Lens dilemma: Multiple Primes vs Standard zoom

Started May 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Doug_PS
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Re: Lens dilemma: Multiple Primes vs Standard zoom
In reply to Timbukto, May 12, 2013

Timbukto wrote:

Jonathan Brady wrote:

I'll be incredibly honest and say that I've never really compared lenses side by side before, so I readily admit I do NOT have a critical/educated eye.

I had a hard time telling the difference between these images at f/2.8 and also at f/5.6.  What initially appeared to be better color rendition by the Sigma turned out to be overexposure in the shots with the Canon.  I figured this out by saving a copy of the f/5.6 image out of the Canon 40mm, opening DPP, and reducing the brightness by 16 (I believe) in the jpg tab.  When I did that, the colors were almost identical.

Other than that, sharpness seemed basically the same on both.

Maybe others who have more/better experience than I do can shed some light on this.

Pancake did awesome.  Along with my 85mm 1.8 they are my favorite lenses in terms of size/weight/cost and bang for the buck.

Of course the pictures are also resized a bit so sharpness is difficult to measure, however I also know center sharpness of the pancake has already been measured to be off the charts to not matter.  I also know according to lens rental its *not* only center sharpness but covers a good portion of the frame.  And I know how it feels with my camera's...it makes them all wonderfully light!

I am astounded that the 35mm at 1.4 vs f2.8 was not as huge a difference as I'd thought in terms of subject isolation.  To me most of the wide angle background blur shots with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 are due to closer subject shots, which is something the 40mm f2.8 can also do due to its very short MFD.  Not to mention the 40mm f2.8 is astoundingly accurate in AF at MFD to infinity.

Yes the Sigma 35mm 1.4 is an awesome lens...but the 40mm f2.8 pancake is so much better than a nifty fifty on full frame.  They were selling these things dirt cheap from Canon Refurbs.

Obviously you can't deny light advantage, however the 6D has really good high ISO and night shots are still great with the pancake, just make sure to tone down the vignetting correction (biggest weakness of the pancake, but not a big issue).

I'm a sucker for fast glass at a reasonable price, but I'm also a huge fan of keeping your kit light and small as well...

Yes, it is difficult to compare sharpness between the Sigma and the 40 pancake in the photo's I posted due to the upload size restrictions on this site.  Comparing the originals (ie full resolution), the Sigma had the sharpness advantage in every comparison, but the Pancake was also very sharp (ie no issue with sharpness from either lens IMO).

Another post mentioned the over exposure of the 40mm Pancake photo's in my last post.  This is something I've noticed with my copy of the 40 Pancake (ie tendency to overexpose).....probably the biggest weakness of the 40 in my opinion....at least my copy of the lens.  Going back to Lightroom and lowering the highlights adjustment on the 40mm  photo's....quite a bit.... did bring the colors in more in line with the rich colors produced from the Sigma.   Still, I much prefer the rich warm colors from the Sigma over the Pancake.  The Pancake takes much more PP than the Sigma.

You also mentioned the Sigma and subject isolation capabilities.  To me, this is the only big advantage the Sigma has over the Pancake.  Here are a couple of photo's taken close to the subject with the Sigma (first one is at f/1.6, the second is at f/1.4)

 Doug_PS's gear list:Doug_PS's gear list
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM +2 more
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