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Sigma 8mm vs Canon 8-15mm

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  • axelstraschnoy
    Dear all, I am planning a time-lapse production and have been looking both at the Sigma 8mm and the new Canon 8-15mm as possible lenses (I will be using 5D
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 25, 2011
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      Dear all,

      I am planning a time-lapse production and have been looking both at the Sigma 8mm and the new Canon 8-15mm as possible lenses (I will be using 5D MkII bodies). The Sigma has the good point of being a fixed lens but I would expect as a rule an L series lens to be better than a Sigma.

      Has someone than a comparison between these? Does anyone have any advise on the issue?

      Thanks,

      Axel
    • Richard Lake
      Hi Axel, There are those who know a lot more about photography in general (and fisheye photography in particular) than I but I have had in depth conversations
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 26, 2011
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        Hi Axel,

        There are those who know a lot more about photography in general (and fisheye photography in particular) than I but I have had in depth conversations with a couple of reputable dealers about exactly this choice.� The advice is that a prime (fixed focal length lens) should always give a better result than a zoom of any kind, even if it is a Canon L series.

        It has to be admitted that the spec of the 8-15 is outstanding.� The L series build quality is legendary and the weather proof lens coatings once nearly swayed me in that direction.� However, should you ever need the hermetically sealed, weather toughened lens, your 5DII would probably suffer (the 5DII is a very fine body but�I'm told that the serious weather proofing is only included right at the top of the range in bodies that are three times as expensive.� There are several gripes about the 5DII and moisture on blogs (and others said to be just below the ��professional��bracket).

        The dealers I spoke to came down firmly in favour of the Sigma 8mm.� This appears to be honest advice given that it would be in their interest to sell me a lens that is three times more expensive (as the 8-15 mm is).� I must be honest and add that at the time of this research there was very little by way of feedback on the performance of the very new 8-15 so if there is subsequent data suggesting that it is a revolution in fisheye photography then I stand corrected (but I guess that you would not be asking if there was).

        I have used a hired Sigma 4.5mm on a borrowed 60D.� This is the required combination for a circular fisheye image on an APS-C chip.� The 4.5mm Sigma fisheye was beautifully built and produced some very encouraging images.� Under certain light conditions it did produce the characteristic blue outer ring that afflicts fisheye photographers and is sometimes very irritating as this is where the landscape details can be in a vertical shot.� Some have commented that the Sigma 8mm also does this and that, as such, it is little improvement over the Peleng 8mm at half the price.� The Sigma is still a much better engineered lens than the Peleng but if Canon had found a coating (or whatever) that removed this artefact the fisheye fanatic would probably justify the 8-15mm purchase in that fact alone.

        I would hire both lenses for a short period (see if you can get a deal, or a least combined postage) and compare them.� Then I would write a comparative review and become a hero in the fisheye world.

        At the risk of splitting the thread, I loved the 60D��s twist and tilt Live View screen that made framing vertical shots easier than plugging in a laptop.� It almost has the same resonation as the 5DII but the down side is that the smaller chip is more crowded and, in theory, more noisy.� We had not mastered the noise reduction features of the 60D during our experiments so it did produce less good results (probably unusable in a dome) above 800 ISO.� Does anyone have any experience of comparing the low light performance of the latest generation of APS-C bodies and that of the full framers such as the 5DII?� In other words, Is noise always a problem or is the 5DII still worth twice as much to a night photographer?

        Best of luck Axel and please let us know how it goes.

        Richard Lake


        ________________________________
        From: axelstraschnoy <axel@...>
        To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, 26 October 2011, 7:20
        Subject: [fulldome] Sigma 8mm vs Canon 8-15mm

        Dear all,

        I am planning a time-lapse production and have been looking both at the Sigma 8mm and the new Canon 8-15mm as possible lenses (I will be using 5D MkII bodies). The Sigma has the good point of being a fixed lens but I would expect as a rule an L series lens to be better than a Sigma.

        Has someone than a comparison between these? Does anyone have any advise on the issue?

        Thanks,

        Axel
      • Tom Casey
        In general, a fixed lens is sharper than a zoom lens due to the lessor number of elements. We have found the Sigma 8mm to be better than the rest of the Sigma
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 26, 2011
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          In general, a fixed lens is sharper than a zoom lens due to the lessor number of elements. We have found the Sigma 8mm to be better than the rest of the Sigma line of lenses. In part since a fisheye has a wide field of view and depth of field, they tend to be sharper, or at least have stronger contrast. So the Sigma may compete well with the more expensive Canon lens. Also, if you end up using the Canon, tape the lens in the 8mm position to avoid any change in focal length during your time-lapse. It's great to see there is another option for shooting fulldome imagery, just wish Nikon would start making their big fisheye again.

          http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-8-15mm-f-4-L-USM-Fisheye-Lens-Review.aspx

          Tom



          On Oct 26, 2011, at 2:20 AM, axelstraschnoy wrote:

          Dear all,

          I am planning a time-lapse production and have been looking both at the Sigma 8mm and the new Canon 8-15mm as possible lenses (I will be using 5D MkII bodies). The Sigma has the good point of being a fixed lens but I would expect as a rule an L series lens to be better than a Sigma.

          Has someone than a comparison between these? Does anyone have any advise on the issue?

          ************************************************
          H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

          Tom Casey
          President & Creative DIrector

          100 First Avenue - Suite 450
          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          Studio: 412-391-8200
          mailto:tom@...
          http://www.homerunpictures.com









          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • dome3d_llc
          Hi Axel, If I had to choose between these two, the Sigma would win because it is fixed. If you have a bit more of a budget, and can find one, I would look
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 26, 2011
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            Hi Axel,

            If I had to choose between these two, the Sigma would win because it is fixed. If you have a bit more of a budget, and can find one, I would look into the Nikon 8mm f2.8 Fisheye AI lens. It will need an adapter but will get you some great looking images.

            Happy Shooting!

            Matt
            Dome3D
          • axelstraschnoy
            Hello all, Thanks a lot for the answers. It is great to know people have been through this discussion already. I did rent the Canon lens (I own the Sigma one)
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 27, 2011
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              Hello all,

              Thanks a lot for the answers. It is great to know people have been through this discussion already.

              I did rent the Canon lens (I own the Sigma one) and made some pictures with both but I am not proficient enough to have a clear opinion of their differences. I will be looking at them in the dome of the Heureka Science Center on Monday, hopefully there the difference is clearer. I am happy to share any conclusions I reach; if any.

              I did tape the zoom and focus of both the Canon and the Sigma lens. I found that the Sigma's focus ring will continue rotating beyond infinite, rendering everything out of focus, so I've taken as a practice to tape it at infinite.

              I do see the point with the Canon's weather sealing but I was wondering about the fact that the zoom makes the lens come out slightly and I have not been able to find information on how safe that space in the front between the lens and the lens's body is. I'm hoping to shoot in at least -10º C so moisture should not be a problem but I would not want snow powder getting into the equipment and melting afterwards.

              The Canon lens does have the blue edge problem (I never saw it on the Sigma, though): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fulldome/photos/album/1887510929/pic/2140335414/view

              I have a few more pictures if anyone has the eye to compare them properly

              The Nikkor lens sound wonderful but we are going to be two people moving around in skis with two cameras, I think the weight (and price) render it out of our reach.

              Thanks again to everybody for their help,

              Axel
            • axelstraschnoy
              Hello all again, Just an addenda, I went out and took a similar picture with the sigma. I uploaded everything to:
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 27, 2011
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                Hello all again,

                Just an addenda, I went out and took a similar picture with the sigma. I uploaded everything to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fulldome/photos/album/1887510929/pic/list

                There is a clear blue edge in the sigma, I stand corrected.

                Beyond the fact that the sigma picture is clearly softer than the canon one (while the lens was clearly taped to infinite I am ready to take responsibility for it) there seems to be a lot more green-pinkish fringe in the sigma picture than in the canon one (see details).

                I can imagine there are other factors to look at, this one seems quite easy. If someone has any hints of other things to look for, I am all ears.

                thanks again,

                axel

                --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "dome3d_llc" <Matt@...> wrote:

                Hi Axel,

                If I had to choose between these two, the Sigma would win because it is fixed. If you have a bit more of a budget, and can find one, I would look into the Nikon 8mm f2.8 Fisheye AI lens. It will need an adapter but will get you some great looking images.

                Happy Shooting!

                Matt
                Dome3D
              • marklnp
                With the Sigma lens, you cannot rely on it being in focus at the infinity mark on the ring. Mine definitely is NOT, nor was a rental I advised someone on.
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 28, 2011
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                  With the Sigma lens, you cannot rely on it being in focus at the "infinity" mark on the ring. Mine definitely is NOT, nor was a rental I advised someone on. You need to rack it well off the mark -- run some tests. Then let's see if it really is softer than the Canon.

                  >> Mark


                  --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "axelstraschnoy" <axel@...> wrote:

                  > I did tape the zoom and focus of both the Canon and the Sigma lens. I found that the Sigma's focus ring will continue rotating beyond infinite, rendering everything out of focus, so I've taken as a practice to tape it at infinite.
                • Tom Casey
                  Here s a link with some advice on focus for the Sigma fisheye... http://www.mejiatryti.com/Panoramas/FocusSigma8.html Tom On Oct 28, 2011, at 10:02 AM, marklnp
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 28, 2011
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                    Here's a link with some advice on focus for the Sigma fisheye...

                    http://www.mejiatryti.com/Panoramas/FocusSigma8.html

                    Tom



                    On Oct 28, 2011, at 10:02 AM, marklnp wrote:

                    With the Sigma lens, you cannot rely on it being in focus at the "infinity" mark on the ring. Mine definitely is NOT, nor was a rental I advised someone on. You need to rack it well off the mark -- run some tests. Then let's see if it really is softer than the Canon.

                    > > Mark


                    --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "axelstraschnoy" <axel@...> wrote:

                    I did tape the zoom and focus of both the Canon and the Sigma lens. I found that the Sigma's focus ring will continue rotating beyond infinite, rendering everything out of focus, so I've taken as a practice to tape it at infinite.


                    ************************************************
                    H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

                    Tom Casey
                    President & Creative DIrector

                    100 First Avenue - Suite 450
                    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
                    Studio: 412-391-8200
                    mailto:tom@...
                    http://www.homerunpictures.com









                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • axelstraschnoy
                    Mark, Tom, thanks for the comments and the link. My lens got the front element changed a while ago. With the previous front element the focus was at the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 31, 2011
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                      Mark, Tom, thanks for the comments and the link.

                      My lens got the front element changed a while ago. With the previous front element the focus was at the infinite mark, I just assumed it worked the same way this time.

                      I retook the Sigma picture. There is clearly no focus problem but it seems to me that there is more fringe effect still in the sigma. I put a couple of pictures in dropbox for comparison:

                      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/231080/Canon%20-%20fringe.jpg
                      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/231080/Sigma%20-%20new%20fringe.jpg

                      thanks again,

                      Axel

                      --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, Tom Casey <tom@...> wrote:
                      Here's a link with some advice on focus for the Sigma fisheye...

                      http://www.mejiatryti.com/Panoramas/FocusSigma8.html

                      Tom



                      On Oct 28, 2011, at 10:02 AM, marklnp wrote:

                      With the Sigma lens, you cannot rely on it being in focus at the "infinity" mark on the ring. Mine definitely is NOT, nor was a rental I advised someone on. You need to rack it well off the mark -- run some tests. Then let's see if it really is softer than the Canon.

                      Mark


                      --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "axelstraschnoy" <axel@...> wrote:

                      I did tape the zoom and focus of both the Canon and the Sigma lens. I found that the Sigma's focus ring will continue rotating beyond infinite, rendering everything out of focus, so I've taken as a practice to tape it at infinite.


                      ************************************************
                      H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

                      Tom Casey
                      President & Creative DIrector

                      100 First Avenue - Suite 450
                      Pittsburgh, PA 15222
                      Studio: 412-391-8200
                      mailto:tom@...
                      http://www.homerunpictures.com
                    • Tom Casey
                      Here s a link to the fringe on the Nikkor 8mm for comparison... http://www.homerunpictures.com/TEMP/NIKON.jpg Tom On Oct 31, 2011, at 2:06 PM, axelstraschnoy
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 31, 2011
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                        Here's a link to the fringe on the Nikkor 8mm for comparison...

                        http://www.homerunpictures.com/TEMP/NIKON.jpg

                        Tom


                        On Oct 31, 2011, at 2:06 PM, axelstraschnoy wrote:

                        Mark, Tom, thanks for the comments and the link.

                        My lens got the front element changed a while ago. With the previous front element the focus was at the infinite mark, I just assumed it worked the same way this time.

                        I retook the Sigma picture. There is clearly no focus problem but it seems to me that there is more fringe effect still in the sigma. I put a couple of pictures in dropbox for comparison:

                        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/231080/Canon%20-%20fringe.jpg
                        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/231080/Sigma%20-%20new%20fringe.jpg

                        thanks again,

                        Axel

                        --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, Tom Casey <tom@...> wrote:
                        Here's a link with some advice on focus for the Sigma fisheye...

                        http://www.mejiatryti.com/Panoramas/FocusSigma8.html

                        Tom

                        On Oct 28, 2011, at 10:02 AM, marklnp wrote:

                        With the Sigma lens, you cannot rely on it being in focus at the "infinity" mark on the ring. Mine definitely is NOT, nor was a rental I advised someone on. You need to rack it well off the mark -- run some tests. Then let's see if it really is softer than the Canon.

                        Mark

                        --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "axelstraschnoy" <axel@...> wrote:

                        I did tape the zoom and focus of both the Canon and the Sigma lens. I found that the Sigma's focus ring will continue rotating beyond infinite, rendering everything out of focus, so I've taken as a practice to tape it at infinite.

                        ************************************************
                        H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

                        Tom Casey
                        President & Creative DIrector

                        100 First Avenue - Suite 450
                        Pittsburgh, PA 15222
                        Studio: 412-391-8200
                        mailto:tom@...
                        http://www.homerunpictures.com
                      • Gerardo Primo
                        I have a Nokor fisheye 6mm 5.6--- 220o... do you think is possible to work with new digital cameras? ________________________________ From: Tom Casey
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 3, 2011
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                          I have a Nokor fisheye 6mm 5.6--- 220o... do you think is possible to work with new digital cameras?


                          ________________________________
                          From: Tom Casey <tom@...>
                          To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 10:19 AM
                          Subject: [fulldome] Re: Sigma 8mm vs Canon 8-15mm

                          In general, a fixed lens is sharper than a zoom lens due to the lessor number of elements. We have found the Sigma 8mm to be better than the rest of the Sigma line of lenses. In part since a fisheye has a wide field of view and depth of field, they tend to be sharper, or at least have stronger contrast. So the Sigma may compete well with the more expensive Canon lens. Also, if you end up using the Canon, tape the lens in the 8mm position to avoid any change in focal length during your time-lapse. It's great to see there is another option for shooting fulldome imagery, just wish Nikon would start making their big fisheye again.

                          http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-8-15mm-f-4-L-USM-Fisheye-Lens-Review.aspx

                          Tom

                          On Oct 26, 2011, at 2:20 AM, axelstraschnoy wrote:

                          Dear all,

                          I am planning a time-lapse production and have been looking both at the Sigma 8mm and the new Canon 8-15mm as possible lenses (I will be using 5D MkII bodies). The Sigma has the good point of being a fixed lens but I would expect as a rule an L series lens to be better than a Sigma.

                          Has someone than a comparison between these? Does anyone have any advise on the issue?

                          ************************************************
                          H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

                          Tom Casey
                          President & Creative DIrector

                          100 First Avenue - Suite 450
                          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
                          Studio: 412-391-8200
                          mailto:tom@...
                          http://www.homerunpictures.com
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