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Re: Sigma Zoom
Etienne, I had the same question about the comparison between the Bigma and the 100-300 f4 EX APO HSM AF, to which Simon replied, see http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/forum/...read.php?t=580
I also have just one lens, Sigma 28-300, and am vrekking to get another (few)! I know what you mean about the wishlist from hell....
I'll be interested to see replies about the 70-200 too.
Re: Sigma Zoom
Simon has good experience with the Sigma range and I'm sure he will respond to this, but let me give me feedback, seeing as I have the 50-500. I must say that in terms of the value for money aspect, this lens is a keeper. It is not that heavy for a 500 lens, and can be used for every day use. I have used it for 8-9 hour stretches for two consecutive days, and never really tired from it (and it was all hand-held photography, no mono or tripods). In terms of the quality of the image, it does not have many faults at any end of the focal spectrum. F/2.8 would have been nice, but F/4 on a 500 lens is pretty darn good! And the price is superb! The price jump from an F/4 to F/2.8 is substantial.
I would suggest in terms of range, go for the 50-500, then save money for the king of all Canon lenses, the Canon 70-200 F/2.8L IS (my next purchase). the 50-500 is not a short back focus lens, and will work on FF and Cropped sensors, and the same would apply for the 70-200 Sigma (I am sure!). So when you upgrade to something like the 1DsMII, you will be able to use your 50-500.
In summary, the 50-500 is a good all round lens with slightly more emphasis for outdoor work, given the apperture, but perfectly useable for indoor, especially considering most indoor work is done with some sort of artificial lighting.
Also, my sympathies go out to you regarding your kit lens. Not Canon's best work!
It is in the endeavour itself that the secret lies...
Re: Sigma Zoom
Having owned a Sigma 170-500 when I used a Pentax MZ5N and when I went digital (Canon 300D) before buying a Canon 100-400 I would unreseverdly say rather wait and save and then buy the Canon. I have tried out the Sigma 50-500 (see my other postings as to a suitable replacement) as I need another long lens for my wife and all I can say is dont waste your money on Sigma.
I have found that Sigmas just do not focus quickly or efficiently unless you have a very distinct background with lots of light. The Sigmas hunt a lot as well and are extremely slow to focus.
We use our cameras for aviation related photography with lots of sky in the background. I have never lost a shot with the Canon due to focusing issues which I have done with the Sigma.
Having said that I believe the Sigma 80-400 or the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 may be worthwhile looking at. Just have not been able to find one yet to test (80-400). Another lens I would like to try (and Hedrus has(d)) one is the Tamron 200-500. The price of the Sigma 80-400 is a couple grand off the Canon 100-400 though and the 120-300 is lots more
My wife likes the 50-500 though over the Canon 100-400 as she feels its lighter and easier to use. ( I am undecided in this matter though)
Re: Sigma Zoom
I have'nt used the 50 -500 as yet but I used a Canon 100-400 over the weekend. What a pleasure!! I took photos of my kids at a gala. Focusing is very fast, out of all the pics taken I would say at least 80% is usable being pinsharp. There is a few where fading light made the shutter a bit slower with slight lack of "pin"sharpness.
Being in the market for either the 50-500 or 100-400 I can vouch for the Canon. The IS does help a lot. On a previuos gala I used my current 75-300 Canon. There is absolutely no comparison between the 2. The fast focusing is very nice and did I mention sharpness !
Only drawback is that the servo focus on the 350D with the IS at work chews batteries!
My feeling is that the 100-400 is worth saving for!
Hope it helps!
Re: Sigma Zoom
The short answer would be: buy the fastest lens you can afford. The two on your list are quite different in their zoom range at the long end, what would you like to have? I am not a proponent of 2x TC, although some do seem to get good results with them, Callie being one. I stick to 1.4 TC, (Sigma EX), and it has served me very well indeed. Fitting that to the 70-200/2.8 willl give you a very good 280/4 at the long end, but still way off the recommended 400 required for smaller birds, etc, which is probably why you want the 500?
The 50-500 is a very good lens for the money, quite sharp, not in the 70-200/2.8 Canon/Sigma EX class, but very good still. As mentioned before, the relatively slow 6.3 from around 420mm up is what kills it for me, and the rally at Lydenburg last weekend where Coops was struggling in poor overcast conditions and I could run at 2.8/3.2, serves as a grim reminder. This is definately not a lens to use when the light goes down. The zoom range is very handy though. Coops has delt with the weight and handling issues, he knows as he owns one. Focus from the HSM version should be quite fast, it is just about in the same class as Canon USM.
Another option is the 100-300/f EX Sigma, which is optically very sharp indeed, and will give good results with a 1.4 TC for 420/5.6.
Also try the Canon 100-400 IS as mentioned, a good lens, but loosing out on TC use, as it will become to slow for reliable AF, even with the contact pins taped over.
Money wise, and expected term of use as you indicated in your post, I would suggest:
Sigma 100-300/4 EX with 1.4 TC
Canon 100-400 IS, Sigma 50-500 (you decide)
Sigma 70-200/2.8 with 1.4 TC
If you really want to spoil yourself, go for the 120-300/2.8, and with the 1.4 TC covers al the short to medium-long range shooting, but a really expensive option at around R25k for the combo.
Hope you will have many happy hours spending your money.
Simon Du Plessis
(I'll keep on shooting, and one of these days I'll get it right!)
Contact me for training in Beginners or Advanced Sport & Action photography
Please e-mail or PM me should you wish to have my comments on a specific image, or to comment/ask questions on my crits)
Re: Sigma Zoom
Interesting debate, and one I had and still struggle with. I chose to go with a used 75-300mm, till I have a better idea what I really need or can afford. In hindsight, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities the 75-300 has given me, and the valuable practice.
Sure, this lens is not brilliant, but I have taken some pictures that I consider keepers.
My question though, is somewhat different, but linking to Etienne's. People mention how "bad" the 18-55kit lens is. Not having owned any camera before my 350D, I know no better of course.
Therefore, what would be a good replacement for this lens in the experts opinion? Any people going this route that can talk form experience?
I see the 17-85 as an option, but am not convinced.
PS: Etienne, I would probably go for 1.4xTC (even 2x) and 70-200F2.8 if I could afford it. This would be a great lens for portrait and sports, with the option for some wildlife too with the TC. I have seen only VERY good reviews of this lens.
Re: Sigma Zoom
Kobus2, I'm in a similar position as you - bought the 300D with kit lens, but borrowing a friend's Canon 75-300 - feel the same about the kit & 75-300 as you do and also sitting with the same predicament: what to buy when I have the bucks & I'm ready to buy?!?!
At this point I can afford a lens for around R3k (I know, it's not much for decent glass, but chances are I'll never spend more than that on a lens, unless I can justify it/recover the cost by making bucks off it) and looking at the Canon 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 (can use my current filters on this lens) for a replacement for the kit lens. (thanks to Simon's advice, who took my budget & needs into consideration)
Other option would be Sigma 24-135 F/2.8-4.5 IF but is around R1200 more, plus takes 77mm filters, which also costs!
Obviously I'd love to have more range as well, but taking my photographic inclination into consideration (people, parties, functions, weddings, portraits, studio) I guess a good lens that'll allow me to shoot the above, is more important than having a lens for the 'once-in-a-year' trip to Kruger or the occasional birding outings? It might seem here as if I'm expecting someone else to make up my mind for me, but alot of you out there must have been in the same situation before - therefore any suggestions would be REAL helpful!
Before buying a longer range lens, I'd also invest in a 430, 550 or 580 flash first (also because of what I usually shoot) and a better tripod. Only once I have those things, I'd look at a lens that'll fill up the gap from where the Canon 28-105 left off to around 300, 400 or even 500mm. After that, Marco/Wide Angle or vice versa. Then more than likely - DIVORCE!!
I'll post again re longer range lenses in around 10 years time when I have bucks again...
PS: guess I should've posted this elsewhere or started a new thread, seeing that this thread was mainly about Sigma lenses...oops...SORRY!
Last edited by @ndré; 20-01-2006 at 12:03 PM.
Re: Sigma Zoom, and zoom some more
Hi André, with regards to replacing your kit lens; the sigma 24-135 f2.8-4.5 would be a nicer zoom (38-216mm on the 300D), and the lens is slightly faster(f2.8 at wide). But here's the catch; the lens quality (sharpness, built quality, coatings, etc) is not really much better, if better at all than the standard lens. so if you want to have a lens that has a nicer zoom range...this sigma would be brilliant. But if you want a really better lens than you would have to look at the Sigma 24-60 f2.4 EX DG, or the 24-70 f2.8 EX DG. (the sigma rep. informed me that the 24-135 is quite a bit softer than the 24-60EX, I could not test it though, but did find reviews to confirm this) The built quality and sharpness is impeccable, though the focus be a bit slow. If this lens had HSM motor, it would be the perfect lens.
Although I'm running Nikon, I had the same problem, there entry level lenses are not up to scratch and the decent ones are above R8000. I bought the Sigma 24-60f2.8 because it was newer than the 24-70 and looked like it was slightly better. on the 300D the zoom would be 38-96mm which is decent enough, but you lose the wide end, which in return is not so bad if you do events with alot of people in them (photo's of people taken with a 24/28mm lens normally looks too distorted), and the almost 100mm tele is very nice for portraits. the lens retails for about R4300 and is worth every penny. I have a 18-70 high quality lens as well where the focus is 10 times faster, (paid almost 5K for it) but I prefer the sigma for its quality, sharpness. And for most events the focus speed of the sigma is good enough. I eventually found a review of the sigma 24-60EX against a similar f2.8 Canon L (when I bought the sigma it was just released), what surprised me was the fact that the sigma was just as sharp as the canon at f2.8 but sharper than the canon at f5.6. This made me come to the conclusion that the lens quality is of the utmost standard, but they stated (what I know very well now) that the canon's focus is much faster. so if you want great quality the sigma (@ R4300) would be the choise, but if focus speed was important, the canon (@ R7500) would be the winner.
For the other question of which tele lens (50-500 or 70-200EX f2.8). The 70-200EX f2.8 would be my hearts desire (112-320mm on the 300D). The reason is that, especially with normal events, you will need more light with a long lens than with a wide one. I had one wedding where I wanted some pics of people on the dance floor, but I had to be on a balcony(Bride and groom posted me there) and thus could not use my 24-60f2.8 lens, I had to do with my 70-300apo f4-5.6 (paid about R2500, but would pay 12K easily for the f2.8), which made my life really difficult, (f2.8 lenses are brighter and thus have more light to focus, and focus faster), I knew I needed the 70-200f2.8 but what can you do. I increased the ISO for higher shutter speed, but in doing so lost editing capabilities(try editing a iso1600 photo while maintaining print quality), so the shot had to be perfectly exposed or deleted if it was underexposed. The 70-200EX has a high speed focus motor and really gets good reviews, even against Canon L lenses. Hope I helped a bit.