Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D
  • kalshort1
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    Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by kalshort1 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:24 pm

    So I've had my EOS 7D for about 18months now (upgrade from EOS 400D) and thoroughly pleased with the investment. One disappointment however is the inconsistent results I've been getting with my Sigma 30mm prime which is the main lens I use.

    I originally got the lens with the old 400D when our first child was born, the intent being to have a lens fit for low light that wouldn't require flash use that would drive the babies nuts. For the most part with the 400D the results were good but with the 7D we seem to be getting a lot of blurred shots. I suspect that this is largely because, as I understand it, the wider the apperture the greater the effect on depth of field which equates to greater focussing difficulties. And yet the results seem to be a lot more hit and miss (mostly miss) on the 7D as opposed to the 400D.

    My needs and use for this lens haven't changed, does anyone have any suggestions where this is concerned, whether that be with technique, settings or even whether an alternative lens would be worth investing in (if the latter let me know your lens recommendation).

    I also use a 70-200 f2.8L and the results have left me thoroughly orgasmic. Despite the fact the use of the lens differs, i.e. different light conditions, depth of field, subject matter etc, I must admit I wasn't prepared for just how much crisper the image is and more brilliant light, colour and contrast is with the L standard glass. For me I always felt like it was like standard Def Vs high Def video, I had my doubts you'd really notice the difference but hell do you ever notice the difference. Needless to say I would be prepared to step up the standard of lens if there was a good alternative out there that someone can recommend.

    I also want to add a wide angle lens to my kit, this is really the last piece of the puzzel for me, it would serve to do landscapes and large group shots. I was going to get the Sigma 10-20mm but given the difficulties I've been having with the other lens I feel less confident about this purchase. Though having said that I'm struggling to find a better lens than the sigma which offers the same degree of angle, does anyone have any suggestions in this regard??
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by Plays with Light » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:21 pm

    You may want to look at a focus calibration tool, like the Datacolor SpyderLensCal and have a look at the AF Micro-adjustment ability of the 7D. Should be a breeze for a prime lens, to rectify any focus issues. Keith Cooper over at Northlight Images has a free method that requires no purchased equipment to try first off. There's a step-by-step for the 7D over at Paint by Light's site.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by Doug » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:50 pm

    The Sigma USB docking station for updating and tweaking their lenses might be worth looking at if the lens you have is one of the supported lenses for it.


    The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM has been getting a lot of attention for its sharpness.

    Failing that stick with Canon with Canon
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by heartyfisher » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:28 am

    Plays with Light wrote:You may want to look at a focus calibration tool, like the Datacolor SpyderLensCal and have a look at the AF Micro-adjustment ability of the 7D. Should be a breeze for a prime lens, to rectify any focus issues. Keith Cooper over at Northlight Images has a free method that requires no purchased equipment to try first off. There's a step-by-step for the 7D over at Paint by Light's site.



    I agree try doing the calibrations first.. the sigma 30 is well regarded..

    You may want to look into the new sigma 18-35 F1.8. this lense is compatible with the docking station and is sharper than the 30mm even if the 30 is a prime lense. its really quite a milestone in zoom lenses.
    Moments of Light : D7K D610 18-200 150 12-24 24-70 70-200 + C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by kalshort1 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:14 pm

    Thanks to all for the feedback and the links.

    I will look into the calibration options suggested and see if that helps, fingers crossed it will. I'm also wary that when I first got this lens it was used on a single subject and now its used on up to three (3 children), trying to keep track of whether the focusing issues can be attributed to that which I would think suggests I need to think about my technique to deal with variations in depth of field when using a wide apperture. Definitely doesn't seem to be as big an issue when using the flash, which means a smaller apperture, but that kind of defeats the purpose of using this lens for us, namely to minimise flash use so as to not drive the kids nuts and potentially damage their young eyes.

    Just about to go off and buy the Sigma 10-20 wide angle, heading to Sharkbay in 5 weeks and looking forward to doing some landscapes. If the conditions are favourable hopefully I'll get some nice sunsets.
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by Plays with Light » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:54 pm

    Can you bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall, using it as a giant reflector?

    When we are out at bird walk groups and in the deep shade, the guys with their 7D's have great difficulty tracking and focusing on anything much. Maybe it's the limitation of the 7D? I can get shots they can't at that stage, with the 6D, but I'm also using a manual 400mm lens...

    Oh.. Enjoy the wide angle, it's my favourite end of the focal spectrum by far.
    Feedback and honest, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Recommended upgrade for Sigma 30mm prime used on EOS 7D

    by beeb » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:27 pm

    Out of curiosity, what focusing mode are you using on the 7D? I found the point focus mode to be the most accurate, as all the other modes (even spot/the bigger single square) tend to try and find the best average focus distance of all the items near the focus area. Point focus was always very accurate for me, across a fairly wide variety of lenses ( though all Canon lenses admittedly).

    The AF system in the 7D is very capable, I'd be surprised if it was the sole problem...

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