Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG vs. Canon 24-70 f/2.8L vs. Tamron SP AF 28-75 f/2.8

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by anubis, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003

    I'm thinking about replacing my Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS with a fast short tele lens in the 24-70mm range. I'd like to give up some range on the long end in order to gain a stop or two in aperture because shallow depth of field and fast shutter are important to me. Since my primary application is wedding photography and portraits, the IS is pretty useless because IS is more effective for static scenes and doesn't effect shutter speed.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone who owns any of the following three lenses can comment on the performance of the lenses, including cropped sensor image quality (which means that full frame corner performance doesn't matter, only center and cropped sensor corner), autofocus accuracy, speed, and loudness, and build quality. Cost is a very big issue, so I would prefer if comments focused on the value (i.e. performance vs. cost) rather than just saying "The Canon is the best so you should get that one". I realize that the Canon probably has the best performance, but I'd like comments from people who own these lenses to tell me if the increased performance is worth the 2.5x increase in cost over the Sigma, e.g.

    Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG
    Canon 24-70 f/2.8L
    Tamron SP AF 28-75 f/2.8

    I've been trying to get information from the internet but I'm getting somewhat mixed reviews. Some sites say that the IQ from the Sigma is better than the Canon, while others who purport to using the same ISO standard test claim that the Canon is far superior. Some sites say that the Sigma's focus is very loud while others say that it's almost as quiet as the Canon's USM. Some say that the Sigma has focus accuracy problems (which would be a big problem at such a shallow DOF), while others claim that the Canon is the one with the autofocus problems.'s user reviews are also a mixed bag, with some claiming that the IQ is absolutely flawless and others saying that the IQ was so soft as to render the lens completely unusable.

    Can anyone help me out here? Thanks :)
  2. jordygreen macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2006
    London, UK
    Well there all pretty much the same lens at the end of the day.

    I have the Sigma 24-70 and its virtually on my body all the time!
    I fully recommend it but if would have had the money I would have spent it on the canon L lens!
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    With reviews that are so mixed, I'd go for the lens that costs half as much. What I've seen from Sigma lenses has been very impressive.
  4. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Before I bought my Canon 24-70mm, I did direct comparisons with the Sigma in a camera shop. The Sigma is very good, but the Canon feels more robust and focussed quicker. Image quality was similar, but I felt that the Canon had an edge when it came to sharpness. There was nothing scientific about the tests I did - I just walked out onto the street and banged out a few photos, then checked them on my PC at home.

    The Canon lens has weatherproofing features - I'm not sure if the Sigma does (this didn't matter to me at the time of purchase as my camera was not weatherproofed anyway).

    Cropped sensor image quality: it's great! On my 35mm film EOS 1V, it's fuzzy at the edges at 24mm. You don't see any of this on a 40D or other 1.6x sensor body.

    Autofocus accuracy: good - great for sports and bird photography at close range when used with the AI drive mode on my 40D and 1V.

    Speed: this depends on the body of your camera a bit, but even on my old Digital Rebel, it was really fast. On the 1V and 40D it's super fast.

    Loudness: very quiet. I often have my 'beep' turned off (as I assume you would too for weddings), and sometimes it's hard to know whether the lens has done anything because it's so quiet. It depends on how much it has to adjust.

    Build quality: spectacular. Handles knocks, and doesn't mind getting wet. It's heavy though. Much heavier than my 70-200mm f/4L.

    In terms of value for money, I think that in comparison with other L series lenses (you have to get that context in there, because none of them are cheap), it represents excellent value for money.
  5. anubis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I just did some more research on the internet and by chance came across a press release from Sigma at Photokina 2008 and they announced an all-new 24-70mm f/2.8 with "new and improved" optical prescription that is supposed to eliminate flare and increase image quality as well as the addition of HSM (Sigma version of Canon's USM). Given how incredible Sigma's newest lenses are (e.g. 50mm f/1.4), I think I'll probably wait for the release of their new 24-70mm with HSM in December and then jump on that.
  6. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm waiting on the same lens too except for the Sony mount.

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