Choosing the right lens...

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by adamp, 1 Nov 2011.

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  1. adamp

    adamp Member

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    It's coming to that time when my 3-year old bob standard canon lenses (18-55 and 55-200) are in need of replacement.

    I'm looking at upgrading to possibly a better Canon 18-55 lens which can really bring out the quality for filming on my 60D, and then a similar size zoom lens with both being able to cope well in low light conditions.

    Do any of you pro's have a reccomendation or advice at which to look for? I've got around a £400 budget.

    Cheers,
    Adam
     
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  3. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    I got a Sigma 18-200 mm lens, which suits most purposes for me, and reduces the weight of having to carry 2 lenses. Also, I don't need to open the camera to change lenses, so that reduces the chance of getting dust on the sensor. Whatever you buy, I suggest going to a camera shop and testing the lens on your camera before you buy. May be a little more expensive than internet purchases, but some "Canon compatible" lenses do not always function correctly on Canon cameras. I tried a Tamron lens that did not wish to know the Canon control system.
     
  4. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    You could do a lot worse than Sigma.

    I have a Sigma 70 - 300 zoom and it has been one of the best investments I ever made. The quality of the photos is excellent.

    You will find that in some cases lenses from say Sigma will perform better than the main camera manufacturers lenses. It is well worth seeking out the various reviews on the lenses you are thinking of buying first because you may find a cheaper option is the better.
     
  5. dangie

    dangie Member

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    I'll second the Sigma 18-200mm. I have it on my Pentax as my 'walkabout' lens. Excellent. I replaced my 18-55mm standard lens with the Sigma 17-70mm. Also excellent.

    As for good low light performance wide aperture lenses are very expensive, and no lens gives of it's best at its widest aperture. For your price point you will need to increase your cameras ISO figure if the subject is moving, or keep the ISO low and use a tripod if the subject is stationary.
     
  6. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Also don't discount Tamron either - great value 18-270mm lens with image stabiliser will be around your budget.
     
  7. eMeS

    eMeS Member

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    There's several versions of Canon's 18-55 kit zoom. The later IS versions have a much better reputation than the non-IS early version, and I use one regularly on my 50D with no problems. Try MPB Photo for a used copy.

    I'm also very happy with my EF 70-200 F4L IS - a superb lens, but that's in a different price and weight league.
     
  8. David

    David Established Member

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    Another person here who has a Sigma 70-300mm lens. For it's price, it's a brilliant lens!
     
  9. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    I had a friend who had one, he thought it was excellent, but it didn't even last 12 months before it broke. However I have a sigma 70-200 f2.8 and find it excellent and the build quality is great, but may be out of your price range, He probably just had a dud model and it probably would have been easily repairable, he moved entirely to medium format film not long after so it wasn't worth getting it repaired.

    You get what you pay for, and with certain things its worth saving that little bit extra.

    That all depends on the main manufacturer. If for example you are talking about pentax or sony for example then yes, your right. However in the case of canikon then your wrong, very wrong! There isn't a single sigma lens that out performs a canon, and very very few that out perform a nikon. Compare the sigma 24-70 2.8 to the nikon 24-70 2.8 for example :)
     
  10. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz Member

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    I use the Nikon 18 - 200 a lot of the time and find it to be excellent for railway use. I did try the Sigma 18 - 200 first and thought the Nikon was a better lens. Try the Canon equivalent.
    For "manual" zoom (walking !) I use a Nikon 50mm; for long shots I have a Sigma 150 - 500mm - a superb piece of kit for the money !!
    When I go out for railway shots, I only take one lens with me. I go early and take a few test shots to find the best spot.

    Before one of them pops up here on this site - ignore the pseudo "experts" who delight in calling zoom lenses "compromises". Modern zooms can be as good as any fixed focal length lens (better in some cases !) - and it's a damn' site easier with one lens than mucking about trying to decide which lens to use when you get on site.
     
  11. Bill EWS

    Bill EWS Member

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    Wide angle, e.g. 18MM is great for getting a full image when you are limited for getting back any further ffrom the object. However, they do tend to distort the image to the sides, which is noticeable whether you are close up or taking a wide angle scenic view.

    If you have the distance/space behind the object set the lens at 35mm or 50/55mm setting on your zoom lense and walk back from the scene until the object fills the space but with reasonable space all around so the object isn't closed in too much. You will get a much nicer balance of the object's shape, such a locomotive etc. Try to only use the full width of your lense if there is no choice or if that is the result you want.
     
  12. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Unfortunately I cannot track down the review which said this at the moment but it was sufficient to make me rethink the canon against the Sigma on the basis of the comparison.

    To be honest I had had some really excellent shots from the Sigma and I really cannot fault it in any way. I imagine if one goes into the finite technical detail that there will be some areas where it may be judged weak but frankly at the level at which most of us operate I doubt this would even be noticable.

    As with all things in life, it is a balance of cost against performance.
     
  13. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying sigma are bad at all, I have a sigma 70-200 f2.8 and I love it. However in the vast majority of cases the main brand lenses are just, well, better.
    I only chose the sigma because I couldn't afford the nikon version, plus the fact that I dont use those focal lengths often enough to warrant spending 1500 quid on it. Would I choose the sigma again? Every time! I love it! Buuuut I cannot say that its better than the nikon.

    The Nikon 18-200 is a fantastic walkabout lens (well the current version is anyway, older versions aren't worth it) and would be brilliant for railway use. Ignore the stories about distortion, its not as pronounced as many people make it out to be (on any lens, not just the 18-200) and even so, its correctable using software anyway.
     
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