Mistake by using a Sigma 105mm macro as "general purpose"?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    Being a rank digital newbie, I let a salesman talk me into buying a
    combo Canon 5D "package" including the non-Canon Sigma 105mm macro lens
    instead of a regular Canon macro lens.

    He claimed the Sigma was the better macro, but I suspect his motives.

    Did I goof? Be brutally truthful guys, I can take it.

    Also, is there a noticeable difference in the quality of the final
    image between using a macro lens vs a "regular" lens, when shooting
    non-macro scenes?

    I can't afford both regular and macro lenses right now, however I do
    want to eventually wind up with "quality lenses".

    Thanks for any opinions,

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. On my Minolta the 35-70 macro zoom is only AF in normal mode - in macro you
    have to focus yourself. If either you have left it in Macro by mistake or
    there is a glitch so it stays in macro mode, then your images may be simply
    out of focus.
     
    R. Mark Clayton, Apr 30, 2006
    #2
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  3. The Sigma 105/2.8 EX Macro gets very good reviews. The lens is very sharp so
    I don't see the problem. In Canada the EF Canon 100/2.8 retails at $750 CDN,
    and the Sigma for $600 CDN. Both are pretty close in performance, so the
    sales guy saved you about $150 CDN. The Sigma may have a better dealer net,
    so he likely made a few dollars more for his employer as well. Now if Canon
    were to make a 100mm f:2.8L Macro, that would be another story!

    What is a "regular" lens? A macro lens is usually the most highly corrected
    lens in a lens maker's product line. I don't think you goofed, I am
    surprised he didn't try to sell you a 24~105 or similar zoom.
     
    Darrell Larose, Apr 30, 2006
    #3
  4. Mark Conrad

    Cynicor Guest

    I'm actually quite happy with that lens on my Nikon D70 and D200. Much
    happier than I am with my Tamron 11-18 superwide.
    Sample: http://trupin.smugmug.com/gallery/954495/1/43871607
     
    Cynicor, Apr 30, 2006
    #4
  5. Mark Conrad

    Skip M Guest

    The Sigma 105 f2.8 Macro is one of the best respected Macro lenses on the
    market, and one of two from third party mfrs. that rate up with the OEM
    lenses.
    Macro lenses tend to be sharper than that lens' mfr's regular line of
    lenses, because sharpness is so critical for macro work. The only drawback
    is that they can be unflatteringly sharp for portrait work.
     
    Skip M, Apr 30, 2006
    #5
  6. Mark Conrad

    frederick Guest

    As other posters have indicated, the lens is respected for optical
    quality. I use one on Nikon. It has a better rating than the highly
    regarded 105 2.8 AF Nikkor macro on Photodo.com tests for the pre *DG*
    Sigma version (as does the Tamron 90mm macro).
    Part of the high cost for these lenses is complicated moving internal
    parts for close range correction - old macro lenses were not great at
    normal focal lengths, new ones with CRC generally are.
    It lacks HSM/USM/AF-s - so has mechanically driven AF. This is the only
    problem using it as a general 105mm telephoto. Even with focus lock on,
    it is a long way/time from infinity to closest and back if the lens
    "hunts". With a more than average amount of metal in the body of it, it
    is also one noisy lens - especially with the supplied metal lens-hood
    which acts like a megaphone.
    Nikon have a new 105mm AF-s and VR macro, which sounds like it is
    extremely good - I expect Canon will soon. Both IS/VR and HSM/AF-s
    would be a real bonus - but it doesn't come cheap.
     
    frederick, Apr 30, 2006
    #6
  7. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    Thanks Frederick, and everyone else, great information on that lens.

    I do no sports photography at the present time, so I will likely
    disable autofocus and use manual focus almost exclusively.

    If I win the lottery and buy a good 100/400mm zoom, I could become
    interested in sports photography using fast AF.<g>


    Are there any reliable links on the web that rate most modern lenses in
    common use, or is it normal to just ask questions in this NG.

    Reason I ask is because I feel a little guilty about asking dumb newbie
    questions about lenses.

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #7
  8. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    Great sample shots.

    Are you happy with smugmug? How much of a cut do they take when you
    sell a photo ?

    Just curious.

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #8
  9. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    I should have specified what I meant.

    The regular non-macro 50mm or 85mm that is often "recommended" if a
    person is only going to buy one lens, and is too cash limited to buy a
    zoom lens.

    One major drawback of me being a digital newbie is that I do not have
    the foggiest idea about what limits the overall sharpness of the Canon
    12.8MP camera, model 5D.

    Is it generally the lenses used, or the CCD sensor in the camera?



    Assuming it is the CCD sensor in the camera that limits sharpness, it
    is now time for me to ask another extremely dumb question.<g>

    Would the new Hassleblad with its 39mp sensor throw the sharpness issue
    back on the lenses.

    I hear the new Hassleblad will go for a modest $43,000 USD, minus lens
    of course.

    Can't help but wonder how many of those cameras will be sold in a year.

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #9
  10. Mark Conrad

    frederick Guest


    Thanks Frederick, and everyone else, great information on that lens.

    I do no sports photography at the present time, so I will likely
    disable autofocus and use manual focus almost exclusively.

    If I win the lottery and buy a good 100/400mm zoom, I could become
    interested in sports photography using fast AF.<g>


    Are there any reliable links on the web that rate most modern lenses in
    common use, or is it normal to just ask questions in this NG.

    Reason I ask is because I feel a little guilty about asking dumb newbie
    questions about lenses.
    [/QUOTE]
    No - I don't believe that there is. Photodo seems to have been
    abandoned. Many review sites for Nikon (KR etc) are - despite being
    amusing - hopelessly opinionated and offer often contradictory advice.
    NG and forums are fairly well saturated by shills, so you've just got to
    sift through it all with a degree of cynicism. Truth is that in the
    end, the way we use lenses most of the time - stopped down a bit, and
    with pp to correct distortion if needed, 90% of the time a cheap plastic
    no-name uber-zoom would do the trick. It's just so easy to fixate on
    the other 10%...
     
    frederick, Apr 30, 2006
    #10
  11. Mark Conrad

    Don Wiss Guest

    Will have. No one is shipping it. No one has an estimated arrival date.
    Price will be about US$830. Or maybe $800 at some places. (I'm #2 on the
    waiting list at a major dealer.)

    Don <www.donwiss.com/pictures/> (e-mail link at page bottoms).
     
    Don Wiss, Apr 30, 2006
    #11
  12. Mark Conrad

    Randy Howard Guest

    Don Wiss wrote
    What is the deal with nikon lenses right now? Every major
    dealer I've checked is out of basically *every* Nikon branded
    lens, except for the el cheapo kit lenses. Even B&H currently
    only has 4 unique models of USA lenses in stock to order. ????
     
    Randy Howard, Apr 30, 2006
    #12
  13. Get used to it! Other than the fact that Nikon lenses are the industry
    standard where all others try to follow and are in such high demand by
    everyone, we now have to contend with a "global economy" and the demands of
    China sucking up resources. Since I refuse to pay above MSRP I'll sit back
    and wait till the demand diminishes. Supply and demand. I'm sure Canon is
    having the same issues trying to meet demand.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Apr 30, 2006
    #13
  14. Mark Conrad

    Don Wiss Guest

    I should have clarified my comment on the 105 VR macro. It is not available
    in the USA. I can't speak for other countries. Possibly the demand in Japan
    is great enough to take them all, and possibly they give Japan preference.

    Or maybe there is a manufacturing problem? Or maybe as someone said they
    want to sell out the non-VR 105 macros first? And if so, they are shipping
    them selectively to countries.

    Don <www.donwiss.com/pictures/> (e-mail link at page bottoms).
     
    Don Wiss, Apr 30, 2006
    #14
  15. Mark Conrad

    Cynicor Guest

    Thanks. I like the ease of use on Smugmug. You only get your cut when
    you have a "pro" level account. If you leave the photos "at cost," you
    don't see your sales or get anything back. If you price your photos
    above the base Smugmug cost, you get 85% of the difference.
     
    Cynicor, Apr 30, 2006
    #15
  16. There is a lot of gray market ones available to the US via eBay
    significantly priced above MSRP for a US version. I do agree with you that
    they are selectively handing these out to select countries and vendors.
    I don't believe that it's a manufacturing problem as much as it is they
    simply can't keep up with world demand. I wouldn't see the tried and true
    Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 AF-D as being any competition for the VR version
    since it's a great lens and will still be a bargain to the people that don't
    want to drop $800 on the VR version. I presently have the newer non-VR AF-D
    version and I enjoy this lens to the max. I also have feelers out for the
    VR version that I will buy as soon as I can get it for a reasonable price.
    I'll then compare the two side-by-side when the VR arrives and will sell the
    one that doesn't fit my needs the best. My guess is the AF-D will still be
    made for years to come since it has a different price point and targeted
    audience.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Apr 30, 2006
    #16
  17. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    Interesting.

    Smugmug does seem like a good way for others to get a feel for the
    style of any given photograper.

    Also seems like a good emergency place to store large photo' files, if
    one temporarily runs out of disk space.

    ....if you have a "pro" account with (supposedly) unlimited storage,
    that is.

    'course, one might get a nasty email from Smugmug if one were to store
    a terabyte of photo's there.<g>

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #17
  18. Mark Conrad

    Mark Conrad Guest

    Thanks.

    Off Topic but Not Worth A Seperate Post
    ****************************
    These newbie learning experiences of mine never cease to turn up
    unexpected results.

    Up until a few weeks ago, I thought the "white balance" and color casts
    of final photographs appeared the same to all viewers.

    Not so, but I am the only person here who did not know that.

    For 76 years, the biological lenses of my eyes were fried by the sun,
    and altered by aging.

    I thoght the plaster walls of my living room had a deliberate yellow
    cast.

    They did not.

    I had cataract surgery on my right eye, the doc' completely removed the
    discolored biological lens, installed a clear plastic lens.

    Viola! - plastered walls are white now, no yellow cast :)


    Only when viewed with my right eye, of course.

    My left eye still insists that the plaster has a yellow cast.

    That will change next week, when I get the left eye operated on.



    Moral of this story. If you get your digital photo's processed by an
    outside lab', make certain some old geezer tech' there does not adjust
    the white balance of your photo's. <g>


    I will now retract all the nasty letters I sent to the staff of the
    magazine "Arizona Highways", complaining about the yellow casts of
    their photo's ;-)

    Mark-
     
    Mark Conrad, Apr 30, 2006
    #18
  19. Don't forget to consider your upload speed into the equation. Nothing
    against smugmug or pbase if it suits your needs, however these days you can
    also get your own domain hosted somewhere quite inexpensively with a fait
    amount of storage space. $3/month gets 5GB, $5/month gets you 50GB. This
    may be more versatile given one's own needs. You pay your money and makes
    your choice.
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Apr 30, 2006
    #19
  20. Mark Conrad

    Randy Howard Guest

    Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote
    I have been, for quite a long time. However, it seems even
    worse than usual right now. It must be that a lot more people
    are opting for SLR's over P&S cameras now.
    Oh yeah, there is that. *cough*

    I forgot you seem to think that Canon lenses suck. Note that
    if I do the same experiment on B&H for Canon lenses, the same
    problem crops up, they have a whopping four lenses available for
    Canon that are new, in stock and not imported.

    None of them cost more than $689.95. All the high-end glass is
    apparently back-ordered.
    So there is an army of SLR photographers emerging in China?
    Interesting.
    They are. It just seems even worse than normal right now. In
    the past, you could always find some of the longer glass.

    Doing more research, it seems that some of the problem is with
    the way B&H categorizes their lenses. If you look at Nikon
    lenses for example under "35mm lenses" instead of digital
    lenses, a lot of stuff I expected to see turns up, and is in
    stock. All of the big dog lenses, 400mm, 500mm, 200-400, etc.
    show up there, in stock.

    Still, all of the "new" stuff is missing in action.
     
    Randy Howard, Apr 30, 2006
    #20
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