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General advice please - non-Canon lenses on a Canon

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    6 May 2012 - 10:42 AM

    Hi there

    I've been a Canon owner for years (AE1 way back, more recently the 300D, 50D and now about to go for the 5D MkIII) and have always stuck with Canon lenses. However, I've been looking at the really long zooms and there appear to be some good non-Canon lenses that don't break the bank. What are the disadvantages of going down that route, what am I sacrificing?



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    Carabosse e2 Member 1139445 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
    6 May 2012 - 1:43 PM

    Which non-Canon lenses did you have in mind?

    killwilly  4 United Kingdom
    6 May 2012 - 2:28 PM

    Take a look at the Sigma 150-500, it's a great lens for the money. There is a bit of a learning curve with this monster, but once you learn how to use it properly you will love it. Great for birding, wildlife and lunar photography.

    7 May 2012 - 3:56 PM

    Sorry, I didn't phrase my question particularly well, I was referring to the way they operate, for example, will auto-focusing and metering work, etc? And yes, the Sigma 150-500 was one I had in mind.

    7 May 2012 - 4:09 PM

    Quote: for example, will auto-focusing and metering work, etc?

    Should work fine.

    10 May 2012 - 11:24 AM

    Many thanks for the response.

    classcams  5117 forum posts
    17 May 2012 - 7:44 PM

    I find TAMRON lens to be the third party choice.

    ARI  11503 forum posts United Kingdom
    19 May 2012 - 11:44 AM

    Once u start going into very pixel count ie 15 million coupled with excellent sensors, the camera bodies are unforgiveing in exposing the weakness of the lens, ie consumer glass (eg canon's own and independant). I no longer use the indpendant lens as I have moved over to using Canon L lens from when I got the first 5D (still in use) along with a couple of 7D. The 5D showed up weaknesses in my Sigma APO grade glass (eg 70-300, 500 f4.5, tamron 90mm macro). Since u are getting a 5Dmklll a top drawer body, I am rather surprised that u are concidering Sigma and Tameron. I would concider the canon EF 70-200 f2.8 mk ll coupled with the EFx2 converter (working range of 70 thru 400) to get the best from the 5Dmklll. A good walkabout combination. Improved contrast, sesoultion, fast af and exellent IS. I use this combination and am very pleased. If need be, spend the money on the best glass first and later get the body. Glass and sensor maketh the picture.
    My 2p worth of opinion

    20 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

    Thank you Ari, you make a very valid point. I really value your comments and agree regarding the quality of Canon L lenses. I have three already and bought the lens you mention at the same time as the 5D Mk III! I don't have any converters yet so that's a useful recommendation. Many thanks.


    22 May 2012 - 5:38 AM

    Third party lenses designed to be compatible with a Canon will work perfectly.

    With lenses you generally get what you pay for, but with Sigma you can add about 20% to the cost to equate to a similar Canon lens. i.e a 500 Sigma should optically match a 600 Canon.

    Of course, some Sigmas are more expensive than the nearest Canon equivalent and this is usually an indication that they far surpass the Canon in optical quality.

    Same applies to other prime brands such as Nikon.

    But a 200 Sigma is unlikely to match as 800 Canon or Nikon. So it often is more a case of what you can afford than any microdifferences in quality. Most of the time you won't notice anyway.

    GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
    22 May 2012 - 6:56 AM

    Quote: Of course, some Sigmas are more expensive than the nearest Canon equivalent and this is usually an indication that they far surpass the Canon in optical quality.

    Careful, you may be hanged, drawn and quartered for coming out with such sacrilegious statements. Wink

    BobbieBoy  8 United Kingdom
    22 May 2012 - 9:56 AM

    Got to say i use a Sigma 120-400 and have had great results from it, OK it's not a fast aperture but in good light and mounted on a gimbal for steadiness you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference. How many people (maybe you) go above A3+ or do all photograhers want to aspire to prof standards? i have viewed many a great picture from an accomplished amateur.

    mikehit  56473 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    22 May 2012 - 12:11 PM

    There are some damned good Sigma/Tamron alternatives out there:for example, reading the various fora, some people reckon the Sigma 15-500 outperforms the Canon 100-400.
    The only drawback is that the lens you buy now may not work on a newer model if you are ever fortunate enough to be able to upgrade. But that also means you need to be careful if the third-party lens you buy is 'old stock'.

    etaf  13
    23 May 2012 - 11:18 AM

    having recently had some disappointment with a Tamron lens i purchased 10days ago - I would see if your local shop would allow you take take a few shots on different lens and compare on a laptop - I did this yesterday with a Tamron zoom, canon zoom, and L lens (which was way outside my price range) but thought maybe good as a bench mark - i saw an immediate difference between the Tamron 17-270 and the canon 18-200
    but as said before with that type of body, you are into high quality glass , otherwise I guess you would have stayed with the 50D

    so my advice see if you can take a few shots and compare

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