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Author Topic: Which 70-200 lens to choose?  (Read 4837 times)

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« on: April 13, 2009, 02:24 »
0
Hi,

It's been a while now, since I started looking for an upgrade of my (kit) tele-lens. After browsing for options I'm now choosing between those:

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II or Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM (IS-not sure about that).

What would you recomend using for stock. I heard a lot of good about Sigma, but a big cons of that lens is chromatic aberation they say. on the other hand Canon is very sharp, with much better handling of chromatic aberation, but is only f4.

Also if I were to chose canon-is the IS for it worth the 400 more or is the "plane" version without also good enough for stock?

So what would you suggest-sigma or canon? and if canon with or without the IS?

btw i'm going to use it on eos 350D for now (after that i'm looking for full-frame, but not quite sure when) :)

Thanks for your answers in advance,
miskolin


« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 16:02 »
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The sigma 70-200 has 2 major problems compared to Canon:
1. Lack of contrast. This results also in very poor color reproduction so even if you shoot raw, boosting the colors/contrast is simply not the same than capturing the colors/contrast.
2. Sharpness. Compared to Canon, the sharpness at f2.8 is bad.
Also chromatic aberrations are a problem but they are correctable. What isn't correctable it's the fringe (green-cyan halo around bright spots/areas)

I recommend buying the Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS USM. With low budget without IS, with high budget, the f/2.8 IS USM.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=404&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=469&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 16:26 »
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I have owned the 70-200 f2.8 and the 70-200 f2.8IS.  The IS is really nice but the non IS version was way sharper. I sold the IS version because of the weight. I will buy the 70-200 f4 IS because shoot handheld a lot. However if I only shot from a tripod I would buy the non IS version because I believe them to be sharper and of course a bunch cheaper.

« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 17:00 »
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I know you did not ask about this, but if you do not need a zoom, I highly recommend the 200 2.8 prime. It's not very expensive and is not very heavy and beats any 70- 200 zooms in quality. It is similar build as the legendary 135 L, just a tad longer.

« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 17:31 »
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Before I bought my Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS (which I love!) I used the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and had no complaints.  For the money, I thought it was a spectacular lens.  I shoot at f/2.8 a lot so for me, my first choice was not on your list, the lens I already own.  I would save for it if I were you.  If you don't have the patience, my 2nd choice would be the Sigma f/2.8.  F/4 is just too limiting in my opinion.  At least for my style of shooting.

Good luck with your decision!

Mat

« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 03:43 »
0
Thanks for all your input.

The sigma 70-200 has 2 major problems compared to Canon:
1. Lack of contrast. This results also in very poor color reproduction so even if you shoot raw, boosting the colors/contrast is simply not the same than capturing the colors/contrast.
2. Sharpness. Compared to Canon, the sharpness at f2.8 is bad.
Also chromatic aberrations are a problem but they are correctable. What isn't correctable it's the fringe (green-cyan halo around bright spots/areas)

That is what I heard too. What's the point using f2.8 if it is not usable. I have already sigma 18-50 2.8 and am well aware of that problem-the images are all soft and there is no clear focal point. There is also bigger chance of getting a version with front/backfocus and so on... I believe Canon made that better.
I did think also of Canon 2.8 option, but the price for IS is to high for me. Without IS is a bit expensiver as f4 with IS. But since I don't shoot indoor sport or something similar I believe i really don't need that one stop... And when shooting with studio strobe there is no need for that 2.8 or am I wrong?

The good thing is that you can get canon f4 without IS for as much as 600 on ebay. And for that money you have the L series of canon lens!

I know you did not ask about this, but if you do not need a zoom, I highly recommend the 200 2.8 prime. It's not very expensive and is not very heavy and beats any 70- 200 zooms in quality. It is similar build as the legendary 135 L, just a tad longer.

thanks for your suggestion, but since I don't have the area from 50-200mm covered yet a prime wouldn't be option for me at the moment.
So the only decision to make is now I guess whether to choose IS or not.

I will buy the 70-200 f4 IS because shoot handheld a lot. However if I only shot from a tripod I would buy the non IS version because I believe them to be sharper and of course a bunch cheaper.

Do you think for handheld shooting the IS is a must? (I heard that the mm number tells you the longest shutter speed-in this case the lowest speed should be 1/200 for handheld)


« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 05:00 »
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.

 

« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 17:24 »
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Do you think for handheld shooting the IS is a must? (I heard that the mm number tells you the longest shutter speed-in this case the lowest speed should be 1/200 for handheld)

It depends, how do you hold the equipment.
But to be 100% sure, this rule works best with shutterspeed = mm x 2, but not less than 1/60. (Many of us makes incredible results even with 1/10 but to be sure 1/60 is fast enough). For those using APS-C sensors, the 1.5x multiplier counts, so shutterspeed = mm x 3.
It depends, how do you hold the equipment...

graficallyminded

« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 19:46 »
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I picked up a barely used 70-200 f4L (non IS) and I'm loving it - it's as tack sharp as my 50mm f1.8, no CA, fast AF - loving it.  You can get them used for $500 but I swung a live.com rebate deal with ebay buyitnow and landed this one for $350.  Can't beat that.  I can't say anything about the Sigma, but if you get the Canon you won't be sorry.


« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 01:40 »
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Thanks icefront for your post.

To graficallyminded:
You can get them used for $500 but I swung a live.com rebate deal with ebay buyitnow and landed this one for $350. 
Could you tell me more about what you did? I didn't quite get it how you landed on $350.

graficallyminded

« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 07:14 »
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I got the guy down to about $460 shipped, if he was to post it on ebay buyitnow.  Find them on forums and say "hey if you post it on ebay buyitnow I'll buy it" and then negotiate the price.  They will have to pay additional fees to sell through ebay, but if the percentage on the live.com discount is high, it will be worth it. 

$460-115 rebate = 345 shipped.

The live.com rebate amount was 25% back at the time.  Right now it's only 9%, but wait until it goes back up.  It was at 14% last week.  The thing fluctuates.  www.cashbackr.com

You can land a steal on a 5d mkii.  Maximum discount per item is $200 off, though.  My friend ended up getting a brand new 580 EX II flash for like $250 back when I picked up the 70-200. 

You have to sign up for a live.com cashback account.  Then go to live.com, and type in a keyword like "ipod" or something.  The ad links come up at the top of the search results.  Click the ebay banner that shows the cashback amount, and that brings you to ebay.  Log in, and you will see the little banner at the top of the screen showing the cashback % amount

« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 08:03 »
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70-200 f4L IS (IS version!!!) is the sharpest of those 4 canon lenses. I love that lens.

« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 08:13 »
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I got the guy down to about $460 shipped, if he was to post it on ebay buyitnow.  Find them on forums and say "hey if you post it on ebay buyitnow I'll buy it" and then negotiate the price.  They will have to pay additional fees to sell through ebay, but if the percentage on the live.com discount is high, it will be worth it. 

$460-115 rebate = 345 shipped.

The live.com rebate amount was 25% back at the time.  Right now it's only 9%, but wait until it goes back up.  It was at 14% last week.  The thing fluctuates.  www.cashbackr.com

You can land a steal on a 5d mkii.  Maximum discount per item is $200 off, though.  My friend ended up getting a brand new 580 EX II flash for like $250 back when I picked up the 70-200. 

You have to sign up for a live.com cashback account.  Then go to live.com, and type in a keyword like "ipod" or something.  The ad links come up at the top of the search results.  Click the ebay banner that shows the cashback amount, and that brings you to ebay.  Log in, and you will see the little banner at the top of the screen showing the cashback % amount

I took a look but I see that this is for US-only (at least live.com cashback account). It looked to good to be true for us Europeans :) But thanks for the info anyway.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 08:16 by miskolin »

graficallyminded

« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 08:17 »
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Oh, that stinks.  I'm sorry about that :(

« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 08:17 »
0
The sigma 70-200 has 2 major problems compared to Canon:
1. Lack of contrast. This results also in very poor color reproduction so even if you shoot raw, boosting the colors/contrast is simply not the same than capturing the colors/contrast.
2. Sharpness. Compared to Canon, the sharpness at f2.8 is bad.
Also chromatic aberrations are a problem but they are correctable. What isn't correctable it's the fringe (green-cyan halo around bright spots/areas)

I recommend buying the Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS USM. With low budget without IS, with high budget, the f/2.8 IS USM.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=404&Camera=9&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=0&LensComp=469&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0




I agree with Icefront 100%
My son has the Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS USM and I have the f/2.8 version of it. We cannot tell the difference in sharpness but we can tell the difference in weight! The f/2.8 is heavy! But I like low light shooting of wildlife so the f/2.8 is a must for me. You will love either one. Forget Sigma! If you have Canon buy Canon lenses if Nikon buy Nikon lenses!

Another place to check lens tests.

http://www.photozone.de/

-Larry

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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