Time to make a decision

Tony

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Hi everybody,
I am going to explain my situation asking for advice from you wise
people. I really appreciate any input on this. I have a day job in a
call centre (despite having a degree in Computer Science), job that I
hate while I am absolutely in love with photography. I can't help but
thinking all day about photography and take as many pictures as I can
whenever I have a chance. My plan is to start making money out of
photography till a point where I would be able to quit my day job and
"bet" on photography opening a full time business as photographer.

At the moment I have a compact digital camera (Canon A80) which is great
fun, but it has all the limits of compact cameras. I also have a Canon
EOS 30V that I absolutely like with 2 cheap Sigma zooms (plus tripods
and an EX420 Flash), but the costs of shooting films make me enjoy much
less my main hobby and force me to strongly limit the "shooting
sessions". I want to start putting my feet on the ladder in a serious
way. I am pretty confident about my abilities and I am sure the digital
"world" would help a lot to let me learn even more. Furthermore the low
cost per shot is a kicker in my plan.

All great, but I have a small issue... I am not rich at all... and to
switch to digital I will need a loan: this means I really have to be
careful on what to buy and what not.

I mainly shot for stock libraries but I do also commissioned work. My
main interest is focused on Potraits, Fashion, Glamour and artistic
nudes. I think I will do some weddings as well. My budget will be
3000Euro, but I live in Ireland where we have a huge economical rip-off.
Once again my aim is to reach professional levels with a not so big
budget. In the end it's the photographer not the equipment to take the
pictures .

My Sigma lenses won't work with the digital SLR so I have to start
(almost) from scratch, at least lens wise. I have two main choices
regarding the camera itself, 350D (1100 euro with the cheap kit 17-55
and 20D (1900 euro with the cheap kit 17-55). I need mainly portrait
lenses but a zoom on the tele side may help as well. Lenses of my
interest would be:

EF 50 1.8 MARK II - 150euro
EF 70-200MM F4L - 860euro
EF 85MM F1.8 - 530 euro
(prices taken from
http://www.connscameras.ie/flat_areaEQLproductsAMPCategoryIDEQL109_entry.html
)

Now considering my main subjects/usage (people photography), considering
that I have to allocate at least 600 euro for a small studio lighting, I
am left with 2400 euro of choice between Camera (possibly with vertical
grip), Lenses and memory cards.

What would you do guys? Could you give me some advice/insight on my
dillemas?

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.

Cheers,
Tony

PS: I have posted this message in another forum for getting a diversity
of opinions.
PS2: I have seen that with Pixmania.com I can save a lot, and I think I
am going to use them for price reference.
 
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"Tony" <""tony\"@nospam.comtony@nospam.com"> wrote in message
news:d9nm4e$i5e$1@reader01.news.esat.net...
> Hi everybody,
> I am going to explain my situation asking for advice from you wise people.
> I really appreciate any input on this. I have a day job in a call centre
> (despite having a degree in Computer Science), job that I hate while I am
> absolutely in love with photography. I can't help but thinking all day
> about photography and take as many pictures as I can whenever I have a
> chance. My plan is to start making money out of photography till a point
> where I would be able to quit my day job and "bet" on photography opening
> a full time business as photographer.
>
> At the moment I have a compact digital camera (Canon A80) which is great
> fun, but it has all the limits of compact cameras. I also have a Canon EOS
> 30V that I absolutely like with 2 cheap Sigma zooms (plus tripods and an
> EX420 Flash), but the costs of shooting films make me enjoy much less my
> main hobby and force me to strongly limit the "shooting sessions". I want
> to start putting my feet on the ladder in a serious way. I am pretty
> confident about my abilities and I am sure the digital "world" would help
> a lot to let me learn even more. Furthermore the low cost per shot is a
> kicker in my plan.
>
> All great, but I have a small issue... I am not rich at all... and to
> switch to digital I will need a loan: this means I really have to be
> careful on what to buy and what not.
>
> I mainly shot for stock libraries but I do also commissioned work. My main
> interest is focused on Potraits, Fashion, Glamour and artistic nudes. I
> think I will do some weddings as well. My budget will be 3000Euro, but I
> live in Ireland where we have a huge economical rip-off. Once again my aim
> is to reach professional levels with a not so big budget. In the end it's
> the photographer not the equipment to take the pictures .
>
> My Sigma lenses won't work with the digital SLR so I have to start
> (almost) from scratch, at least lens wise. I have two main choices
> regarding the camera itself, 350D (1100 euro with the cheap kit 17-55 and
> 20D (1900 euro with the cheap kit 17-55). I need mainly portrait lenses
> but a zoom on the tele side may help as well. Lenses of my interest would
> be:
>
> EF 50 1.8 MARK II - 150euro
> EF 70-200MM F4L - 860euro
> EF 85MM F1.8 - 530 euro
> (prices taken from
> http://www.connscameras.ie/flat_areaEQLproductsAMPCategoryIDEQL109_entry.html )
>
> Now considering my main subjects/usage (people photography), considering
> that I have to allocate at least 600 euro for a small studio lighting, I
> am left with 2400 euro of choice between Camera (possibly with vertical
> grip), Lenses and memory cards.
>
> What would you do guys? Could you give me some advice/insight on my
> dillemas?
>
> Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
>
> Cheers,
> Tony
>
> PS: I have posted this message in another forum for getting a diversity of
> opinions.
> PS2: I have seen that with Pixmania.com I can save a lot, and I think I am
> going to use them for price reference.

This is just a thought, but many pros still shoot film. So, you are right.
It's not the camera, to an extent, but it is the photographer. If the
equipment you have can take a professional image I would stay with it and
see if you can get some gigs shooting. Remember, when you turn pro somebody
else will be covering the film and processing, so that won't be an issue.
Keep your day job and put whatever you make shooting into a fund to buy a
good DSLR and you're on your way.

BTW, take whatever you can get. I used to shoot natural portraits but the
only thing that would pay the bills were weddings and I hated wedding so I
turned them down. Shooting weddings would have given me the money and
freedom to shoot what I really wanted to do but I stood on my principles and
my career went down the tubes. I still got jobs, and got some pretty good
photography gigs, but never generated the money I could have if I had
swallowed my pride.

Actually, one of my jobs now is teaching basic digital photography at the
local community college, and I used that money to finance my DSLR.
Fortunately I already had a plethora of Nikon lenses that fit my new D70.

Good luck in your efforts. While the photography world can be very
competitive, there's always room for another good one.

Sheldon
 

Stacey

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Tony wrote:


>
> What would you do guys? Could you give me some advice/insight on my
> dillemas?
>


Get some better lenses for your film camera? I never understand buying a
good body (20D), then buying some cheap lenses to use on it.. Later you can
buy a digital body if you really need one to use these good lenses you buy
on. Thats my advice FWIW.

--

Stacey
 
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Stacey wrote:
> Tony wrote:
>
>
> >
> > What would you do guys? Could you give me some advice/insight on my
> > dillemas?
> >
>
>
> Get some better lenses for your film camera? I never understand buying a
> good body (20D), then buying some cheap lenses to use on it.. Later you can
> buy a digital body if you really need one to use these good lenses you buy
> on. Thats my advice FWIW.
>
A few days ago, I was batting emails back and forth with an old friend,
a guy who was shooting photos when most of us were still drooling on
bibs, or not even a glimmer in our parents' eyes. He and a buddy had
tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
180 won, but by such a tiny fraction that the difference in cost--the
Vivitar had run my friend $99 back then, the Nikon cost $1000--was
money wasted as far as both guys were concerned. Of course, that
doesn't speak to such things as durability, ease of focus, etc., but
the pictorial results were what mattered, not the cost of the lens, at
least at that point. There was no appreciable difference in the "cheap"
lens's results and in those provided by the expensive lens. Cheap is
often a description of price and little else.
 

Cheesehead

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Any of the good DSLRs will take care of the portrait needs.
Pentax, Nikon, or Canon.
As staed before me, just get good lenses.

Collin
 
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Tony > wrote:
> My Sigma lenses won't work with the digital SLR so I have to start
> (almost) from scratch, at least lens wise. I have two main choices
> regarding the camera itself, 350D (1100 euro with the cheap kit 17-55
> and 20D (1900 euro with the cheap kit 17-55). I need mainly portrait
> lenses but a zoom on the tele side may help as well. Lenses of my
> interest would be:

Skip the kit lens and spend the money toward a good lens.

> EF 50 1.8 MARK II - 150euro
> EF 70-200MM F4L - 860euro
> EF 85MM F1.8 - 530 euro
> (prices taken from
> http://www.connscameras.ie/flat_areaEQLproductsAMPCategoryIDEQL109_entry.html
> )
>
> Now considering my main subjects/usage (people photography), considering
> that I have to allocate at least 600 euro for a small studio lighting, [...]

What about post-processing software? Adobe Photoshop? What about a
printer? While you might sub out the final prints, it can be usefull to
have way to generate quick proofs.
 
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Tony,

Don't bother with Conns Cameras or any other Irish prices.

Try www.technikdirekt.de (Germany) or www.pixmania.com (France)

Got my D20 from Technik the other week and saved a bundle on Irish prices.
It's a super machine and built like a tank.

I'd go for the 70-200 F/4 and with Technik's prices and the 100 Euro rebate
from Canon you will have a fine lens for around Euro 560. That is by far and
away the best value "L" lens in the Canon catalogue. It is certainly going
to be my next purchase as soon as my bank balance gets back in the black!

Note: the instruction books for whichever camera you choose will be in
German or French depending on where you buy. However, do as I did and
download the instruction book from the Canon website. No problem.

Regards,

Carrigman
County Cork
 

Stacey

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Charlie Self wrote:

>
>
> He and a buddy had
> tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
> 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
> 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction

LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better than
a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens or
those guys are blind.

Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your sigma
55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..
--

Stacey
 
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"Stacey" <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:3ibritFkn664U2@individual.net...
> Charlie Self wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> He and a buddy had
>> tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
>> 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
>> 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction
>
> LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better
> than
> a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens or
> those guys are blind.
>
> Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your
> sigma
> 55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..
> --
>
> Stacey

It depends on the Vivitar zoom lens. The old Vivitar 70-210 Series One
manual focus lenses have garnered a near legendary cult status. If that was
what they were using to compare to the Nikkor, then I'm not too surprised
that the difference was small. If it was one of the latter day Vivitar
Series One auto focus lenses, then, yes, I'd agree, either the Nikkor lens
or the testers eyesight was faulty...
And don't forget, "a tiny fraction" was what they perceived, not what they
measured.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
 

Stacey

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Skip M wrote:

> "Stacey" <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:3ibritFkn664U2@individual.net...
>> Charlie Self wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> He and a buddy had
>>> tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
>>> 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
>>> 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction
>>
>> LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better
>> than
>> a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens or
>> those guys are blind.
>>
>> Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your
>> sigma
>> 55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..
>> --
>>
>> Stacey
>
> It depends on the Vivitar zoom lens. The old Vivitar 70-210 Series One
> manual focus lenses have garnered a near legendary cult status.

That wasn't a $99 lens at the time the nikon would have been $1000.

> If that
> was what they were using to compare to the Nikkor, then I'm not too
> surprised
> that the difference was small.

He said the vivitar was "maxed out" at 180? Might have been that f4.5 macro
zoom they made, which wasn't a "cheap lens" in anyone book, production
ended over 25 years ago, few were made, doubt it was bought for under $100
and isn't in any way related to "cheap sigma zooms" the OP was talking
about.

http://www.cameraquest.com/viv90180.htm

--

Stacey
 
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Stacey wrote:
> Charlie Self wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > He and a buddy had
> > tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
> > 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
> > 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction
>
> LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better than
> a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens or
> those guys are blind.
>
> Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your sigma
> 55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..

Lessee. Vivitar 75-180mm. I don't know the exact dates, but Rich
retired nearly a decade ago, it was not AF--I doubt he'd like AF, but I
know he's never used it--and his eyesight is probably better than
yours.

As to my own gear, well, a bag full of Pentax and mixed brand lenses
that fit my *istD. One of my lenses IS a Sigma, and it does a very nice
job. If you've got a problem with that, then you've got a problem with
that. Keep it yours, since you don't know what you're talking about.

Both the photographers above were pros, operating through the '50s,
'60s and '70s, and well into the '80s, and beyond, for at least the one
I know. Now, I doubt either one ever thought of showing their photos,
or doing meaningless on-line comparisons, nor have I heard my friend
spread the word that any particular piece of equipment, from an
original manufacturer or another maker, is automatically better than
another. Nor have I heard him call another person "blind" because he
disagreed with a perception.

You might, or might not, like or agrfee with the results these guys
got, but editors did, and bought much of their output at going market
rates.

How are your own sales going?
 
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Stacey <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>He said the vivitar was "maxed out" at 180? Might have been that f4.5 macro
>zoom they made, which wasn't a "cheap lens" in anyone book, production
>ended over 25 years ago, few were made, doubt it was bought for under $100
>and isn't in any way related to "cheap sigma zooms" the OP was talking
>about.


The lens is almost certainly the Vivitar Series One 90-180mm f/4.5
Flat Field Macro Zoom, which was introduced in the mid-1970s. It was
made for Vivitar by Kino Optic (Kiron) of Japan, and was sometimes
referred to as a "Medical Lens".

Like so many Kiron lenses, this one is an outstanding performer, with
excellent sharpness and smooth bokeh. It might appear that comparing
the long end of a 1970s zoom with the superlative 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor
is not a good idea, but the Kiron lenses were something special, and
this is probably one of the best zoom lenses ever made.
 
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First, forget about the 350D. The 20D is pushing it, in terms of
professional work, but at least its at the upper end of the prosumer
segment.

The 50 1.8 might not prove to be so useful with the 1.6 crop factor.
You might be better off looking at one of the 24mm or 28mm lenses for
your portrait work.

One good thing about Canon is that their mid-range consumer lenses are
very good. Shooting center glass, you will be able to achieve good
results even with the non-L glass.
 

Stacey

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Tony Polson wrote:

>
> Like so many Kiron lenses, this one is an outstanding performer, with
> excellent sharpness and smooth bokeh. It might appear that comparing
> the long end of a 1970s zoom with the superlative 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor
> is not a good idea, but the Kiron lenses were something special, and
> this is probably one of the best zoom lenses ever made.

And again, this wasn't a "cheap lens" and has nothing to do with comparing a
modern cheap sigma zoom to a canon 'L' lens.

--

Stacey
 

Stacey

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Charlie Self wrote:

>
>
> Stacey wrote:
>> Charlie Self wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >
>> > He and a buddy had
>> > tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
>> > 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
>> > 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction
>>
>> LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better
>> than a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens
>> or those guys are blind.
>>
>> Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your
>> sigma 55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..
>
> Lessee. Vivitar 75-180mm.

Which wasn't a $99 lens. You said this was a "cheap zoom" which this never
was and still wouldn't be sold today.

>
> As to my own gear, well, a bag full of Pentax and mixed brand lenses
> that fit my *istD. One of my lenses IS a Sigma, and it does a very nice
> job. If you've got a problem with that,


Why would I care? Most of the shots I've seen from the CHEAP sigma lenses
look pretty soft to me, YMMV. I suppose some of their better glass is fine.
Trying to tell people a $99 lens is going to perform as well as a $1000
lens is absurd.

>
> Both the photographers above were pros, operating through the '50s,
> '60s and '70s, and well into the '80s, and beyond, for at least the one
> I know.

And again one special "cult" lens made by vivitar 30 years ago has nothing
to do with cheap sigma zooms made today.

--

Stacey
 
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Stacey wrote:
> Charlie Self wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > Stacey wrote:
> >> Charlie Self wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > He and a buddy had
> >> > tested two lens, a Nikon 180mm, and a Vivitar zoom that maxed out at
> >> > 180mm. Extensive film passed behind both lenses. The result: the Nikon
> >> > 180 won, but by such a tiny fraction
> >>
> >> LOL a cheapo vivitar zoom at the long end was "a tiny fraction" better
> >> than a Nikon prime lens? Either something was wrong with that nikon lens
> >> or those guys are blind.
> >>
> >> Let me guess, you own a bag full of 3rd party cheap lenses? Sure, your
> >> sigma 55-200 is just as sharp as anything out there. Keep dreaming..
> >
> > Lessee. Vivitar 75-180mm.
>
> Which wasn't a $99 lens. You said this was a "cheap zoom" which this never
> was and still wouldn't be sold today.
>
> >
> > As to my own gear, well, a bag full of Pentax and mixed brand lenses
> > that fit my *istD. One of my lenses IS a Sigma, and it does a very nice
> > job. If you've got a problem with that,
>
>
> Why would I care? Most of the shots I've seen from the CHEAP sigma lenses
> look pretty soft to me, YMMV. I suppose some of their better glass is fine.
> Trying to tell people a $99 lens is going to perform as well as a $1000
> lens is absurd.
>
> >
> > Both the photographers above were pros, operating through the '50s,
> > '60s and '70s, and well into the '80s, and beyond, for at least the one
> > I know.
>
> And again one special "cult" lens made by vivitar 30 years ago has nothing
> to do with cheap sigma zooms made today.
>

At no point did anyone say the $99 lens performed as well as the $1000
Nikkor. Almost as well, yes, closer than expected, yes.

As far as the $99 price goes, I only know what Rich told me. 30 years
ago, $99 was worth almost a hundred bucks. Today, it's less than two
days' groceries for a family of four. But he might have bought it used,
or he might have gotten a really good deal. He didn't say.

Cult lens? WTF is this, a discussion of Tom Cruise? I very much doubt
Vivitar had that lens made with an aim at cult status.

You do change the basis for your argument, don't you? If the Vivitar
quality isn't related to the Sigma lens quality, you might have said
that the first time out.

I've got a Sigma lens I like, supported by results from at least three
of my editors, but I'm still waffling over the decision to eventually
make on a super WA zoom. The Sigma is much pricier than either the
Tokina or the Tamron, and the "tests" I've seen deserve the quotes, as
they are mostly non-tests. I like the 11mm wide end of the Tamron vs.
the 12mm of the Sigma and Tokina. Probably not a significant
difference, but what the hell. It is something like $200 cheaper, or
will be when it gets to the stores. But Tokina has a good rep, and
their super WA zoom is also a couple hundred cheaper than the Sigma. So
is the Sigma extra just hubris, or is there some extra quality there?
 
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Jan Böhme wrote:
> On 29 Jun 2005 02:46:54 -0700, "Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com>
> wrote:
>
> >I've got a Sigma lens I like, supported by results from at least three
> >of my editors, but I'm still waffling over the decision to eventually
> >make on a super WA zoom. The Sigma is much pricier than either the
> >Tokina or the Tamron, and the "tests" I've seen deserve the quotes, as
> >they are mostly non-tests. I like the 11mm wide end of the Tamron vs.
> >the 12mm of the Sigma and Tokina. Probably not a significant
> >difference, but what the hell. It is something like $200 cheaper, or
> >will be when it gets to the stores. But Tokina has a good rep, and
> >their super WA zoom is also a couple hundred cheaper than the Sigma. So
> >is the Sigma extra just hubris, or is there some extra quality there?
>
> The way I have understood it, the Sigma 12-24, Tamron 11-18 and Tokina
> 12-24 have their different strong points. Tokina has least distorsion,
> Tamron is the sharpest, and Sigma can be used on a full frame body. If
> you don't intend to use your zoom on a full frame body, the Sigma in
> all likelihood won't be worth the cost for you. OTOH, then you might
> want to wait for Sigma's new 10-20 DC HSM, which I have seen announced
> at a price slightly below that of the Tokina.

Man, I haven't even HEARD of that one. I'm in no rush. Getting the
Chancellor of The Exchequer to release another 500 bucks for photo gear
before Christmas is unlikely. Well, maybe by my birthday, but that's
still four months away. Since I have the Pentax 16-45, I wouldn't
scream at not having anything over the 16. Wonder if anyone is coming
out with an 8-15 in the near future? The only 8mm lenses I've seen have
been fisheyes, so maybe that's all that exists in that size.
 
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Jan Böhme wrote:
> On 29 Jun 2005 09:03:17 -0700, "Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Jan Böhme wrote:
> >> OTOH, then you might
> >> want to wait for Sigma's new 10-20 DC HSM, which I have seen announced
> >> at a price slightly below that of the Tokina.
>
> >Man, I haven't even HEARD of that one. I'm in no rush. Getting the
> >Chancellor of The Exchequer to release another 500 bucks for photo gear
> >before Christmas is unlikely. Well, maybe by my birthday, but that's
> >still four months away.
>
> This lens is supposed to arrive in Sweden by August, and shouldn't be
> later at your place. However, now that I check the website, the lens
> is as of now only announced for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mountings.
> When it comes for Pentax, I don't know. Minolta and Pentax users are
> obviously second-class customers as far as Sigma is concerned.

I've noticed that. Well, by the time they announce a mount for Pentax,
maybe Tokina will have one, too. If it goes as usual, the Toke will be
20-25% lower in price for about the same quality. I've definitely
noticed that Sigma is right proud of a lot of their lenses. I like the
one I've got, but I'm also not up for spending money I don't have to
spend.
 
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On 29 Jun 2005 02:46:54 -0700, "Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com>
wrote:

>I've got a Sigma lens I like, supported by results from at least three
>of my editors, but I'm still waffling over the decision to eventually
>make on a super WA zoom. The Sigma is much pricier than either the
>Tokina or the Tamron, and the "tests" I've seen deserve the quotes, as
>they are mostly non-tests. I like the 11mm wide end of the Tamron vs.
>the 12mm of the Sigma and Tokina. Probably not a significant
>difference, but what the hell. It is something like $200 cheaper, or
>will be when it gets to the stores. But Tokina has a good rep, and
>their super WA zoom is also a couple hundred cheaper than the Sigma. So
>is the Sigma extra just hubris, or is there some extra quality there?

The way I have understood it, the Sigma 12-24, Tamron 11-18 and Tokina
12-24 have their different strong points. Tokina has least distorsion,
Tamron is the sharpest, and Sigma can be used on a full frame body. If
you don't intend to use your zoom on a full frame body, the Sigma in
all likelihood won't be worth the cost for you. OTOH, then you might
want to wait for Sigma's new 10-20 DC HSM, which I have seen announced
at a price slightly below that of the Tokina.

Jan Böhme
 
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Stacey <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Tony Polson wrote:
>
>>
>> Like so many Kiron lenses, this one is an outstanding performer, with
>> excellent sharpness and smooth bokeh. It might appear that comparing
>> the long end of a 1970s zoom with the superlative 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor
>> is not a good idea, but the Kiron lenses were something special, and
>> this is probably one of the best zoom lenses ever made.
>
>And again, this wasn't a "cheap lens" and has nothing to do with comparing a
>modern cheap sigma zoom to a canon 'L' lens.


True.

But it is also true - nowadays - that not all Sigma lenses are bad
lenses. Their cheap (non-EX) range is optically pretty dire, but I
have been surprised by the optical quality of several EX lenses that I
have tried recently, including the 28-70mm f/2.8 DG, the 105mm f/2.8
macro and the 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 DG zoom. The 28-70mm is a good
standard zoom for 35mm film use. The macro lens is particularly good
for its purpose, and the 15-30mm is an impressive performer when you
consider that its coverage is full frame 35mm, i.e. 24 x 36mm.

Sigma EX lenses are nowhere near as badly made as the Sigma products
of only a few years ago. I still wouldn't recommend the EX lenses for
intensive use, but the average amateur who takes good care of his/her
gear should find them acceptable.

The question of compatibility remains, though, thanks to "reverse
engineering", especially with Canon camera bodies, but there are also
possible issues with some features offered by other brands of camera
that are not fully supported, for example predictive autofocus with
Nikon (D)SLRs.
 
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