Another lens question

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Feezor, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys I have a lens question.

    I am looking into getting a 180mm macro. I have been looking at the Canon and the 3rd party lenses.

    I can find the Canon lens for $1100 used but "excellent" condition however the lens new is only another $260 dollars. Is there really any advantage or disadvantage to buying brand new? I mean when spending that much money another $260 isn't a huge amount.

    Or should I keep looking at the 3rd party lens for cheaper?

    Like the Sigma is $700. But I guess I am just stuck on "but the Canon is an "L" lens"


    Kind of undecided but I know one of these will be my next lens so I want to do the research because I am hoping to buy within 2-3 months so I have plenty of time to buy and save up
     
  2. stockdogtta

    stockdogtta TPF Noob!

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  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A new lens will come with the warranty cards, the tripod collar, the hood, the lens bag, and any documentation that would normally come with it.
    (And, of course, both caps.)

    A used lens probably will not have the warranty cards. (Technically, the warranty is only for the original purchaser anyway. How they would prove that wasn't you (assuming the cards were still blank), I don't know.)

    The used one may or may not come with any of that...

    All I would really expect to come with a used lens are the caps.

    The hood costs $40.
    The tripod collar costs $140.
    The bag costs $54.

    If you had to buy all that stuff, there goes the savings of the used lens...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  4. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dont know of anyone who uses the bag that comes with the lens. Most people, if they bought the lens new, used the tripod collar, so the lenses usually still come with them. The warrenty is always a plus, but I find it not to be a necessity in most cases. Something that would be good to have though. As for the Sigma, it is an EX lens. This meaning that it is part of Sigmas Professional line of lenses. Im not familiar with Canon terms, but I thought that the L meant the same thing for Canon lenses. Generally speaking, Tamron's line of Macro lenses are optically superior to Sigma, however slightly, but still better. Sigma's macro lenses are generally better in terms of AF. I do, however, have the Sigma 105mm Macro and absolutely love it. When shooting macro, you dont usually use AF, but I still find the AF to be great outdoors on the sigma. The optics are great. I cant say anything about the Tamron, but I do know that the optics are spectacular. Also, sigma's 150 and 180mm Macro lenses are HSM models. This is the same as Nikon's AF-s and I believe Canon's EF-S (or USM?). Again, I dont know much about Canon's termanology, but I believe that's correct.

    Now that the subject of third-party lenses are taken care of, generally speaking, 'brand name' glass (meaning lenses, not the actual glass elements..) is generally thought of as being superior to the third-party lenses. Again, I dont know much about Canon, as I shoot Nikon, but this is usually the case, especially with Macro. I would just search and search and search for photos and reviews of the lenses you are thinking about. I do know that both Sigma and Tamron 180mm Macro lenses are great lenses, having Sigma's 150mm Macro being slightly superior to their 180mm.

    Sigma_180mm_F/3.5_w/Canon_500D

    Tamron_180mm_F/3.5

    Canon_180mm_F/3.5

    Hope I helped a little
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Sigma's 150mm and 180mm macros are highly thought of. I own the 180/3.5 EX Macro,and it's got excellent optics. I prefer the longer, 180mm macro to my 90 and 100mm macro lenses, for most uses.
     
  6. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    All of those idea's are good things for me to consider so thank you for the input!

    And markw the canon "L" lens is thier professional line so you are correct in that.

    I guess to me after doing the research many people seem to have 3rd party lens. I just seem to be getting caught up in the "wow factor" of having another "L" lens for some reason and thinking just because it is a canon lens and an "L" lens at that it will be the best.

    I dont know if I am just caught up in the advertisement or if it is something serious that the Canon lens is really better

    Oh and a side note, when shooting macro I rarely use AF so thats not a really big issue for me. However I would like to have some sort of image stabilization which the Canon is lacking but without using it I am unsure if that will become an issue using shutter speeds of 1/200-1/250 on average.

    So maybe that might give someone something else to give me to think about
     
  7. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On the used lens tip: Ive personally never been able to go the used route. But thats because (as above) the difference in price is nominal. I have a tendency to baby my gear. And Im never confident that others do the same.

    Of course Id probably consider used if I was in the market for $15,000 600mm or such.
     
  9. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I disagree with Mark's statement about the differences between 3rd party and "name brand" lenses being more present in macro. I believe it is less of a difference in macro than in anything else. It has been proven time and time again that in a sharpness contrast test, the Tamron 90 is on par if not trumping the 105mm VR from Nikon. Same goes with the longer lenses with the Sigma 150mm being one of the most sought after longer macro's. My Tamron 180mm is on par with every other macro lens in the 150-180mm in terms of sharpness as well. If there is any one area that the difference with a 3rd party lens is negligable, it is with macro. Pretty much every true macro lens is going to be so sharp that the differences will be minute.


    I went a step further and bought a used 3rd party macro and couldn't be happier. For $500 I have a 180mm macro which I believe you couldn't tell the differences in my photos verses a Canon 180mm macro...and if you did it would be down to user error and not the fault of the lens (180mm macros are not easy to shoot).

    Edit: Feel free to view my site if you want to see what an "inferior" 3rd party macro can do. The bokeh and sharpness of this lens is arguably unbeatable in the f/11-f/13 range.
     
  10. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe I should have clarified. I didnt mean optics when I said they were better. I meant build quality, reliability, and features-wise. For example, Sigma is known for having bad quality control and sometimes it takes multiple tries to get a 'good' copy of a lens. This generally doesnt happen with the 'brand name' lens companies. Also, the 'brand name' companies have macro lenses with some sort of image stabilization. Im sure this could come in handy sometimes. Im not sure about the Tamron line because Ive never owned one before, but I do own the Sigma 105 and have used the Nikon 105. I believe the Nikon is built better. The Sigma is no slouch by any means, but I do like the feel of sturdiness seen by the Nikon better. In these ways, I do believe that the 'name brand' lenses come off to an advantage:
    Company reliability
    Build Quality
    Lens Features (VR/IS)
    I should have specified that. I knew I forgot something. The Tamron 90mm Macro is known for having some of the best optics around, I will agree with that. Anyways, just wanted to clear that up. I didnt mean that third party lenses are inferior optically in any way, sorry about the mix up :oops:.

    Mark
     
  11. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I am aware of the quality control issues with Sigma and sometimes even tamron...but this proves my point further. I have not heard of any quality control issues or sample variations with the Sigma 150mm or any of the 3rd party 180mm macro. The variations are minimal at most on these unlike some of the other lenses such as a 50mm f1.4 or 17-50/18-50 where sample variation is common.

    I'll agree with you on one thing....build quality is almost always going to be much better with the Canon/Nikon variant over the Tamron/Sigma versions...(though exceptions are present). In regards to IS....I think this is useless in macro when you approach 1:1...however, we don't always shoot at 1:1 and I can see it being helpful on some butterfly shots (though I personally still MF). I can see IS being useful, but not 500-600 dollars useful....of course that's my personal opinion and others will find it worth that money.

    I think the main thing we can agree on is that you can't really buy a bad macro lens (true macro) it just depends on what your budget allows and what features you find most important.
     
  12. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Written in red..
     

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