Decisions....

Discuss lenses & accessories for your camera...

Decisions....

Postby JoePhoto » Nov Tue 07, 2006 5:24 am

I'm jonesing for some new glass and will probably buy one or two new Canon lenses before too long. Since I'm at a crossroads on a few - I figured I'd share my pain here for your opinions.

Currently I have:
5D
50mm f/1.4 USM
24-70mm f/2.8 L
70-200mm f/2.8 L IS

I'm waiting for February to see if Canon is putting out any new bodies. I want another 5D, but I'm in holding pattern at the moment.

The glass I'm looking at are for several different purposes.

I need a macro lens before too long. The 500D filter isn't cutting it. But I don't want to pay a lot for my muffler, as it would only be used few and far between.
Tamron (yes, Tamron!) 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 $450 after rebate

I'm really into natural light at weddings, so naturally the two that I want the most right now are primes:
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L $1,135
Canon 135mm f/2 L $875 after rebate


It's inevitable that I'll also get an 85mm... but which one? There is no middle ground!
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L $1,950 after rebate
Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM $320 after rebate


And lastly I need a fish: Performance is the same... do I stay a Canon lens snob!?
Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fishy $550 after rebate
Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fishy $500


So If anyone has experience or opinions about these lenses, please share them. I've read many reviews and have narrowed my search down to these. Thanks!
Joe H.
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Postby Talvan » Nov Thu 09, 2006 2:56 pm

On the fish I would suggest staying Canon since there is only a $50 difference between it and the Sigma, and the Canon will hold resale better.
Sincerely,
John Talvan
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Postby mattchase » Nov Thu 09, 2006 3:35 pm

I was thinking the same on the fisheye. If the performance is the same but the Canon is "only" $50 more, I would choose the Canon. If it were $100 more...I would have to think about it.

I would go with the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro at $470, it is actually less than the Tamron before rebate, and since it has a rebate right now it ends up being less.

What about this thought, Sigma has a 150mm 2.8 macro lens, could that fit the bill for both your macro and your 135mm needs? It's a bit longer and loses some light compared to the 135mm and would be heavier than the 100mm macro, but if it is anything like my Sigma 70-200 it should be a very good, sharp lens (being a prime, I would expect even sharper).

Finally the 85mm question. If you don't reeeeaaaallly need the 1.2 aperture, I would be hard pressed to go with the 1.2 lens. If the price was only twice as much (only!), I would consider it. But from what I have read the 85 1.8 is only a little lower in the MTF charts at equal apertures compared to the 85 1.2. And since you have the 50 1.4, you already have a decent benchmark, as again from the MTF charts I have seen the 85 1.8 is just a bit below the 50 1.4 in resolution, with the 85 1.2 being in between them. I've also read that the AF is very good with the 85 1.8, that it is better than the 50 1.4, if that is of concern. I have also read that CA with the 85 1.2 and 1.8 is well controlled, but that the 1.8 version shows some purple fringe in high contrast situations. I know which lens I would buy, but you are in a different situation so this one is harder to make a good recommendation on.

BTW, I'm not sure how closely you've looked at Canon's rebate program, but it's pretty cool. The best thing is if you buy more than one item, each one will have double the normal rebate amount! Check this link http://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/R ... _condi.pdf

So if you buy the Canon 15mm fish there is a $30 rebate, and the 100mm macro has a $30 rebate, but if you buy both you would get a $120 rebate. That's some good math. :)
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Postby JoePhoto » Nov Sat 11, 2006 10:19 pm

Thanks for thr input. I didn't read the rebate fine print! They double!?!?!? Awsome!

The Fisheye decision was made... I didn't get one. I got a used Sigma 14mm f/2.8 non-fish for $400 so I can fish it if I want in post, but I don't have to worry about de-fishing the images.

I think I'll probably get the 35mm f/1.4 next.

Regarding the macro, I think I want a dedicated lens for macros. Macros don't perform as well on the long end as this portrait lens would. The 135mm f/2's photos have a very unique look and is a blazing fast AF'ing lens. It's also one of Canon's sharpest (see MTF - sickening!) lenses.

I didn't even think to look for the rebates on the Canon macro lens... thanks - I'm a lens snob at heart and will buy "Brand" whenever possible, but macro is not a specialty for me, it's an "I need a decent one for weddings" lens. The 500D filter isn't cutting it with regards to getting critical focus on the job. For now, I went back to using my Nikkor 28-105 1:2 macro on the D2x for rings, etc. It's decent, but not up to par with a 1:1 macro prime.
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Postby SharpShooter10D » Nov Mon 13, 2006 12:07 pm

Hey Joe,

I wished I owned some of the lenses you have posted that you are considering but unforatunately I dont.

How ever I used this fellows reviews to get a little idea of what the lenses I am considering might do.

I looked up the 85mm F1.2 and F1.8 and both get good reviews but the F1.2 seemed to be even better.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM Lens Review

I must say.....I almost would want this lens just for it's looks you mount this on your camera and I garuntee those who see it wont have to guees which lens it is.

BIG GLASS!

Hope this helps.

Have a great day

Randy
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Postby JoePhoto » Nov Fri 17, 2006 2:43 am

Ok - went all out of order and spontaneously bought the Canon 100mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro. It's amazingly sharp all the way down to f/2.8, especially close up! Seems like all you do is adjust the DOF by changing the f-stop! It's not bad as a portrait lens either. I was very surprized to see how good this lens was for medium distance portraits, especially for not being an L lens - it's plenty sharp. The AF isn't wonderful and needs to be limited to be used in low light as a portrait lens. It still hunts a bit in low light and like most macro lenses, doesn't doesn't exactly shine when working near 1:1. But most people manually focus when working that close, and manually focusing this lens is very easy (to see)!

As a result, I'm going to offer up my Canon 77mm 500D macro filter (will fit on any manufacturers 77mm lens) for sale.

I think I still want the 135mm f/2L, but having the 100mm and the 70-200IS, I think the next two pieces of glass on my list are the 35mm f/1.4L and the 85mm f/1.2L.

Randy, I've been studying the 85's for a while now and I'm deffinitely getting the f/1.2L II. The major difference in performance between the 85mm 1.2 and 1.8 is the AF speed on the 1.8 is a lot faster than even the Mark II version of the 1.2. The 1.2 gives the extra 1/2 stop though. It also dropped in price almost $500 since introduction and after a single rebate is 'only' $1,780! Actually, the 85/1.8 is damn good for the price and every Canon shooter should have it!
Joe H.
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