Posts Tagged ‘Sigma’

Wednesday, March 13th 2013

Fotopromenad i Uppsala

Jag och ett gäng kollegor gick på en fotopromenad i Uppsala i lördags. Kul att få till något lite socialt eftersom foto oftast är en enmanssport. Vi utgick från Stora torget och gick en runda längs ån och gågatan. Men eftersom det var omänskligt kallt ute hamnade vi ganska snart på kafé Storken…

Jag missbrukade mitt nya Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 OS, som jag gillar skarpt. (Pun intended!) Fick väl inte till några mästerverk men åtminstone ett par bilder som känns okej.

C14448C14475C14456C14463C14471C14491C14461

Tuesday, March 27th 2012

Ett par bilder

Tog en promenad här i Enköping i söndags och räknade inte med att hitta särskilt mycket med kameran, men tog ändå med den för skojs skull.

Det blir oftast min nya Sigma 30mm f/1,4 som sitter på kameran nu, så även den här gången.

C07157 Sjut migC07177 Svart och vittC07189C07188C07169 Obruten mark

Jag gillar verkligen den nya varianten av Clarity som finns i Lightroom 4. En bild som från början inte alls ser speciellt kul ut kan få sig ett ordentligt lyft, utan att det blir särskilt uppenbart vad man gjort med bilden.

I den sista bilden har jag i stället använt lite negativ clarity för att försöka få en lite drömsk soft-focus-effekt.

Sunday, February 20th 2011

Camera Gear History

I’ve been thinking about summing up my camera gear over the years, and how I’ve switched stuff around. So here goes.

Canon EOS 300 with EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 and battery grip BP-200.

I’ll skip right over the compacts I had, and start with my first SLR. In 2001 I bought a double lens kit with …

  • Canon EOS 300 (above)
  • Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6
  • Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6

In february 2003 I bought an external flash, the Canon 420EX. I just realized that the flash is the oldest piece of gear that I’m still using.

I stayed out of the digital game until 2006 when the Canon EOS 30D was released. Now I considered the technology had matured enough for me, so I bought a 30D at the shop where I was working back then – with a nice discount of course.

Canon EOS 30D (body only).

At the same time I got a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 as a standard zoom for the 30D. I tried to sell my analog camera and the 28-90mm lens, but didn’t succeed.

Later the same year I expanded my kit with two more lenses …

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6

I sold the 75-300mm and just used the sharper 70-300mm with image stabilization.

The next addition I made was the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, mid 2007.

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

At this point my camera bag was pretty much complete, with lenses from 10mm to 300mm, an external flash, various filters, a screw-on close-up lens, and various other bits and pieces.

So this is when I started thinking about upgrading various parts of the kit.

The first lens I upgraded was my standard zoom, selling my Sigma 17-70mm and getting Canon’s great EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, in January 2010. I bought the Canon lens second hand in Stockholm, in good condition and for a very decent price.

In May 2010 I got a very good deal on a new Canon EOS 50D and sold my 30D after about 27 800 clicks. You can read my thoughts about the 50D here.

Canon EOS 50D.

My latest upgrade, in January 2011, was switching the Sigma 10-20mm for a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Having the f/2.8 aperture all the way from 11 to 55 mm is great.

And now I’m extremely close to switching my 50D for a 7D. I’ve only had the 50D for nine months so it might seem a little … premature. But thanks to the great deal I got when I bought it I can sell it second hand with a very small loss.

All in all I’ve been through eight different lenses and three camera bodies, moving on to my fourth.

What’s your camera history?

Sunday, December 26th 2010

Sigma 10-20mm till salu

Tack vare julklappspengar från snälla människor har jag nu sparat ihop till mellanskillanden mellan mitt Sigma 10-20mm och ett Tokina 11-16mm. Så vad finns det att vänta på? Nu lägger jag upp objektivet på Blocket.

Edit: Jag glömde skriva i annonsen att objektivet har Canon-fattning, förstås.

Här är lite större bilder som jag främst lägger upp för annonsens skull.

Dessvärre har glaset på avståndsfönstret spruckit, men det påverkar inte funktionen. Och glaset har suttit kvar i snart två år sedan det sprack:

Här finns några inlägg med bilder tagna med Sigman.

Saturday, December 11th 2010

Uppsala slott

En till gammal bild som jag hittade nu när jag satt och påtade. Har vågat dra på färgerna lite mer nu.

Här syns den svaga punkten hos mitt Sigma 10-20 mm objektiv. Till vänster och till höger i bild är det inte alls lika skarpt som i mitten, på trädet. Funderar lite löst på att spara ihop till ett Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8, det lär vara klart skarpare.

Friday, April 9th 2010

Five Old Favourites

Looking through your old photos is always good fun. Here are five of mine that I really like, that I found while leafing through all my sets on Flickr.

Fors kyrka i dimma, Eskilstuna

Fors kyrka in Eskilstuna. Shot with my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6.

14952 - 2008-04-23 kl 05.29

Faktoriholmen, Eskilstuna. Shot with my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. At 5.30 in the morning. Don’t think it was on the way to work – if I remember correctly I just woke up very early and felt very inspired.

Toadstool in Kronskogen, Eskilstuna.

A toadstool that I found in Kronskogen, Eskilstuna. Shot with my 50mm @ f/2. Added a slight split toning in Lightroom.

14879 - 2008-04-16 kl 19.39

Here I was playing about with various fruit and vegetables. This was shot with my 50mm @ f/2.8. Lit by nothing more than my desk light.

14781 - 2008-04-13 kl 21.30

Again, playing. This time with matches.

Friday, January 22nd 2010

Sharpness test: Sigma 17-70mm vs Canon 17-55mm

After having bought my second hand EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 I sold my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. But before I sent it off to the buyer, I took some test shots for a little comparison of the two lenses.

I set my camera up on my tripod and took shots of our bookcases from roughly 2.5 meters away, at a right angle. I took photos at 17mm, 35mm and 55mm with both lenses, and at each focal length I took photos at f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8.0. (Obviously, the Sigma doesn’t do f/2.8 at 35mm and 55mm.)

One thing I did notice fairly soon was that the Sigma’s autofocus was much less reliable than the Canon’s. For some of the shots I ended up having to manually hunt for the optimum focus distance. The Canon got it right every time.

From each test shot I have cropped out sections from the centre, mid and edge areas. All in all, 66 squares of 300×300 pixels, which I have ordered in (hopefully) pretty tables below.

As you can see in the overview photos, the sections are taken from different places for the different focal lenghts. (To use the areas of the bookcases with most detail in them.)

I’ve put my own conclusion in words at the end, after all the tables.

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

17mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
17mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
17mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

35mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
35mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
35mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

55mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
55mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
55mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Conclusions

On the whole, in almost all of the little squares, the Canon is running circles round the Sigma. No pun intended actually.

Surprisingly though, the Sigma looks sharper than the Canon in the centre and mid areas of the frame when using f/2.8 at 17mm. The Canon seems to suffer from some kind of fringing here. (At the edges though, the Canon is better.)

To summarize, it was much as I had hoped and expected. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed with the Canon’s performance at 17mm. At the same time I don’t think that fringing will be very visible with most subjects. It would take a lot of fringing to out-weigh the benefits of having image stabilization.

Sunday, January 10th 2010

Camera bag: Meet Lens

I’ve been saving up for a while, and with some money I was given for Xmas I had enough to get a second hand Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

It took many late nights of on-line research to decide which lens would be the best choice. I’ve been considering the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC (Vibration Compensation) and the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 OS (Optical Stabilization). But in the end I decided to hunt down a second hand Canon 17-55mm f/2.8.

Initial reviews of the two other lenses have been so-so. And the Canon has both the constant maximum aperture of the Tamron and the quiet auto-focus of the Sigma.

I’ve managed to get my hands on a two year old copy of the EF-S 17-55mm which doesn’t seem to have been used very much. It really is in perfect condition, and I only paid two thirds of the price of a new one.

I’ll probably post a little comparison between the EF-S 17-55mm and my current standard zoom, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. If nothing else to cure my own curiosity.

By the way, if you live in Sweden and want to buy my Sigma, I’m selling it here.

As always in camera-land, one piece of new equipment will lead to another.

The EF-S is good in many ways, but it definitely isn’t compact. This means that I can’t really fit all my lenses in my current camera bag and the guy who sold me the 17-55 showed me his beautiful Lowepro Slingshot 350 AW. Beautiful as in extremely well designed.

The Lowepro 350 has a smaller sibling, the 300 (which lacks a laptop compartment) which will most likely be the subject for my next saving-up project.

Monday, December 14th 2009

Nice Lens: Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 OS HSM

Sigma has just introduced a new and very interesting lens, the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM.

Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

When I got my Canon EOS 30D I decided to go for the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5. It is better than the standard kit lens and optically better than the Canon EF-S 17-85mm even if it lacks stabilization.

Sigma’s new lens offers two great improvements:

  • Ultrasonic auto focus motor (HSM)
  • Optical stabilizing

It also features better glass than the old lens, so in theory it should give even more detail. The old 17-70mm isn’t very sharp at the wide end.

I’ve felt that my 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 is the weakest of my lenses when it comes to low light photography. Adding stabilization would make a huge difference. An alternative would perhaps be to get a second hand Canon EF-S 17-55mm 1:2.8 IS.

Really looking forward to reading some tests of the new Sigma.

Tuesday, May 5th 2009

Autofocus test of the Sigma 17-70mm

While reading about the Canon EF-S 17-55mm, which I’m considering getting second hand, I saw an autofocus test where it performed flawlessly. That is, finding perfect focus 20 out of 20 times. Not all other lenses tested did though. The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 missed a few. (See the test towards the end of this page.)

This got me curious about how well my own lens focuses. (Obviously, the camera plays a part here too, probably a fairly major part.) Anyway, I set up a similar test with my Sigma 17-70mm on my Canon 30D.

I put the camera on my tripod, about 1.5 meters from a frame with our wedding photos. I aimed the centre focus point at the dark edge of a photo, like this:

Autofocus test of the Sigma 17-70mm lens.

Then I manually set the focus at infinity (or beyond infinity actually), activated the autofocus again, and simply pressed the shutter-release (cable).

I repeated the process twelve times, and then did another twelve setting the focus at the closest focusing distance and another twelve setting it at about 0.7 meters.

In all three cases, the lens got 12/12 sharp, focused shots, like this 100% crop here:

Autofocus test of the Sigma 17-70mm lens.

These shots were shot at 48mm, 1/20th sec, f/4 and ISO 400, to give you a feeling of the amount of light. The room wasn’t dark, not very bright either.

Not a very thorough test, but at least it shows the autofocus is no where near lousy, as some people try to make out about this lens.

Monday, April 27th 2009

Problems with Sigma 17-70mm

When I got my Canon EOS 30D three years ago I decided to get the Sigma 17-70mm lens instead of the standard Canon EF-S 18-55mm kit lens.

Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5

On the whole the lens has worked very well, but recently I’ve discovered some odd behaviour from it.

Focus hunting

Firstly, I noticed the other evening that it hunted endlessly for focus without finding it, even though I was aiming at contrast edges which I normally think it would find. Admittedly light was perhaps a little dim, but certainly nowhere near dark.

I’m still not sure if this is a new issue or if the lens has behaved like this all the time. To some degree I know it has, but the hunting I saw now felt worse than anything I’ve seen previously.

Incorrect/jumpy focal length reporting

The second issue I’ve had is this: When using the lens together with my 420EX flash the flash zoom head will keep jumping between different (incorrect) zoom settings. I suspect this is because of the lens sending incorrect focal length data to the camera.

Now I’m not 100% sure this is the lenses fault since I haven’t tried to reproduce the behaviour with another flash. The weird thing is that the focal lengths written to the Exif data in the photos seem correct.

Anyone else who has seen these issues with this lens?

Thursday, April 17th 2008

What can I make out of these?

Red chili pepper and lime

Yesterday I was in a shooting mood and bought some interesting vegetables and fruit to shoot when I was at Hemköp.

I set up a provisional studio on one of my chairs. I just used a large sheet of white paper that I happened to find in a photo frame. For lighting I used my desk light and a second smaller light.

Red onion

I hunted down the correct exposure to make the paper only just overexpose in the brightest corner, and then shot in manual mode.

Radicchio

I used my Sigma 17-70mm, Canon 50mm and Canon 70-300mm lenses. I liked the results best from the 50mm, so I ended up sticking with that lens most of the time. (Except for the real close-ups where I used the 70-300mm + a close-up lens.) And most of the time I had the 50mm set at f/2.8 which seems to be this lenses sweet spot.

Green and yellow peppers

If you want to see more of the shots I’ve put my favourites in a set at Flickr.

Tuesday, March 18th 2008

Interesting: Sigma 50mm f/1.4

Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX DG HSM

Sigma just announced the new Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX. Since I’m a bit disappointed with the performance of my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, this might be an interesting alternative if the price is right. (I find the Canon 50mm 1.4 is only usably sharp from about f/2.2.)

Edit: Just realized I published a quick sharpness test of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 last year.

Saturday, June 2nd 2007

New toy: Sigma 10-20mm or Wide angle is fun

I’ve sort-of been wanting a really wide angle lens for a while. You can do so many cool things with them, and they’re actually quite useful as well. For instance, you can easily make really goofy portraits:

Wide angle portrait Sigma 10-20mm

The widest lens I’ve had before was 17 mm, so going down to 10 mm makes quite a difference. Especially in tight spaces and for landscapes. So, having had what felt like my first ever real pay check a few days ago, I ordered a Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 (and a UV filter to go in front of it). It arrived yesterday. Included was a great carrying pouch and a lens hood.

Contents Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 DC HSM lens hood carrying bag pouch

[@Tommy: Den finns med Nikonfattning också.]

After work and dinner I went out and played with it for four hours 🙂 in town.

First I headed for the historic parts of the town. Basically a large collection of 17th century smithies, now functioning as a tourist attraction with restaurants, etc.

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Tullgatan Rademachergatan

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Rademachergatan

This bell tower worked quite well from below I thought. Sadly you can’t actually make out the bell here:

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna klocktorn bell tower Sigma 10-20mm

Close to the old smithies I found what looked like a half deserted factory building.

deserted factory övergiven fabrik Eskilstuna

rusty pipes plumbing rostiga rör

soprum

blue grafitti orange wall

Just as I was going to leave, I saw this bracelet haning on a hinge on the fence:

lonely heart bracelet hanging

The last three photos were taken with my old 75-300mm lens.

Then I headed back home, but got stuck at the church which looked pretty good against the blue sky.

Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna

There were plenty of cool cars rolling around, so I had a go at improving my panning skills. Not sure what the first one is though… some kind of Chevy perhaps?

panning shot photo car

panning shot photo car rover mini

By now it was so dark I decided to go back into town to have a shot at some lit-up fountains that I pass every day going to work.

Going there, the view of the river was pleasing to the eye. I was lucky enough to get a horde of jackdaws in the shot.

wide angle shot Eskilstuna river jackdaws Sigma 10-20mm

Canon 75-300mm IS fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

And a last shot of the church from across the river before I went home. This time I actually did go home.

Sigma 10-20mm Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna across river Eskilstunaån

I’m getting close to 10,000 photos now. My camera has made 9949 exposures, and out of those I’ve kept 3604, or 36%. Sadly I haven’t printed very many, but I’m planning on making a few enlargements soon to put up on my bare walls.

Sunday, June 4th 2006

Canon EF 28-90mm vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm

The full title of this should have been Canon EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 at ~35 mm, but it got rather long.

I’ve just done a small series of shots at f/4, 5.6 and 8 with the Canon and the Sigma, at 35 mm focal length.

As you’ll see, this test displays more than anything why it’s worth spending some more money on getting a sturdy tripod. Even though I didn’t intentionally change the camera’s position, it has quite obviously moved between the shots.

Below are 100% center crops. The Canon 28-90 is on the left, the Sigma 17-70 is on the right. Oh, and I should say that the Sigma ended up at 36 mm, and the Canon at 35 mm. First up, f/4:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Then we have f/5.6:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Finally, f/8:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Edit: I just realized that I forgot to write some kind of conclusion. The Sigma is a lot sharper at f/4, but it doesn’t get much sharper at f/5.6 and f/8. The Canon is, in comparison, pretty soft at f/4, but improves significantly to f/8. At f/8 the main difference between the two seems to be the colour. The Sigma looks slightly more saturated. I did have the camera WB set to Cloudy, so the difference shouldn’t be because of the AWB treating the photos differently.

Saturday, June 3rd 2006

Canon EOS 30D and Sigma 17-70mm, Second Thoughts

Well, I got my 30D on Monday. (Finally!) I ordered it basically a month ago. Oh boy is this a nice camera… I’ve had the lens since the 16 May, but obviously haven’t been able to use it properly until now.

Canon EOS 30D box

Thought I’d give you a little review of it here. If you’re wondering, I’m not having second thoughts about my purchase. I just thought it would be wrong to title this First Thoughts, since I’ve had it for about a week now 🙂 All the same, it won’t be a complete review – there are plenty of those out there for you already. I’ll just comment on a few different aspects of the camera.

The size of the grip.

This is the main reason I got the 30D instead of the 350D. I’m not so bothered about the 5 frames per second, although it is nice at times. Having tried the 350D with a ~400 gram lens and a flash attached, I am convinced I made the right choice. For me, the 350D was far to small to feel comfortable. I got the feeling I was only holding it with my fingertips.

I actually ordered the vertical grip (BG-E2) as well, but canceled it when I read that it wasn’t very high quality, and sometimes could cause power-cuts. I would definitely like the vertical grip for that last bit of hand to fit onto the camera in landscape orientation, and obviously not having to hold your arm up for verticals would be nice. However, having a battery grip on when using a tripod is not optimal in my experience, which is half the reason I decided to skip the BG-E2.

The 2.5-inch display

This, obviously, is very nice to have. Some have complained about the brightness not being good enough for outdoor use. I agree that the default (middle) brightness setting is a bit low for daylight use, but you just need to up it two notches for it to be fine. However, remember to turn it down again, or your pictures will look overexposed when you review your photos in less light.

The viewfinder

Some mean that the viewfinder of the 20D and 30D is on the small side. I feel it’s just right, probably mainly because of me wearing glasses. With it not being huge, I can easily see all of it at the same time. If it were any bigger I would have to keep moving my eye in relation to the camera to see the edges of the frame.

The USB connection

(See the edit at the end of this post.) My largest disappointment with the 30D must be the non-functional USB-to-computer connection. The CD doesn’t seem to include any so called WIA drivers for the camera, which may be why the connection keeps dying in the middle of transfers. I’ve given up completely on moving pictures directly from the camera, because it seems impossible to move more than a few before the camera disconnects from the computer. I’ve ordered a CF card reader. While some may say that I should use a card reader all the same, I feel it should at least be possible, if a little slow, to transfer pictures straight from the camera. Canon, are you listening?

The Auto White Balance

Some reviews have complained about Canon’s AWB not handling tungsten light very well. My thought is that this is because they don’t want to risk taking the warmth out of photos shot at dawn and dusk. I’d love to hear what you think on the subject – leave a comment if you think I’m right or wrong.

The Multi-Controller

There is a small joy-stick thing on the back of the 30D (and the 20D) which is used for moving around when reviewing photos. One of the custom functions (nr 13, set to 1) lets you use this multi-controller for quickly selecting which AF point to use. I think this should be the default behaviour, since it is much quicker and easier than having to press the AF-point selection button first.

The Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 DC

Without having made any direct, scientific comparisons, this lens seems very sharp. Photozone.de have done though, and the charts show that this lens is better than the EF 17-85 IS USM in many ways, apart from the fact that it doesn’t have IS of course. I’ll do a comparison with my EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 later just for the fun. I realize they will be like day and night, optically. They definitely are quality-wise anyway.

The Over-All Feeling

This is a camera I will have lots of fun using, hopefully for many days to come!

Edit: After consulting my fellow photographers in the MBP Forums, I tried reinstalling all the Canon software. If I had read the manual I would have seen a warning to not connect the camera before installing anything. I must have done just that, because it works fine now that I have reinstalled.

Tuesday, April 18th 2006

Really Wanting the EOS 30D + Sigma 17-70mm

Can’t stop thinking about it. The Canon EOS 30D. I got to play around with it last week-end, and ever since, I can’t think of anything else.

I’ve been wondering whether I should get a second hand 20D instead, but I’d really like to have the spot metering of the 30D, as well as the larger screen. The 20D’s 1.8 inch screen feels tiny when you’ve tried the 30D. Also, the direct access to the ISO setting is very useful, so I don’t think I’ll be getting a 350D since you have to use a menu to change the ISO there.

I’ve also read up on the lens tests over at Photozone. I’m a bit skeptical about Canon’s EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, since it seems to fair rather poorly. It has serious chromatic aberation, vignetting and barrel distortion. The
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro is a much better buy, costing around 3500 SEK (€ 370) compared to the Canon’s roughly 6000 SEK (€ 670). It is sharper (higher resolution) and suffers less from distortion and chromatic aberration. The vignetting is only slightly less pronounced in the Sigma. It doesn’t have the Image Stabilizing that the Canon lens has, but instead it has a larger maximum aperture, by nearly a full stop. (2.8 vs. 4.0.)

Well, we’ll see if this ever becomes more than just a dream… Extremely tempted right now anyway.