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Old Dec 17, 2004, 10:16 PM   #1
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This is for Canon 10D users, please.

My current setup is this ---

Canon 10D, Canon 50mm macro lens, and Canon 28 to 135 IS lens. I'm generally very please with the photos I get from them but someone has told me that I really should invest in the Canon L-glass or the Sigma EX-glass series in order to get the very best details out of my images.

After reading these boards a while and others, I get mixed messages. Some people say that the higher priced lenses are well worth the money and they can see a difference, some will say that unless you are using one of the higher megapixel cameras it does not matter, and still others say Sigma EX is just as good as Canon L-glass, and on and on.

My roommate is really into this stuff but I wanted to ask people I don't know as I'm sure he's set in his ways on geer. I want unbiased and very honest opinions from actual 10D users, who have used the lenses I currently use, who upgraded to higher glass. Did you see so much of a difference in the image quality after that you had the "wow look at this" reaction, or did the extra cost for use on a 10D not really make that much of a difference? thank you
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Old Dec 17, 2004, 11:38 PM   #2
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This question has come up several times lately.

The answer is, it all depends on YOU.
How much of a perfectionist are you? How much do you care about absolute sharpness and all the rest you get from a lens? How much are you willing to pay for it? Are you willing to pay lots of money for what might be minimal gain?

But there is also more to it than this.
The "L" class lenses are about more than just "to get the best details out of my images." For example:
-Do you require a lot of separation between your subject and the background? L lenses usually have larger apertures which allow for this.
-Do you take action photos? Pictures which require a higher shutter speed? L lenses usually perform better at larger apertures, which allows for faster shutter speeds and result in sharper (or non-blury) action pictures.
-Do you need waterproof lenses? Most (all?) L lenses are water proof. Of course, the 10D isn't, so this is kinda moot. (But not really, I've stood in a plastic bag with my water proof 100-400L sticking out. Worked well.)
-Do you often find youself adjusting the focus manually to get it "just right?" Most/all L lenses have full-time manual override of the auto focus. This allows you to manually change the focus at any time, without switching the lens to manual focus.
-Do you need faster AF? (take scenes which are only around for a moment, or take action pictures?) Most/All L lenses have faster AF because of their Ultra Sonic Motors (USM).
-There are more things, but I don't want to do your research for you. Go learn about what an L lens really gives you by reading about them on the web.

It is really a question of what you get for how much money. Depending on what you shoot, how little you value money, and how much of a perfectionist you are you either want a L lens or you need an L lens. I photograph birds. Small, fast moving animals often in low light (sunset.) So the 2 lens that I shoot birds with are L lenses. On the other hand, the lens I use to shoot people (just for fun - family occasions and such) is the 28-135 you have. I don't need a fancy lens, I'm not shooting people for a living.

As for sigma EX lenses.... I know people who like them. I know people who have purchased them and returned them for the equivalent Canon lens. I don't know what to say there. Maybe their standards were too high, maybe they had a defective lens. I haven't tested them myself to compare.

I hope that helps.

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Old Dec 18, 2004, 8:40 AM   #3
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My worthless 2c! :-)

The 28 to 135 IS is a good and sharp lens so you are likely not to get better detail in an L or a Sigma EX. What you're buying extra here is like Eric said:

1. A larger aperture, ie f/2.8 for example which will give you a better 'Bokeh' -> A shallower DOF helps to isolate your subject from its cluttered background and will accentuate the sharpness of the picture because everything else look blurry.

2. The larger aperture also allows you to shoot at a higher shutter speed with action shots which IS alone can not help...

3. The aperture is constant -> This is useful when the camera is on manual (almost all studio shots) ie when you you zoom in or out the exposure is not affected by the constant lighting!

4. A negative side effect is the larger aperture results in larger optical elements, hence heavier which need sturdier metal construction -> Theses lenses are mostly heftier than the regular polycarbonate EF 28-135 IS and also with much less play...

The 'L' lenses are excellent, and of course one is paying for it. What the Sigma EX does is offering the same benefit of the wider aperture at a more affordable price most with the faster HSM ultrasonic, and full-time manual overide as well. I've found this recently: http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/sigma_2470

PS The Sigma's (as well as Tamron) excell in the macro as well as exploiting the longer zoom ranges where both Canon and Nikon are lacking: the 100-300 and 500 zooms... May be they don't want to cannibalize their prime lens market
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