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Old August 4th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #1
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Just curious about one thing.

I would be interested in knowing everyone's opinion on what third party lens manufacturer makes the best and fastest lenses. Would you say that any of them compare at all to Canon's "L" lenses? If so, which ones and for what reason?

Just for kicks, if you could not afford to lens your camera with Canon "L" lenses, what third party lenses would you pick for the following types of lenses? Mixed brands are ok. Fast lenses please - hopefully we can keep it to f/2.8, but please do list what you are familiar with.

FIXED WIDE: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19mm etc
WIDE Zoom: 16 - 35mm or close
FIXED PORTRAIT: 50mm
PORTRAIT Zoom: something between 20 - 80mm
FIXED TELE: 100, 150, 200 etc
TELE Zoom: 70 - 200mm or close
SUPER TELE FIXED: 300 and up
SUPER TELE Zoom: 100 - 300mm, etc

If you can't fill in all of the above that is perfectly fine!

- don
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Old August 5th, 2003, 07:31 AM   #2
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I used a Sigma 17-35 2.8-4 in Canada and it was a good little lens. Thee was more barrel distortion evident at 17mm than the Canon 17-35 2.8 but it was quite sharp and focused reasonably fast on an EOS 5.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 08:39 PM   #3
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Don,

I own several Canon "L" series lenses and have owned or used many third party lenses - there is no comparison.

I you need to start with just one Canon lens they make a 35-350mm L series lens that is an excellent utility piece of glass. I would rather have just this one lens than 3 third party lenses. Yes it is expensive, but it covers so many needs it is a great place to start until your budget allows adding other Canon lenses to your arsenal.

Steve
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Old August 15th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #4
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Don,

I just read some of your other posts that make it obvious you are pretty well versed in what Canon has to offer in the way of lenses. If I was to reply here I should have stuck to answering your question instead of going on my soapbox and trying to convince everyone they should buy Canon glass. I am a professional photographer so I have to buy the best available. I do understand not everyone can or should pay $1,500.00 for every lens they buy.

With that said I relate my experience in owning the Sigma 17-35mm mentioned above:
1. It was never sharp.
2. The AF mechanism had to be repaired twice.
3. I recently had this lens up for sale. Someone came over to look at it and when he unscrewed the filter that I had never taken off, I was shocked and embarrassed to see that in just 21/2 years the lens coating had began deteriorating, rendering it useless.

I also own the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 I expect years of trouble free service from it. Again, I am not bashing equipment, just relating one of my experiences with third party gear. I sincerely hope this information helps people as they consider their important purchases. Canon makes good lenses that cost much less than the glass I buy.

Steve
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Old August 16th, 2003, 09:12 AM   #5
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Sigma has made major improvements in quality and reliability over the years, but I don't feel they are in the same league as Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc. Of the independents, I usually rate Tamron and Tokina above Sigma, from a reliability and endurance standpoint. Sigma has some good optical quality lenses, but five years from now, will the lens still deliver? It won't, in my opinion. If you can afford it, your always best going with the manufactures own lenses.
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Old August 16th, 2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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SIGMA 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF zoom lens?

Adrian, Steve, Jeff,

Thank you so much for your input so far!

It would appear, from everybody's viewpoint so far, that there really isn't much in the way of third party lenses which compete with Canon's "L" lenses. I guess a small part of me was hoping there was at least one inexpensive golden egg third party lens out there that every Canon photographer either had or wanted.

Soooo, on that note, does anyone have any experience with the new SIGMA 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF zoom lens? This lens sells for $400-500 and would yield an effective 24-48mm focal length range on the 10D.

Not as fast a lens as I would like, but perhaps this is a way to get w-i-d-e on the 10D for "cheaps"? Then again, for only $200 more you could have CANON glass with the Canon EF 17-40 /4 USM,,,

- don
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Old August 16th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #7
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It depends on your post processing style. If you do a fair amount of touch ups in PS, then I would consider the Canon 15mm fisheye. Use a PS plugin to straighten the lines and now you've got w--i--d--e on your D10.

If you don't do much PS then the Sigma would be a good choice. I haven't shot with it, but all the shots I've seen with it have soft corners at the wider settings.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 07:34 AM   #8
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While the Canon L lenses are very nice, I have a couple, they are certainly by no means the be-all-and-end-all of Canon glass. Another option for you might be second hand primes. I've got a 50/1.4 and a 15mm fisheye and they are fantastic lenses. The 20/2.8 would be a great standard lens for your 10D, you'll get an effective FOV of 32mm at a good f2.8. I find I use my 50/1.4 more than I use my L zooms. The DOF is so much easier to control and these lenses are plentiful secondhand.
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