Are Canon "L" lenses worth the extra cost?


steve_p 14 1.2k England
5 Jan 2009 7:31PM
I am asking for opinions on this.
I currently have 70-200F4L, and a 17-40F4L, along with a Sigma 10-20 and a Tamron 90mm Macro.
I also have a Sigma 18-125 which I use for holidays etc.

I am looking to reduce this number and I was considering the Sigma 18-200 OS.

I am not overcritical of image quality and the largest print would be 15x12. I know about the better build quality and AF of the L Lenses, but I would be reducing my total number of lenses to three.

I understand the compromises of the " superzoom " but am I going to be hugely disappointed ( The review of the Sigma on this site doesnt seem too bad!).
What do you lot on this site thinkSmile

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boony 13 978 3 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2009 8:01PM
if you arent bothered about image quality go for the super zoom , if youre a hamfisted git like me stick with the L lenses
agoreira 16 6.0k Wales
5 Jan 2009 8:03PM

Quote:
I am looking to reduce this number and I was considering the Sigma 18-200 OS.




Depends really whether you want to keep the best and just reduce the number of lenses, or sell the best to realise some money! The sigma 18-200 would not realise a great deal of cash, but that would be the first I would offload.
conrad 15 10.9k 116
5 Jan 2009 8:05PM

Quote:The sigma 18-200 would not realise a great deal of cash, but that would be the first I would offload.


Er... you got it backwards, that's the one he's thinking of buying!
elowes 15 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Jan 2009 8:29PM
Why?

Unless you off load one of the L lenses the money realised would be very little. What is the point in this exercise?
agoreira 16 6.0k Wales
5 Jan 2009 8:42PM

Quote:.Er... you got it backwards, that's the one he's thinking of buying!


Not for the first time! Wink As they used to tell us in exams, first read and ensure you understand the question!!!! Right, not only wouldn't I offload it, I wouldn't buy it either! Wink
MalcolmS Plus
14 1.2k 13 England
6 Jan 2009 8:01AM
This was taken by my partner with that particular lens as were the later shots in her PF. Judge for yourself as whilst L glass is undeniably better in many cases, there is an awful lot of snobbery about lenses.
conrad 15 10.9k 116
6 Jan 2009 8:39AM

Quote:there is an awful lot of snobbery about lenses


True, for many a practical approach to the subject is more realistic. And especially for someone who says:


Quote:I am not overcritical of image quality


Although in view of that statement it does surprise me that he has two L lenses!
agoreira 16 6.0k Wales
6 Jan 2009 9:03AM

Quote:This was taken by my partner with that particular lens as were the later shots in her PF. Judge for yourself as whilst L glass is undeniably better in many cases, there is an awful lot of snobbery about lenses.


if you are happy with those results, that's fine, that's all that matters.
It's not a question of snobbism, if you are happy with cheaper Sigma/Tamron etc, it's no point in you splashing out more cash on L glass. If you can afford L glass, what is wrong with buying it? In the majority of cases, it will do a far better job, but if you only ever intend knocking out a few small prints perhaps it might not be a wise investment. I could pick up a cheap car for 8k, which would do the job, get me from A to B, but whilst I can afford it, I choose the pay over twice that for something that I want, something that I will enjoy. Does that make a snob? Most of the snobbism about things like L glass, is normally trotted out by those that can't afford it and have to settle for something cheaper. Buy what makes you happy. I have a couple of L lenses, but certainly not all are.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2009 9:22AM
As someone with a mix of lenses L and not, here is my view.

First for many situations the standard lens is fine, I have some shots I am very happy with taken with a sigma 55-200. But they are with the lens stopped down and a decent shutter speed.

Having tried the 18-200 and owning the 17-40 there are a few observations I would make. First the sigma does not focus as fast or as well. Next it has more distortion at the wide end. And finaly the L series feels so well made and more durable, is it? Time will tell.

Though the sigma does have convenience on its side. So would I buy the sigma, perhaps but more to replace the 18-125, not the L series you have. My downer on this lens is its super zoom range which leaves it compromised in my eyes.

I have a couple of EX lenses, the 105 macro and 10-20 they are very good lenses in my eyes.

so my view is buy the best you can afford and are comfortable with. There is no shame in not using L series, and often the results will be so close it will be hard to tell. It is normally in the difficult situations, wide open etc, that the better lenses shine.
agoreira 16 6.0k Wales
6 Jan 2009 9:49AM

Quote:.
so my view is buy the best you can afford and are comfortable with. There is no shame in not using L series, and often the results will be so close it will be hard to tell. It is normally in the difficult situations, wide open etc, that the better lenses shine.



That's basically what I am saying, if you are happy with say, Sigma, no point on spending more on Canon. L glass will hold it's price well, if you ever need to sell it, you'll still get a reasonable price for it. Like you I have the 17-40 but also have a second hand lens which I bought when I first bought the Canon 10D, it'sthe 24-85(a brushed aluminuim SE one) and I still use it a lot, I like it. An L lens it isn't but I would still be loathe to part with it. Wink
colin beeley 17 1.2k 10 England
6 Jan 2009 9:50AM
get rid of all but the 17/40 l & buy this as you can see it a cracker !
ade_mcfade 15 15.2k 216 England
6 Jan 2009 9:56AM
Remember that lenses are just tools to do a job.

I get away with a 10 battery powered drill for all my DIY needs at home, whereas my dad (a plumber) has a Makita "big-b'stard" drill that cost him about 150 - or more, may have been 200.

It is more powerful, has a far far longer battery life, gets the job done faster and is far more reliable.

Should I then get the Makita for the 3 holes a year that I drill (if that)? The 10 thing has never really let me down yet and has always produced a satisfactory hole.

Similar with lenses - if you're just snapping away on holiday, even if you're reasonably serious a photographer, do you really need that zingy "L" crispness and contrast with all the added weight and cost?
keithh 16 25.6k 33 Wallis And Futuna
6 Jan 2009 10:02AM
Very true.

I know someone who paid a fortune for a rowing machine, when really two rubber bands and a length of dowelling would have served his purposes.
Wink
ade_mcfade 15 15.2k 216 England
6 Jan 2009 10:05AM
Jesus - you know some right prats Keith Wink

.......gently down the stream, merrily , merrily , merrily , merrily life is but a dream Wink

To be fair though - once you've tasted the Timmy Taylor's Landlord, Tetley's never quite good enough so you'd always pay that bit more for quality... to get a beer analogy in there Wink

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