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Hello, I've read a few lens reviews that claim professional photographers dont use mid-range zooms. At the same time I have been interested in getting the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 to replace my kit lens. I thought this would be a helpful addition to my gear as I will be mainly shooting travel/street photography.  As of right now I have a 50mm 1.4 prime, 12-24 wide angle, and telephoto. I love my 50mm but am concerned that I may want more depth of field and flexibility. What is your opinion about adding a good midrange zoom? What do you do? Thanks for your thoughts! 

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Hi Scott! Welcome to TPN.

A mid-range zoom is a must for me. I'm a portrait shooter and I use a 17-55 2.8. If you want to do landscapes you will need to go wider- pick up a 10-20. Complete the kit with a 70-200 and a good 105 macro and you'll be all set.

   
Chatty
Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 68
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Hey Scott, I have a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 and consider it my main walking around lens (the rest of my kit includes a 10-22mm, 70-200mm, and a 100mm macro). If I take just one lens with me, it's the 24-70mm. If I was putting together a new kit from scratch, and was focused specifically on travel photography, I might go with a 24-200 or 24-300 zoom instead of the two lenses that cover that range for me know. Of course with those wider range zooms, you lose a few f-stops.


Joe Becker
Tacoma, Washington, USA

   
Chatty
Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 55
Location: Tacoma, Washington,
USA
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Hi Scott,

I've heard good things about that Sigma lens, and if it is as good as its equivalent in the Canon "L" series then there is no reason why a pro wouldn't use it. I think the successful pros in today's highly competitive marketplace have less regard for conventional wisdom and more regard for the performance and versatility of their equipment.

I bought that same Canon lens, used and refurbished from B&H, and I was worried that it wouldn't be as good as a new one. But it delivers tack sharp images with excellent color and contrast, and I would think a brand new Sigma might offer that same type of performance. You should probably read a few online reviews of it though, if you haven't already.

I have noticed that sometimes the quality of a particular lens varies from one specimen to the next, even within a single product line - so I have learned the importance of only buying from highly reputable sources offering a very accommodating return policy (which is NOT the norm for online vendors). The vendor I mentioned above has been excellent about that FYI.
 

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 48
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For those unaware, DPReview.com (Digital Photography Review) now has lens reviews. See www.dpreview.com/lensreviews for a list of lenses they have reviewed to date.

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
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I just joined here but I can't help but jump in on this one. I am a Nikon shooter so I can't speak to Canon lenses but I can tell you that I have had great results with Signa lenses. They make a really good product.

Also I have found a good way to decide what lenses to buy is to rent before you buy. If there is a particular focal length you think will be a good addition to you kit see if you can rent it for a weekend and try it out. Maybe even rent a couple of lenses and compre befor you make the final decision. Also if you buy from B&H they have a no questions return policy for I think ten days.

artistic
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Excellent point Mike and welcome to TPN.

In the Washington DC area, Penn Camera carries most of the professional lenses and some third-party lenses for rent. There are also a couple of on-line lens rental houses now that I have seen other message boards reference - lensrentals.com and borrowlenses.com. I don't have first hand experience with either of them, but in general renting or borrowing are excellent opportunities to use a lens before you buy it. See if there are local camera clubs in your area. Often members will go out shooting together and you might be able to "test drive" other lenses that way, too.

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Hi Scott - a mid-range zoom is a very useful lens.  To add to Walter's post, there are some truly excellent lens reviews on www.the-digital-picture.com and the Sigma 24-70 is reviewed here http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-24-70mm-f-2.8-EX-DG-Lens-Review.aspx

You don't say whether you are using a full frame DSLR or a crop DSLR but the Sigma DG will fit either.  If you are using a crop sensor camera then you will probably know that will affect the focal length.  I've heard great things about the Canon 24-70 and I'm hoping they will bring out an IS version of that lens soon.  You could also consider the Canon 24-105 f/4.  Less expensive than the 24-70, it is an outstanding walkabout lens and the lens I use the most when travelling.  Mike's comment, above, about renting lenses is a great idea.  Hope that helps Cool

   
Newbie
Registered: 03/08/11
Posts: 12
Location: Channel Islands
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Tricia - do you notice vignetting on your version of the 24-105mm L lens? I acquired mine when I bought it as part of a kit that featured the EOS 7D. I was excited that it would be that perfect acquisition - not for the 7D it came with, but for the 5D2 I already owned, for extensive use as a walking around lens. However, I quickly discovered that this lens vignettes nearly all of its images pretty markedly. I arrived at the opinion that this particular specimen was not worthy of the "L" designation and was probably - hopefully - just a random poor example within the Canon product line, an exception to the L glass rule of excellence. From there I basically just stuck it on my old 5D (Mark I) and lent that kit out to friends.

The optics do provide sharp imagery within all of the sweet spot of that lens, including the center 70% (where no vignetting occurs) at all zoom levels throughout its range. But at wider angles I get that vignetting which has caused me to prefer my aforementioned (used and refurbished from B&H) 24-70mm L lens - or for longer focal lengths, my very best lens I've ever bought: the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L telephoto. So yes, I carry around two heavy lenses instead of that one, because of my vignetting problem on that 24-105.

So: Tricia your response is welcome, and Scott - if you want to try my 24-105mm lens out, it is yours to borrow for the price of shipping and your promise to return it. But you already can see that my instance of that glass may not be worth your time. If Tricia and others really like their copies of this lens then I do recommend you rent one from a reputable dealer.

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 48
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Vignetting?  What vignetting?  Eh

   
Newbie
Registered: 03/08/11
Posts: 12
Location: Channel Islands
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Tricia  I use the 17-40L  @ 24-105L @ 70 -300 Tamron @  50mm @ 300mm L f4

The 24-105 does vignette on the 5dmk2  but there is in the menu a feature that elimenates this.

The problem I have found with the sigma lenses is that at wide open they are not always sharp.

The Tamron lenses are good a little more expensive than Sigma but IMHO a lot better.

I use the 24-105L  both on the  5dmk2   and on the  50d   and have no complaints.

Good Luck

AVI

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
11 posts :: Page 1 of 1