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Old May 30, 2005, 1:03 PM   #1
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Hi! Can anyone help me decide between the following?

Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX
Canon 85mm f1.8 USM
Tamron macro 90mm

I have the kit lens for the xt and it just doesn't cut it. I am beginning to shoot a lot of portraits for friends and friends of friends and like to take very close up of parts (eyelashes, toes etc). However, next month I am shooting for a friend who owns a landscaping business and wants some good shots of his work for his website. Can anyone help me here? I want a macro, I think, because I want to be able to get very close but don't want to limit myself too much. I can spend in the $300-500 range and probably won't have cash like this for a while (unless I start charging my friends ). Any other suggestions are welcome!
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Old May 31, 2005, 3:22 AM   #2
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If you don't have that kind of money for a while (after buying the first lens), wouldn't you like to choose something more... general?

Okay, so your primary shots are close up... But I don't think any of those are really made for landscape photos (people usually look for wide angle lenses), so your kit lens is better off there...

And what do you mean when you say the kit lens does not cut it? Not cutting it as in you don't like the macro or you don't like the quality you're getting out of it?

If the quality is fine for you, you could just get an extension tube so you can focus closer in on an subject.

At least... I think there's an extension tube for the XT.:?:

But taking pictures of eyeballs indoors might be a little troublesome. I guess you should be going for the fastest possible lens (aperture) if you see yourself in a lot of low light situations (since I guess you won't be getting a macro flash with the lens), as well as those times you aren't using a tripod...

I heard the EF-S 60mm is good, but you have to be like 4 inches away from the subject... not really bad for body parts but maybe for insects that could be offended. But I think that particular lens needs ample light.

I remember trying macro for the kit lens... I can certainly tell macro isn't where the lens shines. But then again, I'm not much of a macro enthusiast so i don't mind cropping and sharpening
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Old May 31, 2005, 5:51 AM   #3
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There's no such thing as a bad macro, and the Tamron 90mm was rated as the most outstanding one for a long time...

The Sigma is no slouch either, but I don't see where the 85mm f/1.8 USM fits in this category :?
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Old May 31, 2005, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hi! Thanks for the feedback! I hadn't thought of an extension tube as I don't really know anything about them. When, I said the kit lens doesn't cut it I did mean in macro. I think I am looking for a faster lens with great background blur for the portrait stuff (canon 85mm 1.8). I think you are right about using my kit lens for the landscape stuff. Now I am re-thinking a fixed lense for mid range zoom lens, such as canon EF 28-135 3.5-5.6 USM. Will this still work for my "eyball shots"? Why aren't zoom lenses faster? That's probably a dumb question. Is a zoom lense a bad idea for portraits? Why are macro lenses also mentioned as good portrait lenses? I am confused! Help!
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Old May 31, 2005, 1:12 PM   #5
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I think the reason why some macro lenses can be considered as a portrait lens is because of the focal length. I think anything from 30-80mm on an XT seems to be the most ideal range for portraits (I keep forgetting what number Hards80 says). That's why the EF-S 60mm can also be used as portraits.

Now seeing that the focal length can vary for portraits, it would be generally easier just to have a zoom lens. Instead of you walking back or forth to get your proper zoom you simply turn a ring and bingo. The primary reason (I would think) there's a range in the first place is because the focal length varies for a head shot/ head & shoulder shot/ body shot / group shot, etc. Another reason is maybe you want to give your subject, "breathing space" so you don't stand right infront of them.

Either than a lens saying MACRO, I'm not sure if the lens will give you what you want... I haven't really thought about macro that much... only that almost all of them are prime lenses... There was one Sigma lens that's a zoom macro but I heard bad reviews on it at fredmiranda:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...&cat=37&page=1

I'm not so sure but it seems like in your situation, you'd like a general lens better off than the kit lens, but also have macro abilities.

I'm leaning more on the idea of an extension tube. You can get a EF 12 or 25... As far as I've read about them, I don't think they have any negative effects... It's just a tube that's between the lens and body and allows you to focus in closer than before. And I'm not sure if its possible, but from some of the pictures I've seen in books, it looks like you can actually stack tubes on top eachother.

But I only read about them, if people have experience with them they're better off telling you about them. Or better yet, if there's a store close to you, you can go in and ask to try the tubes and lens. Just take something like a quarter, put it on the counter and see how close you can focus on it.

One thing about the 28-135 is that its closest focusing distance is 0.5 meters. The farther you are away from your subject, the more likely you need to use a tripod (especially with no flash)

To give you a better idea, the closest focusing distance for the kit lens is 0.28 meters...

To give you ANOTHER example, the EF-S 60mm MARCO closest focusing distance is 0.2 meteres...

It's all here...

http://www.canon.com.hk/En/Product/S...category_id=25

The extension tubes are way at the bottom (but they don't tell much about them.

why aren't zoom lenses faster? you mean as in aperture? It's just canon, really. Unless you plan on getting an L series lens, their zooms are generally slow.

Sigma on the other hand, has very decent lenses with apertures as high as 2.8... NHL can probably tell you a lot more about Sigma than I could. :roll:
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