Canon 20mm f2.8 vs Sigma 20mm f1.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jonathon, May 19, 2003.

  1. Has anyone done a comparo of the Canon 20mm f2.8 and the Sigma 20mm
    f1.8 regarding distortion and sharpness? I need a 20mm lens for doing
    some indoor shots (often poorly lit church ceremonies) as well as
    landscape work. I currently use a 1N and 50E, but will move across to
    digital at some stage (probably D60). Any comment or experiences
    appreciated.
     
  2. Disclaimer: I haven't used any but I read quite a lot, so here's how I see it.

    The Sigma has several cons:

    1. Not very sharp wide open so you'll probably want to stop it down a couple of stops.

    2. It's a DG lens which means it was designed for DSLR's with 1.5-1.6 cropping factor. This means that edge sharpness was not one of the key features while it was designed.

    3. It uses very expensive 82mm filters. As you have a film body, you'll need to get the slim version which costs even more. For the Canon you'll be using slim 72mm ones. Much cheaper.

    4. It's larger and heavier than the Canon, though not by much.

    5. As it is a Sigma, the chances that you'll run into future compatibility problems is very high.

    6. Re-sale value will be much less than the Canon. Third party lenses go for about 50% while brand ones go for about 80%-90%.

    Pros ?

    1. It's a bit cheaper than the Canon, about 10%.

    2. It's faster so you get a brighter viewfinder.

    See http://www.photographyreview.com/35mm,Primes/Sigma,20mm,F1.8,EX,DG,ASPHERICAL,RF/PRD_85099_3111crx.aspx and http://www.photographyreview.com/35mm,Primes/Canon,EF,20mm,f-2.8,USM/PRD_83400_3111crx.aspx


    Happy shooting ,
    Yakim.
     
  3. I have used the Sigma 20/1.8 and I would not recommend it for shooting at large apertures. There is a good deal of distortion and the corners get really soft.

    If you're going digital, it will not be so noticeable, but if you're going to spring for a digital SLR (and you should most definitely get a 10D, not a D60 if you're shooting in poorly lit areas) then you might want to spend the money for a better lens as the Sigma is also rather noisy and slow in focusing. It also uses expensive 82mm filters. Also remember that when you go digital, that 20mm lens is going to look more like a 32mm lens.
     
  4. Pretty much all of what I have read (photozone, various internet reviews, etc) put the canon ahead optically.

    I own the canon, and I personally wouldn't like to rely on it at F2.8. It benefits nicely from one stop stopping down.

    It might be worth looking at the 16-35 F2.8L if you can afford it...
     
  5. The only advantage of the SIGMA beside the price is the f1.8 compared to the f2.8. But the SIGMA is designed for digital cameras. You can't use it wide open with a 35mm camera. Go for the Canon it's much sharper in the corners. By the way the Canon is an USM lens and much faster auto focusing.
     
  6. Hi Jonathon, I've never used the Canon 20mm, but I own the Sigma 20mm f/1.8. I have mixed feelings about the Sigma. I've taken some very good shots with it to be sure. Yes, it's soft at 1.8 but at least you'll get a shot. (Not unlike shooting at ISO1600 on a digital camera) And since you'll be moving to digital soon, it would be a pretty good match. The downside? I've already had to repair the Sigma once - it just crapped out on me in mid-focus one day. To their credit, Sigma repaired it under warranty quickly, but still... And filters are expensive for that thing. It's the only Sigma lens I own, and I haven't bought another; in fact, I've considered selling mine and I bet the resale value won't be too high if I do. But because it's so much less expensive, the pros and cons are almost a wash. I'd lean towards Canon glass. Best wishes . . .
     
  7. often poorly lit church ceremonies
    My Sigma 20/1.8 is clearly soft at 1.8-2.0 but I believe that sometimes soft shot is better than motion blur or camera shake.
    PS Canon 20/2.8 costs like *two* Sigmas where I live so I have no choice :)
     

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