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Old Jun 5, 2008, 1:15 PM   #1
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I posed a version of this question on another forum (probably the wrong forum...)

I shoot fastpitch softball with a Sigma 2.8 70-200mm. Bokew is adequate at best. Detail is good, not great. Is there a significant amount of difference between the Sigma and a Canon 70-200mm (F4 or 2.8) to justify buying the Canon?

The key items I am looking for a focus, crisp image and shallow depth of field (I want the player, not the folks in the stands...)

If the Sigma and Canon are reasonably close then spending the money is not particularly smart. However, in your TOTALLY BIASED opinion (gleefully received), if there is a noticable difference I would appreciate your comments.

Insights appreicated.

Thanks !
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Old Jun 5, 2008, 7:40 PM   #2
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Based on your comments, the F4 lens is out of the running because the boken will be more in focus than either of the 2.8 mm lenses. I have a Canon F4 (non-IS) 70 - 200 mm,it's a great lens. However,I'mconsidering getting a Tamron 2.8 lens with the same zoom range for shooting indoor sports and weddings. I plan on keeping the F4 for useon bright days and indoors when flash is allowed. However, I won't be able to duplicate the boken of a 2.8 lens without resorting to Photoshop.
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Old Jun 8, 2008, 4:35 PM   #3
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Altos, if you go for the Canon f4 you would be going backwards in respect to getting better bokeh.

I shoot a lot of sports and I switched my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 to the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS to get faster AF and a sharper result. This is not the best Canon 70-200mm f2.8 as the non-IS version shows slightlystronger performance in the MTF charts. I only went for the IS version as I also shoot weddings otherwise I wouldn't have thrown the money at it. This was only done as I sell my work so could justify the difference and the small gains that were made add up to enough for me.

Now another point to add is that you won't get any reduction in depth of field as 200mm f2.8 is 200mm f2.8 not affected by manufacturer, the only difference being the look of the bokeh which is to do with the aperture blades and lens construction.

If you are not framing tightly then you will not get the separation that you are looking for and I expect this is the case that the 200mm is not getting you close enough. You might get a better result by adding a 1.4x TC which will give 280mm f4 or get a 300mm f2.8 lens (quite a few of us use the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 with great results).

wsandman1, I wouldn't suggest getting a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and expect you will be able to get good results for indoor sports unless you have better than average gym lighting. You are likely to get more usable results with a Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 100mm f2 or Canon 135mm f2. For price and performance the 85mm f1.8 is often the choice option.
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Old Jun 8, 2008, 5:00 PM   #4
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Wow... you must be able to foretell the future. Or is it the present. Nevertheless, you are g-o-o-d. Because.... Yesterday I purchased a 2.8 70-200 LCanon, non-IS. It's an older, used lens but it seems to work quite well. Very well. And... my 1.4x Sigma teleconverter appears to add little or no distortion. So, it appears that all is well !

Thanks for the input !

Enjoy,




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Old Jun 8, 2008, 5:14 PM   #5
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You're welcome and congratulations on your new lens.

I sometimes use my canon with the 2x tc and it still works well.

I deleted your duplicate posts btw.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 12:20 PM   #6
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Mark,

Thanks for the deletes of the repeats.

Having tried the new (used/old)Canon and comparing it to the Sigma (both 2.8, 70-200mm) I have come to some early conclusions, all very subjective from a non-expert;

- The Sigma is a very good lens. Not a Canon, but very good.

- I tried A/B comparisons on clarity/crispness and it's close but I would give the nod to the Canon.

- The Canon is a bit bigger and heavier but since I won't be backpacking with it, and I use a mono-pod, it's a nit.

- The used Canon has a couple of very minor external cosmetic nicks. If I needed pristine looks to impress someoneI would care. I don't. I buy lenses to use, not resell.The Canonmay be 8-10 years old but "it's the glass, stupid"...

- My 77mm polarizing filter from the Sigma fits the Canon. Nice surprise.

- The Sigma would, occasionally, search just a bit for focus. Didn't seem to affect much. The Canon just slams on a focus, one time, bang, done. Boom.

I will try using the Canon for another week and then prep the Sigma for sale. Since it is as-new I will probably be able to recover a decent portion of the Canon cost.

So far so good.

Enjoy !!


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