HSM vs USM with the 70-200, has anyone tested AF SPEED side by side?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by keith204, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, a preface. I have a 17-85 USM, a 10-20 HSM, and a 70-200 HSM.

    I COUNT on the 70-200 for 99% of my race pictures, where AF speed is critical. I use AI-SERVO so that the car remains in focus as it gets nearer to me, etc.

    Last night, I attempted to use my 70-200 at a martial arts event. I had always thought HSM was an ok thing, and comparable to USM. However, the AF speed was too slow, so I ended up using my 17-85, because of the nice AF speed. I would have liked the extra zoom, but it takes a split second to even try to focus with the HSM lens.

    Then, I thought.....maybe it's just that focusing takes longer on a longer lens....so I tried my HSM 10-20...which also had the slight focus delay, that my USM doesn't have.

    Anyway...if the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 (IS) USM lens focuses faster than the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 USM.............then I get it, so I can have more accurate shots. SO... does anyone have experience comparing the AF SPEED/RESPONSE on these two lenses?
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Focusing speed is not just a USM/HSM issue. It also is going to depend on what body you are shooting.

    In the Canon line a rebel series will not focus faster than my 30D or my 40D. The 1D MIII is much faster than my 30D and faster than my 40D. I own/shoot canons 70-200 f2.8 for sports and it does the job quite nicely.

    I tested out the Sigma version when it first came out and didn't see much difference. In fact a guy I shoot with bought and uses the exact Sigma that I tested shooting high school sports and loves it.
     
  3. Deadeye008

    Deadeye008 TPF Noob!

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    I tested the Canon 70-200 4L and the Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX DG HSM(non macro version) and it seemed the USM was a touch faster and hunted less in low light conditions. It couldn't really tell a difference when there was lots of light for example when shooting outside during the day.
     
  4. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hunted less... I played more with my lenses today, and not being under pressure at an event, I was able to play quite a bit. The HSM does HUNT quite a bit compared to the USM. The HSM in low light will often pass the focus point a couple times, before nailing it. You're right. In good light, it doesn't hunt much, if at all. However, USM seems to nail it every time with little hunt, if any.

    As for race photography (my main thing), it shouldn't actually affect me much. I DID notice the problem last season, during the end of the season. (it gets progressively darker before time change). I should have at least 2 good months of racing in good light once the season starts. I'll just keep going Sigma, and will look into the Canon eventually, but no rush.
     

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