Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Which should I choose Canon 70-200 F4 IS or Sigma 70-200 F2.8?


quinny e2
10 167 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2009 8:48AM
In my imaginary world I would own a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens but in the REAL world I can't afford one. Therefore I need to know which would be the better lens - the Canon 70-200 F4 IS or the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 (no IS) I'm not sure which one I should go for.

I will be shooting low light, changing light at outdoor concerts where there is no room for a tripod. I want to capture shots of singers artists that aren't blurred due to camera shake in low light. Which one would suit better - the F4 IS or the F2.8 without IS? Hope you can help please. I'm so confused. I realise F2.8 is a brighter lens but is it any good without the IS and/or would the IS of the F4 be just as good or better?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

mark_delta e2
7 1.3k
16 Jul 2009 8:51AM

Quote:
I will be shooting low light, changing light at outdoor concerts


Unless you have a official photo pass, i wouldn't buy any big white lens, you will be flung out on your ear, quick sharp...
quinny e2
10 167 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2009 8:54AM
Sorry I have a photographers pass for Manchester Pride so that's ok. It's just that at the minute I have a Sigma lens and it doesn't like low light movement shots which is what I want to photograph.
mark_delta e2
7 1.3k
16 Jul 2009 9:07AM
Then the best advice I can give is a 50mm 1.8 and 85mm f1.8 will out perform all of the above at low light work, it is the best kept secret of the photography world.
A 70-200 is great but they are long and even with IS any slight movement is greatly exacerbated by the length of the lens, with a 50mm or 85 mm you can tuck the lens right in and really steady down as well as on the f4 you will have a shutter 3 stops slower, which is a hell of a lot.
To be honest the IS on the 70-200 f2.8 is not that good and even though it is better on the f4, the shutter will drag
I have seen many a photographer open jawed when they see just what a prime f1.8 can pull off in low light over a Zoom.
The other side of the coin is with primes, you travel light, you are not loaded down like a pack horse, struggling, in and out, you can be Nimble agile and work your way to the best spot very quickly.
A 50 mm 1.8 can be had for around 50 quid and the 1.4 usm version for around 200.
I think it depends on the camera too....
Last weekend two of us were photographing a festival, me with a 5D2 and 70-200 f4 IS and Alan with a 40D and 70-200 f2.8 IS.
I was able to jack up the ISO which more than compensated for the stop less light; also it's considerably wider angle on the 5D2 so motion is less of a problem.
We briefly swapped cameras - jeez that 2.8 is heavy - I was sure glad I wasn't waving that combo around all weekend !!!
But what really matters is that I never struggled with slow shutter speed even on the darkest stages. With the 20D last year only one in four was sharp enough to keep, this year all the shots were plenty sharp enough.

The IS on the 70-200 f4 IS is the best I've used. When I got the lens I ran a test with the 20D hand-held standing upright; four shots at 1/6s and 200mm - three of them were critically sharp and the fourth was good enough for a 6x4 - astonishing!
quinny e2
10 167 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2009 9:43AM
I've got a 1.8 50mm Canon lens and a 70mm Sigma 2.8 I just wanted the flexibility of a zoom lens to either take full shots or close up ones. I know primes are always better but if you are restricted as to how close you can get to the artists in a pit (I'm only 5ft 2 so that goes against me already over tall people when shooting people from below) primes limit the shots you get unless you keep changing them.
quinny e2
10 167 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2009 1:08PM

Quote:I think it depends on the camera too....
Last weekend two of us were photographing a festival, me with a 5D2 and 70-200 f4 IS and Alan with a 40D and 70-200 f2.8 IS.
I was able to jack up the ISO which more than compensated for the stop less light; also it's considerably wider angle on the 5D2 so motion is less of a problem.
We briefly swapped cameras - jeez that 2.8 is heavy - I was sure glad I wasn't waving that combo around all weekend !!!
But what really matters is that I never struggled with slow shutter speed even on the darkest stages. With the 20D last year only one in four was sharp enough to keep, this year all the shots were plenty sharp enough.

The IS on the 70-200 f4 IS is the best I've used. When I got the lens I ran a test with the 20D hand-held standing upright; four shots at 1/6s and 200mm - three of them were critically sharp and the fourth was good enough for a 6x4 - astonishing!



I have a Canon 30D and a Canon 5 film camera and would love to get decent shots of the artists. I have also seen the Canon 80-200 F2.8 lens - is that another contender to consider. Has anyone used the Sigma 70-200 F2.8?
quinny e2
10 167 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2009 9:16PM
Can anyone else help me with advice? Please.
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
16 Jul 2009 9:32PM
I have read favourable reviews in magazines on the Sigma. Here are some user reviews of the Sigma at BHPhoto in NY.
DmacD 3 25
5 Mar 2011 11:28PM
I have the Sigma 70-300mm dg os 4 -5.6 and love it! It ain't let me down optically (I have the Sigma 10-20 ex and Canon nifty fifty) so when you need that long shot - it does the trick.

My friend just got the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and tried it on my camera coz his was in for repair - what a beast...lovely lens but slightly weighty...good for special trips where weight is not an issue.

I need a mid range lens now - looking at the 17-70mm sigma - any ideas folks?
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2011 5:50PM
If you don't mind playing off a slightly shorter focal range in favour of constant 52.8, there is the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (with or without VC). Or a second hand Canon 17-85.
drmartin 3 2
10 Mar 2011 1:33AM
try going for 50mm prime lense , with f1.8,, this will give the max performance in low light,, plus these are not that expensive,,
(link removed, please read terms and conditions)
10 Mar 2011 7:13AM
I have used the Sigma many times, it's a good lens, plenty sharp enough, I haven't compared it to the canon though.
MeanGreeny e2
9 3.7k England
10 Mar 2011 2:16PM
I think somebody should check the date of the postings........................... Tongue
ianrobinson e2
5 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2011 9:01AM
sigma 50mm f1.4 lens is awsom so good it pips canons 50mm f1.4 and at a price tag of 375.00 if you look.
The build quality for once out shines canons 50mm.
50mm f1.4 is a must have in any ones camera bag. it is blisteringly quick and outstanding in low light with the correct settings of course.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.