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Old Jan 20, 2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default 3 lens comparison

So I get into a discussion with a guy who seems to know a lot of photography jargon, but I have a suspicion that he's really not as smart as he wants me to think he is.

Our discussion revolved around three lenses:
Canon 24-70 2.8f L
Canon 24 1.4 L
Sigma 24mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro

He saw me shooting with my Canon 24-70 2.8f L and told me I'd get much sharper photos if I were to use a prime lens when shooting at 24mm.

I said I'm not sure that I would see a remarkable difference between my current lens and the Canon 24 1.4 L and since that additional lens is rather expensive, I like what I've got.

Then he says that the Sigma 24 1.8F is just as good as the Canon 24 but it's about a thousand dollars less.

That sounds wrong to me. But I don't have anything to base that on.

Can you comment on any of this? I've looked around and can't find any reviews that pose the two Canon's against one another. Neither can I find the Canon prime vs the Sigma prime.

Since this guy is parent of a child. His child and one of my children are on the same team. That means, I will be required to engage in this discussion again, whether I want to or not. (BTW, he's the guy you'd rather not sit next to on a 3 hour flight. talk, talk talk, talk, talk talk talk.....

So bail me out..........please.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 1:37 PM   #2
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Easy, take some prints of your photos along and ask to see some of his. Because of course with no disrespect intended you need to know whether he is actually a photographer or just spends his time reading dpreview.

Almost certainly he won't be back. (Of course there is always a small chance that he really does know what he is doing, and you might learn something useful.)
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 6:05 PM   #3
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See:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (Tested)
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM (Tested)

At f/2.8, the prime is slightly sharper than the zoom, and while the zoom has a little more CA, the prime vignettes more.

I can't find anything on the Signa 24/1.8, but the companion Sigma AF 20mm f/1.8 EX isn't very good.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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He saw me shooting with my Canon 24-70 2.8f L and told me I'd get much sharper photos if I were to use a prime lens when shooting at 24mm
The prime shot at F2.8 will definitely be better of the three. The prime shot at 1.4 in a cropped body will still outshine the zoom and on a full frame the prime shot at 1.4 will have soft edges which is again the same problem with the zoom shot wide at 2.8.

There is no comparison, but the factors that one needs to consider include cost, need, type of photography, ability to zoom(flexibility) .

I will be more inclined to pick the sigma and an alternate zoom for the cost of the 24mm prime. But thats just me
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 1:46 AM   #5
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At f8 and f11 there is nothing in it. At f4 and f5.6 not much, sample variation probably plays a significant role as to which is better.

How many people really shoot wide angles at wide apertures?

As to the Sigma - well you could say that you prefer same-day autofocus, or that you quite like it when optical elements are aligned in the factory according to the diagrams the designers produce, or that you don't find yellow to be the single most interesting colour in your images. ;-)
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 8:00 AM   #6
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TCav, this question has nothing to do with my "friend", but more for my education.

I read the article on the Canon 24 prime. One of the two draw backs was in regards to dark corners when shot wide open when mounted on a full frame camera.

One author stated that most lenses are at the best when shot two stops above their lowest fstop. So, if I have a 1.4f lens, it will perform best at about 2.0.

Do you agree with that advice?

Second, if the 1.4 prime was shot at 2.0 would that change the dark corners of the shot?

Thanks for the education.

FP

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
See:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (Tested)
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM (Tested)

At f/2.8, the prime is slightly sharper than the zoom, and while the zoom has a little more CA, the prime vignettes more.

I can't find anything on the Signa 24/1.8, but the companion Sigma AF 20mm f/1.8 EX isn't very good.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 9:29 AM   #7
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On a 'Full Frame' dSLR, the Canon 24/1.4 shows a lot of vignetting at any aperture. On an APS-C dSLR, it has less, but still more than the Canon 24-70/2.8.

While it's true that most lenses perform better stopped down than wide open, some lenses are fine wide open, and some never really get very good. There are few absolutes, and this isn't one of them. The 24/1.4 doesn't get really sharp until you stop it down to f/2.8, but your zoom is sharp even wide open, where it's about as good as the prime.

So basically, no, you would not get much sharper photos if you were to use a prime lens when shooting at 24mm. That's not to say that 24mm primes aren't very good. It is, however, a testiment to how good your Canon 24-70/2.8 is.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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Canon do make a totally awesome 24mm lens for landscape work however.

TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Now that's a lens!
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Since we're talking about manual focus, let throw in another option:
http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/nikon...14_24mm_a.html
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Canon do make a totally awesome 24mm lens for landscape work however.

TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Now that's a lens!
+100 on this. If you want a 24mm prime that is uber sharp this is the way to go and you get more uses out of it with the tilt shit capabilities. Its only downfall is manual focus only.

Having had a 24L it was a bit sharper at 2.8 than the 24-70 but I found myself grabing the 24-70 99% of the time for versatility and subsequently sold the 24L. I cant speak intelligently on 3rd party glass as I have never owned any and could only repeat the opinions of others.
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