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Old Jul 9, 2006, 5:27 PM   #1
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Did a lot of photography 30 years ago with Pentax equipment but since then have only been using point and shoot.

Thinking of starting again (amateur interest only) and considering buying EOS 30D.

Not sure about lenses- too much choice. Possibly EF 24-105 f/4 L IS USM and EF 70-300 f/4.5 5.6 DO IS. Or would EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM be better for the smaller zoom? Going on safari holiday to S.Africa soon so that is a (minor) consideration.

Any general advice/observations would be greatly appreciated before spending considerable sums of money.

Thanks Ian
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 8:39 PM   #2
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I think the wider 17mm end of the 17-85 would come in handy as a general "walk around" lens.

Beyond that, you could look at a 70-200 telephoto. Sigma makes a nice F2.8 70-200.

- Terry
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:30 PM   #3
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If you don't care much about build quality, you can try the EF 70-300 non-DO IS. It has a very similiar optical performance at a much lower cost.

I could also agree on terry's recommendation. But if you don't have a need for a fast aperture tele lens, then I'll suggest the sigma 100-300 f/4; supposidely one of the company's best lenses.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...00_4/index.htm
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 6:30 AM   #4
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BoYFrMSpC wrote:
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... But if you don't have a need for a fast aperture tele lens, then I'll suggest the sigma 100-300 f/4; supposidely one of the company's best lenses.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...00_4/index.htm
You want to mean IS right ?
-> Because the Sigma 100-300 @ constant f/4 is faster, also the only one that will work with a 1.4x TC and maintain AF because of this faster aperture, and still exceed the L in resolution...


BTW I would also suggest the Sigma 18-125 instead of the 17-85: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic2/143791
-> It's more flexible and according to the Imatest on Photozone, it outperforms the 17-85 in resolution, seems to control CA better, and vignette less...
You might want to check the 18-125's MTF against the full-frame 24-105 L as well :idea:
IMO this combination is hard to beat: 18 to 420mm on two lenses with very high IQ and quite reasonable in cost to boot!
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 9:15 AM   #5
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My two main lenses are the 17-85 and 70-300 DO.

When I bought them for my 20D there wasn't nearly as much choice as there is now, and they were more expensive too.

Today I would get:

1. 17-85 IS USM

2. 70-300 (non-DO) IS USM or Sigma 100-300 f4 EX HSM

3. DXO Optics Pro

1. The price of the 17-85 has come down a lot since it first came out. The IS is not especially useful, but is moderately so. But the USM - i.e. high speed focus is very good and to me makes it overall a better lens than the Sigma 18-125. Particularly combined with #3 which makes short work of any vignetting and CA. Although I must say I have never seen ANYCA frommy 17-85; on the web I have seen examples and in tests, so perhaps there is copy-to-copy variation and I got lucky. There are some good contenders in this space but to me the 17-85 has just the right combination of features to make it the best all-rounder.

2. The DO is a very nice lens but for less than half the price I would now go for the non-DO. And combined with #3 again I think it is an excellent choice. The Sigma is a very nice lens too, and it really just depends whether you want the IS or not and whether you are willing to pay the extra for the Sigma.

3. Essential software upgrade for your lenses.

The 17-300 range gives an effective focal length coverage of 27-480mm in 35mm terms. And at everything below ISO800 you don't need to even slightly worry about noiseso the moderate speed of the lenses combined with IS makes them faster in practice than they look.

ISO1600 and ISO3200 clean up very nicely with DXO, NeatImage or NoiseNinja, so no need to worry about them either.

Two other things you will probably want in short order:

4. Flashgun - I'd go for the Canon 430, I have the Sigma DG Super and am not a big fan.

5. A fast "normal" prime. I have the 28mm f1.8, but the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is also a good choice.




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Old Jul 10, 2006, 10:14 AM   #6
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S/W to fix a H/W problem hey? (I've seen a lot of theses @ work too)

Again peripatetic is probably right on... but some folks don't have that option, the EF-S just doesn't fit on my 10D, but the Sigma seems to fit and work somewhat on the larger bodies (i.e. 1D mrkII) :lol: :-):G
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 4:16 PM   #7
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If money is too much of a problem I would go with the 17-85 and the 100-300 f4 Sigma.I started out with the 18-55 Canon kit lens and the Sigma 70-300 APO and loved the sigma.I used these 2 lenses because of 2 things,it gave me a real nice range for a small price so I could learn what I would like to do with the 20D.I have moved on to a 24-70 F2.8 Sigma EX and a 100-300 F4 Sigma EX.I bought these 2 lenses as they are cheaper then their corrisonding Canon lenses and from what I have read and heard the 100-300F4 Sigma is one of the sharpest lenses out there.It actually rivals some L lenses.I wouldnt hesitate to recommend the 100-300F4 as it has performed excellent for me sofar.I am also looking foward to trying it out with a 1.4 converter.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 11:02 PM   #8
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Lots of people plugging for the 17-85 IS here, but there are other options if you want speed instead of the IS on your main lens.
I have the sigma 18-50f2.8 and can strongly recommend it. It's cheaper than the 17-85 by some margin, is optically comparable and the extra 1-2 stops compensate somewhat for the lack of IS. It's also built better and comes with a case and hood. On the other hand, the autofocus motor is not as good and it has a smaller range.
Recently tamron have put out a similiar specced lens that is supposed to be even better and I believe tokina have one too. All three would be worth looking at.
For a tele zoom the sigma 100-300f4 and 70-200f2.8 probably have the best optics-per-dollar. The non DO canon IS zoom is more convenient though with the excellent IS to make up for it's lack of speed. It's also much smaller and lighter than the faster lenses. IS makes a lot more difference at longer focal lengths.
You seem to have the money so you might want to look into an ultra-wide too. Canon do a 10-22 and sigma a 10-20 that both get great write-ups.
If I were buying again and could afford the 24-105L and the DO I think I would get the sigma 10-20 (the canon might be better but feels so flimsy in comparison), one of the f2.8 standard zooms and the non-DO canon IS zoom. The 24-105 doesn't make much sense to me at the price for a small sensor camera. The range isn't the most useful and you're paying for corner-to-corner goodness that your sensor can't see.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 2:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
S/W to fix a H/W problem hey? (I've seen a lot of theses @ work too)
Of course, that's the beauty of digital.

Actually I think that DXO is amazing software and IMO will give an optical upgrade to a cheap lens that makes its performance very close to the high-end lenses without DXO.

Of course once you know about it, you will use DXO on the high-end lenses too, so they maintain their advantage.

But atthe price of a cheap lens it's possible to upgrade all your lenses. I'm a big fan.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 6:02 AM   #10
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jacks wrote:
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... and the DO I think I would get the sigma 10-20 (the canon might be better but feels so flimsy in comparison)...
I would agree with you as well...
However according to Imatest on Photozone the Sigma is better (not the thother way around) as other subjective users on line have suggested - Just check it out:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...3545/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len..._456/index.htm

Canon:
10mm f/3.5 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
Center 1818 2003 1890,5 1771
Border 1404,5 1527 1576,5 1537
Extreme 1509,5 1576,5 1619 1562,5

Sigma:
10mm f/3.5 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
Center 2018 2089 2040 1861,5
Border 1635 1714 1736 1650
Extreme 1534 1702 1777 1669,5
The Sigma 10-20 bests the Canon 10-22 at every other focal lenght as well and have a better CA control to boot :idea:
The only advantage on the Canon is the USM, but remember this is a WA - how fast are you going to be shootinf landscape, would you prefer a better lens optically (forget about construction - they are both plastic/polycarbonate)?

-> Folks usually assume 'Canon' is better optically, but it ain't neccessary so according to objective data as the above examples illustrated: both the Sigma 18-125 and the 10-20 outscore the Canon's versions in both resolution and CA!!!
... and I you can use the S/W to improve upon them too if you need

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