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General advice please - non-Canon lenses on a Canon

6 May 2012 10:42AM
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 15 41.1k 270 England
6 May 2012 1:43PM
Which non-Canon lenses did you have in mind?
killwilly 8 15 United Kingdom
6 May 2012 2:28PM
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 3:56PM
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.
chris.maddock 17 3.7k United Kingdom
7 May 2012 4:09PM

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

Should work fine.
10 May 2012 11:24AM
Many thanks for the response.
classcams 9 117
17 May 2012 7:44PM
I find TAMRON lens to be the third party choice.
ARI 15 515 United Kingdom
19 May 2012 11:44AM
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 12:58AM
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.

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
22 May 2012 5:38AM
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 13 1.9k 1 France
22 May 2012 6:56AM

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 12 47 United Kingdom
22 May 2012 9:56AM
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 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
22 May 2012 12:11PM
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 17 6
23 May 2012 11:18AM
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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