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Too much to ask in one lens? #33384
01/14/11 07:13 AM
01/14/11 07:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Portland, Oregon
Tyler Offline OP
Venturer
Tyler  Offline OP
Venturer

Joined: Feb 2009
Portland, Oregon
I've had a big hole in my camera bag for a while, so I'm trying to find the lens to fill the role. I want something that will be my main 'walkabout lens' for the Aussies out there. A lens that can be better than my current Standard Lens I use for waterfall/scenic shots. In addition, I wanted to be able to do some more portrait type pictures of people and my cats.

I am very happy with the two Sigma lenses I bought 2 years ago, a 150mm 2.8 Macro and a 100-300mm f4. My feeling about them has been great build quality, and a performance to cost ratio that fits me. I understand they are only about 85% the lens of a more expensive canon or nikor lens, but they are usually 25% the cost.

So I'm pretty close to buying THIS lens for $400. Anyone else have an opinion on Sigma lenses, or something else that may be good for what I'm looking for but under $600?

Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33385
01/14/11 07:10 PM
01/14/11 07:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Tyler,
I can't talk about that particular lens but I can discuss the focal length: my most used lens is the Canon EFS 17-55 F2.8IS. It's what I use for show formals as well as many of the studio portraits I take.

As for Sigma lenses, I've used them for years and generally agree that they provide a very good price/performance ratio. Ten years ago, I purchased the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 AP DG EX HSM because I couldn't afford the Canon L equivalents. It was a great lens and even when coupled with the Sigma 1.4X Telextender, it provided amazingly sharp images. I still have several on my wall as 16X20 prints and when I compare them with prints made from the 70-200 F4L I purchased after the Sigma, I have to admit the Sigma images are sharper. All of which underscores that all manufacturers are capable of making really good lenses but manufacturing variability can make a truly great lens not quite as great. Oh, and Sigma lenses are built like the proverbial tank.

Good luck.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Jim Garvie] #33386
01/15/11 05:31 PM
01/15/11 05:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Tyler,

I have had really hit and miss experiences with the Sigma lenses that I have purchased. The 15-30 F3.5-F4.5 was probably the best wide angle lens that I ever owned, at least in terms of sharpness - even better than my Canon 16-35 wide open. I got rid of it because the focus mechanism was really slow.

I owned the 28-70 F2.8 Sigma and I had to get 3 copies before I got a good one. I wound up dumping it for the 28-135 IS, which while being slower (lens wise) still had a significantly faster focus engine on it. I then went to the 28-70 F2.8 Canon lens, which I own to this day (I purchased it about 3 weeks before the 24-70 was announced, LOL).

I still own a 15 F2.8 fish eye that I use for certain things, but it is usually collecting dust (I did break it out during a pet portrait last month, but that was the first time in a while). I think it is a good lens - certainly for the money.

So the long and the short of it is that while I cannot comment on this particular lens, the specs look great. The fact that it is OS is really nice. However, my experience owning Sigma lenses has been hit and miss - though I believe generally better hits than misses.

If you pick one up and want to test it out, let me know.

James

Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: James Morrissey] #33387
01/17/11 10:56 PM
01/17/11 10:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Portland, Oregon
Tyler Offline OP
Venturer
Tyler  Offline OP
Venturer

Joined: Feb 2009
Portland, Oregon
Quote:

I got rid of it because the focus mechanism was really slow.


James




Ya, the one thing I don't like about my 100-300 is its a bit slow to find the focus, even if it's really close. It likes to go to min focus distance, then back and stop at wherever the subject is. The counter to all that has been the focus rings themselves have such nice touch on them, that they're really easy to dial in manually. The only time it has been a nuisance is when I photograph hockey. the 150 macro is a bit faster and doesn't do the focal length shuffle dance first.

I'll probably be picking up the 17-70 within the month.

Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33388
01/18/11 04:14 AM
01/18/11 04:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Cool, Tyler. Please take notes and lots of photos. I am particularly curious to see how their OS works.

James

Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33389
01/20/11 03:33 AM
01/20/11 03:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
CA
StarrLight Offline
Veteran
StarrLight  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2009
CA
I have also been interested in this lens, please do let us know how you like it if you get it.
Diana


Quote:


So I'm pretty close to buying THIS lens for $400. Anyone else have an opinion on Sigma lenses, or something else that may be good for what I'm looking for but under $600?



Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33844
02/04/11 05:20 PM
02/04/11 05:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Alaska, USSR
B
bobmielke Offline
Wanderer
bobmielke  Offline
Wanderer
B

Joined: Sep 2008
Alaska, USSR
I've owned a lot of cameras & lenses in my time but none has come close to the Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VRII DX lens that I now keep on my D7000. It's sharp at both extremes and fast focusing. The VR allows me to hand hold shots at the 200mm focal length at 1/25" F5.6 at 1000 ISO.



Bob
Nikon D800
Nikon D7000 DSLR
Nikkor 85mm F/3.5 Micro, 18-200 F/3.5-5.6 VRII
Nikkor 24-70 F/2.8, 50mm F/1.4D, 70-300 F/4.0-5.6G
Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33845
02/04/11 06:19 PM
02/04/11 06:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Portland Oregon
RomanJohnston Offline
Pooh-Bah
RomanJohnston  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Sep 2005
Portland Oregon
There are some who say the 18-200 does everything ok, and nothing perfectly. I do understand the concept of the more you ask a lens to do, the more it detracts from its competency in other areas.

With that said. With the onset of digital photography, we have all started to analyze to the point of craziness.

I think the 18-200 is a great little lens and for all but the most critical uses should be more than most people need.

We should all just lower our standards down to the actual use of a product these days. And for this type of use. the 18-200 VR is as you have shown quite awesome.

Roman

Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: RomanJohnston] #33850
02/04/11 07:21 PM
02/04/11 07:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Alaska, USSR
B
bobmielke Offline
Wanderer
bobmielke  Offline
Wanderer
B

Joined: Sep 2008
Alaska, USSR
Being the original post asked for an every day, does it all lens I gave the 18-200mm as my choice. I also own a Nikkor 60mm F/2.8 Micro lens that is sharper and better for macro work & portraits but is a fixed focal length specialized lens.


Bob
Nikon D800
Nikon D7000 DSLR
Nikkor 85mm F/3.5 Micro, 18-200 F/3.5-5.6 VRII
Nikkor 24-70 F/2.8, 50mm F/1.4D, 70-300 F/4.0-5.6G
Re: Too much to ask in one lens? [Re: Tyler] #33858
02/05/11 01:30 PM
02/05/11 01:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
I also think about a lens with that zoom length would be fun to have. Chanthee used to keep a 28-200 on her old Nikon and it was definitely a great lens for a 'knock about' lens. That was certainly before VR so I can imagine it is even more useful now.

I am particularly interested on the Sigma that Tyler is looking at due to the OS and the price range.

James

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