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39

As these camera makers own a smaller market share than Canon or Nikon, they have often tried more radical and innovative approaches than the big two. You can see both Canon and Nikon as more traditional makers with very consistent and proven features in their cameras. When Sony bought Konica-Minolta's camera division, they inherited the only body-based ...


36

This is a Sigma name for one of their lens lines. It is not a general purpose term and really only has the marketing meaning Sigma ascribes to it. From the Sigma website, that definition is: Engineered for today’s photographer who wants to do it all, our Contemporary line combines superior optical performance and compactness for high-performance lenses ...


27

Because that rainbow is partially obscured by your subject, I would tend to believe that it has nothing to do with any of your equipment. Rather, there was something in the room acting as a prism and diffracting light into a rainbow pattern that just happened to fall within the frame of what you were shooting. It might be that the source of the light was ...


23

Your old D80 had a focus motor built into the body that connects to a mechanical coupling on Nikkor AF lenses to move the focus elements in the lens. Your D5300 does not have a focus motor in the body. To use autofocus your D5300 requires that you use Nikon AF-S or AF-I lenses or the equivalent third party lenses (such as Sigma's HSM or Tamron's USD and PZD ...


22

I think you are putting too much emphasis on the "digital" part of the lens' DG designation. It seems to be more to differentiate them from "digital" lenses that are APS-C only. Sigma calls their current APS-C only lenses "DC". When digital SLRs first began to gain a foothold in the market, they almost all had sensors that were APS-C or similar sized. So new ...


21

Yes you are looking at clipping by the mirror box, I'm afraid it's unavoidable when using a lens with large aperture and exit pupil close to the film plane at certain focusing distance. Even if the mirror box doesn't clip the light cone the lens barrel will (for off axis points of light) leading to cat eye bokeh. Here's an example from a full frame camera ...


18

Yes, lenses designed for digital sensors have several differences from their older film based camera lens counterparts. One of the primary differences is that digital sensors are more reflective than film, so anti-reflective coatings are applied to the rear element of a digital lens. This helps prevent reflections off the sensor that could result in image ...


17

Comparing the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM against the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD you will find that the Canon excels in almost every aspect, and the price reflects that. Sharpness The Sigma lens provides a very compelling option on a crop sensor camera. It performs well when stopped down to f/4.0 and beyond. The issue is that in ...


12

I have shot with the Canon EF70-200mm and the Sigma 70-200mm. I've included a 100% screenshot of an image made a couple of weeks ago with the Sigma lens: The image was made at f/13 under studio lighting, but as you can see, it's sharp as a tack, and I was using the autofocus. My impression of the lenses are these: Canon is a touch faster to autofocus ...


12

Short Answer - buy the high-end Canon lens. If you're actually working and making money shooting, then the amortization works out to be negligible difference in costs. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact based on experience. A few decades ago - when zoom lenses were rare and prime lenses ruled I did some airplane to airplane photography. the relatively worn ...


12

The lens is a varifocal lens. Basically, it's a lens that changes focus as the focal length changes and it's quite common. Parfocal lenses, ones that maintain focus on zoom change, exist but are typically more expensive as a result. Long story short, it's normal for a large number of consumer zoom lenses.


11

Based on your comment, you have a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens, which is an APS-C lens, on a full-frame camera. An APS-C sensor is smaller than a full-frame sensor, so the lenses that are designed for these cameras project a smaller image circle. APS-C specific lenses aren't designed to be used with with full-frame cameras. (See this post for a ...


10

A few points that haven't been mentioned about Sony's cameras: The only way to get autofocus Zeiss lenses1. While Zeiss makes lenses for Canon and Nikon mounts, they're strictly manual focus. Yes, old Minolta lenses work -- and many are almost amazingly good on digital. Just for one example, there was a recent comparative review of the old (circa 1985) ...


9

I think you've got a Minolta A-mount lens. Compare to this photo (image borrowed from here): Minolta and Konica merged at some point and were subsequently acquired by Sony, and this mount is apparently still used by Sony as the "Alpha mount system".


7

I have that exact lens, the APO DG version even. Its ... 'ok'. It has really poor contrast is my biggest gripe and the autofocus is dreadful slow. For pics of slow moving wildlife in reasonable light - it does pretty ok with a little contrast help in post production. Example below: For macro pics..its well, not very macro. It just doesn't get as close ...


7

as Itai's answer was very detailed, I will only add some details regarding to Pentax, which at least for me were important when buying my first DSLR: 1) support for AA batteries in Pentax entry level DSLR - some people love it, some hate it ... (I am from the first group :-) ) - currently you can decide as newest K-r supports both. 2) Pentax has excellent ...


7

Here's a little context for comparing the various versions of the Canon 70-200mm "L" lens series: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L was introduced in March 1995. This design is almost 25 years old! EF 70-200mm f/4L was introduced in September 1999. The design is almost 20 years old. EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS was introduced in September 2001, over 17 years ago. EF 70-200mm f/...


7

You don't really need the dock until you need to install a firmware update, or until you decide you want to fine tune the lens. My suggestion: don't buy the dock until either of those situations arise. No need to spend the money now because you might want to do something later. You can also rent the docks from some of the lens rental places (lensrental.com ...


7

Is there a reason why Canon and Nikon allow third party makers to make lens that provide similar specs to first-party lens such are AF, IS and aperture control when they sell for less? Controlling a product line that has the support of many third parties is much more profitable than trying to build and sell every product yourself. Canon and Nikon don't just ...


7

This is probably because some cameras disable autofocus at slow apertures. The camera manufacturers think that performance won't be good enough, and so they disable it. The third-party lens is reporting inaccurate information to the camera so that it will work anyway — slow and sometimes incorrect, perhaps, but at least the camera will try. Exposure might ...


6

Assuming you're just talking about the front element - I use these disposable Zeiss wipes. They do better than a lens pen (which handles dust ok, but doesn't do smudges nearly as well) and a box of 200 will last a long, long time with hobby level use. My local Walmart sells the box of 200 for under 4 dollars in the camera and the optometrist section. They ...


6

I'll add Sigma for completeness. Sigma fits well with the "smaller camera makers can be more experimental" theme: Their primary claim to uniqueness is that the Sigma DSLRs are using a different type of sensor, the Foveon X3, which has higher per-pixel color resolution than the standard Bayer filter sensor. A little background: Almost all DSLRs use a type ...


6

Comparing two very similar lenses like the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro and the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 SP XR Di II LD VC Lens in terms of sharpness can be difficult. Often one lens will perform better at a particular focal length and aperture, while the other will perform better at other focal length and aperture combinations. Even at the same focal length ...


6

Could it be slower or less accurate (auto-focus)? Well, it won't autofocus on a D3100. Because it doesn't have a built-in focus motor ("AF-S" for Nikon, "HSM" for Sigma) it's manual focus only. This lens will autofocus with bodies that have an AF motor, such as the D7000 and D300S. The 3100 body does not have an AF motor built in, and so only autofocus with ...


6

Any lens wider than 50mm is going to be a retrofocus design and will be softer in the corners than your 50 1.8 The 28 f/1.8 is one of the slightly newer non-L primes, being released in 1995 (the 50 f/1.8 optical design dates to 1987) and comes in a better body than the f/1.8 with an ultrasonic focus motor. Performance wide open in the centre is comparable ...


6

I'm in the process of choosing a 35mm myself, and I think I'm leaning towards the Sigma (need to look into how the Bokeh looks on both the Sigma and Canon). If you look at Roger's take over at Lensrentals it's clear that they think the Sigma is the superior lens. The Digital Picture also seems to have a liking for the Sigma, so does dpreview.com, it seems ...


6

Lens performance is linear, the quality of the projected image at f/1.4 in good light is exactly the same as the quality of the projected image at f/1.4 in poor light. The sensor is what matters for low light performance. Secondly you can't really compare a 50mm to a 100mm lens, you get very different images. To answer your question, the Sigma is optically ...


6

There is one significant difference between film and digital sensor for lens optics - digital sensors have a bit of glass and some filters in front of them. The lensrental.com blog has a pretty extensive series of posts on the effect of the sensor stack (short version, there is a very real effect for large aperture lenses) - so it is quite possible that the ...


6

Some 'film' lenses designed for 35mm rangefinder cameras have a rear element which lies quite close to the plane of the film or sensor (mostly wide-angle lenses). These work fine for film, but when used on a digital camera cause quite noticeable colour shifts to the left and right of the frame. This is due to the extreme angle of the light from the rear ...


6

Neither of those lenses are really what most macro specialists would consider a macro lens. For a lens to be considered a true macro lens it should be able to project a life sized image of the subject onto the image sensor or film. If you're taking a picture of a 20mm long bug, a macro lens should be able to focus close enough to project an image of the bug ...


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