70-200mm... canon vs. sigma

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by c_lawrence, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. c_lawrence

    c_lawrence TPF Noob!

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    Two questions...

    1 -- I am looking to invest in a 70-200mm f/2.8. Although I can scrape up the change for the canon (as I am currently using the xti), I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Sigma brand. I have tried out a Sigma brand lens in other sizes but they seemed to "stick" when using manual focus. Does the 70-200 do the same?

    2 -- I will be taking pitures of sports, concerts, some portrature and some landscapes where appropriate for this zoom... I am wavering back and forth as to whether it would be significantly benficial to pay more for image stabilization. Any advise would be helpful.

    Thanks
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the Sigma 2.8 EX DG HSM Macro, and LOVE IT. It had sharpness issues, and then I found the culprit was a cheap filter...removed the filter, and achieved crisp pictures again.

    The Manual Focus is pretty good, it feels real natural to manual focus this lens.

    As for IS or not, IS would always be nice. I've honestly never needed it. However, I do sports, where handshake isn't the issue, but player action is. The decision I faced was: to spend $800 more for a Canon version that has IS, or put that $800 towards other lenses? I chose putting that $800 towards other things.
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    If you can scrape for the Canon than it would be a tad better. $800 better? That's for you to decide. I find the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS very usable at f/2.8. You can dial it in and leave it there and it will perform just as sharp wide-open as it is stopped down. If you do stop down to say f/4 or f/5.6, performance is lights out! It has a leg up over the Sigma in regards to build quality, sharpness, chromatic abberation, etc. but that is why there is the price difference. Really up to you as to the degree of performance you require in the lens.
     
  4. c_lawrence

    c_lawrence TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much. I appreciate getting feedback from those who have used both. Now I just need to think on it... I'm leaning towards the Canon but the thought of having the extra cash for other gear is tempting ;). Maybe I will rent the lenses for a day just to concrete my decision.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only reason to buy the Sigma/Tamron/etc.. is to save money if you can afford the brand name lens you should.
     
  6. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Renting them is a great idea. Try both out in similar conditions and see how they work for you. I bought the Canon because I know I will be using it wide-open most of the time. I want as high degree of image quality as possible and tend to shoot at ISO 100-250. The f/2.8 just gave me a usable shutter speed for action shots and low-light. Just see which one suits your need. But as lenses go, there is no upgrade needed later on from the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My suggestion would be to save up and go for the Canon F2.8 IS. Yes, I know that it's a whole lot more expensive than the two you mention...but it is the best one...and you will probably never need to upgrade.

    Of course, money is always an issue...but I can practically guarantee that if you don't have IS, there will come a time (probably many times) that you will wish that you had it. There will even come a time when you wish you had spent the extra money on it.

    Renting them might be a good idea...especially if you rent the IS version. Once you use a telephoto lens with IS...you will probably fall in love.

    I would almost recommend the 70-200 F4 L IS lens as well. But I guess it depends on what you shoot. For sports and concerts etc....there is no substitute for a fast shutter speed, so that extra stop is important....but for general use, the F4 version a good lens. For one, it's a lot smaller and lighter. The 70-200 F2.8 is a beast of a lens.
    Also, with the improved noise levels of new cameras, F4 at ISO 800 is practically as good as F2.8 at ISO 400.
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am of the school of thought that the reason you would buy a Canon is because you want to use the fantastic Canon lens system, just as the reason you would buy a Nikon is to use the fantastic Nikkor lenses.

    Do the third party manufacturers have some good lenses? Absolutely... one of my favorite lenses is a Tamron 70-300 LD DI lens... but while I love the Tamron, I would not confuse it for a Nikkor.

    JIP is right, if you can afford the Canon lens, BUY the Canon lens. (Yes, I said JIP is right... but you know, stopped clocks are right twice a day :) ). The Canon lens is designed specifically for Canon cameras, where as Sigmas are not.
     
  9. c_lawrence

    c_lawrence TPF Noob!

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    I really appreciate all of your help!
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you do go with the Sigma, I'd look at the older non-macro versions (unless macro is something your really interested in with this focal range). They are much sharper wide-open than the macro version apparently, and cheaper because you are buying used.

    But on a side note, if you can afford the name brand stuff, go for it. You may regret the purchase of a sigma where you would never regret having the canon.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I'm with you. I standardized on Nikon bodies because I want Nikon glass and, as we all know, Canon glass is equally good. By the way, I was bored last night and I spent some time at the new Nikon web site. I watched the Nikon 90-year history and I learned that the correct pronunciation is "Neekon."
     
  12. ducatiman1967

    ducatiman1967 TPF Noob!

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    I had the Sigma lens for a few weeks and because I was shooting fast sports the fact that it was the non OS version didn't matter. But I had a chance to pick up a very clean well cared for Canon IS lens and jumped on it. Having the IS is a great bonus, but I have to say I liked the the look of the Sigma because I'm not sure if I'm a fan if the off white of the Canon. It just seems to scream " hey you , look at my lens "
     

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