Do you have to buy Canon lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crowl31, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    I am looking at all the lens out there and I see the Sigma and Tamrons that cost A LOT LESS then the Canon lenes.

    Does anyone have any feed back on the non Canon brands?
     
  2. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    I haven't used either, but I understand from this forum and some reviews that some of the Sigma and Tamron lenses are on par or above the Canon equivalents, but you have to go case by case analyzing each alternative.

    You cannot say all Sigmas or Tamrons are good... like you cannot say aevery Canon is excelent.
     
  3. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    i have a sigma 70-300 and love it. Sigmas and Tamrons can be just as good as the canons and some say they are better. Some say they aren't, really hard to say. The price difference is usually because of the fact that its CANON and they have a big name, while sigma is not as famous they don't believe in having to over charge.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most brands have gems in their line up...and also some dogs. Canon makes some of the best lenses available, but also so pretty crappy ones.
    Sigma & Tamron also have very good lenses and some pretty bad ones as well. So you have to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

    At the top of the range, most will tell you that Canon's lenses are the best (for Canon cameras). The L series lenses are very very good...but you will pay a lot for them.
    You can get lenses with very similar specs, from Sigma or Tamron, but at a price that is often half that of the Canon.
    Specs don't often show image quality (or build quality) so there is the difference.

    Just how much better the Canon lens's are...is up for debate. It might be 5% better or it might be 40% better. You have to decide for yourself, whether or not that extra bit of image (and often build) quality is worth double or triple the price. For some people, it is. For many, it's not.

    So to sum up...you can get very good lenses from off-brand companies, at pretty good prices...but if you want the 'best' tool for the job...stick with top of the line lenses (and pay a lot for them).
     
  5. leila

    leila TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure. I use all canon lenses. my old photography teacher told us that Sigma and Tamron do not make their lenses for either Canon or Nikon and therefore you will not get the same quality pictures as with a lens specifically designed for the equipment. It made sense at the time. I definitely want a quality lens.
     
  6. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    I generally find (having been a photographer first with film SLRs and now with digital SLRs for a total of around 25 years) that manufacturer's own lenses are a lot better than independent lenses. Others may disagree but my experience has proven to me many times over that Nikon lenses are the best for Nikon cameras and Canon lenses are the best for Canon cameras. I have tried independents and found them sorely lacking. Vivitar was about the worst I'd tried followed by Miranda. Sigma was OK when I used a 600mm mirror lens but nobody can get a mirror lens wrong! Tamron was not that great aside from the 135mm AD2. I don't like my 17-35 Tamron or my 28-75 Tamron. I really detested my 70-300 Tamron. With Canon the only bad lens I have had is the kit lens and even that wasn't so bad - used within its limitations.
     
  7. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Not entirely true. They do make lenses to fit the canon and Nikon cameras. What is at issue is that Nikon and Canon do not release their propreitery design specs to off-brand manufacturers. What Sigma has done is reverse engineer their lenses to work with other manufacturers AF. There are some issues with third party lenses not working perfectly with certain cameras, Sigmas in particular. A chip swap is usually in order to correct this. So I've heard. Quality wise, you generally pay for what you get. The premium lenses are rather expensive compared to lesser quality glass. As Big Mike stated, all brands offer gems and dogs, so you do need to compare comparable lenses. Consider price range, build quality and image quality as the base standard. You really cannot comapre a Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L to a Sigma 24-70 EX DG. Both are their respective manufacturers top lenses, but in no way in the same ball park.
     
  8. Kawi_T

    Kawi_T TPF Noob!

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    You mention that the lens may be 5% better or maybe 40% better. It seems like you kinda threw that out there to say it might be a little better or a lot better. My question is, is there a quantitative way to analyze these lenses in a percent fashion like this?
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've met a few pros both on the Nikon and Canon side of the fence that shoot almost exclusively with Sigma lenses. On the other hand, I have no idea if they chose Sigma over Canon for sponsorship or as a personal choice.
     
  10. That One Guy

    That One Guy TPF Noob!

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    i have a couple of sigmas. pretty good lenses. like all brands they have good and bad.
     
  11. skipper34

    skipper34 TPF Noob!

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    Like has been said, there are good ones and not so good ones in all brands, Canon and Nikon included. I have Sigma and Tamrons which are outstanding as far as image quality, but are lacking somewhat in build quality compared to some of my Canon lenses. Truth be known, images taken with my best Canon and my best Sigma cannot be distinguished from each other without a trained eye. This means that my customers don't really care which lens is used, as long as they get their images. I do find however that the 3rd party lenses do not auto-focus nearly as fast as my Canon lenses, all things being equal. This in itself is ample reason to stay with the lenses from the manufacturer.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I did sort of throw that out there. There are plenty of actual tests and numbers that do try to quantify lens performance...I'm not into all that. I go by what I see and what I hear from other photographers.

    I have heard many 'old school' photographers say that they don't like off-brand lenses. That's understandable...off brand lenses haven't really been all that good until the last decade or so...from what I can tell. But now, companies like Sigma and Tamron really do have quality products and very competitive prices.
     

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