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Old Nov 15, 2009, 9:18 AM   #1
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Default L series better than the non L series?

Just asking are the L series lenses that much better than the non L series lenses?

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Old Nov 15, 2009, 9:28 AM   #2
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The answer is: it depends. There are some great non-L Canon lenses, and certainly some great third party lenses.

For example, the 85mm 1.8 Canon lens is a fantastic lens. But it's not an L. Another quality non-L is the 70-300 IS USM. It's very sharp. BUT, it's plastic. And it's not as fast to focus as some of it's L siblings.

The L designation will provide better construction quality - metal instead of plastic. In some cases it provides weather sealing. The L zooms tend to have better image quality performance throughout the zoom than non L lenses of the same era. THey also are more likely to maintain a wide aperture throughout the zoom than non-L Canon lenses. There are L primes which outshine any consumer lens - or third party lens. There's nothing out there that matches the 400mm 2.8 or 300mm 2.8 or 500mm f4 for image quality and focus performance. There is no lens on the market to my knowledge which matches Canon's 70-200 f4 IS for that type of lens. Fantastically sharp. Even the non-L is a wonderful lens with no consumer grade counterpart. Sharpnes,s focus speed and build quality are pro grade.

Having said all that - taking a landscape shot at 25mm with 18-55 IS kit lens at f11 vs. 16-35 f2.8 at the same settings and you'd be hard pressed to see any difference in the results.
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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Two Sigma Lenses that are so far unmatched are

100-300 F4 and 120-300 F2.8. I did use both the lenses for sometime and can say till this second i miss the 120-300.

L or non L depends on usage. The 17-55 IS f2.8 is an L lens by picture quality and performance. Build may not be exactly similar to say a 24-70 or 16-35.

L will have a better build quality.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 7:53 AM   #4
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I can attest the sigma 120-300 2.8 is a wonderful lens. Not as good as the Canon 300mm f2.8 prime lens, but the sigma is a zoom. It used to sell for 1/2 the cost of the Canon prime but Sigma jacked the price up by 50% so it isn't the bargain it once was. By many accounts, sigma's true Macro (1:1) lenses are fantastic as well.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 1:09 PM   #5
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I rather choose image quality over built quality since I don't plan on taking alot of pics in harsh enviroments.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 3:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abryan View Post
I rather choose image quality over built quality since I don't plan on taking alot of pics in harsh enviroments.
I guess it depends on what you consider a harsh environment. 3 or 4 years ago my 100-400L got knocked off a table onto concrete. There is a slight dent in it but it is only cosmetic and the lens still performs flawlessly. I doubt that would be the case if it were a plastic lens.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 4:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
... By many accounts, sigma's true Macro (1:1) lenses are fantastic as well.
I agree - The Sigma macro's still hold the lead even with Canon's latest L:
Check the Competition section (and compare their blur index, CA, vignetting & distortion)
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1291/cat/10
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/180/cat/30
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/964/cat/30
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 7:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
I guess it depends on what you consider a harsh environment. 3 or 4 years ago my 100-400L got knocked off a table onto concrete. There is a slight dent in it but it is only cosmetic and the lens still performs flawlessly. I doubt that would be the case if it were a plastic lens.
I didn't think about that. It would be a bad thing if I paid over $500 for a lens and it falls and break. I'll go with the L series, they seem to have more of what i'm looking for.
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 9:26 PM   #9
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there is no gaurantee that L lens wont break nor there is no gaurantee that a 500$ Sigma will definitely break on a fall. In fact the EX signifies the "L" level build quality and except for the flakes on the outside the sigma lenses are really well built. I have no second question about that.

The sigma EX lenses are not Plastic lenses and john was talking particularly about ex lenses

I feel the EX grade sigma lenses build quality can be comparared to L build quality.

the sigma 150 mm macro feels like a stubborn piece of metal. Its strong enough to dent a person trying to steal my copy
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