying one or two more lenses in the next year, possible 3.

    Not that I have a problem with paying for the Canon glass, but , and I've been told by a few, that other manu's are pretty good and come in almost a 1/3 cheaper(BTW, I hate that word in some cases, like now).

    I've been told that Sigma, Tamron and Tokina area all good.

    The lens types I'm looking at are INPO, a macro, wide angle and larger telephoto.

    I was looking at the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM.

    3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Any words of advice???

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Have a look HERE for some useful reviews.

  3. #3

    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwrmt View Post
    Any words of advice???
    I tend to avoid 3rd party lenses as they don't work with the lens correction feature in Canon's DPP. You'd also need to buy a 3rd party software package if you want to benefit from the enhancements that can be made with lens correction in the RAW conversion stage. With 18MP on a APS-C sensor (I use a 7D) I find there are few lenses that can't benefit from it and wouldn't want to be without. The one Sigma lens (a 120-300mm f/2.8) I tried on the 7D could certainly have done with it but it didn't work. I like doing my RAW processing in DPP but that's a personal preference.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    Have a look HERE for some useful reviews.
    This is where I look too. I like their straightforward approach and honesty - if a lens is not good, they will say so.

    Photography magazines have strong tendency to be biased - (every lens is great).

    Glenn

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Thanks guys. I do like reading reviews, but also hearing first hand from users as well. I have not had the chance to play in DPP too much yet, so will give it a go and see.

    One thing though, as I don't really know what DPP does/is for. Is it like Photoshop or something completely different? Thanks.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwrmt View Post
    One thing though, as I don't really know what DPP does/is for. Is it like Photoshop or something completely different? Thanks.
    It's like Photoshop in the sense that it's a software package made for post processing images. However, there the similarity almost ends. DPP has got a range of features and facilities that are very competent and will do a very good job. The other plus point that it sells on is that it is a Canon product and 'knows' the camera from which it is receiving images. The claim is that it is, therefore, a better fit and provides a front-to-back end workflow/process.

    However, the fact that 99.999% of the serious photographic world uses Adobe products tells you that the latter assertion is not a big selling point amongst the photographic community.

    Photoshop has much, much more in terms of bells and whistles. It has previously been referred to (on here, by Colin) as being like a tradesperson (joiner, plumber, etc) with his/her bag of tools. You'll only ever need some of the tools very rarely. Indeed, you'll probably never use some of the tools. But they're there when you need them. There's also no denying the fact that for basic post processing tasks, most of the Adobe range of products (insofar as I understand them , as I don't use them) offer much more complete processes than DPP.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    I use that Sigma 150-500 lens, Mike, and I find it to be a fine lens.

    At 6.3 it is a bit restricted compared with some of the more expensive alternatives; and I prefer not to fully open up the aperture. But in good light and at F8 or F11 it is surprisingly sharp for a 'budget priced' lens even at the maximum 500 mm. Most other lenses which reach 500 mm are considerably more expensive.

    However, the Canon 100-400 or a fixed length lens, like the Canon 400 might also be worth considering. I wouldn't say that Sigma is better than Canon but some of their best lenses are virtually as good as the real Canon alternatives at a substantially reduced price. I use both brands depending on which lens best suits my needs.

    I also use the Sigma 180 mm macro, although it is a rather heavy specialised lens which may not be available now. The Canon alternative is much dearer. However, the Sigma 150 mm macro is very popular amongst entomologists.

    But what size of macro lens would suit you best depends on what you intend to photograph. For example, you can photograph flowers, etc perfectly well with a smaller lens; say 60 - 100 mm. For small insects, however, I would recommend getting 150 mm.

    As Donald said, if you have Photoshop (depending on the version) I wouldn't worry too much about DPP. It is one way of converting Raw files, but that only matters if you shoot Raw instead of Jpeg.

    Here is an example of the Sigma 150-500, from my recent Photo A Day images. Taken at 500 mm and around 400 yards; with a rather lightweight tripod.

    3rd party lenses for Canon?
    Last edited by Geoff F; 23rd November 2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: photo added

  8. #8

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Thanks Geoff. More great insight.

    Fortunately the lens thing isn't a 'need now' issue, so I will definitely try a few on for feel. My buddy has a Canon 300/2.8 and I know that was a ton of cash, but maybe starting with a slightly lower priced lens is a better idea, especially if I can get a good one used, then see how it works and if I need to, get a 'better' one at a later date.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Mike, if I were you, I would see if you can rent lenses from somewhere before deciding what to get. I have, up to recently, only used Sigma lenses and was beginning to wonder if it was down to poor technique or something wrong with me, as to why my images were not up to close scrutiny.

    I have rented a couple of Canon lenses over the past couple of years and have been very impressed with the quality. With the intention of starting up a photography business, I have now rented another Canon lens - the 24-70mm L - and even without IS I am getting sharper images. I do have a Sigma lens with OS and even the images from that are not as good as the Canon without IS.

    Moral: I am going to save my pennies for Canon lenses!

  10. #10
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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    MY EXPERIENCE WITH THIRD PARTY LENSES...

    I have a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF SP (non the Di model) Macro lens that works extremely well with all my Canon bodies.

    I had a 400mm f/5.6 Tokina ATX which had decent image quality but, which didn't have fast enough auto-focus.

    I have a 12-24mm f/4 Tokina which I love in all respects

    I also have an older Sigma 28mm f/1.8 lens which provides decent image quality but, which will not work with any camera more recent than my Canon 10D. This is because Sigma reverse engineers their lenses. When Canon produces a new camera model, Sigma will buy one of them and, if necessary, figure how to rework their older lenses to mesh with the newer Canon model.

    Sigma wii or would rechip the lens free of charge UNLESS that lens had been discontinued from their lineup. Sigma replaced the 28mm f/1.8 lens with a new model and divorced themselves from the older models. I am therefore stuck with a lens that is obsolete and cannot be brought up to modern standards.

    Sigma still reverse engineers their lenses however, I don't know about their policy of upgrading these lenses to work with newly introduced cameras. I don't know because I have never been interested in purchasing a Sigma again. Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, Sigma, shame on me!

    BTW: When considering variable aperture lenses, remember that these lenses tend to stop down to the smallest aperture pretty quickly as you increase focal length and that is when you need the largest aperture in order to maintain a fast shutter speed. Obviously a constant aperture lens is the way to go but, is often quite a bit more expensive. However, I can hand hold my 70-200mm f.4L IS lens in dimmer lighting than I could a lens that stops down to f/5.6 at 200mm.

    All photo equipment selection is a series of choices and compromises...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th November 2010 at 03:49 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    I don't know much about the off-brands' higher end lenses but I would avoid their low end lenses like the plague. I once owned a cheap tamron and the lens was even cheaper than I paid for it
    Had a couple of buddies who got Rebel kits online that came with a couple of Sigma kit lenses that were even worse than my tamron. Now, I do have a brother-in-law who has Tokina's 10-17mm fisheye and loves the thing. Although he did just have it repaired because some tiny screws came out and the back ring came off that holds the auto focus ring and motor in place.

    As far as cost goes I've found that about the best way to go is to get old, discontinued Canon lenses. The optics are just as good and they go for half or a third of the price of the new Canon lenses. This summer I bought an old EF100-300mm 5.6L for $350 that takes just as sharp images as my buddy's 100-400L for which he paid $1,700.

    I've seen the older 17-35 2.8L go for $600
    80-200 2.8L for $700
    100-300 5.6L for $320 (less than I gave for mine )
    28-80 2.8L for $800
    20-35 (non L) for $200

    and the list goes on.
    My two cents anyway.
    Cheers!
    ~Jeff
    Last edited by jeffmoll; 24th November 2010 at 11:09 AM.

  12. #12

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Thank you all for the insight. I completely forgot about the rental(or perhaps borrowing) option. There sure is lots to mull over when it comes to buying lenses , but at least an informed decision is better than not knowing.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Just wanted to say thanks for asking - I was looking at the Sigmas myself

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    As Jeff said, at the 'cheap' end of the market, third party lenses are almost always poorer quality than the genuine item.

    When I purchased a secondhand 10D a while ago, it came with a Sigma 28-300 which I found to be very poor quality; I definitely wouldn't recommend that lens.

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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    I've seen the older 17-35 2.8L go for $600
    80-200 2.8L for $700
    100-300 5.6L for $320 (less than I gave for mine )
    28-80 2.8L for $800
    20-35 (non L) for $200

    Where do you like to look for used lenses? Is it hit or miss, in terms of quality and the shape the lenses are in?

  16. #16
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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by pono View Post
    Where do you like to look for used lenses? Is it hit or miss, in terms of quality and the shape the lenses are in?
    I have gotten almost all of my equipment on ebay and that's where I've seen the prices I listed. I often just peruse the entire ebay collection of EF listings just to see what's cooking. Once saw no reserve auction for the 50mm 1.4 go without a single bid. I'm still kicking myself for not noticing until after the auction ended that no one else bid. I could have picked the thing up for $0.99 . As far as the condition it's pretty much hit and miss. Amazon sometimes has a few older lenses and KEH.com usually has quite a few, although their prices are a bit higher than what you'll find things going for on ebay (generally).

  17. #17
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    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    BTW... I have posted this once before but, there is a way to ascertain the general eBay selling prices for any bit of camera gear. You could just look at the eBay listings but, this would only tell you what people are hoping to get for their gear and tell you about auctions which are ongoing with the prices increasing.

    In order to find out what specific gear has actually sold for on eBay recently, go to the general section thatlists that type of gear. For this sample, we will go to camera and photo> lenses and filters> lenses...

    Now select "ADVANCED SEARCH" this is imediately to the right of the green box that says "search" towards the top of the page...

    In the box under "ENTER KEYWORDS OR ITEM NUMBER" type in a description of the item you are researching. This can be a general description or an exact title. In this case we will be specific and type in "24-70mm f/2.8L" and select "Exact Words Exact order" from the drop down menu to the right of the box in which you have typed the description...

    Now THIS IS IMPORTANT Under the category "Search Including" check the box for "completed items".

    You can restrict your choices in other ways such as searching for used items only or searching within certain price ranges. In our case we will simply click on the blue box "Search" at the bottom of the page.

    The information provided will tell us about the results of completed auctions within the past couple of weeks. You will see the prices at which the gear sold and will also see auctions in which the bid had not reached the minimum required by the seller or items that were not purchased at "buy-it-now" auctions..

    You must have an eBay account to do this research but it doesn't cost any money to start the account...

    BTW: The results indicate that there were numerous used 24-70mm f/2.8L lenses sold on eBay during the last few weeks with a low price of $950 and a high price of $1,120 (U.S. Dollars). The used lenses with buy-it-now bid prices of over $1,200 (U.S. Dollars) were not purchased. This research will give either a potential buyer or seller an idea about the going prices for that lens on eBay.

  18. #18

    Re: 3rd party lenses for Canon?

    I am thinking to purchase a new lens for wiled life and travel photography. I have a limited budget, so I am thinking to go for a third party lens.
    One of the options that I'd like to consider is a new Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DI VC USD lens.
    It was just released and there are a number of very favorable revues.
    http://briard.typepad.com/get_the_pi...di-vc-usd.html
    May be somebody here already had experience with this lens?
    Any input would be highly appreciated.

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