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View Full Version : Has anybody compared a Prime or Pro series lens to the Sigma 18-125 or Canon 28-105



ReF
01-25-2005, 12:05 AM
the problem:

I've decided to return my 17-85 IS and replace it with the 17-40L. why? i tested the old 50mm prime i had against the 17-85 by shooting the nutrition info on the side of a box at different apertures and then comparing it at 100%. the prime was sharper, as expected - no big deal, but i went out on a very tall hill overlooking the city, the prime put the zoom to shame. it was pretty foggy outside (for daytime) and the prime still produced very sharp images with very good saturation while the zoom turned in dull mush (though just as good at f8.0 as the A80 at f.80 on a very clear day)

so now I know i'm gonna feel under-prepared going out without something to cover the range over 50mm. i've narrowed it down to the 85mm prime and the 28-105mm both from canon. has anybody used both of these? i was wondering if there is a big difference in picture quality. i took a look at the 28-105 because it seems to get very good user reviews, though i'm not sure if it's because it's simply very well priced. i like the extended reach of the 28-105(168 after the crop factor) and also the idea of being able to use it as my "get the shot" lens for non-important stuff (plus it's really cheap!), but i don't want to waste my time or money on it if it's picture quality would also be put to shame by primes. both lenses come out to roughly the same price after the "buy it with the rebel by the 31st" rebate. would the 70-200L f4 be much better than the 28-105? I really don't need more zoom than 105mm. the telephoto "L" is more than I planned for considering that I would be paying for the Rebel, 17-40, and 70-200 all in one month. i wouldn't be asking for suggestions if i weren't really confused and under pressure to buy it by the 31st. thanks for any suggestions!

added later:
George R. or eagle17
you both have the sigma 18-125 and one prime lens or an L series(eagle17) lens right? how close does the sigma come to these lens in terms of sharpness/resolving power?
anyone else that has a prime or "pro" glass to compare to the sigma?

D70FAN
01-25-2005, 10:08 AM
the problem:

I've decided to return my 17-85 IS and replace it with the 17-40L. why? i tested the old 50mm prime i had against the 17-85 by shooting the nutrition info on the side of a box at different apertures and then comparing it at 100%. the prime was sharper, as expected - no big deal, but i went out on a very tall hill overlooking the city, the prime put the zoom to shame. it was pretty foggy outside (for daytime) and the prime still produced very sharp images with very good saturation while the zoom turned in dull mush (though just as good at f8.0 as the A80 at f.80 on a very clear day)

so now I know i'm gonna feel under-prepared going out without something to cover the range over 50mm. i've narrowed it down to the 85mm prime and the 28-105mm both from canon. has anybody used both of these? i was wondering if there is a big difference in picture quality. i took a look at the 28-105 because it seems to get very good user reviews, though i'm not sure if it's because it's simply very well priced. i like the extended reach of the 28-105(168 after the crop factor) and also the idea of being able to use it as my "get the shot" lens for non-important stuff (plus it's really cheap!), but i don't want to waste my time or money on it if it's picture quality would also be put to shame by primes. both lenses come out to roughly the same price after the "buy it with the rebel by the 31st" rebate. would the 70-200L f4 be much better than the 28-105? I really don't need more zoom than 105mm. the telephoto "L" is more than I planned for considering that I would be paying for the Rebel, 17-40, and 70-200 all in one month. i wouldn't be asking for suggestions if i weren't really confused and under pressure to buy it by the 31st. thanks for any suggestions!

added later:
George R. or eagle17
you both have the sigma 18-125 and one prime lens or an L series(eagle17) lens right? how close does the sigma come to these lens in terms of sharpness/resolving power?
anyone else that has a prime or "pro" glass to compare to the sigma?

The Sigma 18-125DC is , in no way, pro-grade glass. That is why most of us also carry a 50mm f1.8. That said, since most shooting with a zoom lens is at f8 and above it's generally not a problem. Your 17-85 IS should have been primo in the f8+ range, so I'm not sure what you are looking for.

I don't think that you will find a, wide range, single zoom that will outshoot a good prime, wide open, but I'm no expert on lenses, so I rely on the kindness of others for their inputs, and rely on hard copy prints to make my judgements.

Like most of the readers here, I am still learning (it's been a 45 year process). Since I'm not a pro I'm not out shooting every day. I can't afford to buy and try a lot of lenses, and my choices tend to be somewhat utilitarian. That doesn't mean that I will give up decent quality for price and range.

After comparing the Sigma 18-125 DC to the Nikkor 18-70 DX, I could see no appreciable difference in picture quality, but it did extend my range a great deal. The same seems to be true for Canon users and the current selection of "kit" zooms.

Everyone has different needs, and yours seem to be different than mine. My photography is pretty eclectic, and I tend to be more oriented to content, lighting, and color, than razor sharpness. When you stop looking at 100% crops and start printing at 13 x 19 your view of what's important changes. :)

One of my most prized images was shot by a good freind of mine, who is a professional photographer, and was taken on high speed (grainy) film on purpose. He wasn't going for image quality he was trying to convey the feeling of the scene. It worked, and every time I look at it it's like I'm seeing it for the first time.

That is what I strive to achieve in my photos. A technical excellence of a different sort.

LoveOfSelene
01-25-2005, 01:36 PM
the problem:

so now I know i'm gonna feel under-prepared going out without something to cover the range over 50mm. i've narrowed it down to the 85mm prime and the 28-105mm both from canon. has anybody used both of these? i was wondering if there is a big difference in picture quality. i took a look at the 28-105 because it seems to get very good user reviews, though i'm not sure if it's because it's simply very well priced. i like the extended reach of the 28-105(168 after the crop factor) and also the idea of being able to use it as my "get the shot" lens for non-important stuff (plus it's really cheap!), but i don't want to waste my time or money on it if it's picture quality would also be put to shame by primes. both lenses come out to roughly the same price after the "buy it with the rebel by the 31st" rebate. would the 70-200L f4 be much better than the 28-105? I really don't need more zoom than 105mm. the telephoto "L" is more than I planned for considering that I would be paying for the Rebel, 17-40, and 70-200 all in one month. i wouldn't be asking for suggestions if i weren't really confused and under pressure to buy it by the 31st. thanks for any suggestions!



IMHO, and many Canon users of L and Consumers Lenses will say, thier primes are the closest to the L Lenses, in sharpness.

The Canon 28-105, is decent in optical quality for it's price. But if you can shove in ~$300-400 for the 70-200 F/4 L, it would be nice. If your a person on sharpness and CA. The L lenses are the way to go.

But as I tell ppl, "if ya scratch the front element, ya goin to sing the blues..."
There's that and since most of the L's are white, they are very attracting.

When you start using L lenses, you are defenitly goin to want to use L's from now on. B/c if you go back to consumers lenses, you will notice sharpness and color. Well i do, tell us if you do :)

In my opinion, if your not a pro, and your not making a living off your equipment, you really don't need L's. Same goes for ppl that want a walk around lens.

Sry, never touched the 85mm prime.

Just my little suggestion, (if you can call it that)
~Loveofselene

ReF
01-25-2005, 07:01 PM
hmmm, weird thing, I reshot a few test images between the 50mm prime and the 17-85, and now the differences are very small. i'm not sure what went wrong the other day with my first images, but i only had 4 to compare, as it started raining and i had to pack up. i shot a lot more today, and i will post a few comparisions.

eagle17
01-26-2005, 10:48 AM
Send the 17-85 back.. you will not be sorry... the 70-200 f/4 L lens is the sharpest lens I have ever used. (I do not have any prime L glass.) the price is the biggest concern. right now I shoot wide with my 18-125 and I use the 70-200 for anything I can get into that range. I have not tested it to my 50mm prime yet although I have taken some picture with it.


I have seen used 70-200 f4L's selling for $450 shipped (used but ex+ condition) and the 18-125 is a bargain at $269.


my next lens will be a 16-35 f2.8L and the one right after that will be the 100-400 L ...

most of the high quality L glass holds its value pretty well I see 10 year old used L glass sold on ebay for only $75 less than retail.

jamison55
01-27-2005, 03:31 AM
Why not split the difference and pick up a Tamron 28-75 f2.8. Many users compare it to L glass at a fraction of the cost. I rarely break out my 50mm prime any more, even for paid shoots!

ReF
01-28-2005, 11:50 PM
how would i go about posting a shot at 100% on this forum? it's going to be a very small section of the shot but it needs to be at 100% so you can see the difference between the two lenses. the computer i'll be using only has dial-up (away from home) so it is VERY SLOW and i want to get it right the first time.

eagle, i meant just L glass of any kind but thanks for your comment on the 70-200 f4 L. i've been looking at this lens for a while and i'm probably gonna get it. i just which that adding IS to the lens and increasing the aperture range to 2.8 didn't cost an extra $1000! i'm one of those people that really make use of IS.