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  1. #1
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    Default Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    I picked up a very good condition Canon 5D at a VERY good price. It came with only a 70-300 Sigma lens. Unfortunately the quality of the photos from this lens is not great. There was also a virtually new Tamron 17-50 lens in the bag which, although it fits the camera, is not a full frame lens.

    So I am now on the hunt for a good lens or 2. I would prefer 2 lenses, a shorter zoom, say 28-80, and then a longer lens, say 100-400.

    Anyone out there with a lens you may have upgraded, please drop me a PM.

    This is what I get from the current setup. Very disappointing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guy B. Vergoes Houwens
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    That Sigma 70-300 isn't great, but it shouldn't be as bad as that.

    Does the 5D classic have focus calibration? I know my 5DIII does. That might make things better for you.

    The Canon 100-400 MkI is a legend and should be around for about R8k - R10k on the used sites.

    2nd lens I recommend is the 24-105. Also a great lens, even in MkI

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by cainslie View Post
    That Sigma 70-300 isn't great, but it shouldn't be as bad as that.

    Does the 5D classic have focus calibration? I know my 5DIII does. That might make things better for you.

    The Canon 100-400 MkI is a legend and should be around for about R8k - R10k on the used sites.

    2nd lens I recommend is the 24-105. Also a great lens, even in MkI
    I agree with Chris.

    The 100-400 is a must if you want to do wildlife photography and the older 24-105, despite the fact that it starts at f4 produces very good images.

    There are a few things you can do in the meantime to see if you can improve the quality of the Sigma images: Make sure that your shutter speed equal or exceed your focal length. ie at 300mm your shutter speed must be 1/300 sec or faster. Use stabilisation, a tripod or a bean bag if you shoot from your car.

    I have had two 5d classics, the last one died a few months ago, I love the almost film look of the images it produces.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    From time to time , the larger focal plane lenses need to be calibrated, Tudor in Cape Town do this , I have just had my 50-500 serviced by them. Now selling it, The Canon lenses can be sorted at CameraTek in Gauteng.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    What is your EXIF data on that photo and was it handheld or on a tripod/door mount?

    OP, still waiting for an answer. Without those details, it is impossible to start talking gear as inappropriate settings have not been ruled out as the cause of your results.
    Last edited by jab2; 2020/12/30 at 07:31 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by ghouwens View Post
    ...
    This is what I get from the current setup. Very disappointing.
    I hate being a dry bread raining on the party... but that 5D mk1 is an old tech camera... you are going to get some graininess at ISO 1600 (the max) and even some at ISO 800. There are plenty tools to clean that up, but you will have to shoot RAW and fix up with software tools.

    Use the high ISOs to get a faster shutter speed and sharper picture and then fix everything else in post.

    I think that an old camera like that is the best move one can make, frustrating at times, but the learning curve, pulling all the old tricks out of the book, will force anyone using that equipment to improve their photographic skills. Take a couple of shots on a tripod to see what the best is you can get out of that piece of equipment and then you can play around to match that hand held.

    I would always look at improving technique before upgrading equipment.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Thanks for the responses guys. Thanks too to Hawkeye for the offer of the lens. Sorry I didn't get back to you, but it has been silly season here.

    I did manage to pick up a virtually brand new 100-400mm Canon lens for R7k. While it is a vast improvement, I do believe the camera may need a little attention. Unfortunately there is no focus calibration, so will need to send it in.

    Here are 2 pics taken with the Canon lens, both at the 400mm extreme, both hand held. No manipulation whatsoever.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ghouwens; 2020/12/28 at 07:09 AM.
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by ghouwens View Post
    I picked up a very good condition Canon 5D at a VERY good price. It came with only a 70-300 Sigma lens. Unfortunately the quality of the photos from this lens is not great. There was also a virtually new Tamron 17-50 lens in the bag which, although it fits the camera, is not a full frame lens.

    So I am now on the hunt for a good lens or 2. I would prefer 2 lenses, a shorter zoom, say 28-80, and then a longer lens, say 100-400.

    Anyone out there with a lens you may have upgraded, please drop me a PM.

    This is what I get from the current setup. Very disappointing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Size:	55.4 KB 
ID:	598926
    The Canon 5D mk I, apart from not having focus adjustment also has a big problem with very sluggish autofocus. This shortcoming cannot be addressed with better lenses.

    My serious suggestion to you is to look for a later mark of the 5D - anything from the mk III onwards will perform really well with a supertelephoto lens... (and these marks all have focus adjustment that is lens dependent)

    Also, I doubt any camera repair shop are going to be able to do anything about sorting the focus adjustment mainly because it is lens dependent.

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Jay View Post
    The Canon 5D mk I, apart from not having focus adjustment also has a big problem with very sluggish autofocus. This shortcoming cannot be addressed with better lenses.

    My serious suggestion to you is to look for a later mark of the 5D - anything from the mk III onwards will perform really well with a supertelephoto lens... (and these marks all have focus adjustment that is lens dependent)

    Also, I doubt any camera repair shop are going to be able to do anything about sorting the focus adjustment mainly because it is lens dependent.

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news...
    Thanks Tony, but read my later post and have a closer look at the last 2 photos posted. Quality is vastly better with the new lens, and something I can live with for now.
    Last edited by ghouwens; 2020/12/29 at 12:02 PM.
    Guy B. Vergoes Houwens
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  12. #10
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Jay View Post
    The Canon 5D mk I, apart from not having focus adjustment also has a big problem with very sluggish autofocus. This shortcoming cannot be addressed with better lenses.

    My serious suggestion to you is to look for a later mark of the 5D - anything from the mk III onwards will perform really well with a supertelephoto lens... (and these marks all have focus adjustment that is lens dependent)

    Also, I doubt any camera repair shop are going to be able to do anything about sorting the focus adjustment mainly because it is lens dependent.

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news...
    Agree, also look at the 6d 2nd hand.
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Quote Originally Posted by ghouwens View Post
    Thanks Tony, but read my later post and have a closer look at the last 2 photos posted. Quality is vastly better with the new lens, and something I can live with for now.
    Just a thought... my 2cw...

    If you are shooting with long tele lenses... why not have a look at a crop sensor body. A 50D or 650D and up would be a very good entry level match for that lens... it will even allow some tracking.
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  14. #12
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    Default Re: Lenses for Canon 5D mk1

    Thanks guys.

    Quite honestly, I do not spend enough time behind a camera to warrant the expense of a 5D mkiv or 6d.

    Current 5D and Canon 100-400 lens I picked up for under R10k. I no longer do weddings and functions, in fact, the last time I did a wedding was with 35mm film.
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