Canon 70-200f4L -v- Sigma 70-200f2.8 AF speed?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by alan_pain, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Does anyone have experience of these two lenses, and whether there is
    any performance difference between the two in terms of AF speed?
    Would be fitted to a 10D (and soon, a 20D).
  2. 70-200 4 pros is cheaper and lighter Cons:4
    70-200 2.8 pros 1.2 stop faster cons: expenser,heavier and bigger I also do not think that the extra stop makes such a big diference.

    Now if yu were getting the 70-200 2.8 IS

    cons: expenser heavier pros: able to shoot at lower f-stops for consequence sharp pictures in low light situations .from waht Canon says the IS is able to stop it down 2 stops.(they like to blow their own horns)but even if not 2 one more would be worht it.

    so I would say 70-200 4 would be fine unless you can justify the price of the 70-200 IS

    since the IS feature is only like 200dls extra and you alredy expended like 1200 dls why not go all the way?

    IMPO be well
  3. "since the IS feature is only like 200dls extra and you alredy expended like 1200 dls why not go all the way?"
    How do you figure? The 70-200/4L is about $600, the Sigma 70-200/2.8 is about $800, and the Canon 70-200/2.8L "IS" is about $1600. The price difference between the regular Canon 70-200/2.8L and the "IS" version is even about $400-$500.
    I haven't used any of the 2.8 zooms, but the EF 70-200/4L is a superb lens; one of the best values in the Canon lineup.
    The 70-200/4L weighs 1.56 pounds, the Sigma 70-200/2.8 weighs over 3 pounds! Ask yourself: is the extra stop that much more important to you?
  4. Alan - I have the Sigma 70-200 2.8 and use it primarily for outside portriate work so therefore AF speed is not an issue for me but i do find it fast, reliable and acceptable. However, if i had to guess, i'd say that the canon is even faster based on past reviews that i've read........the difference is probably minimal. This lens is heavy but again not an issue for me, i'll take the weight for the 2.8.
  5. I used the Sigma for a while and the f2.8 seems quite soft to me. In particular situations, f4 will be too slow of a lens. So, save money and get the 70-200 f2.8 IS. There is no other way to replace this one.
  6. ups I did not read Sigma I thought it was 70-200 2.8 canon.

    well I still satand by the 70-200 4
  7. Alan, I've used a Canon 70-200mm f4L for a couple of years with a 1D and a 10D, and love it for all the reasons people have stated.
    Increasingly, though, I want to go one stop faster to isolate subjects better with more background blur, and to get higher shutter speeds at lower ISO for sports action.
    So, in a moment of reckless abandon in May, I put in a "no hope" bid of $604 on a new Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 on eBay, and won the auction. Now I'm in the process of deciding whether to keep one of these lenses, or to sell them both and get a non-IS Canon 70-200mm f2.8L (IS would be of little use to me since I'm either shooting fast action, or my camera is on a tripod).
    I haven't had time to do A/B comparisons, taking the same shot with each lens, but do have some general impressions of both lenses.
    Canon 70-200mm f4L
    Pros: razor sharp; silent and fast AF (especially if you use the limiter switch); wonderfully saturated colours; light weight; excellent build quality; no zoom creep.
    Cons: Bokeh at f4 very nice, but not as smooth as a good f2.8 lens; tripod ring an expensive extra; garish white Canon L tele colour.
    Sigma 70-200mm f2.8
    Pros: Very sharp from f4 and up--adequately sharp wide open; AF quiet and nearly as fast as the Canon f4; unobtrusive black in colour; weight is considerable, but less than the Canon f2.8; sturdier lens hood than Canon; tripod ring and a substantial case included; excellent build quality; no zoom creep; terrific performer for the price if you need f2.8.
    Cons: AF a hair slower and, on rare occasions, hunts a bit more than the Canon in low-contrast settings.
    Bottom line: both are excellent pro-quality lenses, at the same price, with a barely discernable advantage in AF performance and sharpness going to the Canon, and the considerable advantage of the extra stop going to the Sigma. As one poster mentioned above, you need to decide how important the extra stop is to you.
    Not a scientific comparison, I know, but I hope it helps you.
  8. Rodolfo, f/2.8 is exactly 1 stop more light than f/4.

    The f/stop scale proceeds as:

    1 1.4 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 32

    So, f/7 isn't 1 stop more light than f/8 - it's really about 1/3 of a stop more.
  9. My 70-200/4L focuses as fast or faster than than the Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM I tried a couple of years back. The Sigma's motor seemed a bit sluggish.
  10. I'll concur with Brent Reid's comments about the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L versus the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX HSM. I currently have both lenses in my posession, and I'm selling the Sigma to a friend. I just did a back to back auto focus test with both lenses on my 10D, and the Canon does focus a little more quickly. The test consisted of manually focusing the lens to the closest focusing distance, then pointing it at a subject near infinity and depressing the shutter button to initiate autofocus. Subject was contrasty white siding on a neighbors house, good light, center AF point only. I didn't time the focus speeds with a stop watch, but I would say that the Canon was about twice as fast at this particular test as the Sigma. This was maybe on the magnitude of .8 seconds for the Sigma and .4 seconds for the Canon. In normal use the difference is really not noticeable (although I would give the slight edge to the Canon). I've also done a back to back test of sharpness between the two, and I give the definite edge to the Canon in terms of resolution, contrast, and color. Here's a test I did yesterday (and consolidated the 100% center crops today). Canon 10D, tripod mounted, mirror lockup, self timer, .jpg straight out of camera with no post processing, matching exposures. This test is at 70mm, but the results at the long end are exactly the same. Both are good lenses, but this particular Canon mops the floor with the Sigma. The Canon actually had a slight disadvantage, in that I left the UV filter on for the test (67mm B+W UV 010 MRC) and the Sigma did not have a UV filter on. The test subject was slightly angled and I checked to confirm that the center crop is focused properly with both lenses. I do have to admit that I wish for f/2.8 sometimes, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the quality for the faster aperature. If I could only afford the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, and it wasn't so darn heavy! Hope this helps! Sheldon
  11. Thanks for posting that comparison, Sheldon. Your test results are consistent with my anecdotal experience with the two lenses.
  12. Many thanks to all of you for your helpful comments and advice. It's nice to have found a web forum in this day and age that doesn't consist of users throwing insults at one another!

    I'm going to go to the local dealer and try handling both lenses on the camera. I am tempted by the 2.8 of the Sigma, but I note all the comments regarding weight, so I'll have a go and see what feels 'best' in my hands.

    Thanks once more.
  13. Sheldon........i would be interested in seeing you do the following test. Take a standard ruler, shoot it at 45 degrees at a target measurment (lets say at the 6" mark) just to see if your lens back or forward focus a bit. I did this to mine and i found that it's a very sharp lens, even at 2.8, but it does back focus just a bit. I have the 10D and i'm just curious if your findings are the same as mine. There are times that i take portraits, with the slight back focus in mind, compensate just a tad and end up with razor sharp images. The two newest photos uploaded (on my main front page)are taken with the sigma at 3.2 (girl) and at 3.5 (boy). They both are sharp but the girl image is much sharper because i compensated slightly for the back focus problem. I feel that this lens has a lot more to offer but i feel that it needs to be calibrated specifially to be used in conjuction with the 10D. What are your all's thoughts?
  14. Jammey - I shot the row of magazines at a slight angle with this in mind. The far left edge of the row of magazines is slightly farther away than the far right edge of the frame. Focus does get worse as you move to the left of the frame (farther away) and improves until about 3-4 inches to the right of the center crop. If I had to guess, I would say the exact plane of focus is about 1/2 inch in front of the center crop for the Sigma at f/2.8. In the area that is properly focused, theres about a 15% improvement over the the center crop. I wouldn't call my Sigma unuseable at f/2.8, it's passably sharp. Here's the crop from the Sigma shot at the sharpest point I could find, about 2/3 of the way to the right edge of the shot. Hope this helps! Sheldon
  15. Oh spare me, point the Sigma anywhere near a light source and you will see immediately
    the weak point of this lens. This doesnt happen with the canon to anywhere near the same

    To answer your question: The Sigma has slower focus by comparison, but realistically
    faster than you would react to. But the main point is that side by side the sigma misses
    focus capture points and hunts far more than the Canon f4

    If you have a limited budget and need 2.8 in this style of lens then you dont have a choice,
    The Sigma has hassels with dust ingress and there is a weak spot where the lens comes

    Cheers G
  16. les


    Right on, Graham !
    Now, could you post a picture shot with Sigma 70-200/2.8 to illustrate your point ?
  17. Two questions, just for fun:<p>

    <li>This shot from today isn't a prize-winner, but does it seem acceptably sharp, as well as you can tell on the Web?

    <li>Which lens took it -- a Canon 70-200mm f4L wide open, with Canon 1.4X TC; or a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 wide open, with Sigma 1.4X TC?
    I'll post the answer to the second question tomorrow.
  18. Leszek,

    This is my response. <p>Initially, Sorry but these were photos taken from prints. Err they
    are fairly nasty reproductions but emphasise the point od the excercise, that is to pick out
    the weaknesses.
    Two photo shoots
    First to show flaring. If you align the prints you will see that the Sigma actually is more
    protected from the ingress than sunlight.
    Second showing the effects of Bokeh within the two lenses. might sound stupid but this is
    a crop of picture honed in on an out of focus highlight. By aligning the red and white out
    of focus umbrella you can see that the highlight is the same.
    Results afterwards
  19. Grrr Struggling with this alignment try again
  20. Now for Bokeh
  21. Right so now an analysis of what I have seen:
    <p>The sigma is 1 stop faster but when you aim it anywhere near sunshine it flares badly.
    If you note the original crop you will see that the Sigma is actually more sheltered from the
    sun than the canon.
    Both pictures were taken at the same time, within three minutes of each other and on the
    same body, same settings (f5.6)
    The out of focus highlights may seem completely insignificant, but as per these pictures
    the Sigma's Highlight when seen next to canons becomes very irritating. All the effore to
    throw the background way out of focus and draw in the foreground and there is a nasty
    Octagonal shape staring you in the face. its unnatural. The pictures were taken at an
    aperture of f4.
    Considering that these two lenses are similarly priced, I (note that this is my opinion) think
    that the sigma is a waste of money
  22. Ok....i'm still going to try to advocate the Sigma; The two shots i'm posting show that the Sigma is certainly not a waste of money. This image was shote at 1/500 F3.2 at 157MM. This sample of performance is consistant for my work.
  23. Now Cropped for detail
  24. It seems to me that Sheldon's pics made with sigma are slightly OOF, i had the same results when I bought my sigma, it had a slight frontfocus, so it needed a recalibration by a service, now there is only slight difference between 2.8 and 4 appertures, and the pics now much more contrasty and are tack sharp. So I will not say a word about sigma watching this comparison. In my opinion if you need a lens with 2.8 apperture than go for sigma if you need IS go for canon, if you need a lightweight lens go for F4/L, optically these lens are the same... In everydays shootout you won't see the difference between these lens.... I had a 2.8 Canon but I changed it for sigma, as I had a really good selling oppurtunity, and for the price of the canon I have a lens performing as well as the canon equivalent and a 580EX Flash. So go for it if you need a 2.8 Bazooka, it is a no brainer.

Share This Page