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Old Mar 22, 2006, 8:22 PM   #1
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Thought I had my mind made up (Sigma) and someone said no, go with the Canon.

Now I need a little more help to make up my mind once and for all. If money wasn't and issue, which for me it is, but I'm willing to go for it. Of the two 70-200 big boys, Sigma and Canon, what do you think is the better lens. I will be using it on my 350d for indoor/outdoor sports, low light and sun. Lot's of pics with my kids just being kids. I'll probably use it for just about anything I can us it for. I do shoot alot of indoor rink shots. I probably asked this before, but when ones 1,700$ and the other one is 800$ I just want to make sure, as far resale, quality, image, and all that jazz.

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Bill
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 8:58 PM   #2
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If u have the money look at 120-300 EX f 2.8 from canon. with a tele it gives good reach to 600mm and i have seen great shots from NHL here in this forum..

At longer focul lengths i am not sure how important IS is. Though it would be useful between 70-200 IS and 120-300 i would go for 120-300 with a tele.

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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:55 PM   #3
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Just a note: 120 - 300 EX is a Sigma lens, not Canon. I know its just a typo, but it does change the post a bit...

I have the Sigma 70-200 EX and find it to be a very good lens. With a 1.4 converter I get almost 300 out of it. If you are shooting hockey, then the IS is not that important. If you are shooting low light stills, then it becomes more of a factor if you are not using a tri/monopod and the Canon with the IS might be worth the money difference. If you can afford it, the 120-300 is a really great lens but again without IS!

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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Of the two 70-200 big boys, Sigma and Canon, what do you think is the better lens
First clarification. There are 3 lenses here - the Sigma, the Canon non-IS and the Canon WITH IS (you mentioned a $1700 canon - that would be the one WITH IS). To answer this specific question - I've never heard anyone argue the Sigma is a better lens than either Canon. The problem is, it's VERY close. Image Quality is not noticably less. And the Canon's supposedly focus slightly faster. For me, it just wasn't enough to justify $400 more for the non-IS version. You just weren't getting the bang-for-the-buck.

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I will be using it on my 350d for indoor/outdoor sports, low light and sun. Lot's of pics with my kids just being kids. I'll probably use it for just about anything I can us it for. I do shoot alot of indoor rink shots.
Ok, I've already stated I don't think the Canon non-is is worth the extra $400 (I own the Sigma 70-200). Only you can answer whether the IS is worth an extra $900 or whatever. Some people love IS others think it's nice but not necessary. It will not help you one bit for sports - period! But it can help you in other low light situations where you don't need fast shutter speeds. In those situations I use a flash so again the IS just wasn't a useful enough feature to justify such a big price increase.

Now, someone else threw out the suggestion of the Sigma 120-300 2.8. I just bought this lens a week ago. As a sports or short wildlife lens it shows a lot of potential. But, it's very big and heavy, too big and heavy, IMO, for casual shots of your kids. Given all your purposes, I think a 70-200 2.8 is a much better fit for YOUR situation. If you were just doing hockey shots or outdoor sports that might be different. But for you, I think the 70-200 is a better option.


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Old Mar 23, 2006, 9:54 PM   #5
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JohnG

Congratulation on your 120-300 f/2.8 purchase!

If one compares this zoom to an actual 300mm f/2.8 then the weight and size is quite similar... Also with a 2x teleconverter this lens is still quite portable for a 600mm reach. At the limit a heavier 500mm f/4 @ 8.5lbs is still manageable, but anything heftier will require a totally different shooting style :lol: :-) :G

-> But I agree and why I kept my 70-200 f/2.8 EX - This is some baby weight in comparison :idea:
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 10:04 PM   #6
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I too use the 70 - 200 IS and Non IS Canon and the 120 - 300 Sigma. When shooting action IS is NOT needed. Below in the next two pictures, these shots are of indoor low light competitive swimmers. Both shots are hand held, full zoom and both are great examples of the 70 - 200 Non IS and the Sigma 120 - 300.

Both shots are of Lane 6 in two different pools. One pool has 6 lanes the other has 8.

#1 - Canon 70 - 200, Non IS, Lane 6 of 8
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 10:05 PM   #7
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#2 - Sigma 120 - 300, 2.8, Lane 6 of 6
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 7:45 AM   #8
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NHL wrote:
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JohnG

Congratulation on your 120-300 f/2.8 purchase!

:idea:
Just doing my part to stimulate the economy!

I've only been on one outing with it. In the next 2 weeks I should get several events to shoot and can give a better opinion. But from the first outing it seems like a tremendous lens.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 12:12 PM   #9
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Last night I shot some picture of my sons music concert, I used my old film sigma lens, 75-300mm f4-5.6 DL. I was actually surprised with some of the pictures, some came out nice. I shot without a flash and hand held the camera. Lots were blurry, but the ones that came out were nice. So after using my old lens which has some nice range, it's making me think about what you guys are looking into and buying, that 120-300. What I wanted to know is, if I buy the sigma or canon 70-200 and add a 1.4x conv. which would put me close to the 300mm at f4, with still a decent picture and the same range as the 120-300. If you added the 1.4x onto the 120-300 wouldn't that take a bit away from the picture? After using my lens last night, I find I still like the long range. Any thoughts on this, if it makes sense.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 12:37 PM   #10
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I'm not sure I completely understand. If you add a TC to ANY lens there will be SOME loss of quality. So, you'll suffer some whether you add the TC to the Canon 70-200, the Sigma 70-200 or the Sigma 120-300. The good news is: all these lenses are very good. So, image quality on any of them with a 1.4x TC is still good.

Every single lens choice is a compromise - period. You always give something up to gain something else.

The Sigma 120-300 has the longest range, but you give up the wide end by a good amount and you gain a lot of weight. I think of this lens as a 'location' lens. I'm going to put it on my camera to shoot a specific location but almost never walk around with the lens on the camera - i.e. I don't ever see myself at a family picnic with this lens mounted, walking around taking pics of everyone. While it can be handheld, it is not convenient to do so. It's size and weight are restrictions in my mind for how & when to use it.

The 70-200 lenses have more on the wide end which allows for tighter venues indoors. And they are much lighter than the 120-300 so it's a little easier to carry around and use

For me, I couldn't see owning JUST the 120-300 and not the 70-200 as well. There have been just too many instances where the 120mm would be not wide enough or the lens just too combersome and I wouldn't have gotten some shots. But, I also shoot sports, so having a 300mm lens capable of f2.8 is a fabulous thing. For three important reasons:

1. Low light - when I shoot HS football under lights I need a 2.8 lens, period.

2. You can never have enough reach. 200mm is too short for field sports

3. even in good light, you still want the background blur that a 2.8 lens can give you. I tried shooting an event with my 100-400L and the 5.6 aperture just left too much clutter in focus in the background. That clutter ruined a lot of shots.

So, for me at least - I would still buy in the same order: the 70-200 2.8 first because of the flexibility and then the 120-300 to get the reach. But that's just me.
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