Sigma 17-70mm or Sigma 18-50mm?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by marian_engelland, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. I have the Canon Rebel XTi, which I've owned for 2 years, now. The only lens I have is the Canon EF 50 mm. I need a zoom to take better indoor shots of groups of people.
    I am a mom of 4 girls (4, 2, and 7-month old twins), so they are my main subjects - indoors, at the park, on trips, lots of people pictures. I also love to travel, and intend to take some more travel pics once the kids are a bit older (and we can actually go on vacations to interesting places.) I love taking indoor shots with natural lighting. I've gotten some great ones with my 50mm which some people have thought professional. :)
    So, I've read reviews on the Sigma 18-50mm lens, (which a professional photographer friend recommended to me), and also the Sigma 17-70 mm. Is the main difference between these two the greater zoom? Several mentioned how heavy the 17-70mm is, which I do care about, since I'm already carrying a purse, diaper bag, camcorder, etc., but maybe I can overlook weight if it is indeed a much better lens?
    I'm wanting to just purchase one more lens that I can use for many, many years. I love photography, but don't know much, and will always be an amateur.
    Thanks for your feedback
     
  2. I know you didn't bring this up, but why not look at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8?
     
  3. Sigma offers two lenses at 18-50mm: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM and Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC MACRO. The difference is that first has stabilization (OS) when the second is faster with f2.8 across the range.
    Also for 18-70mm you have two options: Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro and Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC OS HSM Macro, while the difference is that only the last has stabilization.
    A constant f2.8 is a better option, especially for indoor photography so my pick would be Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC MACRO. Be careful that Sigma is well known for quality control issues like front focussing, etc.
    That's why my first preference would be Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD VC IF which is a very good lens, especially for shooting people in available light.
     
  4. If weight is a concern look at the cheap and light Canon 18-55IS otherwise look at the Tamron 17-50 2.8 - very sharp and gets good reviews
     
  5. Just another idea---
    If you already have a 50mm prime lens, then getting a 17-50 zoom is really only getting you a wide angle - which is great because that will be great indoors.
    Now, if you are going to add a wide angle, you could add a really GOOD prime wide angle that is faster than f2.8 - right? This lens would be smaller, lighter, faster, and probably sharper. I don't know what models are available, but something with a 35mm frame equivalent of "28mm" or "35mm" might be great.
     
  6. The difference between the two lenses is that the 17-70 has sharper edges (aka a flatter field) than the 18-50. But the Tamron 18-50 is better than the Sigma 18-50 on the edges as well, so I would suggest you get the Tamron lens instead.
     
  7. Marian, you should probably get yourself to a shop so you can better understand the size/weight of these lenses. A constant f/2.8 zoom is a significantly different beast than a 50/1.8 prime or 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens. As you can see by other comments here, many swear by them...but others of us don't like the bulk. The 17-70 is only a little bit lighter. Consider whether you might get more out of a bounce flash--you mention 'groups' of people so you might want more depth-of-field than f/2.8 would give you.
     
  8. The EF 50mm f/1.8 seems to be a "must have" lens by the majority because of the "bang for the buck" theory. In my opinion, the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DiII LD IF will fall into the same category compared to the cost of a Canon of similiar focal length and image quality. I have this Tamron and it's very good. I don't have the VR (Image Stabilization) model but in one of Bob's review's it appears that this lens can be had new for around $450.00. I bought used but, they probably don't come about used very often because of their reputation.
    Bottom line . . . In my opinion, for the type of casual shooting that you are doing, throwing in some Portraits, Family photo's and the size of lens with the your Rebel for carry around on vacations indoors and outdoors, with the Tamron's focal length, zoom and f 2.8 you will be in "lens heaven."
    I do recommend reading the reviews of any lens you are considering, trying to find used in like new condition with box, manuals, etc., etc., taking your camera body to your local Ritz/Photo store and mounting the lens to get a "feel" for it. Then make your decision.
    My two cents worth!
    Best Wishes,
    Jim J.
     

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