Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Sigma on Old Canon

This will be a short Posting today, just to explore the behaviour of Sigma's 50mm f1.4 Lens on my Canon Digital Rebel XT, which was granted to me by a friend, who is a regular reader of this site. Another "thank you" Mike! This lightweight DSLR, which will actually fit into a jacket pocket with Canon's 40mm Pancake Lens on it takes great pictures. Sure there are a lot of things out of date on it, but this would only affect users who have a "fear of the old" I suppose.

The Sigma 50mm f1.4 must certainly be the biggest 50mm lens on the market, with it's giant 77mm filter thread and heavy-weight construction - with this lens, you would never get any camera into a jacket pocket, and it certainly diminishes the size of the Rebel XT.  Here are the photos I took with this combination yesterday morning.

One thing I notice about Sigma lenses (I've owned and re-sold a couple of others), is that when used on a Canon DSLR, they encourage me toward shooting strictly JPEG, and not to bother with RAW. Stating this another way, I'm assured of a good outcome by not bothering with shooting RAW files - the in-camera JPEG processing is almost always good enough. I especially found this to be true the first day I used the lens on my 5D at the Halifax cat show last week. I wanted to see if this were still the case when using it on the Rebel XT also. Although not as good, (it's very hard to beat the old 5D Classic), I would still vouch for this lens as putting out excellent JPEG photos, not requiring any post-processing whatsoever.

I should remind you, on the 5D Classic, which is a 35mm DSLR, the lens has it's true 50mm focal length. However, on the Rebel XT, or any other Canon Rebel, or the mid-range "XXD" series, because of the 1.6 Crop Factor, the 50mm becomes 80mm, and only the sharper centre portion of the lens is used. This ofers obvious advantages, by acting as a mild-telephoto lens.

As a summary, if you're a cheapskate photographer like me, or on a tight budget, there's a lot to be said for spending most of your money on the lens, not the camera. Naturally, if you can afford both, go for it, but if you only have, say $700 to spend, you should seriously think about putting $500 toward a lens like this (or Sigmas' excellent 17-70mm Zoom), and spend the remaining $200 on a second hand older camera.. you can buy a Rebel XT or XTi body for this price, or spend a little more for the EOS 30D or 40D, if you want a more substantial camera. If you go for a brand new Rebel T3i for example, sure, it's a great little camera, but the kit lens you get with it cannot hold it's own against a Sigma, or even Canon's own mid-range lenses.

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