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Old Jun 10, 2005, 4:13 PM   #1
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A stranger in these parts, I am a Maxxum 7D owner, but I know that you Canon folks are an intelligent lot, so I thought I'd pose a couple of lens questions to you.

I ownQuantaray 28-80 and 70-300 lenses, and am looking for a wide angle lens to compliment them. I'm not talking high dollar lenses, at least not right now. I have researched the following a bit, and am wondering how you Canon users rate them.

Sigma 18-50 DC

Sigma 18-125 DC

Vivitar/Promaster/Phoenix Series 1 19-35

I would like to get the 18-125 in as much as I might be able to get rid of the 28-80 lens and only carry two lenses with me. But I hear that the bigger the range of a lens, the less the quality. What do you guys think?

And any suggestions other than these lenses (not too expensive) would be appreciated, as well.

Also, perhaps a word or two from those knowledgeable on 2x teleconverters, as this would be nice to have to take pics of those far off mountain goats at the top of the Rockies. And how do the larger 500mm or bigger lenses work with Digital SLRs, quality wise, etc.

Any thoughts you guys have would be appreciated! Thanks. - Dick

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 5:06 PM   #2
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optically the 18-125 isMUCH better than what you have with the 28-80 despite it being a 5x zoom range.. it is a remarkably sharp lens for the price and compete with many lenses that are much more expensive, i've even heard of a few pros that use this as their street lens.. with the focal length coverage, it makes a very nice walkabout lens.. therefore, i would recommend this to replace your 28-80 wholeheartedly.. thats a no brainer..

there are two 18-50 sigmas.. the 18-50 2.8 is a great lens, the 18-50 3.5-5.6 is not so great. even compared to the 18-50 2.8, i would still recommend the 18-125 as it is more versitile and will allow you to replace the 28-80...

forget the vivita/phoenix, etc.. very poor quality..

a good supertelephoto would be nice for mountain goats, dall sheep, etc.. and would be a nice compliment to a 7d or any other dslr.. but the ones that will give you the quality you would need for these pics will run in the several thousands of dollars.. the best value here would be the sigma 50-500 hsm ex, but that will still run you 1000USD...

teleconverters will not be compatible with your70-300.. and if they were, they would render it a manual focus lens andtheimage quality would be quite poor.. if you need the range of a 500, you will need to get a nice telephoto lens like the 50-500 mentioned above to get the image quality you desire..

best of luck to ya and feel free to ask anything else ya might need..

best regards, dustin

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Old Jun 11, 2005, 1:02 PM   #3
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Jacqueaux wrote:
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A stranger in these parts, I am a Maxxum 7D owner, but I know that you Canon folks are an intelligent lot, so I thought I'd pose a couple of lens questions to you.
I ownQuantaray 28-80 and 70-300 lenses, and am looking for a wide angle lens to compliment them. I'm not talking high dollar lenses, at least not right now. I have researched the following a bit, and am wondering how you Canon users rate them.
Sigma 18-50 DC Sigma 18-125 DC Vivitar/Promaster/Phoenix Series 1 19-35
I would like to get the 18-125 in as much as I might be able to get rid of the 28-80 lens and only carry two lenses with me. But I hear that the bigger the range of a lens, the less the quality. What do you guys think?
And any suggestions other than these lenses (not too expensive) would be appreciated, as well. Also, perhaps a word or two from those knowledgeable on 2x teleconverters, as this would be nice to have to take pics of those far off mountain goats at the top of the Rockies. And how do the larger 500mm or bigger lenses work with Digital SLRs, quality wise, etc. Any thoughts you guys have would be appreciated! Thanks. - Dick
Flattery will get you everywhere, Dick. Congrats on getting a camera that makes every lens an image stabilized lens.

Sigma is the master of high-ratio zooms. Their 50-500mm is the world's greatest value in a 500mm. The new version of that lens has Sigma's "digital" coatings, which are supposed to make it work better with digital, however, even the original version worked quite well. Add in the crop factor of a DSLR, and you have 750 to 800mm in FOV equivalent. And with your camera-based anti-shake, you will have the lens that us Canon people have wished for. I have forever wished my Bigma had image stabilization.

I also use a 1.4x Tamron and 1.4x and 2x TCs from Canon. In general, TCs don't work well on zooms unless they were designed for them. Plan to lose quality and speed. The Tamron (Std. not Pro) does not report the aperture and focal length change to the camera, so you retain autofocus, given enough light. The Sigma 1.4x TC works best on the Sigma 50-500, although you do lose autofocus. I have used the Tamron 1.4x on the 50-500 quite a bit with good results. You have to stop down a click or two, of course, which necessitates dialing up the ISO, but it works.

You might get by with a 1.4x on your 70-300, as long as your standards are not too high. If you are going to try a 2x on the Sigma 18-125, you'll need to really lower your expectations. A better idea might be the Sigma or Tamron 18-200mm lenses, which will give you almost the reach of 2x on the 125. I wouldn't recommend a 2x on any zoom, really. A high quality 2x on a high quality prime may be OK.

Vivitar was once a lens manufacturer. I think now they just relabel Chinese lenses with their name. As far as I can tell, that's all Phoenix ever did. I once made the mistake of buying cheap lenses just to have a lens in a given focal length range. I don't do that or suggest it any more. It is better to use what you have and save for better lenses. I spent a year with a Nikon F and 50mm F1.4 as my only lens. I've just ordered a Canon 35mm F/2 for my DSLR to try to replicate that experience.
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