Sigma 24-70 for Canon vs. Canon 24-70

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by kyle_heaser, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM vs.

    Sigma 24-70mm 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG MACRO for Canon

    I plan on doing primarily portrait photography and was wondering if there is a big difference in quality between the two lenses. One is twice the price of the other, which leads me to believe it is a far lower quality product. Any thoughts on the issue? I plan on using either a Canon 5d Mark II, but the 7d is still possible choice for me.
  2. Don't have experience with Sigma but can tell you that Canon 24-70 is definitely one of the best zooms I've owned. Very contrasty, sharp and renders colors beautifully. 5DII is the best for portraits but you might not have enough reach especially for headshots. On 7D you will have a better reach with 24-70 so this is an option too.
  3. I haven't used any of them but people tell me that the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 is better than the Sigma. I prefer the 24-105 4.0 for the lighter weight and extra reach on my 5D II. That's what David Ziser says in his wedding book as well. But the 24-70 2.8 has a lot of fans. Good luck!
  4. Kyle, I recommend prime lenses over zooms for portrait photography...preferably wide aperture primes.
    The ability to significantly blur the background is a much desired portrait lens characteristic.
    Even the inexpensive Canon 50MM 1.8 can blur the background "better" then some zoom lenses. On a 7D a 50MM would be just the about right focal length for portraiture.
  5. J. Harrington is correct about bokeh (background blur), but the EF 24-70 has very nice bokeh for a zoom.
  6. I never tried the sigma but I have owned the Tamron 28-75 and now the Canon 24-70, the real difference it not so much in the final image quality ( but there can be a difference ) as it is in build quality and mechanically ( autofocus ). I do think the Canon will produce better colors and contrast but its pretty slight. I do agree about a prime. My 50 1.4 stopped down to 2.8 is sharper then my 24-70 at 2.8 but versatility sometimes is more important then sharpness. The 24-70 is very sharp.
  7. In general the old rule holds "you get what you pay for". While the Canon most likely will not be twice as good, you can expect it to deliver significant higher quality than the Sigma.
    For a comparison look here:
  8. I currently have the Canon 28-70 f2.8 (forerunner of the 24070) and before that had the Sigma 24-70. and before that very briefly had the tamron 28-75.In many ways the Tamron if you can find one that works is a very nice mix of fine optics and lightweight build. I could not find one that worked on my camera but many others have found the Tamron to be excellent. The Sigma is heavier and bulkier than the Tamron and not quite as sharp but nonetheless is a very good lens. The main drawback is a slow and noisy AF which can hunt in low light. But it can turn in a very respectable performance which in most circumstances would be hard to distinguish from the Canon. The canon is a very fine lens indeed though expensive and remarkably heavy.
    In order of preference I would put he Tamron and Canon close together at the top with personal preference mostly on build quality deciding between them. The Sigma I would place third but not by a huge distance.
  9. I have the Canon 24-70 f2.8 and I really like the lens. I find that I use it much more often on the 5DII and the 1DIIN than I do on my 7D. Siomehow I find I use my 16-35 II much more on the 7D as the 24-70 does not seem to be the most useful focal length for me on the APS-C body (I tend to use 16-35 than a 70-200 most of the time with the 7D). The 24-70 is a great lens and performs very well indeed the Bokah is very good and the lens delivers about the same results at 50mm as my 50 F1.4 (which is soft at F1.4 and even at F2). The 24-70 is a big heavy lens with a very deep lens hood but the quality makes it worthwhile. mine replaced the 24-105 and I prefer the 24-70.
  10. I have had both...first the Sigma and now the Canon. The Sigma AF was very iffy in low light....which is why I bought the lens in the first place. The Canon does extremely well in low light. In full daylight, no difference that's noticable.
    Not that I'm a big bokeh nut....but the Canon pics are better looking with it's bokeh at wide apertures
    By the way, I still have the Sigma and if you live in the philadelphia/nyc area I'll sell it to you......face to face deal only.
  11. Being that I am a college student starting out my photography business I do not have a huge amount of money for purchasing a variety of lenses, so I was deeply considering getting the Sigma 24-70 lens, which is inexpensive enough to allow me to purchase another nice lens. If the Sigma operates very poorly in low light, I may just wait to purchase the Canon 24-70 as well as other lenses. Question for Thomas Sullivan and Collin Carron because you both owned the lenses I am currently looking to buy. What do you think about the low light performance? Will it produce only poor photos or would they only be slightly less quality in low light situations with the Sigma 24-70 as opposed to the Canon 24-70? Thanks a lot guys!
  12. I have experience with both.
    I used the sig for awhile, optically, it performed on par w/ the 24-70L, but the zoom technique is... well different... (tight/hard, then easy, the cam must be odd shaped), and the AF is very slow (compared to the L, of course this sig doesn't have USM)... The other concern is that (like the L) as you go wide, the front element moves out... Sig's lens hood solution sucks compared to canon's (look at the two side by side and you'll see what I mean), it makes the lens hood useless when zoomed in...
    But I must admit, I was extremely pleased w/ the shooting value of the Sig (esp. since I paid less than $400 for it), and it made a fine backup for the 24-70L ... As far as low light performance? All zoom lenses suck in low light (yes, including the 24-70L thank you... IMHO low light = prime, IMHO) and the sig performed on par with all my other 2.8 zooms. I think that it is more noticeable NOT because it hunts more, but since the AF is slower, and noisier, it hunts longer, and you hear it the whole time.
    In a nutshell IMHO (and to answer your question specifically), your pictures will suck if you take sucky pictures. This lens is not as good as the L, but only marginally (optically) so, It has the capability to make stunning images of people (unlike the 24-105/4 IMO), if it makes the dif between being able to get a second lens, or getting a 5 versus a 7, then you already have your answer though.
    For example, you could probably get a new sig 24-70 2.8 + a new sig 70-200 2.8 hsm for what you'd pay for a new 24-70L. That's NOT rocket science...
  13. Marcus, thanks so much. That was precisely what I was getting at and considering. Not to mention having a back-up lens would be a nice thing to have assuming in the future when money is more prevalent I could purchase the Canon 24-70L. For now, it would seem as though, based on reviews and cost, I actually may go with the recommended 24-70 Sig and a 70-200 2.8 (I was recommended those two lenses before you, Marcus, even recommended them. So I would say I probably reached a verdict. For now, it's a Canon 5d Mark II with the Sig 24-70 lens. Thanks everyone!
  14. Now, as far as sigma's 70-200 f/2.8 I have that and have never been tempted to buy Canon's version. So, I can't comment on Canon's version, but the Sigma suits me just fine. But, then I bought it for youth ice hockey, mainly, so the light is not that low. Have never actually used it in extremely low light
    I do however stick by my previous opinion that the Sigma AF in low light....and I mean nighttime street really horrible compared to the Canon.... Although optically if it is less than the Canon, I never noticed it.
  15. Thomas, when you say night time street scenes, what precisely would you be referring to? Obviously if I am buying a lens I want to get the right one first rather than buy one then buy the right one, ending up costing me more money in the long run. Do you mean midnight with almost no street lights, or perhaps lots of city lights illuminating the area, or just one bright light within a close range of the shot with no moonlight what so ever?
    Thanks Thomas Sullivan
  16. I own the Sigma 24-70 and shoot with film camera Canon EOS 3: my opinion is that the Sigma is a honest lens for its price. When I shoot landscapes on tripod my only concern is the little softness in the corners althought stopped down; when I shoot portraits my only concern is the not too fast autofocus (but only with candid portraits, with no posing subject). I'm sure that the Canon USM outperforms the Sigma in terms of autofocus speed and noise.
    I'm interested in someone who uses the Sigma on a Canon 5D II.
    Please look at my portfolio ( for some examples. Alberto.
  17. Alberto, great photos, I love the photo frame in your portfolio.
  18. Thank you Tommy: I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Share This Page