Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 or Canon 70-200 f/4 L non-IS?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sprtnbsblplya, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. sprtnbsblplya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #1
    As the title states, I am looking for a good 70-200mm zoom lens. I currently have a Canon 28-125mm IS zoom, thats as far as my zoom capability goes right now on my T1i.
    I've been reading reviews of the two different lenses and it seems the Sigma has more cons, as you can't go wrong with an "L" apparently.

    New from B&H the Sigma 70-200mm f 2.8 II EX DG HSM will go for $799. Several of the reviews state it can make soft shots and most reviews state CA will show up when zooming in. Also, some intermittent reviews state it has problems with front-focusing. However, quite a few people are happy with its price/performance ratio. The f/2.8 would be awesome, the price is good compared to the Canon version, but I'm wary of the cons that some reviewers have brought up.

    The Canon 70-200mm f/4 L can be had for like $500-$550 used in great condition. I've never read a bad review on it, I'm not even really aware of any cons for this glass, as users write nothing but good stuff about it. The only drawback I can see is the f/4, other than that, nothing bad. Price is great.

    Has anyone else had to decide between these two lenses? I know I've pretty much justified the Canon, but wanted to hear if anyone else has decided between these two.
     
  2. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #2
    I have owned both but the sigma for Nikon mount. I have to say, I was more than pleased with what the Sigma could do and allowed me to do with the 2.8.
    If you ever want to do indoor shots with the telephoto for portraits or whatever, the f4 canon L is slow most likely too slow. I tried to shoot my sister in law (no pun intended) with it and at 200mm wide open a nissin di flash was not enough to provide good light. The sigma delivered with no problems.
    Once you move into ok lighting however the Canon will leapfrog past the Sigma. There is no question that the L glass has the red ring for a reason :)

    Versatility=sigma, exceptional image quality when you have good light= Canon L.
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #3
    It's a simple equation:
    usability > last iota of optical quality

    Canon's 70-200 mm f/4 is in quite a few tests optically superior to Canon's own 70-200 f/2.8 Mk I, so it is a very, very good lens.

    This is just so as to give you a perspective when saying that the Sigma is also optically very good, but not as good as the Canon.

    However, as I've written initially, 70-200 mm on crop sensors is quite long and f/4 is not very fast. To get good IQ, you need to have shutter speeds in excess of 1/(1.6 * focal length), i. e. faster than roughly 1/250 s. I have an f/2.8 80-200 mm Nikkor and I can tell from experience that many pics just weren't possible if had only f/4 as largest aperture. In that sense, 10 % more sharpness won't help you if you can't actually make the shot.

    If you mostly shoot outdoors in daylight (nature, your kids at soccer practice,whatever), the Canon will be fine. If you also want to shoot later in the evening or indoors, I recommend the Sigma (or the similarly priced Tamron).
     
  4. sprtnbsblplya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #4
    Went ahead and ordered the Sigma f/2.8 from B&H today.
    I checked out the Flickr photostream for the Sigma 70-200mm EX II and didn't see anything wrong with a single photo posted on the site.
     
  5. scottkifnw macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #5
    Canon 70 - 200 F4 L IS

    I have the Canon 70-200 F/4L IS. It is so awesome. I love it to the point that I wouldn't consider a 3rd party lens. It is worth saving up $$ for. If you can get the is, that would be my recommendation. Longer than 200, I feel IS is a must, especially if you don't have a very expensive fast lens.

    Good luck.

    sek

     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #6
    IS does not compensate for motion of the subject -- which can be substantial at these long focal lengths.
     
  7. sprtnbsblplya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #7
    The primary appeal of the Sigma lens to me was the 2.8, I felt like it added enough options to shots that it justified the extra $250. I just knew if I bought the f/4 Canon, every time I shot with it I would wonder, "what would this look like in 2.8?"
    Once I'm done with school I'd love to pick up the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II.
    We can all dream, right?
     

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