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Author Topic: Canon IS vs Sigma/Tamron  (Read 5670 times)
awiseguy
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« on: September 20, 2005, 03:24:39 PM »
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Michael likes the Canon 17-85 IS, and so does about everyone else I've talked to.  However, Sigma and Tamron have recently come out with 17-200 lenses that are about 1/2 stop faster.  Outside, I'd make use of the extra length if it were available (generally for sports and distant architecture) but don't absolutely need it, but it wouldn't be much of a factor inside where I normally would be doing event photography (I like available light when possible).

I'd like to get just one lens at this time if possible.  Has anyone formed any opinions comparing these two lenses?
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 03:49:53 PM »
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The theory goes that a prime, i.e. non-zoom lens is a lens which has been designed for the purpose of it's focal length and is superior for that purpose. For example an 85mm lens is designed as a portrait lens and since it was made for that, is well suited to its purpose.

Since the late 80's (?), zoom lenses became popular among photographers for the versatility that they afforded. However the lenses were a compromise in that it is very hard to squeeze the best characteristics of each focal length into one lens. All sorts of technical issues arose and had to be dealt with.

Since the 90's, zoom lenses have come of age and are optically superb, however it is far harder to build a zoom lens than a prime and most still consider zooms a compromise optically compared to the equivelent prime lenses. Maybe not enough of a compromise to deter but still not quite as good in the majority of cases.

The more magnification a zoom has, the more technical issues have to be addressed. A monster lens such as the 28-300L lens is an example of such a super zoom, costs over $1500 and is probably still an optical compromise compared to smaller zooms, i.e. it will be less sharp in a side by side comparison.

Most pro photographers are even wary of lenses such as the 17-85 and 24-105L in that the zoom range is so high relatively.
I doubt that MR would chose the 17-85 IS over the 24-70L if optimum sharpness was needed. A 17-200mm zoom, especially as wide angle zooms are the very hardest to design, is a bunch of compromises on top of compromises. If it were to be a top of the range lens costing thousands of dollars and weighing in at 3kg then maybe. At the prices these lenses sell for I wouldn't touch one with a long bargepole! :cool:
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 03:56:57 PM »
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BTW this point is even more prevelant when you want to shoot indoor available light. For that you need fast (f2.8 minimum) lenses and as fast focusing as you can get. As a matter of interest, can you hold a lens at 200mm for available light? you should be shooting at 1/250 for that....
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awiseguy
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2005, 08:25:28 PM »
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MR actually said he liked the Canon lens quite a lot.  Inside with available light would only be at the wider focal lengths with shutter speeds generally around 1/60 or so.  I guess a more focused concern would be the effectiveness of IS vs having a slightly faster lens.
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jani
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2005, 02:12:49 AM »
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MR actually said he liked the Canon lens quite a lot.  Inside with available light would only be at the wider focal lengths with shutter speeds generally around 1/60 or so.  I guess a more focused concern would be the effectiveness of IS vs having a slightly faster lens.
IS is very effective for making low-light shots, but as has been mentioned time and time again, it doesn't help when your subject is moving.
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Jan
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2005, 03:41:47 AM »
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That is where the quality high ISO settings of modern DSLR's make the difference. If you need iso 1600 and f1.4 then you are getting into the realms of speciality photography.
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jani
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2005, 05:05:06 AM »
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That is where the quality high ISO settings of modern DSLR's make the difference. If you need iso 1600 and f1.4 then you are getting into the realms of speciality photography.
It's not so very special, IMO.

All you need to do, is to show up in a pub, nightclub, pool billiards saloon, or similar places with low lighting, and a desire not to use a flash. That's no more "speciality photography" than landscape photography.

The sadness is that f/1.4 has very limited use in itself, but it works for some portraiture, at least.

I'd find ISO 6400 useful. ::
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Jan
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2005, 07:55:31 AM »
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Agreed Jani.
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dazzajl
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 08:21:03 AM »
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Something else you may want to consider if you use autofocus is the speed with which each of these lenses locks on. I've not used either but in other focal lengths I have found the Canon lenses to be a little quicker and more decisive when focusing.

If you are shooting people then changing expressions are one of the fastest moving subjects out there. A few tenths or hundreths of a second off the shutter delay could make the difference between bang on and almost there in enough shots to make this a consideration.
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2005, 03:48:49 AM »
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If I were to buy only one lens I'd get the 17-40/4. Second choice would be 17-85 IS. Then again, why just one? The whole idea of SLR is that you can change lenses. There are very good P&S out there.

Also, I'd stay away from any hyperzoom lens.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2005, 10:34:21 AM »
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The 17-85 is pretty iffy up to about 24mm.  After that it is amazingly sharp.  (Contrast is iffy but quickly fixed in PP.)
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buykaplan
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2005, 09:24:46 AM »
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The 17-85 is pretty iffy up to about 24mm.  After that it is amazingly sharp.  (Contrast is iffy but quickly fixed in PP.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=51515\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
How do you adjust to correct the contrast on the 17-85mm IS and what needs to be done to set up a rebel xt for this lense?  I've purchased an xt body and have a Canon EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 usm from my old EOS.  Trying to decide between the new digital sigma 18-200 and the Canon 17- 85 IS.  There is a $250 difference is price.  But money aside, considering weight, size and performance which should I get? I travel a lot andconvenience and heft count,even if I would keep the oldlense for the rarelong lense situations.  In particular , what are the merits of the speed ofthe sigma versus the IS capability of the canon?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2005, 02:41:00 PM »
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Look for "Local Contrast" in the articles on this site.

Also, after reading some commentary about this lens at DP review, part of the softness is just all the CA.  Raw Shooter (Essentials or Premium) is pretty good at dealing with this.
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landlex
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2005, 03:58:11 PM »
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I admit that I struggle with my 17-65.  I have sent it in and Canon replace the IS system in it.  The trouble is with sharpness.  Yesterday, for example, I was shooting some family pictures outdoors and the autofocus struggled.  2 of 3 shots were out of focus.  I use a 20D.  I had anticipated that the IS would give me 2 to 3 stops but I have yet to see it.  Any thoughts?
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landlex
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2005, 03:59:17 PM »
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I admit that I struggle with my 17-65.  I have sent it in and Canon replace the IS system in it.  The trouble is with sharpness.  Yesterday, for example, I was shooting some family pictures outdoors and the autofocus struggled.  2 of 3 shots were out of focus.  I use a 20D.  I had anticipated that the IS would give me 2 to 3 stops but I have yet to see it.  Any thoughts?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52243\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Make that Canon 17-85 IS.  Thanks.
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2005, 01:16:06 AM »
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AF speed relates to the maximum aperture of the lens and the AF algorithm in the body. IS has nothing to do with this.

If you think the lens has any problem, first do a proper test, don't just take pictures.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
macgyver
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2005, 01:22:47 AM »
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AF speed relates to the maximum aperture of the lens and the AF algorithm in the body. IS has nothing to do with this.
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IS does effect AF speed in the sense that it takes around 1/2 second for the IS to kick in.
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2005, 01:31:29 AM »
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>> IS does effect AF speed in the sense that it takes around 1/2 second for the IS to kick in.

I don't think so. It may take you another 1/2 a second to see that you got the subject in focus but that has nothing to do with the AF speed of the lens/body combo.

And apart from that, think of it for a second . If that was true you'd be hearing all IS owners complaining about slower AF. The reason that you don't is that it doesn't.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
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