50mm 1.4 alternatives for Canon crop frame

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jessestack, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. jessestack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #1
    Hi
    So I have my 7D which I love and am having a lot of fun with but I'm looking to add to my lens collection. I've decided to only by god quality lenses and would like to get a really fast prime. Even says that the 50mm 1.4 from Canon is great, especially for the price but since I have the APS-C sensor i think I'd prefer something like 28 or 35mm.

    So what are my options for a fast (at least 1.4f) prime lens between 28-35mm that is great quality but not as pricey as Canon's 28mm 1.4L or 35mm 1.4L ?
    Closer in price to the 50mm 1.4 would be great although I'm happy to pay a bit more. Or I could get a used one maybe..

    Thanks

    Regards
    Jesse
     
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #2
    Canon only as a 24/1.4 and 35/1.4, no 28.

    your only f/1.4 options is the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. it's in the $400 (USD) range. it's the best option either way, though.

    do note that you might have focusing issues. if you do, you can either keep exchanging lenses until you get one that doesn't, or you can send it to Sigma to take a look at it. or you can buy a used one that's already been checked out, I guess.
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    SLC
    #3
    the Sigma 30mm is supposed to be amazing!!
    Also, don't forget the EF-S 60mm 2.8. I don't know if that is too long, but it is on par with the 100mm 2.8 Macro.
     
  4. jessestack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the replies.
    I had a look at the Sigma 30mm and it's in the ball park except I read a few no so favouring reviews about it...
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/sigma/30mm-f14.htm

    Anyone got any experience with it? examples?

    I don't want to go any longer than 35mm so the 60mm and 85mm are out.

    Maybe I should compromise and get the Canon 35mm 1.8 (it does get good reviews)
    but I hate compromising. but I just can't justify an L series for a prime lens. This is more hobby than profession.

    Should I try and get by with the 2/3 less stops of the 1.8?

    sorry I meant to say should I go for the Canon 28mm 1.8f USM .... not the 35mm
     
  5. mdwsta4 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #5
    Sigma 30 f1.4. hands down. when i had cropped sensor cameras it was my favorite walk around lens. IQ is great, good contrast/saturation, excellent build quality, and buttery soft bokeh.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Ha Ha, I'm going to recommend a Nikkor 14-24 mm zoom if you want "God" quality.

    SLC
     
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #7
    do yourself a big favor and ignore Ken Rockwell. don't even bother going to his site.

    they are pretty much the same price, and the Sigma is the better of the two in image quality - it rivals the 35/1.4 in sharpness, and I think it's the better lens overall.
     
  8. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502

    RedDragon870503

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    #8
    +1 on Ken Rockwell being an idiot. I thought it was established that his site is more of a joke than anything else... His photography does not fit my taste either. Falls flat IMHO...

    Anyway...

    I vote Sigma 30mm 1.4. I do not own this lens but I've heard it's IQ is very similar to that of its big brother the 50mm 1.4 which is far and away my favorite lens.
     
  9. jessestack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #9
    SLC,
    Haha, yes unfortunately my budget won't reach for any "God" lenses :)

    mdwsta4
    They're some nice looking photos. What aperture were the low light ones? The girl and the baby. I assume pretty fast. and the flower? Was that at 1.4?

    I'd definitely be happy with the quality of those images.

    toxic
    I just read through 2 google search pages of reviews and most of them where a lot more favourable. thanks


    Looks like it might be the sigma then. If only I can find a good quality used one somewhere in australia....

    Thanks everybody. I'll post some photos if I end up getting one.
    Cheers
     
  10. mdwsta4 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #10
    Ken Rockwell is a hack. If that's what you base your decisions on, then no one can help you.

    "the Sigma remains the one to have for APS-C standard primes"
    http://www.pbase.com/lightrules/30v35_2nd


    "the Sigma gets the nod"
    http://www.focalplane.net/canon28sigma30/

    "A good copy of the Sigma will be better in most every way"
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/forum/topic/859198

    and just look at over 140 pages of pics
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=141274

    even better, rent whatever lenses you want from someplace like lensrentals.com. that way you get to try the lenses and see what you like best before pulling the trigger and paying full price.

    there are reviews that talk about focusing issues, but as far as i know, that was mostly on earlier copies of the lens. even if you do have problems, you can easily send it back to sigma for recalibration.

    doesn't the 7D have micro lens adjustment like the 5D2? if so, focusing issues of a lens is a moot point as you can fine tune it on camera.
     
  11. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #11
    What exactly will you be shooting with it? Landscape/objects or People? If it's Landscapes/objects than the 35mm will be great, but if you're going to be focusing more on people then I'd recommend hitting 85mm and up. On FF, I've learned the 50mm is okay for portraits, but I think it still misses the right perspective, so I recommend longer. It's a great focal length for all-around, but I haven't really enjoyed using it much for portraits.

    It's been kind of a learning process getting adjusted to my lenses again since going from crop to FF, it's like having a whole new set in my bag. I don't know if my post helped any, maybe I just wanted to say something :)
     
  12. jessestack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #12
    I'm looking for a lens that will help me photograph people indoors in very low light without flash. Think pubs/clubs/gigs etc. My 24-70 2.8L is very nice but not quite as fast as I'd like for this situation. The 50mm 1.4 that everyone loves is going to be too long on my cropped 7D.

    I wouldn't base any decisions on just one person. That review just happened to be the first one I read as I was writing the original post. But yes I've since read many great reviews about the sigma.

    I suppose I was just seeing if there's anything else out there in this ball park that I didn't know of...

    and yes the 7D has micro lens adjustment.

    Cheers
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #13
    I've recently bought a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 and I love it. On my Nikon crop body, its field of view a tad larger than my eyes, but that's a good thing.

    I've taken pictures on my brother's birthday dinner all night wide-open and it's just great. The bokeh is very pleasing and you can really separate your subject from the background if you do it properly. photozone claims that although center sharpness is great, IQ suffers at the corners, but I haven't really noticed it that much (that's because subjects tend to be in the center).

    I have yet to really pixelpeep and study the IQ in more detail. But at least my copy doesn't seem to have any focussing issues (especially with my flash's AF assist light).
     
  14. funkboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    elsewhere
    #14
    Well, I prefer manual focus for static subjects & portraits as I learned on a Canon T90 where it was easy and I'm a confessed Zeiss fanboy, so my "standard" lens is a Contax/Yashica mount Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 AE ("Made in West Germany") that I picked up for 350€ (you can get mount adapters from CameraQuest). I have a Katz Eye focusing screen in my 40D to make it a little easier, and I'm thinking about getting a Zacuto viewfinder for live view focusing (though I'll probably hold off on this till I get a video DSLR).

    I readily admit that this is about the geekiest way to go about doing things, but it's a lot of fun. I've also got a Zeiss ZE 50mm which has the added advantages of full electronic coupling. Honestly, on the 40D, getting it really right is not easy with the 50mm at wide apertures, and the 85mm must be even harder.

    But if Zeiss develops a ZE 35mm f/1.4 I'm hocking all this stuff & buying one tomorrow :).

    As another poster mentioned, getting a Cameraquest m42 screw-mount adapter and one of the great old 28 or 35mm Pentax Takumars would be a cheaper way to joint this club.

    Another recent fully-electronic manual lens is this Voigtander 40mm f/2 Ultron pancake lens, which is possibly the first "pancake" lens released in native EF mount (I know it's a Nikon review, here's some press for the Canon EF version).

    BTW photozone.de has nice reviews some of the lenses discussed in other posts. Here's the Sigma 30mm and the Canon 35 f/2
     
  15. digger58 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2010
    #15
    I have had the sigma for some time now, it is one of my sharpest lenses, including some of my L lenses
     
  16. sth macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #16
    I have this lens for almost a year now. My only complaints so far are geometric distortion (a bit on the high side for a prime lens) and purple fringing (common for large-aperture lenses). The minimum focus distance isn't great but not problematic IMHO.

    Sharpness is great, even at large apertures. It's not an "L" lens (neither optically nor in terms of build quality) but it feels quite solid, the AF is fast and full-time-manual focus is always possible.

    Don't be scared by the photozone.de review, it looks worse than it is, especially the resolution figures. The extreme borders may be soft at large apertures but you'll probably never notice it since at those apertures extreme borders are usually OOF anyway.

    BTW: If you intend to buy this lens mainly as a portrait lens, you may consider a 50mm f/1.4 or a 85mm f/1.8 instead. The 30mm focal length is too short for nice head-only portraits. 30mm is a great "normal" focal length on 1.6x crop.

    f/1.4:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. funkboy macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    elsewhere
    #17
    Great shot! Was Stirling Moss' car in there?
     
  18. sth macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 9, 2006
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    The old world
    #18
    You mean the 722? Yes, it was there too (second row):

    [​IMG]
    (Sigma 30mm @ f/2.2)

    Here's a more closeup picture of the 722, although it didn't turn out very well since the car was highlighted with a nasty cold spotlight at the time.
     
  19. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #19
    "geometric distortion" has nothing to do with the lens. perspective changes with distance and nothing else. the only distortion that varies from lens to lens is barrel/pinchusion and wavy line (mustache) distortion.

    I'm kinda surprised you run into purple fringing enough to complain about it. I thought it was pretty good when it comes to that.
     
  20. sth macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Sorry, I meant barrel distortion.

    I'm not complaining, it's just that it can happen in some situations.
     
  21. funkboy macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    elsewhere
    #21
    Sweet! I've been a fan of Sir Stirling's since I started reading about racing history some years ago. This article was in the issue of Car I was reading this fall. In another article that doesn't seem to be on the site, the journalist and Sir Stirling both did a couple of laps around the Goodwood track, first Stirling in a car identical to his old racer and the journalist in the McLaren, and then vice-versa. An amazing read. It was almost Moss' 80th birthday, he was driving this 50 year old car "gently", and the journalist still had to really push the 500+bhp McLaren close to its limits in order to keep up with him :) (& Car's driver journalists are usually pretty good; I remember one of them taking fastest journalist time of the day at a Ferrari press event).

    Kind of reminds me of Willy Ronis and his old Leicas :). I remember him specifically here because he died that same week, at 99.

    When the journalist asked Moss what input he had on the new car, he said "they asked me if they could put my name on it".

    That pretty much sums up my feelings on Mercedes since the Chrysler acquisition...
     

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