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Author Topic: (Canon) lenses: Which one to chose as an allrounder for my needs?  (Read 8490 times)

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« on: February 20, 2007, 16:51 »
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Hi all,

I'm weeding through the amount of canon lenses available in order to figure out which one to go with if (when?) I buy my canon DSLR.

I like to do isolations, such as these:

and


Additionally I take "regular" portrait / landscape photos.

I hoped to meet my needs with a single lense for the beginning, and found the following ones to be within my budget:
Canon EF 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF 28-105mm 3.5-4.5 II USM
Sigma AF 18-50mm 2.8 EX DC Macro
Sigma AF 24-70mm 2.8 EX DG Asp Macro
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm 2.8 Di II LD Asp IF
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm 2.8 XR Di LD Asp IF Macro

I really like the last lens, the very fast Tamron. Anyone got experience with that? I'd love to hear your opinions.

Many thanks,
Michael


eendicott

« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 17:08 »
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I tend to like faster glass (just me) in which case you forgot to mention the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L.

For what you are doing with relation to isolations, a 100mm macro would be perfect.  It's sharp, relatively inexpensive, it's good for portraits.  Pair it with a 50mm f/1.8 (at about $85 new) and you've got a pretty good pair of lenses.

If you can afford it, get the above mentioned 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8 and it will cover 95% of anything you can think of.

« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2007, 17:32 »
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If you can afford it, get the above mentioned 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8 and it will cover 95% of anything you can think of.
These are effectively canons top zoom lens.  Nothing like going top shelf.

eendicott

« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 17:52 »
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Nothing like going top shelf.

I agree - whatever your decision, buy the best glass you can.  You can always upgrade the camera but the glass will be there for a very long time.

Before going to digital, I had friends that had Zeiss optics that were over 30 years old and aside from no autofocus, they are still top notch.

« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 19:34 »
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For stock photography, I would absolutely recommend primes. A 50mm f/1.8, which is cheap, fast and sharp, and/or a macro around 100mm (Tamron, Tokina and Sigma are all excellent) should do the trick.

My Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 is my most used lens, since I also use it for portraits and as a short tele. Sometimes, I even use it as a walkaround, since it's great for candids.

« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2007, 09:32 »
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Hi all,

I really like the idea of reasonably priced but still hiqu (optical) quality primes.

I want to constrain my budget for the beginning, because I want this hobby to pay for itself.

I'm thinking of getting a high quality macro prime with which I can also do high quality portrait, model and landscape shooting. Can I do that with macro primes or will my quality suffer? How does a macro prime (e.g., 100 mm, f2.8) perform for portrait, model and landscape shooting? I do know that some macro primes can't focus infinity, those would obviously be a bad choice for landscape shots :-).

I'd love to get your opinion on this.

Many thanks,
Michael

« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2007, 12:21 »
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The Tamron SP AF 28-75mm 2.8 XR Di LD Asp IF Macro is an excellent choice, top picture quality. BUT take care there are a number of compatibility problems with canon, I had this lense for one year until it went wrong, Tamron dont care about the problem and Canon either which I understand in this last case. I have a wonderful lense that I cant use anymore...and I'm not the only one.
Now I stick to canon...for the macro above there is the 100 mm macro and for landscape the 24 mm 2.8, both very sharp...for travel I use the 24-105 IS L.

jean

« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2007, 12:29 »
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I use the F1.4 50mm, a bit more expensive than the 1.8, but considerably sturdier and a slightly better image quality. I bought mine second hand for not much more than a new 1.8, and I should imagine with Canon only recently bringing out the new L glass, you may be able to pick it up for a reasonable price.

If I want to get closer, I use extension rings.

« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 14:25 »
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Hi all,

many thanks.

For the beginning I would like to constrain myself to a single good quality lens which costs at most 400-500 Euros, because I'd like to keep the costs down.

I know that I will definitely use the lens for isolations such as the three which I posted above. I will also definitely use it as a "walkaround lens" when I'm on work travel or at home where I shoot all kinds of objects.

I still like the idea of a high quality macro prime which can focus infinity (seems like most ar able to do that). I've no problem with walking around to get a shoot - I think that's called "zoom by foot" - if I get very high quality photos as a return.

What do you think, will I get happy with a high quality macro prime for isolations and as a walkaround lens? If yes, which focal length should I consider? A 100 mm macro prime results in a magnification factor of almost 3x for a full size sensor, even more for a Canon Rebel sensor. I fear that this magnification will reduce it's usability as a walkaround lens? Wouldn't e.g., a 50 mm macro prime be better here?

I'm really happy about all your replies, but I'd like to start with a single lens I think ...

What do you think?

Many thanks,
Michael

red_moon_rise

« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 14:37 »
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The questions that you should ask yourself are:
What is the working distance YOU require?
long (insects etc.) => 150mm macro prime
short (Still life etc) => 50mm macro prime

What is the DOF YOU require?
Large DOF (small 3D objects isolated) => 50mm macro
Small DOF (People, portraits, etc.) => 150mm macro

Or just get the * 100mm in the middle :o                                               

« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 14:49 »
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Many thanks for your reply!

The questions that you should ask yourself are:
What is the working distance YOU require?
long (insects etc.) => 150mm macro prime
short (Still life etc) => 50mm macro prime

I'm leaning towards "short (Still life etc) as my initial three photos show.

What is the DOF YOU require?
Large DOF (small 3D objects isolated) => 50mm macro
Small DOF (People, portraits, etc.) => 150mm macro

I'm leaning towards a larger DOF.

So - like you said - the 100 mm seems to be nice, maybe even a bit less.

Now I have two questions - would be great to get some insights on these:
1) The 100 mmm corresponds to a 3x zoom on a full size sensor or to a 4,8x zoom on a smaller sensor such as the one of the rebel. Is that about right? If yes, then this is already a kindof telephoto, so wider-angel photos of landscapes and so on will probably be limited, or?

2) What is the difference between a macro lens and a regular lens with the same focal length. Is it just the focusing distance or are there other differences as well?

Many thanks,
Michael

red_moon_rise

« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 15:02 »
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2.) Focussing distance which relates to magnification. 50mm with 0.5m focussing distance will not give good magnification. If you take a picture of a cell phone that is not important because your object is already larger than your sensor. If you want to take a picture of a diamond ring the normal 50mm will not "cut it" (pun intended). Both the 50 and 150 macro will do just fine BUT with the 150 you will barely get the stone in focus even at f16 f22 (insufficient DOF) and even the 50mm is not sufficient to get the whole ring in focus.

1.) 100mm is 2x normal perspective on full frame sensor and 3.2x normal on XT if you consider 50mm as normal. "The 100 mmm corresponds to a 3x zoom..." that statement does not make sense.

Good luck

« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 15:06 »
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1) The 100 mmm corresponds to a 3x zoom on a full size sensor or to a 4,8x zoom on a smaller sensor such as the one of the rebel. Is that about right? If yes, then this is already a kindof telephoto, so wider-angel photos of landscapes and so on will probably be limited, or?

Daneel:

As I explained in another thread that you wrote, the focal length magnifier is a relation of the camera body to the lens.  It will not change from lens to lens.  If the factor is 1.6x, then it will be 1.6x for ALL lenses.  So a 3x zoom will always be a 3x zoom on ANY camera.  It is only the focal length that changes.  For example, a 100-300mm telephoto will still be a 100-300mm telephoto on a full size sensor (with a 1.0x factor), but it will be 160-480mm on a sensor with a 1.6x factor.  So if you notice, it is still a 3x zoom no matter what the camera or sensor is.

« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2007, 15:08 »
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1.) 100mm is 2x normal perspective on full frame sensor and 3.2x normal on XT if you consider 50mm as normal. "The 100 mmm corresponds to a 3x zoom..." that statement does not make sense.

Sorry, but that is incorrect.  It is still "2x normal perspective".  That is because a 50mm lens is actually 80mm on a 1.6x factor lens, and a 100mm lens is actually 160mm.  Going from 80mm to 100mm is 2x.

red_moon_rise

« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2007, 15:14 »
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Yeah, but 50mm is normal only on full frame sensor but 35mm lens is closest to normal PERSPECTIVE (angle of view) on a 1.6x sensor. I took the difference in what normal perspective is in consideration in my calculation.

« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2007, 15:50 »
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Hi GeoPappas,

Daneel:

As I explained in another thread that you wrote, the focal length magnifier is a relation of the camera body to the lens.  It will not change from lens to lens.  If the factor is 1.6x, then it will be 1.6x for ALL lenses.  So a 3x zoom will always be a 3x zoom on ANY camera.  It is only the focal length that changes.  For example, a 100-300mm telephoto will still be a 100-300mm telephoto on a full size sensor (with a 1.0x factor), but it will be 160-480mm on a sensor with a 1.6x factor.  So if you notice, it is still a 3x zoom no matter what the camera or sensor is.

many thanks for your valuable explanations.

This is how I understand it:
There are two types of sensors, full size and (1,6 times) smaller size. If I put the same lense first on a camera with full size sensor (camera[full]) and then on a camera with smaller size sensor (camera[small]) the following will happen:

Camera[full] has a larger sensor and therefore receives more of the image which is projected by the lens. Camera[small] on the other hand will only receive a smaller part of the image which is projected by the lens because of the smaller sensor. The image from the lens is "cropped" because of the smaller sensor, this is why it is called the "crop" factor.

Now let's assume that we are taking a photo of a bird through this lens. We also assume that the lens gives sufficient telezoom that the bird occupies about 2/3 of the photo with camera[full]. With camera[small] however, the image projected by the lens will be cropped and therefore the bird will occupy the whole photo on camera[small].

This cropping effect therefore creates the impression of magnification. This is what I imprecisly refered to as "magnification factor".

Are these assumptions correct?

Many thanks,
Michael
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 15:54 by Daneel »

« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2007, 16:25 »
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Hi again,

What is the DOF YOU require?
Large DOF (small 3D objects isolated) => 50mm macro
Small DOF (People, portraits, etc.) => 150mm macro

The DOF is adjustable (at the cost of shutter speed) to some extend by increasing the f-value as well, or?

Thanks,
Michael

« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2007, 16:48 »
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To some extent but you cant get infinite DoF and when you are that close, the DoF gets narrower, even if you use a very low apeture (high number).

« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2007, 18:42 »
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This is how I understand it:
There are two types of sensors, full size and (1,6 times) smaller size. If I put the same lense first on a camera with full size sensor (camera[full]) and then on a camera with smaller size sensor (camera[small]) the following will happen:

Camera[full] has a larger sensor and therefore receives more of the image which is projected by the lens. Camera[small] on the other hand will only receive a smaller part of the image which is projected by the lens because of the smaller sensor. The image from the lens is "cropped" because of the smaller sensor, this is why it is called the "crop" factor.

Now let's assume that we are taking a photo of a bird through this lens. We also assume that the lens gives sufficient telezoom that the bird occupies about 2/3 of the photo with camera[full]. With camera[small] however, the image projected by the lens will be cropped and therefore the bird will occupy the whole photo on camera[small].

This cropping effect therefore creates the impression of magnification. This is what I imprecisly refered to as "magnification factor".

Are these assumptions correct?


Yes, that is one way to look at it.  You can read more about it here: http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0703/tg0703-1.html

FYI: There are more than two factors (1.0x and 1.6x) out there.  Canon's DSLR lineup has three (1.0x, 1.3x, and 1.6x).  For example, the Canon EOS 1D is a 1.3x.  As far as I know, Nikon's DSLR lineup has only one (1.5x).  The Olympus E1 has a 2.0x factor.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 18:49 by GeoPappas »

« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2007, 20:30 »
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The crop factors are:

1.0 - Canon 1Ds
1.3 - Canon 1D
1.33 - Leica R and F
1.5 - Nikon, Pentax, Samsung and Sony
1.6 - All other Canons
1.7 - Sigma
2.0 - 4/3 (Olympus, Panasonic and Leica)

Did I forget any? I hope not.

The 2.0 factor for 4/3 isn't really a crop factor, since the system is designed from the bottom with that sensor size, as opposed to the rest, which from the start were all to a certain degree based on 35mm film. But to understand what the FOV is, it's sometimes practical to think about it as a crop factor.


 

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