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Old Apr 10, 2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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Hi, I am looking at either a 350D or 20D and am wanting a long zoom. I have just bought a 50mm 1.8 that is on the way and definitely want wide zoom and pretty sure want to go Sigma 10-20. I want a long zoom and have been researching but need some help and thoughts on these 4:

Sigma 135-400 F4.5-5.6 APO

Canon EF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 USM

Canon EF 100-300 F5.6L

Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO Super Macro II
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 12:46 PM   #2
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if you're willing to spend the big bucks on the 100-300 L, then I'll suggest the sigma 100-300 f/4 ... supposidly one of the best tele lenses sigma has made to date- and probably cheaper.
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 1:01 PM   #3
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The thing is the only sigma lens with OS is the 80-400 what if you don't have a tripod with you with those other lenses without IS or OS.
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Old Apr 13, 2006, 2:50 PM   #4
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Another Opinion!

Should I consider buying the Sigma 50-500 (NON DG) version or just consider buying the newer (DG) version?? Camera is a 20D.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 6:12 AM   #5
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hercules wrote:
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The thing is the only sigma lens with OS is the 80-400 what if you don't have a tripod with you with those other lenses without IS or OS.
Here's one sample of a picture with the Sigma @ 300mm, 1/180s, f/4 handheld - This 'tripod' thingy is a Herring:





Don't get me wrong... I have the 100-400L IS as well, but 90% of the time you're not going to be needing IS - For the remaining 10% of the time that you may require IS all you need is to rest your elbow on something firm... I can regularly go down to 1/90s with this 'technique', but when the light is that low a fill-flash will render a much better contrast/color image anyway... negating IS!

-> I don't see where a tripod is necessary (a flash is much more useful/portable)
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 9:58 AM   #6
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NHL, what are your thoughts on the new Sigma DG HSM with the 10 year warrenty?

Why is it that at all major events 99.9% (not exact but close)of the photographers you see shooting these events at side lines shoot with Canon lenses? I've done my own zoom testsand find sigma to produce a sharper image without IS abilities.

The Sigma 50- 500 is an excellent lens.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 1:22 PM   #7
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spy wrote:
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Why is it that at all major events 99.9% (not exact but close)of the photographers you see shooting these events at side lines shoot with Canon lenses? I've done my own zoom testsand find sigma to produce a sharper image without IS abilities.
You have to compare apples to apples. The reason you see so many big white lenses is they are using the Canon 400mm 2.8, 500mm f4 or 600mm f4 or 300mm 2.8 lenses.

Sigma makes great lenses - I own the 70-200 2.8 and 120-300 2.8 and am happy with them. Bbut Sigma lenses can't compete with the4 lenses listed above. The pros who use themdon't have the same budgets we do - they can afford to pay for the best. You also can't look at sharpness alone - focus speed, color, bokeh and contrast are also extremely important when your career depends on your shots. That's like buying a high-end sports car just because it has great 0-60 speed.

Even my sigma 70-200 2.8 which I think was a great bargain - no one I respect has ever argued it's a better lens than the Canon counterpart - just close enough for people who have a budget but still want excellent quality.

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Old Apr 14, 2006, 2:05 PM   #8
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Ok, but there are a few things I have to look at that I am having to do looking at the results of shooting with these Canon lenses.

First, I shoot action swimming, low light and am now getting into shooting more of a variety of high level Canadian athletes performing theirs sports. I shoot mostly with the Canon 70 - 200 IS 2.8, the 100 - 400 4 - 5.6IS, and the 17 - 85 IS. I've shots thousands of pictures and have to admit Canon KNOWS how to produce a 'soft' picture, hands down. There is lots of praise for Canon and their 'L' series glass but who really wants a bunch of 'soft' pictures when your looking for that 'tack sharp' image? Personally, I'm sick of it and tired of having to run ALL OF THEM through PB to sharpen them up.

I don't care that I have to touch them up for 'noise' or contrast or other levels but I just can't for the life of me get over looking at 'soft' images. So this is why I have tried testing Sigma and Canon together and the results have always favored Sigma for sharpness. I guess if I was needing 400mm - 600mm 2.8 then I'd have no other choice but until Canon can get it together and produce 'sharp glass' THEY are making me look elsewhere.
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 2:50 PM   #9
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Spy,

I understand what you're saying. But that's why you need to do research. If you want lenses for sports - look to people who shoot sports. For instance, 70-200 2.8 IS has long been noted to be less sharp than non IS. 100-400L isn't a very good sports lens at all -it's only 5.6. And the 17-85 is a consumer grade lens on par with the 28-135 not a professional grade lens - so comparing it to an L or a Sigma EX is apples to oranges. For low light swimming I would think a fast prime would be a better tool than the 70-200 2.8 (unless you use flash).

Please don't get me wrong - I am not a Canon snob. As i've already stated - I own several sigmas I'm very happy with.

If you really want some good suggestions from sports shooters go over to Fred Miranda's Sports Corner- there are some terrific pros there who shoot a variety of sports. You can usually find a couple people who shoot whatever it is you want to shoot at a very high level. As I'm sure you've found out - each sport tends to have it's own needs. Whether you buy Sigma or Canon - you should buy the lens that best fits that sport and the best way to make that decision is to use advice from people already using the lens for the same purpose you want to.

For what it's worth, I love my new Sigma 120-300. The sharpness is great, but it has it's flaws which people like to overlook: It's really only about a 270-280mm lens - not 300. It suffers from CA and the new DG version appears to have more reported problem copies than the old version (actually that seems to be a common occurance with Sigma's new DG line). And, according to people whove used both (and whose work I respect) it is slower to focus than the Canon and not as accurate in it's focus. But it fits my sporting needs well and I honestly couldn't afford to go with a $4000 Canon lens plus a second body with a shorter lens. Just my thoughts from my own experiences - not trying to influence anything. Just sharing my own experiences.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide!


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Old Apr 15, 2006, 6:38 AM   #10
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spy wrote:
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NHL, what are your thoughts on the new Sigma DG HSM with the 10 year warrenty?
IMO this is only a marketing ruse to counter some of the lens incompatibity from their past products
-> I also found that the newer HSM mechanism are a lot more silent than my older lenses without DG...



Quote:
Why is it that at all major events 99.9% (not exact but close) of the photographers you see shooting these events at side lines shoot with Canon lenses? I've done my own zoom tests and find sigma to produce a sharper image without IS abilities.
JohnG is quite correct - The long fast lenses (i.e. 400mm 2.8, 500mm f4 or 600mm) for those events are only available in Canon's white! :idea:

In the category that Sigma does compete (and where one can compare apple to apple) it's actually quite a level playing field and it depends on how the lenses are compared. Take a look @ the popular 70-200 f/2.8 from both manufacturers for example (and the MTF's back this up) - The Sigma is sharper at the 70mm while the sharper edge goes to Canon (non-IS) @ 200mm - IMO the Sigma does has the better 'bokeh' however and confirmed by some of the examples that I've seen from several reviewers...

Also for working folks the cost of a lens is easily justified and can probably be paid-off by revenue from any one assignement. Most folks here will balk @ the $1k price tag for a hobby... and also there's a cachet with the L -> A sense of you kind of "made it" vs a 'want2be' especially in the pro arena

Other folks are just 'allergic' to 3rd party lens - Theses folks will pay for cheap Sigma, but when it comes to excellent EX lenses @ relatively higher cost then the prefererence is to stick with Canon which is quite understandable... and then there's the comfort of IS!
-> In fact I'm looking at the EF-500mm f/4 and the Sigma 300-800 EX for this summer, and I'm leaning toward the 500mm not because of Canon or IS, but the fact that I like to handhold... Who knows if I tend to shoot with at 1/4 TC on mostly then I can easily swing to the Sigma instead!

I've collected cameras and lenses from almost all major brands including the larger formats so I'm quite agnostic to brands - IMO one should look for best images (or composition) not equipments costs: Just check the many pictures posted from members here on the other forums... More memorable images in fact do not come from the L's :?
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