EF 70-200mm f/4L USM vs 3rd party?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by prodigy2k7, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Obviously canon has a big name so therefore bigger price. But they are also quality.

    If I were to find a similar lens but by Sigma, would I be getting lesser quality?

    I dont want to sacrifice quality by going to a less expensive, identical lens from Sigma.

    I want to know if there are any similar lens compared to EF 70-200mm f/4L USM and what their prices are.

    Also is Sigma is cheaper, how much are the F/2.8 and IS versions? Whatever "IS" is called for sigma hehe.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I don't think Sigma makes much in the way of f/4 glass. I know they have a 70-200 f/2.8, but have heard mixed reviews about its performance at f/2.8, particularly at the longer end. It's f/2.8 when you need it, but you might need to stop it down to f/4 or even f/5.6 to get the same overall image quality as the Canon, so in that case is it really any "better"? You also need an extremely rigid mechanical structure to keep all of this high-grade glass in precise alignment, and this is one area where Sigma commonly (but not always) makes compromises on to keep their price down. This is also what brings on all of the "sample variability" IMHO.

    Generally you get what you pay for with lenses, but as long as you're satisfied with something that's all that matters.

    If you don't have any plans to shoot 35mm film or jump to a full-frame camera, I've heard a lot of good things about the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM. I've been considering one of these myself.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photographic equipment is like wine.

    Some enjoy a good box wine all day....
    Some will puke at box wine and only enjoy the very best (and expensive)

    Most of the photographic population will
    a) not understand or possess the skills to fully maximize their equipment
    b) cannot realize the difference between a good lens and an exceptional lens.

    I see way too many people pass by my counter truly wasting hard cash in hopes to buy their way into photographic excellence.


    I've heard lots and lots of good things with Sigma... there is no reason not to consider them. You'll be happier than a Canon L lens owner and an over extended bank account.
     
  4. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is is called OS in simga-speak. The 70-200 F4L is supposed to be extremely sharp, it's weathersealed and it's L quality. The closest thing your going to get in that price range will be a used Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM, which is around $850 new. I had one of the older Sigmas, supposedly the sharpest version, and I found it to be extremely soft wide open. I'd recommend getting the 70-200 F4L, it's one of Canons unique lenses that seems to be a hit. If you want the IS version though, it's a bit more pricey.

    With third party glass, at third party prices you tend to get third party quality. Some third party lenses will have great IQ, but will skip out on build quality, or there will be quality control issues. I think I've just about learned my lesson and will sticking with nicer glass from here on out. Yeah, it's expensive, but I know I'd be happier in the long run.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    70-200mm f4L IS = $1100
    70-200mm f4L = $560
    70-200mm f2.8L = $1200
    70-200mm f2.8L IS = $1700

    Perhaps look up samples of all your options on the internet...
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On the flip side of antithesis...

    70-200 f/2.8 Sigma in very low light will easily outperform a 70-200 f/4L in very low light. Only one of those lenses is capable of an aperture of f/2.8.

    The Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS is wonderful (both expense and quality, I used to own one).... but for my needs, I'd pass for the 70-200 f/4L IS. Simply because a lens left at home is useless.... Again, this is for my needs and as of all your recent posts, prodigy2k7, you haven't told us your needs. The focus has been on cost only, which is often the last thing to consider in selecting equipment.
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cost is very important to a lot of people, myself included. We all have to comprimise somewhere, and often times it's entirely because we don't have a ton of money to spend.

    I just personally would rather have a Canon L with a usable max aperture, than the Sigma which weighs quite a bit more, and is pretty useless below F4. The Sigma was very sharp at F4 and above, but not enough to necessitate the weight.
     
  8. jamesino

    jamesino TPF Noob!

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    Just a note, the EF 70-200mm F4L (non-IS) is not weather sealed. But the other 3 versions are.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm just pulling from my past. Customer walks in and describes their wants and needs. I bring out a few examples and allow them to sample. I generally try to steer the discussion towards what they like about the different lenses rather than sheer cost. This way their preconceived notions on cost doesn't spoil their initial thought process. Thoughts like "wow this is so cheap it must be the crappy one of the bunch" or "wow this is so expensive its gotta be the best no matter what I think".

    Often the 70-200 f/2.8L IS will get a "wow thats heavy" reaction when they would normally would choose it just because it is the most expensive (thus the best) of the group.

    Often the third party lens gets the "better than i thought" reaction when they would normally just dismiss it.

    Hopefully they can determine what aspects of the lenses are most important to them and proceed to balance the compromises with cost. If the compromise is too much for them to be happy, hopefully they'll be smart and return at a later date after they have saved up a bit more cash.

    Wow, I've never heard anyone say the Sigma is "useless" under f/4....
     
  10. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I would rather save a couple months more for an "L" then "roll dice" on a 3rd party.

    Not saying "L" is guaranteed to have better IQ then 3rd party. Just saying that I am not experienced enough to know better and would rather eliminate equipment as possible source of error.

    Yeah - all bad shots are my fault :(
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't worry... I've got a TON of bad shots.

    we all do...
     
  12. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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