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Lens help


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Initial post: Jun 10, 2012 11:32:45 AM PDT
A says:
I have been looking at the sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 lens.
I have the 18-200 kit lens so does anyone thing that it would be a good supplement for low light people shots and everyday use?
Or is the 50mm f1.4 ALOT better????

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 1:39:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2012 12:53:36 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
The Sigma 17-70 is one of their consumer grade lenses (not an EX).
At 18mm your Canon 18-200 has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 and at 80mm the Canon 18-200 has a maximum aperture of f/5.0.
So with the Sigma 17-50 you gain less than one stop of light capability, probably some image quality due to the shorter zoom range, but, nothing near what you would get with a prime lens.
Again, I would highly recommend you get the 50mm f/1.8 and see if a 50mm lens fits your needs before you go out and buy the 50mm f/1.4.
You may decide that a wider lens like the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is what you really want.
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 has a 3 stop advantage (8 time the light) over your Canon 18-200, and it is actually sharper than the 50mm f/1.4. Wide open the 50mm f/1.8 has as good a bokeh as the 50mm f/1.4, as you stop the lens down some people think the bokeh isn't as smooth as it could be due to the its 5 aperture blade design. When you want a shallow depth of field and a creamy bokeh for a portrait, just shoot wide open at f/1.8.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 7:12:41 AM PDT
for low light go with the 50mm 1.8, it's a superior lens. and it's optics are better than the sigma, so image quality will be better. the sigma is a variable aperture lens so it's only at f2.8 at 17mm. as you zoom out towards 70mm the aperture decreases to f4.5. the 50mm 1.8 is a fixed aperture lens, it's not going to change from f1.8 unless you change the aperture yourself.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 6:26:08 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
There's two different questions here.

A 17-70mm range is fine for every-day use as a general purpose "standard" zoom... but then you mentioned wanting something for low-light and that's a different question.

An f/2.8-4.5 lens means it has a "variable" focal ratio. Don't think of it as an f/2.8 lens... because it'll only be f/2.8 at the 17mm end of the range. If you need a lens for low light, then you'd either want a zoom lens that can provide f/2.8 all throughout the range (not a variable focal ratio lens) OR use a prime (non-zoom) lens.

f/2.8 zooms tend to be expensive -- and that's part of the reason that prime lenses are very attractive for low-light shots (also, as a generalization, primes tend to have better image quality than zooms.)

You didn't mention which camera you have, but I'll assume it's an APS-C crop-frame format body. In which case a focal length around 30mm (give or take a few mm) provides a fairly normal angle of view. That means it can see roughly what your eyes can "comfortably" see by looking straight ahead and not moving your eyeballs around or try to take in peripheral vision. A 50mm is a great lens (and VERY popular), but keep in mind that in indoor settings it'll provide a more limited angle of view and you may feel you need to back up (possibly standing in the doorway to the adjacent room) to get a group shot.

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 2:40:58 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
There is an alternative approach to the groups shot which saves pixels perhaps wasted at top and bottom of screen whjen using a wide-angle lens and this is to make a panorama of the group taking two or more frames and stitching in editing. I would suggest you do it in editing rather than a stitch programme for control over the process. This was my solution to taking a groupshot of about sixty people in a room where I could not back up more than about ten feet from those in the front. Ideally one would organise the people in an arc around you as was done, perhaps still done, by those using genuine panoramic cameras where the lens rotates.

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 6:36:35 PM PDT
I have a couple of lenses for my Canon rebel T2i, they are 55-250 and 75-300 and they both are great but... I want a lens that brings things a little closer.. Any suggestions??? I take pictures of my sons racing(cars) . Thanx Lisa lisa.lanaville@yahoo.com

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 7:17:37 PM PDT
Les Schmader says:
What kind of racing? Drag race, oval track, dirt track?? 1/8 or 1/4 mile. 1/2 mile dirt or 1 mile paved. Indoor midgets, outdoor sprints? Pit side, spectator side? Daylight or under lights?

I've spent the better part of a lifetime building and driving 'em. I might be able to help somebody suggest something to take a picture of them if you explain what class and type of event the boys are competing in.

I'm assuming you are a lady and taking the shots hand held? Is a monopod or tripod possible? A lot of the better lenses are big and heavy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2012 7:41:36 AM PDT
If 300mm isn't enough reach for you, you are going to hit a huge price jump. You will also need to be shooting in daylight to get the shutter speeds you will need for very long lenses and fast moving subjects.
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Discussion in:  Digital SLR forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  8
Initial post:  Jun 10, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 18, 2012

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