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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:13 AM   #51
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The big advantage of the Canon 50mm f/1.2 over the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is the larger aperture. They're both very good, the Sigma is better at large apertures (except, of course, at f/1.2, which it can't do) and the Canon is better at smaller apertures. From the standpoint of practicallity, I'd say go with the Sigma.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 3:14 PM   #52
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From the point of practicality I'd say go with the Canon f1.4. Fairly cheap, excellent from f2, never misses focus - not something you can say about the Sigma, and the Canon f1.2 is insanely difficult to focus unless you get a perfect copy. It really is buttery smooth though.

Also I have the 70-300 DO, makes a great travel lens, it does need slightly different PP from other lenses but it sharpens up just fine. You do need to get it right though. I like it a lot for portraits and landscape as opposed to wildlife or sports though. The standard 70-300 or the new L are probably better choices for after your trip, but for the trip itself the DO would be great. I got one for travel and don't regret mine.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:34 PM   #53
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From the point of practicality I'd say go with the Canon f1.4. Fairly cheap, excellent from f2, never misses focus - not something you can say about the Sigma, and the Canon f1.2 is insanely difficult to focus unless you get a perfect copy. It really is buttery smooth though.

Also I have the 70-300 DO, makes a great travel lens, it does need slightly different PP from other lenses but it sharpens up just fine. You do need to get it right though. I like it a lot for portraits and landscape as opposed to wildlife or sports though. The standard 70-300 or the new L are probably better choices for after your trip, but for the trip itself the DO would be great. I got one for travel and don't regret mine.
Thanks. This is interesting. On the primes, I have never heard of the 1.2 being insanely difficult to focus. Is that right? People seem to really love it, and the 1.4 is consistently recognized as being "soft" in every shot, and -- as you point out -- only hits its stride at f/2. If I wanted f/2, I would go with the Tamron 60mm to bag some macro, and to get a little more reach for portraits. What I really want is the wide open setting for dawn/dusk and indoors. And if I get a 60D, it will be nice for video, for which flash is unavailable. Are there really focus issues with the 1.2?

The DO lens really is nice and compact, but I may just get the non-DO version (L or non-L). I would rather not have to fiddle too much in PP, and there are no threads on the front for the 500D macro attachment, which seems pretty useful at 300mm for getting some ornate carving on a ceiling. Also, the DO/regular difference in weight seems not that substantial; it's more the length... but then again the DO seems pretty long extended. Of course the regular is harder to fit in a camera bag, but I guess I can't have it all, and the price of the DO lens is bugging me -- seems like not a great value given the post-processing and lack of threads on the front. Any thoughts on these points?

Thanks again for your very thoughtful comments.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:41 PM   #54
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The big advantage of the Canon 50mm f/1.2 over the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is the larger aperture. They're both very good, the Sigma is better at large apertures (except, of course, at f/1.2, which it can't do) and the Canon is better at smaller apertures. From the standpoint of practicallity, I'd say go with the Sigma.
Thanks. The Sigma seems like the better value overall -- but let me give some pushback and see where we land. I originally was debating between the Canon 1.4 (soft; bad at wide aperture) and the Sigma 1.4 (inconsistent AF; focus-shift issues). My decision originally was the Sigma because I want to use it mostly at 1.4/1.8, but I was annoyed by the inconsistent focus and inconsistent stop-down/spherical-aberration issues. I don't want to get frustrated, and inconsistency can be really frustrating. This is what got me to the 1.2, which I thought had great AF, plus FTMF, and everybody seems to love their copy -- even though it's overpriced. Also, I thought its supposed vignetting problems at 1.2 would be lessened by my crop sensor, and its f/1.4 would (I thought) be as good as the Sigma's 1.4 given the L glass -- so I thought, anyway. Your comment makes me wonder if the Sigma really is better at 1.4/1.8, and Peripatetic's comment makes me wonder if the 1.2 has focus issues.

Any further thoughts/experiences you may have on/with these lenses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 1:04 PM   #55
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softness can get correct in pp, oof from bad focus can not.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 1:48 PM   #56
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softness can get correct in pp, oof from bad focus can not.
Thanks shoturtle. What do you think about the 1.2?

More than the softness, I still am not pleased with reviews of the Canon 50mm 1.4's behavior at large apertures.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 1:54 PM   #57
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softness can get correct in pp, oof from bad focus can not.
Care to elaborate?
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 1:59 PM   #58
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The problem with focus and large aperture lenses is called Focus Shift, and can affect any large aperture (f/2.0 and larger) lens (some more than others, of course.) If you know about it, you can handle it.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 2:00 PM   #59
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all editing programs can increase sharpness to a degree, out of focus no editing can improve.

here is a soft shot form my point and shoot, and there results with couple of simple 1 click adjustments
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 2:09 PM   #60
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Editting programs can't actually increase sharpness. WHat they do is increase the contrast in border areas, so the distinction between, for instance, a light area and a dark area is more obvious.

"Softness" is "out-of-focus". An image is soft when the camera is incapable of focusing an image any more accurately. OOF happens for a lot of different reasons, but generally means that the camera could have done better, but the result is the same, and the "patch" is also the same.
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