Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II -VS- Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by seenew, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #1
    I've never ceased to hear good things from you guys about Canon's 50mm, but after reading some of the reviews of both these lenses (Sigma's and Canon's), I kind of lean towards the Sigma. I'm interested in macro photography, and the Sigma has a 1:1 ratio. Also, I need a faster "walk around" lens than my current lenses (fastest I have is f/3.5). The Sigma got good reviews in both aspects, and seems like a great combo for the price.

    Just wondering what you have to say about the Sigma against the Canon... I'll be using it with a 350D, if that matters. Also, I found one (Sigma) on Froogle for $173, and one on ebay for $99 with 2 days left.. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160009963997&fromMakeTrack=true)<-- says for Nikon, though?

    I know that's more than what the Canon would cost, but the Sigma seems to have more features. Of course, I'd be going from f/1.8 on the Canon to f/2.8 on the Sigma..


    HELP ME CHOOSE!
     
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #2
    The only Canon lenses that I can recommend are the "L" series lenses, but IMHO they're one of the very best. Sigma lenses are generally great value, but be sure to get the better Sigmas and leave the value lenses alone.
     
  3. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #3
    There is also 50mm f/1.4 from Canon, which I chosen over 50mm f.1.8. f/1.4 is 3 to 4 times more expensive than f.1.8; but, the quality is said to be worth it for many avid photographers. I heard 50mm is not an ideal lens for macro shots. For macro shots, I am thinking about getting Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Ex DG Macro Lens.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    If you're getting the 50 mm f/2.8 for macro shots, I'd rather recommend something else. You'd be a very very short distance away from an object in order to get that 1:1 ratio (think inches), which may be OK if you're not doing a macro of bugs and such. Actually, if you're just going to take strange/interesting macros of everyday things, maybe it would be a good choice.

    However, there's a huge difference between f/2.8 and f/1.8. The f/2.8 is great for low-light shots, but the f/1.8 is fantastic for low light. The amount of blur will also be different.

    If you really do want to get a macro, then get the Sigma. I think it'll be a great general lens. If you don't care and can get a Sigma 105 mm/Tamron 90mm/Tokina 100mm/Canon 105mm, then get that. Otherwise, I guess this Sigma would be good. :)

    I know how it feels to be on a budget on this stuff, and can understand why you'd want a lens to double as something else (ie: as a macro).
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #5
    Which does not negate the fact that the EF 50 1.8 II can spank my 24-70L in many situations.

    Awesome lens.
     
  6. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    #6
    Not only that, the fact that it is a $72.00 shipped lens makes it even better.
     
  7. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #7
    Is it Canon or Sigma that have a mark 1 and mark 2 version of their 50mm? Which ever one it was, I read the mark 1 was better... true?

    Okay, I also had the Canon 50 recommended to me along with an extender tube to get macro shots... is this reasonably within my budget? (about $200)

    And thanks a lot for all the feedback.. :eek:
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    50mm is very short for a macro lens, I've got a 1970's vintage 60mm f/3.5 Nikor macro that I use. It is very sharp but a longer working distance would be nicer.

    For general photography the reason you want an f/1.4 rather then an f/2.8 is not so much for low light levels bt to ireduce the depth of field and isolate the subject. Also becasue you look through the lens the faster lens will have a brighter image in the viewfinder. But then 1.4 to TWO stops faster than 2.8. two stops is a lot.
     
  9. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #9
    Yes but the 1.4 is significantly more expensive than the 1.8.. I've got $200 I can spend on a new lens, I'll go over that for shipping, but no more for the lens.. How much are extenders, and are they useful?
     
  10. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #10
    I don't know about the first version of this lens, but on the second, many photogs have complained about the five bladed aperture. Sometimes it can produce some pretty erratic looking bokeh.

    I've experienced this a little, but I still say nuts to that. The thing cost $70 bucks, and is as sharp as my 70-200L IS.

    Get the lens, and if you don't like it, sell it and get another one. But I very, very, very much doubt you'll be disappointed in it.
     
  11. triotary macrumors regular

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    Mar 17, 2005
    #11
    The old 50mm f/1.8 Mark I is even better than the Mark II.

    It has stainless steel lens mount and with an easy to use manual focusing ring, distance scale window, depth-of-field and infrared compensation indication. These features are not found on the cheap plastic Mark II version.

    and you will only find them used.
     
  12. triotary macrumors regular

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    Mar 17, 2005
    #12
    and yeah I will buy the Mark I over the 50mm f/1.4 anytime.
     
  13. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #13
    If you want to do macros, get the 50mm 1.8 with a set of extension tubes. You will be amazed with the shots. I started with this combo before purchasing the Sigma 105mm Macro. I still love to get the 50 and tubes out for fun.
     
  14. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #14
    Can you give me the names and prices of tubes you'd recommend?
     
  15. valiar macrumors regular

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    Washington, DC
    #15
    I have the Sigma lens in question, and it is quite amazing - that is, it is impeccably sharp, and takes absolutely amazing macro photos. Most certainly, it is the sharpest lens Sigma do make.
    There are two drawbacks to this lens, though.
    First (and major one) is the focusing mechanism. It just plain sucks. The motor is noisy and slow, and there is no full time manual focus. The barrel of the lens extends quite significantly while focusing.
    On my Sigma SD9, this lens hunts around a lot.
    The second drawback is that it is f2.8. If you are getting this lens as a "normal" walkaround lens, you shoud realize that it takes in only about 1/2 the light the Canon 50mm would take, and AF will be less reliable in twilight.
    If I were you, I would probably go for the Sigma (because it is a very good lens - and it *will* take better pictures than the Canon 1.8 under most circumstances), and in the meantime save money for the Canon 50/1.4.
     

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