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06-23-2010, 06:51 PM   #1
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Non-Canon zoom lens on Canon DSLR, what's up?

I have been using Pentax for quite a while now but my brother gave me a Canon with 18-55mm kit lens.
The kit lens sucks but I'm planning to give this camera to my wife and she is just starting out so I don't care about the kit lens.
Now, I want to add to the kit lens another zoom with reach and would like to purchase off-brand lenses but I always find that they seem to have compatibility issues with Canon DSLRs.
I've read the "error 99" issue or the lens not focusing at all or not working.
What is the best way to determine on which lenses would be compatible or would work?
Canon seems to be trying to force you into buying its crappy cheap lenses if you don't have the moolah for its "L" lenses.
Like Pentax, I would want something from Tamron or Sigma or Quantaray that will work!
My budget is below $100 and minimum reach would be 200mm.

06-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Older Sigma gear is really the only stuff you need to worry about. They refuse to license the comunications protocol from Canon and try to make their gear work with it and the end result is that compatibility can be "iffy". Canon isn't trying to force you into buying Canon, just about any off brand except the previous gen Sigma stuff works fine, including Tamron, Tokina and so on and so forth. And it's only an issue on lenses you want AF/AE on; if you wish to mount things like M42 or OM mount glass it works like a champ with a dirt cheap adapter.

Under $100 and 200mm? Canon 55-250 used might be your best bet, though $100 is pushing it. Sigma 70-300 can be had new for $120 or so and works fine, and a refurb Canon 75-300 is not far off price wise.

But really, get out of the "ugh Canon SUX" mentality and you might find a new world opening up. Brand religion buys you nothing.
06-24-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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I have nothing about brand religion but I know that Canon kit lens really sucks and even if you google all their kit lenses including the 300mm ones, you'll see that they really suck.
To get good glass from Canon, you have to get their "L" lenses and pay top dollar specially for the "IS" ones.
This is the undeniable truth.
I use Pentax and the Canon, as I said, is for my wife and not for me.
I would rather have her using the AF lenses than have a steep learning curve from using adapters or whatnots.
If this was for me, then, I can work with adapters or even M-42 ones.
Thanks for the info and advice still, I appreciate it.
The 55-250mm costs $249 retail and thru eBay maybe around $200.
The ones I see that are good candidates are the Sigma, Tamron, Quantaray 55-200mm but, as you said, some are iffy..that is actually what I am afraid of.
I would for certain stay away from the Quantaray 70-300mm since I always read somewhere that it always gets error 99.
06-25-2010, 12:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I have nothing about brand religion but I know that Canon kit lens really sucks and even if you google all their kit lenses including the 300mm ones, you'll see that they really suck.
To get good glass from Canon, you have to get their "L" lenses and pay top dollar specially for the "IS" ones.
This is the undeniable truth.
Nah, you are off target there. The "L" stuff is great but carries some weird mythology to the point where people think they are magical and everything else is worthless. For instance, the Canon 85/1.8 is superb and many pros use them instead of the 85L since it is smaller, lighter, and autofocuses a lot faster (the 85L has some huge chunks of glass to shuffle around). 100/2 is virtually the same lens as the 85/1.8 and equally nice. The 35/2 is also a great little lens with the only drawback being the old micro-motor for AF (not USM; reliable but a little noisy). The 50/1.4 is a good, solid 50/1.4 -- decent wide open and quite sharp already at 1.7.

As for the kit lenses, they did mostly suck until the more recent 18-55IS became standard issue. That is actually a VERY good performer, to the point where it had the photozone guy a bit baffled.
QuoteOriginally posted by photozone.de:
There were a few moments when I considered not to publish the results due to "political correctness" because to date it was a quite absurd thought that such a cheap, or better "affordable", lens can perform this good and I'm sure that some will not believe the findings even though they're supported by the published field images. Anyway, the resolution capabilities of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is nothing short of amazing.
Back to your original dilemma, I'd get the 55-250IS (which is actually a nice performer, was quite surprised to see the results when a coworker bought one) if you can swing it (IS is nice at the longer end), and if you need to stay closer to $100 the Sigma 70-300. Quantaray 70-300 will be either a Sigma or a Tamron; the front element diameter will tell you which.

06-25-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Yes, I would believe that the "IS" versions are better but I think that it is only now that Canon is supplying it as a kit. The usual kit lenses would be the non-IS versions and from what I have tried, they are kinda soft.
Maybe to you they are noisy (non-USM) but for me who uses Pentax a lot, those are already kinda silent..LOL
I wouldn't doubt also that all those fast lenses you mentioned would have good IQ since for most part, they are fast and if they were a bit soft, you can easily stop them down with almost negligible issues to speed, unlike the kit lenses which have a f:3.5-4 regular starting aperture openings. If these are soft and you stop down, then you sacrifice speed which you already don't have the luxury of in the first place.
Anyway, we are being off topic here as I am looking for off-brand lenses that would work on the Canon DSLRs and not get the Canon brand since they are expensive and not perform as good as the off-brand for a lesser price.
My wife is starting out so, as I said, I don't care for great Canon lenses that are expensive since you have to pay for the "IS" or for the flourite.
If I was the one who was going to use the Canon 30D, then I would go to any extent to use great old glass even with adapters..but sorry to say that isn't so and old AF lenses are just always ailed with the error 99 on Canon DSLRs.
06-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #6
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I have Canon EF 28-200 3.5-5.6 that I don't need, because I have "L" focal length equivalents. It is in like new condition, but missing the box.
This lens is not a USM version, has a little noizy AF because of that (like Pentax).
AF is powered by micro motor instead of USM ring. If you interested, send me PM I'll sell it for $90 plus $5 shipping in US.
06-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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Isn't the Quantaray 70-300mm ailed by the error 99 issue?
How would I know if this particular lens won't give me the dreaded error 99?
Isn't this the Quantaray Tech 10?
06-25-2010, 08:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by awo425 Quote
I have Canon EF 28-200 3.5-5.6 that I don't need, because I have "L" focal length equivalents. It is in like new condition, but missing the box.
This lens is not a USM version, has a little noizy AF because of that (like Pentax).
AF is powered by micro motor instead of USM ring. If you interested, send me PM I'll sell it for $90 plus $5 shipping in US.
This is tempting but: Yahoo! Answers - Is Canon's EF 28-200mm lens compatible with the new EOS 7D?

This is also the reason why I'm looking of r off-brand lenses that would work on the Canon without the error 99.
Thanks still and I appreciate it!

06-25-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
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Can you believe everything you have read online really? From what I have gathered thus far, and as a 40D with 3 EF zooms owner for 3 years, err99 can strike any Canon bodies or lenses, or any combination depends on your luck. err99 is just a general code which can mean many things. Sigma is known to reverse engineer so their lenses might not work on future bodies, not sure about other brands. Pentax KAF mount is kind of primitive and has not changed much over the years so might explain why older third party lenses still work. If you have opened up any modern Canon or Nikon lenses, and compared them to Pentax AF lenses, you might be surprised how much more complex their circuits are. As to EF-S consumer zoom being as poor, one might also argue Pentax consumer teles are weak too against Canon. And $100 for a tele-zoom up to 200m? Now that's cheap for someone bragged about quality. I don't believe L lenses are the holy grail, and I don't think their consumer lenses are as bad as some suggested ether. If one must compare, Pentax have their share of junk too in comparison.
06-25-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
This is tempting but: Yahoo! Answers - Is Canon's EF 28-200mm lens compatible with the new EOS 7D?

This is also the reason why I'm looking of r off-brand lenses that would work on the Canon without the error 99.
Thanks still and I appreciate it!
Unless the lens is defective or damaged somehow it will function just fine. The EF lens mount and protocol has not changed since its introduction, so any Canon EF lens made will mount and work on any EF body.

Now the 28-200 is not a stellar lens, but it will function just fine.
06-25-2010, 08:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Isn't the Quantaray 70-300mm ailed by the error 99 issue?
How would I know if this particular lens won't give me the dreaded error 99?
Isn't this the Quantaray Tech 10?
If you buy it new it is unlikely to have any issues, but if it is the rebadged Sigma one then you MIGHT have problems with other bodies in the future. However, it is a dirt cheap lens so as long as it works on the 30D you have I see no reason to be too concerned.
06-25-2010, 08:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
This is tempting but: Yahoo! Answers - Is Canon's EF 28-200mm lens compatible with the new EOS 7D?

This is also the reason why I'm looking of r off-brand lenses that would work on the Canon without the error 99.
Thanks still and I appreciate it!

I used it on my 5D mark II a few times, never seen this error.
Image quality on 5D is just OK, nothing to write home about, but then again, it's pretty much true for all wide to telephoto zooms in the consumer segment.
06-25-2010, 09:00 AM   #13
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By the way I used Tamron 28-75 2.8 on 5D2, quite extencively, this is not a brand Canon lens obviously. I've never seen this Err99 with it either. It just worked, focused fine, was very responcive. It was vigneting horribly on FF sensor and corner sharpness was POS compare to the center.
Was very surprised to see this from a lens that was originaly designed for FF sensor and has reputation online. But then again, this is another thing about third party lenses, some of them are not really keep up with Canon/Nikon/Pentax equivivalens.
06-25-2010, 06:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
If you buy it new it is unlikely to have any issues, but if it is the rebadged Sigma one then you MIGHT have problems with other bodies in the future. However, it is a dirt cheap lens so as long as it works on the 30D you have I see no reason to be too concerned.
That is actually what I am looking for, something that will work that is why I am asking about it.
Sorry for my ignorance but I have never used Canon..well only P&S and older AE-1.
I have opened this thread so I can be educated and that I will better know how to determine these lenses that would work and spare me the hassle of going through buying them, then returning them if they did not work.
Thanks a lot Pingflood for all the info that you have shared and somehow it has armed me with something useful and understanding how the system kinda works.
I truly appreciate the help.
06-25-2010, 06:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by awo425 Quote
I used it on my 5D mark II a few times, never seen this error.
Image quality on 5D is just OK, nothing to write home about, but then again, it's pretty much true for all wide to telephoto zooms in the consumer segment.
This error somehow only appears on non-Canon brand lenses that are somehow in the transition dates between film and digital although the Canon EF which was made for film works fine for the Canon DSLRs as long as it is branded as Canon so, the 28-200mm should work without a hitch.
Thanks for the help too and the offer.
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