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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor...I'm starting to think about what body I would like to replace my 400D with, after it suffering in comparison ...
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Old 27-06-2008, 11:02   #1 (permalink)
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'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

I'm starting to think about what body I would like to replace my 400D with, after it suffering in comparison with my 40D.

I'm awfully tempted to look for a s/hand 5D - especially if the Mk2 does come out this year - but I am unsure about the situation with lenses.

Most articles I have read say that you can use Sigma 'digital' lenses (i.e. the ones designed specifically for smaller APS-C sensors) with a 5D but that you get vignetting if you use a wide angle lense 'wide open'. As I already have a couple of Sigma lenses I'm keen to understand exactly what this means in practice.

So, are there any 5D owners out there who have experimented with Sigma 'digital' lenses and can give me some feedback on how they work in practice? (I guess feedback from someone with a full-frame 1D would be equally valid.)

TIA
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Old 27-06-2008, 11:54   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Hi, I have a 5D (which I'm selling by the way ), I only had one 'digital' lens a Sigma 10-20mm that I bought for my 20D. I tried it once on the 5D just to see what would happen and the vignetting made it unusable at any aperture.

I have a 40D and the majority of the controls operate the same on the 5D which makes them an easy pair to use.

Think carefully about what you want to use the 5D for I'm selling mine because the 40D suits my needs better. I find the 1.6x and the faster shot rate very useful for the kind of photography I do.

cheers

Dan
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Old 27-06-2008, 12:04   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

The 5D is 12.8 mp and, as you know you are dealing with full-frame. A lot of modern lenses have been designed and manufactured specifically for a crop sensor (eg Tamron Di and Di II) and a lot of lenses just will not get the most from full-frame. It has been said that to get the most from the 5D you need to have quality glass which means L quality, which means mucho mullah. Oh and primes.

Mid-range and long zoom are not so much of a problem but you are really restricted in choice for a wide-angle for the 5D. The Sigma 12-24 works but can produce some really weird results. A good choice is the 17-40 with constant f4 with, debatably, a better choice being the 16-35.

The f4 24-105mm L IS lens came out at about the same time as the 5D and is the closest thing there is to a kit lens for it. The EF-S lenses will not work with the 5D and there aren't any adapters.

What you shoot dictates what you need. I spent a lot of time buying, trying and selling lenses until I came up with my ideal range to deliver for both a 40D and a 5D. For both these cameras I currently use -
  • Canon 50mm 1.8
  • Canon 100m 2.8 macro
  • Canon 16-35 f2.8 L Mk II
  • Canon 24-105 f4 L
  • Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6
However I can recommend any of these for the 5D only. HTH.
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Old 27-06-2008, 12:23   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
Most articles I have read say that you can use Sigma 'digital' lenses (i.e. the ones designed specifically for smaller APS-C sensors) with a 5D but that you get vignetting if you use a wide angle lense 'wide open'.
Basically the lenses for the APS-C sensors give a smaller circle of light at the sensor compared to "full frame" lenses. While that circle of light will obviously cover the APS-C sensor it does not completly cover the full frame sensor and so you cannot use an APS-C lens on a full frame camera.
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Old 27-06-2008, 12:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Thanks all. I understand the technology and it would have been my assumption that a 'digital' lens would be unusable on a full-frame sensor. Confusion arose from a number of articles / posts on the web referring to Sigma DC or DG lenses on D5 bodies and stating that they were okay unless 'wide open'. Didn't really make a lot of sense to me and I'm not surprised at danpen's comments.

What interests me mainly is the low-light performance of the 5D and as I already have a 40D I think the two might make a viable pair. But the cost factor is an issue of course.

Truth is I'm not in a position to splash out on a second body just now anyway, but I just want to be in a position that I have decided which one to go with once I have managed to find the lolly. If I do decide to go with the 5D that will influence any decisions I make around lenses.

Thanks all for the advice.
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Old 27-06-2008, 13:36   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
What interests me mainly is the low-light performance of the 5D and as I already have a 40D I think the two might make a viable pair. But the cost factor is an issue of course.
The low light performance of the 5D is on a par with the 40D. As you say, for most people, cost is a major factor with the majority only having one camera. Having been in that situation my "one" camera was the 40D since it copes admirably with a broad range of photography. Having done one wedding and with two more lined up a serious backup was in order and it was a "no brainer" to get the 5D which is also excellent for landscapes and portraits. But the 40D still gets usage for sport and general walkabout.

As you have said I think the 40D and the 5D make an excellent combination but if I could only have one it would be the 40D.
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Old 27-06-2008, 15:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Just a small clarification... Tamron Di lenses are full-frame. Di-II are for APS-C sensors.
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Old 27-06-2008, 15:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Thank you good sir
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Old 03-07-2008, 13:00   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

Another factor for some 'digital' lenses is the actual design of the rear elements.

EFs lenses won't physically fit the 1.3 and 1.0 bodies, typically because they will foul the mirror.

My Tokina 10-17 fisheye physically fits my 5d but the lens hood intrudes up to 15mm. I've updated my little gallery here to show that.

Oh and having just used my 5D properly for the first time over the weekend (only had it 2 months ) it really shows up the shortcomings of lenses, especially wide angles.

My 17-40 looks positively pants at the far edges, and my Sigma 15mm fish isn't exactly the first word in image quality.
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Old 03-07-2008, 14:38   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 'Digital' lenses on a full-frame sensor

I was very pleased to learn that the Sigma DG lenses are actually full-frame and it is just the DC lenses that cover a reduced sensor area. As my 10-20mm is the only DC lens I have I guess the issue would be much less should I decide to go for a 5D. I would just need to ensure that the 10-20mm only ever went on the 40D.
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