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Is Canon L/Nikon Gold ring lenses woth it?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Dear OCN,

this monday, i spent the day in Stokholm here in sweden. I did a visit to one of the nice camera stores there and did some *drewl* on the lenses they had there.

Anyway, i got to play with a D3s with a Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G on it. And i was totally blown away of the images the 35mm created, the sharpness, the contrast, bokeh, everything was just perfect and i fell in love with it.

I have never really been a "need the top of the line stuff-guy" as long as i'm happy with the images it produce it's fine with me. But now i see why nikon-shooters want golden rings in their bags and canon-shooters want that red letter on their lenses.

So what's your experience with pro level lenses, are they worth the (often much) extra money over an non pro lens? Have you shot with a cheap lens and then borrowed/bought a pro lens and wondered how you could survive with the cheap lens?

I'm just curious on peoples thoughts on these lenses, my thoughts have changed radical.
post #2 of 18
i definitely think they are worth it. my d700 stuff are all gold rings and the results speak for themselves. i also have a cheapo rebel xt with an 18-55 IS kit lens i use for travel and i get just as good results though i have to work harder for them.

it's all a matter of opinion though. looking at your sig, you have a couple already with the 85mm, the 17-35 and the 70-200. you need to ask yourself that.
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post #3 of 18
yes, i dont quite have a "L" (sony G would actually be hte "L"). i have a zeiss 24-70 and it is completely worth it.

i also shoot canon and the 24-70L, 85L and the 70-200L (both f4 and 2.8) are all excellent.
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream Killer View Post
i definitely think they are worth it. my d700 stuff are all gold rings and the results speak for themselves. i also have a cheapo rebel xt with an 18-55 IS kit lens i use for travel and i get just as good results though i have to work harder for them.

it's all a matter of opinion though. looking at your sig, you have a couple already with the 85mm, the 17-35 and the 70-200. you need to ask yourself that.
Sure i have always knew that there was difference in image quality between pro lenses and non-pro lenses. But i just never thought it was worth the pretty hefty price tag those lenses have.

For example, if i would go out buy a new normal zoom, i'd come home with a cheaper one and not a pro-lens, even if i can see a difference in image quality.

Uhm i realized that after i made the thread, but my equipment feels so old and not as good as the newer ones with "Nano coating" and that golden "G" on then. I bought all of my "nicer lenses" used so i didn't have to put out so much money on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mz-n10 View Post
yes, i dont quite have a "L" (sony G would actually be hte "L"). i have a zeiss 24-70 and it is completely worth it.

i also shoot canon and the 24-70L, 85L and the 70-200L (both f4 and 2.8) are all excellent.
I didn't know what branding Sony, Pentax, Olympus and so on, used on their pro-lenses, that's why i only mentiond the "Golden ring" and "red L". :3

Lenses like fast primes and tele lenses i can clearly see why one would like to have pro-glass. There it's a extremely noticeable difference in quality between cheaper glass and more expensive glass.
post #5 of 18
in Nikon world, G doesn't mean anything (you lose the aperture ring) and i don't really understand the value of the nano crystal coat (a lot of the good D lenses never flared, anyway).
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post #6 of 18
It all depends on what you expect out of your images. The pro lenses will be sharper, have less distortion usually, less chromatic aberration, and be built much tougher (metal mounts for example). However, they are priced as high as they are because they are made for people who make money off their photos. To those people, the image quality is extremely important to their business.

As far as amatuers go it's just a matter of how much you're willing to spend and how important the very best image quality is to you. I think I own 6 of Nikon's gold ring lenses, but I understand it's definitely not worth it to everyone. As far as technical image quality goes though, they do produce the best images, but it's probably only most noticeable if you're making large prints or looking at the photos very closely.
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream Killer View Post
in Nikon world, G doesn't mean anything (you lose the aperture ring) and i don't really understand the value of the nano crystal coat (a lot of the good D lenses never flared, anyway).
My bad, i should not create threads 4am. I really agree with you, i don't see the point of nano crystal coating, but what i've hard it's supposed to work. But it would be fun to see images shoot with the same lens with and without nano coated element.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluecow003 View Post
It all depends on what you expect out of your images. The pro lenses will be sharper, have less distortion usually, less chromatic aberration, and be built much tougher (metal mounts for example). However, they are priced as high as they are because they are made for people who make money off their photos. To those people, the image quality is extremely important to their business.

As far as amatuers go it's just a matter of how much you're willing to spend and how important the very best image quality is to you. I think I own 6 of Nikon's gold ring lenses, but I understand it's definitely not worth it to everyone. As far as technical image quality goes though, they do produce the best images, but it's probably only most noticeable if you're making large prints or looking at the photos very closely.
Yeah that's really true. I am perhaps the wrong person to really appreciate the pro-lenses. One thing you mention, and that's my argument to why i have bought some pro-lenses and would want some specific lenses in my bag to be pro-lenses is the fact that they are built more durable. During a vacation my 18-70mm became a 24-44mm lens, it was something that broke internally.

No of course it's not worth it to everybody, for my mom for example, she has a 18-200 and is super happy with the quality, she don't need a bag full of golden ring lenses. They really do, as i saw with the 35/1.4, the quality of those images very very good.
post #8 of 18
It's a case-by-case basis IMO. In some lens types, L/Gold Ring lenses are clearly superior, such as with zoom lenses. Prime lenses are more forgiving as there are excellent non-L Canon primes. Besides sharpness, pro lenses will often have superior contrast, color reproduction, flare and CA resistance, weather sealing/robust build quality, constant apertures, etc.

The main reason I use L lenses is because I'm shooting FF. FF sensors see most of the image circle from a lens, so corner-to-corner IQ is important. Crop sensors see the sweet spot of such a lens (unless it's a crop lens of course), so non-pro glass can be quite good on such cameras, whereas they might be not so good on FF (the Canon 17-40L takes a huge nose dive in corner sharpness of FF, but is superb on crop).

With Canon, there are extremely good EF-S lenses. I think the Canon 17-55 and 10-22 approach the IQ expected of an L lens, though they fall short in build quality.
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post #9 of 18
My 14-24mm f2.8 lens looks considerabily sharper than any of my other non gold ring lens at 100% crop.
     
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post #10 of 18
doesnt gold ring on nikon just mean ED glass? it doesnt mean the same as L for canon.
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