Lens Choices

22 Jul 2015 15:24 #3005 by roblgs
Replied by roblgs on topic Lens Choices
Hi Trekker,

Yes, I suppose I shouldn't go making sweeping statements like 'never', but any change of system is currently impossible both financially and maritally! ;)

Flash is one of Pentax's weak areas, and the Canon MP-E 65 is certainly an extremely interesting lens, but one (currently) beyond reach or consideration.

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29 Sep 2015 09:48 - 29 Sep 2015 10:02 #3162 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Lens Choices
My long lens is a Tamron 150-600, the IQ might not be on par with much more expensive lenses, but overall I am very happy. I paid B42,000 about 18 months ago.
Weight is around 2kg, which makes hand holding easy enough. I think this is a big advantage because it means the lens is more portable and gets used more often. It's got IS and is not too bad in low light. The pic below is at ISO 3200, F9, Ex 400 on a Canon 650D.

The other decent lens I have is the Sigma 18-32 F1.8. I'm really happy with the IQ on this lens, it's supposed to be excellent for landscapes, but this is something I've hardly tried. Price is around B24,000.

Can anyone suggest a reasonable priced macro lens for shooting insects?

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29 Sep 2015 10:30 #3164 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Lens Choices
Can not comment on macro lenses, not much experience. I do have a 200mm f4 micro lens from nikon but fungus has created a new ecosystem inside :(
Very sharp lens! Nice to have some more working distance, which wa the reason I chose this one because i planned to use it for close-up head shots of venomous snakes.
Still I guess for most people a more average focal length like 90 - 105mm range is nice.
Not sure what's available for your brand of camera (what brand do you use?).

I recently played a bit with that 150-600mm Tamron, and have to agree that I was quite impressed with the good image stabilizer and sharpness.
I did not expect it to be this quality.
Also makes me wonder how well the new Nikon 200-500mm will perform. The price tag is clearly meant to fight these long zoom lenses made by Tamron, and Sigma.

Nice Blue-winged Pitta shot by the way!

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29 Sep 2015 10:39 - 08 Oct 2015 12:21 #3166 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Lens Choices
The most versatile lens for macro (with flash) is "100mm". As I moved from Nikon to Canon for macro I have 3 lens in this range .... Nikon 105, Canon 100 and Tamron 90. You cant tell any difference in quality of image between any of them. Indeed when using Nikon the Tamron was/is my favorite - lighter, shorter, and great with extension tubes. When I moved to canon I had to change to the canon 100 as I moved to use the MT 24x flash (and the marvelous MPE lens) and it did not fit the Tamron (I am not sure if there's an adapter available yet). Sigma's 150 is also highly regarded (although I have not used one). If you are not using the MT-24x flash then I would have no hesitation recommending the Tamron.

Indeed in macro lens there really no need for any technological gizmos like autofocus ( ;+) ) so most macro lens are very good at what they do.

The longer macro lens (180 and 200) and shorter (MPE) have great benefits in certain situations, but are more difficult to use in others. The only focal length I have never liked in macro is the 60 mm as its just does not work well in the field IMHO - too wide and too close focusing at 1:1 ratio.

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30 Sep 2015 17:04 #3170 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Lens Choices
Thanks for the info, I am using a Canon 650D.

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02 Oct 2015 16:47 #3175 by roblgs
Replied by roblgs on topic Lens Choices

I can't comment on ether Nikon or Canon original equipment, although agree that you'd be hard pushed to find a bad example of proper macro lens from any manufacturer.

I'll add a vote though for the Tamron 90mm f/2.8. Brilliant lens, always has been in it's decades of history, and was known to beat out more expensive lenses from the camera manufacturers... Fantastically sharp, great colour and bokeh, lightweight, and easy to use... comes with a focus limiter for use with autofocus.

Would agree also that, when doing macro I never use autofocus, so if you really want to get the price down then looking for an older manual focus only lens, or one of the newer ones from China or Korea manufacturers, would still give you a great lens, assuming they would be compatible with mounting on your canon body and properly couple with the meter.

Outside of Canon originals, then Tamron and Sigma are excellent, the older Vivitar Series 1 macro lenses had a great reputation.

Most flexible focal length would be in the 90 to 105mm range... longer lenses would give greater working distance, but get horribly expensive very quickly. Shorter focal lengths will reduce the working distance, which can be an issue if you need to get artificial light onto the subject, or if the subject is of a nervous disposition and runs away if you try getting too close.

Good luck!

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22 Oct 2015 14:06 #3194 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Lens Choices
Third party lenses are so much cheaper than original that I find it difficult to buy the latter. I'm very happy with the IQ on the two lenses I have, then again each of them one 'Lens of the Year'. However I did borrow a Sigma 70-300 and wasn't impressed with that.

The Tamron 300 2.8 seems cheap with good reviews. Has anyone experience with this lens?

Another I'm interested in is the Tamron 70-200 2.8, www.lazada.co.th/tamron-70-200mm-f28-di-...as-black-296326.html

I was thinking this would be useful in low light for both marco and distance shots.

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30 Oct 2015 10:04 #3205 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Lens Choices
This seems like a good deal. B32,900 for the Tamron 150-600. There is no warranty, which may be because it's a grey import. The price is possibly cheaper than 2nd hand. www.lazada.co.th/tamron-sp-150-600mm-f5-...rm=xxto0000srcvt0400

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30 Oct 2015 12:40 #3206 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Lens Choices
That is cheap! Especially for that price this lens works very well!
I would not worry too much about grey import. It might mean you can not bring it in for service at an official service centre (maybe you can...).
But anyway, local photo shops can often do repairs for you.

2 months ago, when I brought some lenses to the Nikon service centre in Bangkok to clean some fungus. They told me the lenses were too badly affected, they would have to replace some of the glass elements. When they told me so, I already expected it to be very expensive.
For my old 300mm f4 it was quoted at 30200 baht to do the job...
The 17-35mm 2.8 would even cost 58300 baht to replace the glass.
For 58k baht I could probably buy a new similar lens.
I did not hope it would be that bad. I had just saved up money for a new camera and anyway planned to replace the 300mm lens, but I was certainly not counting for buying a new high quality wide-angle zoom lens.
I have to say that they were very friendly and helpful. But surely I decided not to spend this much money to save an old lens.

Next thing I walked into fotofile in MBK. For different reasons, to buy the new camera I had on my wishlist.
At some point, when I already purchased the camera, I talked with the seller about my visit earlier that day to Nikon service centre, and how my lenses could not be cleaned.
He asked me, to show him my lenses?
And so I did.
He looked through my old 300mm. And he told me to wait a minute. He walked back into his office. Few minutes later(!) he returned, handed over the lens to me, and I looked through the lens and the fungus was gone. I couldn't really believe it, haha.
When I asked the charge, he said, no worries. Free. So in a couple minutes he got the results I was hoping for, free of charge, where as Nikon would have charged me 30200 baht to save my lens... OK, new glass elements probably means it would have been 100%, while now, it might only be 99.9%... I can live with 99.9%

The 17-35mm was quite badly affected with fungus on various glass elements.
He looked at it, and told this would take possibly a few weeks, and would probably cost 1000 - 1500 baht.
For a lens of this quality, that was more than worth the try.
After a couple weeks they called. It was ready, and they charged 1000 baht. A bit different than the price Nikon wanted to charge, 58000 baht vs 1000 baht.
I can believe that changing the glass would be the best, but I would have liked it if the people at Nikon service centre would have told me that they could possible clean it for a reasonable rate, but possibly it could not be removed for 100%.
I would have settled for 99% clean and possibly had even paid up to 4000 baht for it to save this expensive wide-angle lens.

So in other words, you don't really need an official service centre, so buying grey import would be nothing to worry about, in my opinion.
And for this low price, I would say: go for it!
I played with this lens a bit in Khao Yai, borrowed from somebody. I was surpised how well it the vibrate reduction works even when shooting hand-held at 600mm.
And on my D810 body, it looked pretty sharp.
Surely it can not beat a fixed 600mm f4, but if the quality of one of these fixed lenses is really 10 times as good as the Tamron, and therefore worth almost 10 times the price, is the question.
Of course speed, and narrow depth of field are great, but with the Tamron you can get to places where you wouldn't get with the fixed lens without having serious back problems ;-)
And as much as I like great sharpness, it does not really make the overall picture any better.
A good picture is more than sharpness alone. See, e.g. the salamander silhouette image that won one of the adult categories in the BBC wildlife Photographer of the year 2015. Shot with a Canon G15. It shows you do not need a top-end DSLR to shoot winning images.

And again a way too long post that basically only tries to say: Go for it!

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01 Nov 2015 12:52 - 01 Nov 2015 12:54 #3213 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Lens Choices
That's an interesting story about the fungus. My Tamron had some, we rang the dealer and they were quick to say it's a big problem that might need replacement. Instead I took it to a family run shop at the bottom of Silom, they charged B2,000 to clean it.

I paid B43,000 for the Tamron. If anyone is considering buying from the Lazada link, I would see if pick up is available, so that you can check the lens before parting with cash.

I'm happy with the IQ of the lens. It's a bit long and slow for low light, but is great for open areas.and can be very sharp even hand held.

100% crop


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