Please help me choose lenses for my SLR

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Suzie Quinn, May 15, 2004.

  1. Suzie Quinn

    ww Guest

    for a more friendly response try here its a sigma dslr users forum

    this would be my choice and the sigma choice is limiting

    12-24mm or 15-30mm ( remember Sigma SD10 has a 1.7x crop so effectively
    these lenses have a view similar to 20 - 41mm and 25-51mm on slr)
    28-70mm EX 2.8 and 100-300mm HSM F4 EX
    but my take is the although sigma has some good technology it may be limited
    by lack of variety.
    ww, May 16, 2004
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  2. Suzie Quinn

    ww Guest

    ww, May 16, 2004
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  3. Suzie Quinn

    Skip M Guest

    As Lisa said, Canon offers wireless flash, too, more expensive than the
    Sigma 500 DG Super, but wireless, all the same.
    In my previous reply, I mentioned the wide and portrait issues, but skipped
    the tele lens.
    Do you want a zoom or a single focal length? How much are you comfortable
    Sigma makes several zooms in the 75/100-300/400 range, including the 80-400
    OS (Optically Stabilized) that sells for about $1200, and the 70-300 APO
    that is about $200. Often you get what you pay for, the latter lens doesn't
    rate too high in tests.
    Skip M, May 16, 2004
  4. Suzie Quinn

    Skip M Guest

    Hi, Suzie,
    I'm hoping I'm not leaving myself open, here, but I'll try to treat your
    question with respect. I'm not sure why you think you need guidance in lens
    purchasing, since you are limited to Sigma lenses. No other manufacturer
    makes lenses in that mount. Which is one reason some of the other
    respondents suggest switching to another brand, there is a huge difference
    between lens availability for Sigma and other brands, especially Canon and
    You will find very few people who use the Sigma SA-9, in fact, in the 3 or 4
    years I've been on this NG, I think you might be the first. It will be hard
    to get any info, since most of the rest of us who have used Sigma lenses
    have done so on other brands of cameras, and several of us have had
    experiences that have varied from bad to terrible, myself not included.
    From the other point of view, though, your lead paragraph may have left you
    looking a little less than sincere. To term the Sigma kit lens a "beauty"
    is giving that lens credit where little is deserved, in comparison to other
    manufacturer's lenses, not just the big guys like Canon and Nikon, but
    Tokina and Tamron, too. I bought my wife the 28-105 f2.8-4, which is
    supposed to be better than the 28-105 f3.5-5.6 kit lens, and it was awful.
    My wife felt bad that she hated the lens that I got her for Christmas, but
    she found it unusable, even for infrared work.
    If you want something wider, I'd suggest the 15-30 Sigma, or the 17-35 EX.
    I have the latter, and it is a competent lens, for the money. Which leads
    me to another question, how much do you plan on spending?
    Another disadvantage to Sigma is that they really don't have a good
    "portrait" lens focal length. The 105mm f2.8 Macro is a good macro lens, in
    fact one of the best, optically, but it is too sharp to use as a portrait
    lens, too unflattering.
    Again, I hope this is a sincere request for help, although I don't see why
    you need advice.
    Skip M, May 16, 2004
  5. Suzie Quinn

    Suzie Quinn Guest

    Hello Skip. Thank you for the response. My needs do not require that I
    own an army of lenses. :) 2 or 3 more should suffice. My current 28-105
    lense does cover most ordinary situations. I would like to buy a nice
    wide angle lense, and this will probably be the first in a series of
    purchases I will make over the course of the next several months. Of the
    available Sigma lenses, the ones I am most attracted to are...

    Sigma 14mm F2.8 EX Aspherical HSM
    Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF RF
    Sigma 12mm-24mm f4.5/5.6 EX DG Aspherical
    Sigma 15-30mm F3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF
    Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 EX DG Aspherical
    Sigma 20-40mm F2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

    Perhaps you or someone familiar with these lenses could rank them for me?
    Then, pray tell, what is the source of all the negative opinions about
    this camera body? If the drawback is limited to lense selection, I would
    say that (in my case) the point is moot. Let me be the first person to
    offer a solid testimonial on behalf of the SA-9. From a functional
    standpoint, it is excellent. Do I have another camera to compare it to?
    No. Unlike some people, I'm not going to offer any opinions on a camera I
    have never even held in my hands.
    That is what I am trying to avoid. Are you telling me that it is not
    possible to find 2 or 3 quality lenses out of the entire Sigma lense
    lineup? I find that somewhat difficult to accept.
    Maybe she received a bad one? Mine works just fine. Could I use it to
    shoot weddings? It would not be ideal for this type of photography. Does
    it take decent photos, outdoors, in most situations? Yes. Does my current
    camera/lense combination give me better photos than a comparably priced
    digital compact would? I would guess that the answer is yes.
    All of the lenses I listed above are within my spending range.
    Could a soft filter solve that problem?

    Thanks for the response.
    Suzie Quinn, May 16, 2004
  6. Suzie Quinn

    Skip M Guest

    Well, the specs of the camera lag somewhat behind the others, but its price
    is somewhat lower, too. I don't offer an opinion of the body, just the
    lenses. But it does only offer one focus point, as opposed to the five of
    my Canon A2, introduced 10 years ago, or the 7 of the Elan 7.
    If we received a bad 28-105, that says something about Sigma's quality
    control, if nothing else. But others have said pretty much the same thing
    about that lens.
    Like I said, the 17-35, the only one on your list that I have direct
    experience with, is a competent lens, if not spectacular.
    A soft filter may soften things too much, but it may help more.
    Skip M, May 16, 2004
  7. Suzie Quinn

    Suzie Quinn Guest

    Thank you for the responses Skip. We seem to be in agreement that there
    are at least 2 or 3 good Sigma lenses. I really don't need more than
    that, but I can understand why many people would require a greater
    selection of lenses, and a camera with a better feature set than the

    I am very happy with the SA-9 body, even if it does lack some advanced
    features. I am posting the specs for reference...

    Lens Mount: Sigma

    Focus Modes: One shot AF, Continuous AF & Manual

    Focus Type: Area AF with crosshair sensor

    Focusing Range: EV -1 to 20 (@ ISO 100 with f/1.8 lens)

    Exposure Modes:
    -Programmed shift AE
    -Shutter prority
    -Aperture priority
    -Full TTL auto program & Manual

    Exposure Metering:
    - 8-Zone evaluative
    - Centerweighted
    - Spot

    Metering Range at ISO 100 with f/1.8 lens EV -1 to 20

    Shutter Speed: 1/8000th to 30 Seconds + bulb, with sync at 1/180th

    High-speed sync possible with EF-430 & 500 Super flashes

    Exposure Compensation: ± 3 EV in 0.5 EV increments

    Exposure Bracketing: ± 3 EV in 0.5 EV increments

    ISO Range: 25-5000 (DX)
    6-6400 in Manual setting

    Built-In Flash: Yes (GN 40' with 28mm coverage)

    Film Wind: Single & Continuous at 3 frames per second

    Focusing Screen: Fixed laser matte with focus frame & metering marks
    Diopter Correction: Yes (-1.5 to +1.5)

    Self Timer: 10-Second delay

    Remote Control Optional (Remote switch RS-21)

    PC Terminal: No

    Depth of Field Preview: Yes

    Mirror Lock-Up: Yes

    Multiple Exposure: Yes (up to 9 exposures per frame)

    Viewfinder Info:
    -Flash confirmation
    -Focus confirmation
    -Shutter speed
    -AE Lock indication
    -Exposure compensation
    -Auto bracketing indicator

    LCD Information:
    -Aperture value
    -Flash mode
    -ISO Setting
    -Metering mode
    -Remote control mode
    -Multiple exposure indication
    -Film counter
    -Exposure compensation indicator
    -Auto bracketing indicator
    -Low battery warning, Autofocus sound indicator & Autofocus mode

    Color: Black

    Power Source: One 2CR5 6-Volt lithium battery

    Dimensions: 142 x 97 x 69mm WxHxD

    Weight 431 g
    Suzie Quinn, May 16, 2004
  8. You find something you don't like in what I said? Fine.

    We deal with the truth here, because that's the only enduring value there
    is. It's not especially self-righteous to ask people to respect the
    responses they get here. This gal set it off with her snippy come-back to
    Tony's very reasonable response. She didn't like what she read, so instead
    of checking it out, she bitched about it.

    I went to some length to explain what it was she did wrong and why. She
    didn't reply, and that's okay. At least she can't say she wasn't informed.
    If you consider that a 'wank', you've got a real problem, and I feel no
    need to read about it. I don't kill file. Don't use them, and don't need
    them. I'll gladly reside in yours, just to avoid this sort of drivel.

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 16, 2004
  9. Suzie Quinn

    Nick C Guest

    LOL .....

    Nick C, May 16, 2004
  10. Ignore Scarpitti ASAP- unless you own his brand of camera you cannot
    possibly be serious about taking pictures. Oh, and he couldn't help you even
    if he wanted to; all his Sigma lenses have Leica badges.
    Martin Francis, May 16, 2004
  11. You will find it hard to locate a positive recommendation for a Sigma SLR
    (and if you do, look out for the full page Sigma ad later in the mag...). In
    fact, there are very few third-party manufacturers who have more than one or
    two products most NG regulars and reviewers would recommend (Tamron's 90mm,
    for example- and I just read a highly complimentary review of their 180mm

    I used to be of the opinion that I could do with pretty much anything that
    would form a halfway decent image on film, and I still feel the same way
    with regards to beginners- myself, I have become somewhat anal (the r.p.e.*
    curse) about equipment, and i'm currently trying to cure myself with a
    cheapo body with 50mm lens and a point 'n' shoot.

    As for Sigma... well, as far as systems go the only deader ends are
    discontinued (Topcon, Praktica Bayonet and so on). Nobody but Sigma make
    Sigma-fit lenses, and they definitely place emphasis on zoom lenses (which
    as a non-zoom-phile I find mostly unforgiveable). The only Sigma lenses that
    would hold any appeal for me are as follows-

    20mm f1.8
    28mm f1.8
    50mm f2.8
    105mm f2.8
    180mm f3.5?

    of course, none of these are zooms- and I know how much new buyers love
    those zooms, but if you want anything more than snapshot quality from any
    budget-to-midrange SLR, the non-zoom lenses are the best (cheapest) way.

    FWIW, I have a Contax 139 with 50mm f1.4 lens, as well as a three-lens
    Hasselblad kit, an Olympus E10 digital and an Olympus mju II (Stylus Epic)
    point and shoot, and have only owned one Sigma lens (an antique 28-70mm "kit
    lens" with features like barrel distortion and removeable front element).
    Martin Francis, May 16, 2004
  12. Suzie Quinn

    Suzie Quinn Guest

    Here's a scenario for you, Mr. Tallman.

    You've owned an automobile for two years. The brand name is Hyundai. It
    runs impeccably well, and you love it like a pet. You want to buy some
    new tires for your automobile. You ask for some advice to help you decide
    which are the best available tires for your Hyundai. Somebody comes back

    "Keep the old tires on the car until it falls apart. It shouldn't take
    more than two years. Then buy yourself a nice Jaguar or a BMW."

    Would you get "snippy"? I actually don't see the "snippiness" in my first
    reply to Tony. Confusion is a more accurate description of my reaction.
    How do you consider Tony's first reply to be helpful? It was full of
    sarcasm. Did he explain to me WHY he has an unfavourable opinion of my
    camera, as Lisa did? No. He took a cheap shot at me instead. If my
    response was ill-received, then I apologise for my inability to
    communicate effectively.
    Did I? Very peculiar, I don't see it that way. Is that how everyone
    interpreted "bitching"?
    Yes, I did read your other reply. I don't think you speak for the entire
    group as whole, unless I am missing something. There were a good number
    of people that were kind enough to offer me some useful answers to the
    question I originally posed about lenses for my current camera. Are you
    suggesting that I cannot find 2 or 3 quality lenses among the entire
    Sigma lineup? Have you ever used (or known another person to use) the
    SA-9? Lisa, Skip, Martin, and several others have indicated that there
    are some good Sigma lenses. Am I trying to push my brand on others? No.
    Am I making any claims to its' superiority? No, of course not.

    I don't want to argue anymore, it is not fun, but I have been put
    somewhat on the defensive. I won't waste any more of your time with my
    situation, Mr. Tallman.
    Suzie Quinn, May 16, 2004
  13. Suzie Quinn

    Suzie Quinn Guest

    Thanks for all of the responses. I apologise if I was ill-received. If
    anyone has any advice regarding Sigma lenses, please e-mail me at:
    SQuinn688 at
    Suzie Quinn, May 16, 2004
  14. Suzie Quinn

    Alan Browne Guest

    Why should Suzie be so lucky?
    Alan Browne, May 16, 2004
  15. Suzie Quinn

    Alan Browne Guest

    Don't worry Suzie, Scarpitti had blown away the very small shreds of
    respect he ever had long before you came here...
    Alan Browne, May 16, 2004
  16. Suzie Quinn

    Alan Browne Guest

    a 20mm f/2.8
    a 35mm f/whatever
    an 85 or 100mm (+/-) for portraits. f/2.8ish is fine; 85 f/1.4 if you
    have the $.

    a 200mm f/fastish and a 1.4 TC...

    an 80-200 f/2.8

    Sigma have some good lenses and some dogs. So do your research about
    each _specific_ model you are looking at. Sharpness counts, but is not
    the only criteria... distortion, vignetting and build need to be
    considered too.

    You mention a future digital camera, and the Foveon SD-9/10's are pretty
    damned good cameras (with some nits).

    In shopping for your new lenses, make sure they are appropriate to the
    likely cropping factor of around 1.5 (eg: your 100mm lens will yield
    images as if from a 150mm lens).
    Alan Browne, May 16, 2004
  17. Suzie Quinn

    Alan Browne Guest

    ....why should you apologize? The rude asses should apologize.
    Alan Browne, May 16, 2004
  18. OK, Suzie, here's the deal. You should know what you need already.
    Asking about lenses from others is a complete waste of time. Nobody
    else has the same needs as you do.

    In any event, the crap lenses that Sigma makes--I would not even touch

    Get a used Leicaflex SL and find some nice two-cam lenses, and you'll
    be in heaven. Forget this crap, OK?
    Michael Scarpitti, May 16, 2004
  19. That can be read more than one way, Lisa. I take it meaning that the
    best thing for her to do would be to forget this crappy system.
    Michael Scarpitti, May 16, 2004
  20. Suzie:

    Take my advice:

    Don't ask for advice, especially in regard to the camera 'system'
    (cough) that you have selected.

    NOBODY uses that camera line, and the lenses are generally crappy. You
    have NO IDEA how much better top-notch equipment works until you have
    used it. Go to a store that has some used Leicaflex equipment and play
    with it, and if possible take some pictures too. You will be stunned.
    Michael Scarpitti, May 16, 2004
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