Lenses

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jamieleephoto, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. I am looking to buy a new "standard" lense this week. I have been using a kit lense (28-135, F4). During wedding receptions I need a wider apeture. I want a lense that goes to at least F2.8.
    The problem I am having with my kit lense, is that a ton of photos are not focusedand dark. I am sure this lense is not giving me the quality I should have.

    I was looking at Sigma's and Tamrons since they are SOOO MUCH CHEAPER.
    What is the difference between an expensive canon lense and a Sigma or Tamron?

    I have only used canon before, so I don't understand all the details of these other lenses. What is a "Di" lense, or a "EX DG"?

    Has anyone had any experience with these lenses?
     
  2. Sharpness/resolving abilities.

    The Canon 17-55/2.8 is better (esp. on larger prints, 11x14 and up) than the Tamron although the Tamron is very good.

    I am looking at the Tokina 16-50/2.8 at the moment since my Canon 17-55/2.8 just had the IS fail after about a year of light use.

    If you get the Canon, expect it to have IS faliure sooner or later. Its a known issue that Canon fails to address.
     
  3. And always take blanket statements like:

    "If you get the Canon, expect it to have IS faliure sooner or later. Its a known issue that Canon fails to address."

    with huge grains of salt. I've been shooting IS lenses on jobs in all kinds of conditions for years. No known issues Canon fails to address.
     
  4. The meanings behind the letters can be found on the Tamron site.

    http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/di.asp

    As far as the differences, basically build, image quality and features. Both the Tamron 17-50mm and 28-75mm have image quality (sharpness and resolution) very close to Canon's equivalent lenses. They are said to have a slightly yellower cast, but this is a non-factor due to post processing. There is a difference in build quality for sure. The Tamrons are built more like Canon's consumer quality lenses, but if you aren't hard on your gear, it isn't a factor, really. The Tamron's zoom rings operate in the opposite direction from Canon zooms--if you're used to Canon zooms, this might be confusing. And the Tamrons don't have USM, are noisier in focusing and slightly slower in focusing. In practice, these haven't bothered me at all, and I own both a Canon L zoom and the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. Also, the Tamrons don't report subject distance to the camera/flash, but again, isn't really a big factor in flash metering. As far as the IS feature--you either like it and use it or don't care. I am in the latter category. I am used to using telephoto primes, so IS doesn't really do it for me.

    The other thing about the Tamrons is the fact that quality control can vary. The best advice is to order from a place where you can return and exchange, and test each lens immediately for softness. If you get a sharp copy, the quality is very, very good. Or, if you locate a used one, be sure to ask the previous owner about sharpness and test it for yourself. However, Tamron has a 6 year warranty when you buy new, and it isn't transferrable, so if you buy used, you cannot take over the warranty.

    I believe you can read reviews on photozone.de.

    If I had the money, I would get the Canon 17-55mm f2.8. If I didn't have the money, I'd get the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and upgrade later if you wanted. Re the problem you are having. Those may or may not be helped by the wider aperture lens. You should still be able to get in-focus and well exposed images with the kit lens. A wider aperture lens will help, but by itself will not cure your problems. YOU need to cure them.
     
  5. Perhaps better look at your technique first. The 28-135 IS (if that is the lens you are referring to) should be able to give you pictures that are sharp and well exposed. You don't mention the body you're using but IMO this lens is a bit on the long side on a cropped DSLR body.

    Oh and I have used the 28-135 IS for 7 years now without any technical problems. Of course everything will fail if you just wait long enough but I have never heard about systematic IS problems.
     
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If you are tight for money you might consider purchasing a prime, (or two) such as 35f2 or either of the 50mm (f1.4 or f1.8) or perhaps even the 85mmf1.8, although I think a 35mm / 50mm combination would be more useful at a reception. (It is implied that you are using an APS-C body)

    Such a purchase will give you much more speed than any of the `replacement` zoom lenses you are considering, and if the `problems` you are experiencing are only at the reception, and (assumed) in low light, then you will still have a good zoom for all your other work.

    However, this comment has resonance also, IMO:

    `Perhaps better look at your technique first. The 28-135 IS (if that is the lens you are referring to) should be able to give you pictures that are sharp and well exposed.`(JvE)

    because there seems nothing obviously wrong with the lens that captured the little girl in the white dress or the `Sisters`.

    WW
     
  7. Hi Jamie,

    First things first, have you determined the cause of the images being underexposed? If you are able to view your capture data associated with the images you can also get an idea of the reason your images are not 'focused' ie camera shake, subject movement due to shutter speed being too slow to freeze the movement or focusing error. The f2.8 lens will give you a stop to play with ie. if your shooting without a flash at 1/80 ISO 1600 @ f4 it will mean that you can shoot at 1/160 @ ISO1600 or 1/80 @ ISO 800 etc. As the lenses your refering to have a long end of 50 - 55 mm you will have less problems if you keep your shutter speed around 1/80 (assuming a 1.6 crop body) This may or may not help you over come your quality issues. I?m assuming you aren?t using a tripod. The lenses you speak of will be softer at f2.8 which is a compromise yet camera shake or subject movement is a problem which unless you are intending to use it as a creative technique is almost impossible to correct. Concerning the lenses Nadine's analysis is on the money. I have both the tamron 17-55 f2.8 and the Canon 17-55mm f2.8. The tamron is an excellent lens for the money and depending on the output of my images (size of prints etc)indistinguishable from the canon at 2.8 (but I'm not a measurebater). The tamron is smaller than the canon, faster focusing than the Sigma, yet is can be a little noisy (sound not image). If you keep your 28-135 f4 you will retain your longer focal length for candid type portraits but be aware that the longer focal length will require faster shutter speeds to avoid camera shake if flash is not used. You will also have the wider end at 17mm which will allow slower handheld shutter speeds and more creative options (but this will be the same for both. The canon is a good lens the IS is useful in some situations but doesen't reduce the chance of blur due to subject movement at slow shutter speeds. IS doesn?t do everything I hope this helps what ever you do.

    Regards Greg
     
  8. PS I meant to say - Blur due to subject movement or camera shake if bad enough is almost impossible to correct after you've taken the image. You can improve the image via sharpening etc but lens softness can be easier to improve.
     

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