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Old Nov 20, 2008, 9:59 AM   #1
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For doing portrait work (not professionally, but for my family, friends and the poor schmoe who think I know what I'm doing) I am considering two lenses and would love to hear your input on comparing the two.


  1. Canon 50mm f 1.8 II [/*]
    1. 50 mm 1:1.8[/*]
    2. 6 elements in 5 groups[/*]
    3. closest focusing distance ā€“ 18 inches
[/*]

  1. Canon 60mm f 2.8 macro[/*]
    1. 60 mm 1:2.8[/*]
    2. 12 elements in 8 groups[/*]
    3. closest focusing distance ā€“ 6 inches
[/*]


The camera I'll use it on is a Xsi


I don't know what to look for in comparing the two. The 50mm is about $100 and the 60 mm is about $375. I guess I'm asking what do I get for the extra $275?
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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FaithfulPastor wrote:
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... I guess I'm asking what do I get for the extra $275?
You're getting the "macro" capability... basically:
1. The closer focusing distance
2. Better control of distortion
3. Quite a bit sharper

but it won't be as bright...
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 12:11 PM   #3
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FYI - If you decided to spend the extra $275, might as well get a better lens to make it worth it plus this lens will also work on a full-frame in the future unlike the 60mm which is an EF-S only lens:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses...-macro-af.html
"This is probably the sharpest lens in the current Sigma lineup. SQF numbers showed sharpness and contrast in the Excellent range, with noticeably better performance, especially at higher magnification, than, for example, Canon's recently tested (and superb) 60mm EF-S 1:1 lens. In fact, the Sigma is one of only a handful of lenses today that pulls down SQF numbers within the 90th percentile all the way out to our maximum magnification (20x24 inches)"


http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/964/cat/30
From the The Competition section:
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM ~360-499
"As it's an EF-S lens, we don't have test data for the Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro on a full-frame body. On our 20D test body though, the Canon loses out to the Sigma on multiple fronts. It's not as sharp, particularly at f/2.8, and its chromatic aberration is somewhat higher as well. Geometric distortion is similar between the two lenses, but the Canon's shading performance is worse by a factor of two from f/2.8-f/4.0. (The Canon's shading is also higher at f/5.6 and above, but is so low in absolute terms that it's not worth discussing.) Overall, the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 is the stronger performer here."
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 1:12 PM   #4
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NHL - here's my question though - is any of these a good choice for a Portrait lens? 60mm 2.8 isn't going to give you a lot of flexibility portrait-wise. Not going to get shallow DOF that say an 85mm 1.8 might give you or even a 70-200 2.8/f4. And 60mm on a crop camera is tight if you are wanting to do multiple people.

Again I don't do a lot of portrait work but 60mm 2.8 or 70mm 2.8would seem an odd choice to me - especially on a 1.6x body.

(for what it's worth I'm personally considering the sigma 70mm 2.8 for a start at macro photography next spring though - it does look like a fantastic lens).
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 2:10 PM   #5
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IMO there's no such things as a "Portrait" lens... :-)

For outdoor your 300 f/2.8 is best for that (and that's why I got the 120-300 f/2.8 for originally as well). Heck some Pro are even using a 600mm (to get the compression) and screen out the background @ wide open - Remember this? http://photo.net/equipment/nikon/300-2.8.adp

For indoor though almost any lens will do as long as its FOV fits the confine of the room as most portrait photographers know, one got to shoot with a lens closed down to get maximum sharpness (the background is then controlled by the backdrops) using strobes to highlight facial features or create the various effects...
-> Indoor portrait is quite funny though: You want the image to be really sharp and then use Gaussian blur in Photoshop to smooth out the pores... (but not the hairs) :?
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 9:09 AM   #6
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What if I threw in the possibility of the Canon 100mm macro f2.8 lens. It's a $500 lens. (And I thought golf was an expensive hobby!!).

Would you guys prefer the 100mm macro to the 50mm or 60 mm I referenced earlier?


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Old Nov 21, 2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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FaithfulPastor wrote:
Quote:
What if I threw in the possibility of the Canon 100mm macro f2.8 lens. It's a $500 lens. (And I thought golf was an expensive hobby!!).
Then I would throw in my Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro! :lol::-):G
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/180/cat/30

I'll take this lens over the Canon anyday - Just check my images in the close up section... or from the competition section again:
"In the Canon line, its closest competitor is probably the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM, which we haven't tested as yet. Readers report this lens is very good optically, but very heavy and relatively slow to focus. It's also slower by about 2/3 of a stop, and sells for twice the cost of the Sigma."

Conclusion
"At the end of the day, the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro seems to offer the best bang of just about anything in its focal length/aperture range. If you're interested in shooting really close-up macro, yet with a reasonable working range, the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 looks to be a really excellent choice."


Quote:
Would you guys prefer the 100mm macro to the 50mm or 60 mm I referenced earlier?
-> A longer 'macro' let you stay well away from the bugs so as not to scare them into flying away and also easier to illuminate than says a 60mm for example where you have to get really really close
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 10:55 AM   #8
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NHL - the OP wants to do portrait work not macro. That's what I was trying to say. Forget about macro capability - what are good recommendations for PORTRAIT work.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 2:23 PM   #9
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JohnG wrote:
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NHL - the OP wants to do portrait work not macro. That's what I was trying to say. Forget about macro capability - what are good recommendations for PORTRAIT work.
I would use any standard zoom then such as this one:
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report--review

It's all metal plus I like massive glass elements and it's a parafocal (meaning it'll hold focus throughout its zoom range). Plus on a cropped camera it's wider than most @ 16mm (i.e. 24 to 75mm on my D300) and is quite sharp and fast in AF without any ultrasonic since its focusing arc is pretty narrow, I think they mentioned 50 degrees (i.e. less than a 1/4 turn from the closest to infinity) - To tell you the truth I never have much use for my 50mm f/1.4 and my 120-300 has actually less DOF @ 300mm (and better perspective) than my other 50mm f/1.2 outdoor...

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