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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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Sigma 18-50 2.8 or Tokina 16-50 2.8???

I need a little help here.

I'm looking to buy either the Sigma 18-50 2.8 or Tokina 16-50 2.8 for my 7D. If anyone has had experience with either or both of these lenses and could recommend one over the other...I could really use some advice.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Chad
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #2
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From the specs you give there seems very little in it, but you've not told us what you want to shoot, how fast the lenses are (throughout the zoom range) and what they cost and weigh.

Which of these things are important to you? If the 18 - 50 is a constant f/2.8 and the 16 - 50 is a f/2.8 to f/4.8 (say), I'd go for the former.

Both manufactures have a good name, though early Tokinas were very good and early Sigmas very poor.

tom.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Fair enough. Both are 2.8 all the way through. I'm looking for a "main" lens for my camera, one with a wide to medium focal length.

I'm interested in shooting dramatic pieces with a cinematic feel to them...that's why the f2.8 is important to me.

The Sigma is $419 and the Tokina is about $549.00 (USD).

To me, both look about equal. So I guess the question is...if anyone happens to know the Tokina is superior to the Sigma, I'd like to know how and why.

Thanks again!

Chad
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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2 mm doesn't sound much, does it? But the Tokina will have a noticeably wider angle of view over the Sigma. The 16 mm will equate to a 28 mm or so on the 7D, and this is the starting point for wide-angles now.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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I've been wrangling with a similar choice for my 7D too. I do know that Philip Bloom highly recommends this Tokina wide and seems to love it. I know it's not the one you mentioned, but just showing support for Tokina, which from my current research has a ton of fans. He's noted it a couple of times on his blog, and here's one of his videos with it in play (as he says, in the pseudo jib wide shot):

A little short shot using Canon 7d and shot in…30p!! | Philip Bloom
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Bloom was using the Tokina 11-16 on this piece, which he highly regards. I have it also and think is a fine lens; I use it much more on my 7D than I thought. The Tokina 16-50 hasn't fared quite as well in the reviews as the 11-16 but most of the reviews have been from still photographers preferring the Tamron 17-50 which also comes in a stabilized version (VC) which for some reason some early reviews aren't as positive as the non VC version. I didn't consider the Sigma because of the variable aperture which will cause harsh jumps in exposure when zooming.

From what I've read so far, the Tamron is sharper than the Tokina, not quite as well built, but is preferred by almost every review where both lenses were tested. The Tokina lens has more CA, quite bad actually, but is built like a tank and has great bokeh. The Tokina also has a dual barrel design, so the center portion of the lens protrudes out quite a bit when zooming and causes some problems if using barn doors or other glare protection as they must be adjusted in and out depending on the length of the lens. I personally love the push/pull ring on the Tokina to shift from manual to auto focus. I've gotten where on the 7D if taking a fairly stable shot I will use AF with quick-focus/center-spot-focus to get quick and accurate start focus then switch to manual to focus during the scene. Here's a good review on the Tokina 16-50 for a Nikon mount: Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX (Nikon) - Review / Test Report

I'm still trying to determine which lens to get. If not for the CA issue, I'd probably go with the Tonika just for the MF/AF ring and the similarity to the Tokina 11-16 I already own. Unlike still photography, however, I don't know how to efficiently remove CA from video images so this issue concerns me when spending this much money on a lens.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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I thought about the Tokina mid zoom but because of the CA, which to me is the 'videoish' marker, I got the Canon 17-55mm EF-S 2.8, and I love it it's a fantastic looking lens. Just my 2 cents.

(PS I had the Tamron but I returned it, couldn't control the manual focus well enough.)
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Roger. I also have my eye on the Tokina 11-16, looks like a very nice lens! I'll check out the review.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 03:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
I didn't consider the Sigma because of the variable aperture which will cause harsh jumps in exposure when zooming.
Jumps? Did you mean jumps Roger? Surely the loss of speed as you zoom is smooth and gradual, and only affects exposure if you've locked the exposure down, are using max aperture at wide-angle and are zooming towards telephoto.

tom.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 05:58 AM   #10
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Tom,

I haven't used the Tamron lens, but on my Canon DSLR lenses that transition from f3.5 - 5.6 from wide to telephoto the aperture "snaps" from stop to stop abruptly as you zoom from wide to telephoto unlike an XHA1, for instance, where the aperture adjusts gradually. That's what I meant by "jumps". It's quite unsightly on video images. My experience with Canon DSLR lenses is that it's anything but smooth and gradual. You can actually hear the lenses click as the aperture snaps during zoom. I just shot footage with the Canon 18-55mm f3.5 - 5.6 this weekend and had a zoom where I had to cut to B-roll every time the aperture changed to avoid the ill effects of such "jumps".

If anyone knows how to avoid this or can report differently on the Tamron, I'd like to know. I'd be delighted to learn of a better way to manage this as I relive being a newbie as I delve further into 7D territory!
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #11
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I'm glad you've brought this up here Roger as I've not seen any mention of this before. It does seem strange though because it would suggest that the max aperture for (say) 15 mm to 20 mm might be f/3.5 (fixed) and 25 to 30 would be f/4.5 (fixed).

Is this happening on one particular Sigma lens? I have 4 zooms for my DSLR and have never noticed this - mind you, I shoot stills and not movies with this camera.

tom.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #12
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I believe it is an issue with DSLR lenses in general, since they are geared towards still pictures and specific, discrete apertures. I'll look when I get home to see if I can start at a smaller aperture setting (say f6 on a f3.5 - 5.6 lens) and see if it will avoid switching apertures. I did a quick test with my 7D after reading your response questioning my "jumping" mention to see if somehow locking exposure would stop this. It did not when starting at f3.5 and zooming out. Click - click- click-click....

I do a lot of inside shooting where I need large apertures and this "snappy" aperture is an issue on variable aperture lenses I have used to date. Both my 18-55mm and 18-135mm Canon lenses (f3.5 - 5.6) show this issue. The Tokina fixed 2.8 avoids this issue and I just use auto ISO to compensate for varying light conditions. Why variable ISO?, because the manual aperture adjustments on DSLR's also result in snappy exposure adjustments where variable ISO tends to smooth them out a bit over a seconds or so. I can lock exposure on variable ISO to prevent adjustment, if needed.

***Updated****

Just snapped on my Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 and set in manual above 5.6 and pressed exposure lock. The aperture reading stays constant, but still "snaps" as I zoom from one extreme to the other. It seems the physical aperture changes during the zoom range to try and maintain a constant aperture value and the exposure changes with abruptly as you zoom. Can't say if this is a universal truth to other lenses.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; December 8th, 2009 at 06:59 PM.
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