Lens choice dilemma

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by icassell, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    OK, I'm thinking of buying a prime for my Canon 30D. I have several zooms, but want that shallow DOF/beautiful bokeh/low-light ability afforded by an f1.4

    I'm going back and forth in my mind between the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and the Sigma 50mm f1.4 (I can't afford both, as much as I would like them :) )

    I shoot a wide range of subjects at both ranges -- my most used lens now is my 17-50.

    I'd love to hear arguments for both. I lean towards the 50 (partly because of the possibility of a ff camera in my life some time in the distant future), but it certainly ain't cheap! I made good use of the 50mm standard lens in my 35mm days which is a good arguement for the 30mm on my 1.6X sensor.

    Ian
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  2. amba

    amba TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi, apologies in advance...

    I have a recommendation at the end of the post, but before I get there I must voice once again the amount of disappintment I've had with the Sigma 30mm (true, that was on a Nikor system, not Canon).

    I've had the lens for over two years, and I'm tracking internet opinions on it for a long time. So by now I am confident that the problems I am seeing with it are very real, I am not just imagining things or doing something wrong with the lens, I am also pretty confident, after seeing the amout of heat I had to take after making posts just like this, that most of the units sold don't exhibit these problems, so my guess is, buying a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a lot like lottery (with pretty good chances of winning, i'd say > 90%, but you may still lose).

    The problem: inconsistent autofocus performance (accuracy). i have had a fair amount of downright blurred images with this lens. I own two other Nikon prime lenses (35mm f/2.0 and 50mm f/1.8) there's just no camparison in the amout of unfocused images I got with the two Nikons (actually I don't recall ever getting a bad image with any of those except when I knew I did something wrong) compared to what I had with the Sigma.

    Now, I admit I have a Nikon system, most other reports I've seen also refer to Sigma 30mm on a Nikon system, and, there are plenty of happy Nikon and Canon users alike using this lens. Most chances you will not have any problems, Just be cautious and test the lens before or right after you buy it.

    50mm vs 30mm on an APS-C sensor: out of the two Nikkor lenses that I have, on a DX sensor body, the 35mm lens, for me, is much more usefull than 50mm. I find 50mm too narrow most times, so, unless you're moving for a FF body pretty soon, I'd recommend the 30mm over the 50mm.
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks very much for that useful critique. I was reading the reviews on Amazon and there are a string of them that talk of focusing issues with the Sigma and some that say it is fine -- it's hard to determine whether or not it is just the disgruntled that post. As for the focal length, I was thinking the same thing -- 30 sounds more attractive than 50 to me. I guess that if I buy one, I'll just have to test it thoroughly before I accept it. Unfortunately the Canon 35mm f1.4 is about $1.5K on Amazon :(
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,438
    Likes Received:
    2,096
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think that owning the 35mm f1.4L is a two way street. Yes it is around $1500.00 but it is fast, very sharp, extremely well built and if you have a real need of it, it will last a lifetime. A lot of people shy away from expensive L glass because of the cost. I own the 35mm f1.4L along with a lot of other Canon L glass. If you buy wisely when purchasing L glass getting exactly what you need you will find that it will last you years and years and never leave you wanting. The hard part is in buying what you need.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,893
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    I understand that and appreciate it. I'm not a pro, so I don't really "NEED" anything and it is always difficult to decide where I'll get the most bang for the buck. $$ don't always buy you perfection either. I have some great 3rd party lenses that didn't cost me what L lenses would have, but I also wouldn't substitute for my Canon 100mm f2.8. At the price of a new 50D body which I would dearly love to own, the price of the 35mm L becomes harder to eat.

    Your thoughts are much appreciated.

    Ian
     
  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have been looking hard at the Sigma 50mm. It looks like top dog on the block. however, I would use the 50 for portraiture. Guess it depends on your needs, whether the 30 or 50 suits you better.

    Derrick
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,438
    Likes Received:
    2,096
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I can appreciate that point of view. L glass is not for everybody. Like I said, it comes down to need/desire for what you are shooting. I only pointed it out as I have seen too many times, people progress through the lens quality range ending up at a more expensive cost with a piece of L glass that they could have gotten much earlier at a lower cost.
     

Share This Page