The thought of one day owning a Canon 24mm f/1.4L USM will probably remain a just a thought for a very long time. Any Ls are but a dream at this point. So I looked into the Canon 28mm f1/8 USM, which specs weren’t that much different from the Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM but is about a grand cheaper. There’s a Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for a little less than the Canon, but it isn’t HSM (quite focusing) and had very conflicting reviews. Apparently there are a lot of bad copies with front-focusing issues.
Then I found a middle ground between the Canon 35 and the Canon 28 in a third-party lens, the Sigma 30mm 1.4 EX DC HSM. It was about the same price as the Sigma 28mm f/1.8, and it had excellent reviews. It came with the lens hood (the Canon does not) and in a nice, padded, zippered, nylon case.
I agonized over this decision for many reasons. My boss told me that I should use my bonus towards something special for myself, but I still struggled with feeling guilty about not using the money for needs vs. wants. Funny! Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been an issue. Many unnecessary purchases in the past. Not the case anymore.
Another reason for the agony was the wonder … should I wait and save up for the L? Am I being impatient and settling for something less? So the L has more elements in more groups. I won’t even pretend I know exactly what that means. I know that if you know what to look for and look hard enough, you might see a slight difference in sharpness. I looked at enough photo samples from each, though, and this truly is a an amazing lens for the price.
On the other hand, there was a justifiable need for this lens. I realized this need after a photo shoot in a dimly lit, small space with a lot of people there. The wide aperture would have been the perfect solution, but even my 50mm f/1.4 required me to back up too much for the shots I wanted. If this lens had been in my bag then, the outcome would have been much different.
OK, so if you made it this far without hitting your back button or closing the tab, WOW! It would take many pages to really explain what all of the technical mumbo-jumbo means, so I just spit it out as briefly as I could. I hope to have the time tomorrow to give my new lens a workout so I can share some photos.