Canon 70-200 f4 vs Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX DG HSM APO


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Jul 20, 2013
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After doing a little searching for used gear I stumbled onto a person who is willing to possibly trade my Canon 70-200 f4 (non IS) for his Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX DG HSM APO. I have tried to find information on this sigma lens but it is proving difficult because there are so many variations and this does not seem to be the popular one (the seller tells me that this is the 3rd of 4 redesigns of this lens). I am wondering if anyone out there would have some advise on this.

Pros of trading for me:
-Larger aperture

Cons of trading:
-possibly slower focusing
-weight (the 2.8 is twice as heavy as my f4)

Anyway, if anyone has any experience they could share it would be great to hear, especially if you have used both of these lenses.
This compares it to the Canon 2.8, but it still doesn't get great accolades. I think you'd be down grading even from the F4. You still have L glass on your current lens.
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I have both the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L (Bought used at $450 in great optics, body and functional condition. Basically like new) and the older Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO HSM (Bought used recently at $375 in great optics and functional condition, but show signs of use which is typical for Sigma EX lens with the crackle finish.)

After using the Sigma for couple times, I do feel that the Canon is shaper (but it does not mean the Sigma is bad) at f/4 and f/5.6 at 200mm. At this point, I think I am going to keep both. When time I think I need to shoot at wider aperture at 200mm, I will bring the Sigma. (i.e. daughter dance recital) Otherwise, I will use the Canon if I know I am not planning to use a aperture wider than f/4.

Here is a shot took recently

A Grackle f/3.2, 1/250, ISO500 at 159mm

I spent some time looking at the Sigma, Canon and Tamron. From all the various reviews I found, the Sigma was always rated soft and not so good on resolution, especially at fast apertures and near the end of the zoom.

The new Tamron did better and most of the reviews rated it on par with the Canon in terms of sharpness, resolution, etc up through the mid zoom range, but the Canon bested them all at fast apertures and especially at the long end of the zoom.

I would be willing to accept the lesser quality at fast apertures on the long end of the zoom of the Tamron if the price was right, but it's $1500. I can get a used Canon f/2.8L IS USM for less.

Right now I haven't decided if I want to go for a used Canon MKI (around $1300-$1400) or go full on for the new MKII ($2200). Several reviews I've read say the older MKI is a bit sharper and has higher resolution than the new one, so I don't know.

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