Confused with lenses......

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by MrsKitty, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    I am looking at lenses now. It will be for my Rebel XT. On a Canon photography forum I was browsing, they were talking about Sigma and Tamron lenses in addition to the Canons. Anybody know anything about any of them?

    I want to do mostly macro work but want zoom capablities too, if a shot arises. Anybody have any suggestions for a one lens answer? Or for a macro only as I can live without distance if I can't find a lens to do both?

    I am so overwhelmed...
     
  2. field70

    field70

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sigma and Tamron make aftermarket lenses for most camera's. I have both for my Minolta Maximum 35mm, and they do as well as the factory Monoltas.
     

  3. spober

    spober

    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    wendel n.c.
    id suggest a sigma 100mm macro for around 329-379 bucks.the similar canon 100mm macro will run twice that.the sigma will work just fine.you would never tell any difference.then why is the canon lens twice the price?dahuh!
     
  4. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Do you mean 105mm?
     
  5. spin180

    spin180

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    Sigma and Tamron are both reputable companies and make good equipment, though some of their lower end lenses aren't really anything special. Many of their products are as good or better than comparable Canon lenses.

    A true macro lense, such as the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, will be a fixed focal length (prime), and you won't be able to zoom in/out with it. Just know that 'Macro' means the lens will focus closely on an object, but doesn't necessarily mean the camera will physically be close the object.

    At 105mm it is considered a telephoto lens, though, and as such you can use it for shooting close shots of moderately distant objects. On the other hand, it likely won't be much for general snapshots, landscapes, and such since you can't 'zoom out.' Being a prime lens, it should be capable of a clearer, sharper photo than a zoom lens at the same focal length.

    A 50mm macro would probably be more versatile, but it would definately lack the length you might want.

    Another option... both Sigma and Tamron make consumer zoom lenses with a psuedo-macro capability; these Tamron 70-300 & Sigma 70-300.

    They offer a decent zoom range, and have a macro setting that will allow you to zoom & focus relatively closely on the desired subject, but they aren't true macro lenses. They won't be quite as sharp, you probably wouldn't be able to focus as closely as a true macro lens, and for good results you'll have to stop the lens down (use a higher f-stop) which will require that you have a goodly amount of light and/or use a slow shutter speed.

    I own a copy of the Sigma 70-300 listed. It's a great lens for the money. I haven't used the macro feature very much, but for my purposes, it worked fine the few times I did. Here's an example I shot, with my rather limited ability... http://sfp180.smugmug.com/photos/46297354-L.jpg

    It's all a trade off I suppose, unless you've got loads to spend for top of the line equipment. Still a good photographer makes the photo, not so much the equipment.

    I'd imagine you have the 18-55mm kit lens for your Rebel for general use, so you would probably do alright by the Sigma 105mm as discussed. Since you're concentrating on macro work, you probably ought to set your priorities in that direction anyway and with the crop factor of the Rebel, it'll offer you a fair amount of length for distant subjects.

    And if you do go for the Sigma, I'd suggest getting it here: Sigma4Less. Great prices, and I've heard nothing but good reviews on them.

    Good luck!
    Steve
     
  6. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Steve, thanks for the info!

    All I have now is the 18-55mm kit lens. I had been looking at the 70-300 but was unsure. Macro is where my heart is but I also do landscapes and wedding pics. It would be nice to zoom in during a wedding and not be trapsing around thru the ceremony :) I have even been known to stop on the side of an Interstate during rush hour to capture a great sunset :)

    So, as you can imagine, I am torn. I am leaning more toward the macro tho... I know very little about SLRs and I am having fun learning but I end up frustrated a lot of the time when I just can't do what I want. I know it will happen in time but ugggggggggggh!

    Does anybody make an adaptor to convert a Nikon lens to a Canon mount? If so, we have a couple of great Nikon lenses I could use but I doubt anybody makes this?
     
  7. spin180

    spin180

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    Nikon to Canon adapters are available. There are usually some rather inexpensive adapters on eBay - Nikkor/Canon Adapter. Most photo supply shops will have them too, but they tend to be quite pricey.

    However, using a non-EOS mount lens on your Rebel via an adapter will mean you lose the camera's metering capabilities and you'll have to focus the lens and adjust the aperature manually. Non-EOS lenses can be used successfully with great results, but for most people and purposes it's not all that practical.

    The dilemma of picking the perfect lens is common to all new SLR users, including myself. Just when you think you've got it figured...

    It's nigh on impossible to find one lens that'll do everything you want. As such, we end up with several to cover all the bases, which like guns tends to be rather expensive. In fact, photography is the only hobby I've had that rivals the cost of my gun habit.

    You could go for a mid-range zoom, like one of these: Sigma 28-70, Tamron 28-75, Canon 28-105, Canon 28-135 IS, Canon 17-85 IS. The Sigma & Tamron are both excellent lenses, which many folks believe rival Canon's professional series 'L" lenses. The 1st listed Canon lens tends to be a popular lens for new SLR users; rather inexpensive and it has a good zoom range. The 2nd & 3rd listed Canon lenses both have Image Stabilization, which helps eliminate blurring caused from camera shake or use of slow shutter speeds in low light conditions. The 28-135 would likely be the more common of the two, as the 17-85 is still somewhat new and is specifically designed for use with the Digital Rebel, Rebel XT and 20D Canon models; it will not work with any other Canon SLR/dSLR.

    All of those would be great general purpose lenses, and while not specifically designed for macro work, you could probably still manage some decent close-ups.

    Yet another option would be what's commonly called a 'hyperzoom' lens. Like these: Tamron 18-200, Sigma 18-200. They cover a lot of focal range, so you can use one lens for nearly all situations, wide angle, telephoto, and all in between. The drawback, though, is that they can be lacking in image quality at the extreme ends of their range. Some folks complain about it more than others, some say that you can stop the lens down and still get good results; it's really subjective.

    Again, if you really need a dedicated macro lens, you should probably get one and you can still use it for telephoto work. But, if you think you can get your macro shots with a more general use lens (it is most definately possible), then perhaps that would be your best recourse.

    Would this be the Canon forum you mentioned earlier - Canon Digital Photography Forums? It is a great resource. If you haven't already, try searching for any specific lenses you may have in mind. You're sure find oodles of info on them along with example images to help your decision.

    Once again, good luck with your quest...

    ;)
     
  8. General Sherman

    General Sherman

    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Location:
    Dunwoody, near Atlanta, Georgia USA
    Read this:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1029

    This is a complex subject.

    Sometimes a close up lens in front of the normal lens will do the trick.

    I did some searching on this topic and found that many or most interchangable lenses for SLRs have a minimum focus point of three or four feet. I was surprised.

    I hate to break the news but the Canon G6 ($529) will focus its 4x zoom F:2 lens to a minimum of 2 inches.
     
  9. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Where is the fun in that? ;f
     
  10. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Yes! That is it! :)

    Thanks for all the info! :)

    I am still reading and comparing....

    I may pick up an adapter then just to play with. That is something I am definately considering :)
     
  11. j doty

    j doty

    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    on the crust
    Sigma has a new 150 MM 2.8 lens that is a little pricey but gets great reviews. This might be a good portrait lens AND macro lens, as it focuses to 1:1. Canon has a new EF-S lens for digital, 50MM, but that's only mild tele. I think you want to stay fixed focal length for macro instead of zoom for crisp detail. Although I've seen some good work with L-series canon zooms, to which you may be able to add extension tubes.
     
  12. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

    Messages:
    2,748
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 1999
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
  13. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    Tease! ~ts
     
  14. Aaron S

    Aaron S

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    I have seen good reports from people using the Canon 500D . It is basically a screw-on filter that allows for closer focusing. Pretty expensive for what it is, but cheaper than a macro lens. The 70-300 is probably not sharp near the 300mm setting so keep that in mind also.

    Aaron
     
  15. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  16. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

    Messages:
    18,802
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    >^..^<
    I got the 70-300 and so far I am please. I am not after perfection, yet. Give me time and I will be :)

    Since there isn't any bugs out in December, I have been stalking my cats ;f