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Old Jan 25, 2007, 4:01 PM   #11
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I have heard good things about the Sigma lenses, and am not ruling them out at all... just trying to buy myself some time to find the best value/performance lens I can.

I can safely say I am right back where I started. :lol:

Thanks to all !


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Old Jan 26, 2007, 12:24 PM   #12
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The way I see it is, if you want something and you can afford it then get it for god's sake. What do you mean by justify, if you mean you could spend your money on more important needs, then to me that means you can't afford it. The best usually costs the most, although we all know you can be very successful with budget gear by using common sense, I'm sure such as an EF 400mm f2.8L with IS that you mentionwould make the job a lot easier and certainly make you feel good when using it. That is taking it to the extreme but when we are talking about an extra £200 or so then I feel it's worth waiting for.
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 1:58 AM   #13
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JohnG wrote:
Volk - we're going to have to agree to disagree on this.¬* I own both IS and non IS lenses.¬* I have a 100-400 IS as well as a Sigma 120-300 2.8.¬* Without any hesitation the 120-300 is a much better lens.¬* Produces fabulous images and has no IS.¬* I also have a 70-200 2.8 lens.¬* Now, I could have spent $1600 on a Canon¬* IS version.¬* But the money saved went into an 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 lens - which both help me out infinitely more than IS would have (I shoot sports and IS does nothing to freeze action in low light).¬* So, in my case those funds were more wisely spent in other areas.¬* So, you have to always ask yourself:¬* is it better to have one high quality lens with IS or 2 high quality lenses without IS?¬* The answer will differ with each person.¬* In your case you found it useful.¬* In my case it was more useful to spend the money on another lens.¬* Everybody is different.


I understand your point, and agree that everyone has to measure their desire, vs intended use, vs budget. Please don't view the Pit Bull passion of my replies in a bad light.

Over the past 35 or so years, it was easy for me to settle on Canon bodies after I entered the labor force (got a job), but the never ending quest for more lenses led me to buy many examples of Tamron, Sigma, Soligor, Tokina, and even a few Spiratone lenses in an effort to get more bang for the buck due to my limited budget. I bought some duds, and bought some outstanding performers along the way.

One thing that I noticed along the way was that as time and budget allowed, I would end up with the "L", or other premium lens that I couldn't wait to budget for in the first place. As time went on, I learned to sit still until there was enough money in the photo bank to afford what I wanted in the first place. Looking back, I spent far more by buying the cheaper lens, selling it at a loss, and then buying the lens I wanted in the first place.

Now, I decide what I want, and wait until I can afford it. I bought several long zooms over the years (different manufacturers), but when I was ready for a high end 70-200 f/2.8, I waited until I could pay the $1600 price of the Canon f/2.8 IS version, and just went for it. Bear with me a sec... In the past, my interests would evolve, and I found the less expensive choices I made to be lacking. I ended up buying the premium lens in time. When I held off on buying a 70-200 f/2.8 lens until I could afford the Canon IS model, I bought a lens that is at the top of it's game, and is not about to be dethroned any time soon, no matter how my photographic interests develop or change. I don't run the risk of buying a second lens to replace the first, as my first choice was the best lens of it's range offered then, and still is.

That's pretty much where I'm coming from. Many fine photographers buy, and keep third party lenses for life. I applaud them, and will not second guess their choices. When a photo newbie asks though, I can't help but to press my point of buying what you wish to have, rather than that which you can afford right now.

Maybe it's an addiction, but over the decades, I have gravitated towards high end lens offerings, and have not been dismayed, even if it took many extra months to be able to afford them. The reality is that I would end up with it anyway, so why not go there in the first place? Some glass has been with me for decades, and I won't part with it. Most all of my keeper glass sports a Canon logo, but there is plenty of room for solid third party offerings again.

Anyway, my motivation was to make sure that despite the attraction to saving money, and buying lenses at a two for one rate, there is a benefit to owning a few high end Canon or Nikon lenses (depending upon your photo religion).

Photo newbies tend to be budget oriented, and look for justification online. I'm just trying to offer the other view.

I respect your opinion, and likely will agree with you more often than not, but in this case, I have to stay with my conviction that all other elements being equal, IS rules. Merlin could not have pleased his masters to the degree that the IS engineers have pleased me to date....

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Old Feb 15, 2007, 5:48 AM   #14
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Volk wrote:
I respect your opinion, and likely will agree with you more often than not, but in this case, I have to stay with my conviction that all other elements being equal, IS rules. Merlin could not have pleased his masters to the degree that the IS engineers have pleased me to date....
All elements are not equal (i.e. sport & low-light), and it's not about saving money either...

-> The reason John gave for not buying the 70-200 IS (and I totally agree) is to spend the difference on an 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 lens which is much more useful for sport in low-light than IS - and it's not about saving since both end up with the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 which is more than twice the cost of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS (with no equal in Canon line). It's about performance and the bang for the $!
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 7:55 AM   #15
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NHL hit it on the head. The idea is to focus on the PHOTOGRAPHY not on the tool. People get so obsessed with the TOOL - having the white lens that they end up having the wrong tool for the job. As NHL pointed out, I was able to purchase an 85mm 1.8 with the difference between IS and non IS. Shooting a lot of HS sports, a 2.8 lens is virtually USELESS in high school gyms. The quality shots I was able to get and sell were made by the 85mm 1.8 - not an L, no red ring on the lens but just so happens the best tool for the job. I had a competitor shooting some of the same events and she was using a Nikon 80-200 2.8Vr - great lens and comparable to the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. And guess what? Her shots were terrible. Why? Because 2.8 is too slow and IS / VR does nothing to help that out. Now, I also have a fabulous 70-200 2.8 that I shot a swim meet with the other weekend. So,for the same price I can shoot basketball, volleyball, swimming and the person withonly the 70-200 can't shoot the basketball/volleyball with the same quality of results.

Another post on these forums had an exceited person singing the praises of the Canon 70-200 2.8 they rented and presumably wanted to buy and what settings to use for basketball. I had to break the news to them that it was a very poor lens for producing prints from a HS basketball game (OK for newspaper quality but not for prints). Just the wrong tool for the job. The right tool being a non-L, non-IS lens - the 85mm 1.8 or even the $70 50mm 1.8 both of which will produce much better shots than the $1600 70-200 2.8IS or $1100 70-200 2.8 lens for this application.

So, it'snot just about buying the cheaper model it's about spending your capital in a smart manner so you have quality photos. I've madethousands of $$ in sales in the last 8 months selling sport images. And guess what? EVERY sale was the result of a non-L lens. Sigma 120-300 2.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8 and Canon 85mm 1.8. I haven't seen the person yet that cann tell the difference between a Sigma 70-200 2.8 shot and a Canon one (at least with the older version of the sigma lens - no idea how the new MACRO version performs). And, as NHL pointed out - Canon has no zoom lens that competes with 4the Sigma 120-300 2.8. Want the same coverage in the Canon lineup? You pay anEXTRA $4400 for it. Why so much? Well, first you need 2 lenses - the 70-200 2.8 ($1100) and the 300mm 2.8 prime ($4000) then you need a second body for the second lens ($1300) since you can't exactly swap lenses as an athlete gets closer.

So, had I followed your line of reasoning I wouldn't have been able to make all those sales. I'd still be trying to save the extra $4000 instead of buyiing the excellent 120-300 which has since paid for itself. And initially I wouldn't have had the 85mm 1.8 so I would have missed a whole season of basketbll and volleyball. And even if a person isn't selling - if they just wanted to shoot these types of sports they would have missed out on basketball, volleyball or taken poor shots because all their money was sunk in a $1600 lens ($500 of which was sunk in IS that buys them nothing when shooting these types of sports).

So, while the Canon 300mm 2.8 is a better lens than the Sigma you have to spend a LOT more money to get that marginal increase. And in the case of the 70-200 lenses I again would say you couldn't tell the difference betwwen sport images out of my $800 lens compared to images out of your $1600 lens.

Now, not always the case. If I were buying a 24-70 2.8 I would pay the extra money for the Canon over the Sigma simply because the low-light focusing of the canon is so much better. Also why I chose the Canon 100-400 over the Sigma 50-500. I felt the quality of the Canon was better. So I'm not adverse to paying more for canon or from buying L lenses (I also own the 17-40L in addition to the 100-400) but only when I feel it is warranted.

So, that is the downside to your approach.

I know NHL has the same experience - a mixture of Canon and Sigma lenses - each purchase made because it was the best bang for the buck.

And the funny thing is - both of us own L glass yet the majority of our shots seem to be taken with non-L lenses and non-IS lenses (although we both own IS lenses).

I think we're all in agreement here that it makes great sense to save a little more and buy HIGH QUALITY lenses. I perfectly agree with that statement. Where I disagree is the notion that the only lenses that are high quality are Canon L lenses with IS.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 9:37 AM   #16
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My 2¬Ę...wide angle lenses are not necessarily the best for scenic landscape shots as the wide angle lens may make key elements too small...often a normal or short tele (like your 50mm) will be better ...better to isolate the best part of the scene and use the 50...
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