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Thread started 27 Dec 2009 (Sunday) 10:49
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Tamron v. Canon; short-tele. primes

 
bjyoder
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Dec 27, 2009 10:49 |  #1

I don't normally ask these questions, as they all seem to have been asked at one time or another, but I seem to be in a bit of a bind, choosing between two lenses that aren't normally cross-shopped, it seems (at least, that's what my searches have turned up).

I would like to add a longer portrait prime to my bag, and right now, I'm stuck between the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro. I litterally can't decide, and every time I think I have, I'll go back the other way for some reason.

I know they both take goregeous pictures, but I guess I'm wondering if I'll miss the f/1.8 if I go with the Tamron, or if I'll get frustrated by the long MFD if I go with the Canon. It's not that I take Macro shots much (I mainly dabble with some extension tubes), but I have a tendency to get fairly close to the subject, which the Canon doesn't seem to like as much.

For reference, the other lenses in my bag competing for that range are a Sigma 70-300 APO and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Macro.

Ideas? Suggestions? Thanks in advance for the replies! :)


Ben

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Redbird_xo
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Dec 27, 2009 11:01 |  #2

If your intended use of the prospective "portrait" lens is for subject that doesn't move much, I suppose the advantage of having one of the class-leading AF speed of the Canon 85 f/1.8 doesn't mean much to you. Besides, macro lens' AF speed is normally slow-ish anyway (caveat: I haven't used the Tamron 90 macro before; but I do own 4 Tamron lenses).

What about contrast and color? What about aperture blades (round vs. not round)? Canon 85 f/1.8's aperture blades aren't round; therefore, stopping down to around f/2.8, you are looking at hexagonal shaped out of focus highlights. I don't particularly mind, but some do.

That's what I can think of at the moment, it's passed midnight here. Good luck.




  
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RT ­ McAllister
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Dec 27, 2009 11:12 |  #3

bjyoder wrote in post #9270234 (external link)
It's not that I take Macro shots much (I mainly dabble with some extension tubes)

For me, the tie breaker would be the f/1.8 but I'll always choose a faster lens over a slower counterpart since I shoot indoors in low light. The few macro shots I do are typically in controlled situations so I can use an extension tube and add some light if I need to.

Besides, that 70-200 should take care of your macro needs.




  
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bjyoder
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Dec 27, 2009 11:21 |  #4

RT McAllister wrote in post #9270318 (external link)
Besides, that 70-200 should take care of your macro needs.

The 70-200 is not really a great macro lens, they just add the moniker on there because it can do 3:1 (or something close to that, anyway).

The speed of the f/1.8 would be nice, but not a necessity.

The aperture construction is something I didn't know about, and am a bit weary of because I do own the 50mm f/1.8; that isn't a dealbreaker, but something that's great to know.


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RT ­ McAllister
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Dec 27, 2009 11:24 |  #5

bjyoder wrote in post #9270349 (external link)
The speed of the f/1.8 would be nice, but not a necessity.

It never is until you need it. :D




  
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artyH
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Dec 27, 2009 11:29 |  #6

I had the same problem and chose to get the Canon 85 for my crop. It works great, but it is a long focal length for indoors on a crop camera. When I shot film, I always preferred 85f1.7 to a longer lens (135).
You do have other options. I have a Sigma 50f2.8 that takes great portraits wide open. In some locations in my home, it is too slow for available light. It also has too little working distance when you get close to life-size photos - this can interfere with lighting. A longer macro is in my future.
Alternatives also include the 70mm Sigma. This would give you the field of view of a 105 on full frame, and it is one of the sharpest lenses out there. It also has a much better working distance than the shorter macro lenses. Don't rule out the 60mm macro by Canon, unless you want the option of full-frame in the future. The 90mm Tamron is reputed to be a sharp lens, but it is even longer than the Canon 85.




  
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bjyoder
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Dec 27, 2009 11:38 |  #7

artyH wrote in post #9270379 (external link)
I had the same problem and chose to get the Canon 85 for my crop. It works great, but it is a long focal length for indoors on a crop camera. When I shot film, I always preferred 85f1.7 to a longer lens (135).
You do have other options. I have a Sigma 50f2.8 that takes great portraits wide open. In some locations in my home, it is too slow for available light. It also has too little working distance when you get close to life-size photos - this can interfere with lighting. A longer macro is in my future.
Alternatives also include the 70mm Sigma. This would give you the field of view of a 105 on full frame, and it is one of the sharpest lenses out there. It also has a much better working distance than the shorter macro lenses. Don't rule out the 60mm macro by Canon, unless you want the option of full-frame in the future. The 90mm Tamron is reputed to be a sharp lens, but it is even longer than the Canon 85.

Length isn't a problem - I do normally like to shoot wider, but I've got a 17-55 IS and 50mm f/1.8 to cover that range.

I've narrowed it down to the Tamron and Canon, as I know the quality of both are outstanding; I just can't pull the trigger on either (and it can't be both ;) ).


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Tamron v. Canon; short-tele. primes
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