Click to See Complete Forum and Search --> : Lenses, What's in a Name?

06-15-2005, 08:06 PM
I am looking for a new lens. I am thinking about this monster (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=149&modelid=9802), but I am not sure if I need something that expensive.

My main question I have is: Why are all the other brands so inexpensive? (http://www.pricegrabber.com/search.php?form_keyword=28-300mm+canon&topcat_id=11)

We are not talking a few hundred dollars here, more like $1,700.00 USD. :yikes:

06-15-2005, 08:17 PM
I asked a professional photographer friend of mine about this before purchasing my sigma lense. He told me to go for it.... the difference is minute. I use the sigma and love it. I say get the specs you want from a reputable thrird party if you can.

06-15-2005, 10:30 PM
Honestly the returns of spending more money on a lens diminish but they are real, there are so many different variations in quality in a lens, from case build to glass coatings. The more you pay for a lens the better it is, but the canon isn't going to be 1700 dollars better than the sigma, but it is going to be better. It's not just about brand names, canon produce equivalently priced lenses to sigma and tamron most of the time, you have to compare like with like, but a lot of the time the third party lenses are better value, the tamron 28-75 with a constant f2.8 is an amazing value lens for example, but then so is the canon 50mm prime, probably the cheapest lens you can buy but with the image quality of something that could cost youten times as much.

Cheap to moderate lenses, those under $1000 say, will be of variable quality no matter who the manufacturer is, some people find great copies, other people I know have been through 5 or 6 different copies until they find a good one so shop around. I recently compared a tamron 28-75 with a canon 17-40L and a canon 16-35L, each is about twice the price of the other, tamron's $450, 17-40 $1000 and the 16-35 $1900 (canadian prices). The difference in image quality with the cheap and moderate lenses was noticeable but not massive, the thing that made the difference for me was the build quality and AF speed, the 17-40L was so much nicer to use and much faster to focus. It was also bigger. The 16-35L was really in a league of its own. If I had the money I'd buy it but I don't know if I'd spend the extra cash to get something like the 17-40 instead of the Tamron.

There are lenses that sell for tens of thousands of dollars and a thriving second-hand market for them. I know of one canon lens (a 500mm prime I think) that has appreciated greatly in value on the second-hand market after canon stopped making it.

I can understand why people are prepared to pay so much for the best 'glass', if you can afford it and your images are important to you, then it's worth it. There are great lenses to be found for under $1000, just like you can get some great wines for less than $6, but you can also get some real vinegars.

It's worth noting that if you buy a prime lens you'll be getting a much better deal. Without all the complications of a zoom system manufacturers can concentrate on the optics and I'd say the $100 50mm f1.8 (from canon or nikon) produces better images than most $1000 zoom lenses can at the same length. Of course if you knock it against a wall accidentally it'll fall apart but you can buy another :)

btw, there are some good reviews here (http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/), though they're a pretty snobby bunch over at FM you'll find a lot of reasonable comments, just ignore the ones like "the autofocus motor sounds like a lawnmower" it just means it makes a noise, more expensive lenses are practically silent. If you compare the reviews between the Tamron AF28-300MM (http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=247&sort=7&cat=43&page=1), the Sigma 28-300 (http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=183&sort=7&cat=37&page=2) and the canon 28-300 (http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=217&sort=7&cat=27&page=3) you'll get a good idea of what the differences are in the products and be able to decide for yourself what's important to you.

06-16-2005, 03:41 AM
Yeah, I've been looking into geting a longer lens for bird and wildlife photography. Looking mainly at some of the sigmas as an alternative, but I have decided to stick with canon. Namely:EF 400mm f/5.6L USM (http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=154&modelid=7314) coupled with the 1.4x extender this should give me a good ranged lens, and if I buy it in america when I go in a few weeks *checks no airport tax people lurking about* hopefully I can get it for 2/3 english price.

But I mean its not always the case, I've been also looking at getting a macro (use my dads at the moment) and

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Tamron SP AF90MM F/2.8 Di Macro

Are very evenly reviewed and priced, in fact I think the canon is a little cheaper in this case.

I think you have to jusdge each lens on its merits and Ignore the branding.

06-16-2005, 01:39 PM
Thanks guys, lots of information, and a GREAT resource.

This forum ROCKS!!!

06-16-2005, 02:10 PM
i got a Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III USM a little while ago, it replaced the Sigma 70-210mm i had that broke.

other than obvious differences, the quality of image at similer scopes are very little, one thing i did notice is the Sigma auto focus seemed to hunt more than the Canon which seemed to focus quicker, as well as motor on the Sigma being more noisey, the Canon also feels a little more balanced for hand held use (lighter maybe).

just my observation of personal experiance, in the end you buy what you afford and get what you pay for i suppose, but i agree the top end of the price range can be a little to much for such little difference. ;)

06-16-2005, 08:01 PM
It's worth noting that if you buy a prime lens you'll be getting a much better deal

06-17-2005, 04:23 AM
i got a Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III USM a little while ago, it replaced the Sigma 70-210mm i had that broke.

I have the I.S. version of that lens and although its great for the price. Do you not find it quite soft at 300mm. Its great if you drop it down to 200ish but above that the quality loss, i think, is noticable.

06-17-2005, 03:17 PM
to be truthful, i have nothing else to compare it too, as its the first camera i had with a 300mm.
But i'm happy with it so far.

i'll see if i can route out a 300mm shot to post up...