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sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 vs Canon 70-200mm f/4 (my short experie

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Thread started 05 Dec 2003 (Friday) 10:21   
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vvizard
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I've asked this question here some times, and have noticed others have as well. So these lenses are undoubtly popular, but many newbies like myself always ask the question, will the difference from f/2.8 to f/4 make a difference when shooting outdoors?

From playing around with my Sigma for one day, I just have to say _YES IT DOES_. In sunlight or other bright light, probably not. But today when outside, The sky acted like this giant softbox (which it often do in Norway in autumn/winter). Don't mistake, it wasn't dark. It was bright indeed, but no direct sunlight. I had a hard time handholding 200mm @ f/2.8 today. At ISO-100 my shutter-speeds where as low as 60-90. I tried stopping it down to f/4 to see what difference it would make, and it was huge! Totally impossible to handhold (not a slightest chance @ 200mm)

Well that was just my experience from 20min of shooting in my garden today. I know for sure, that if this had been a f/4, I wouldn't have gotten any pics at all.

So consider this before buying, outdoor light doesn't neccessarely have to be bright, even though at 12:00pm. Just my two cents.

Post #1, Dec 05, 2003 10:21:25




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sds4kst8
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V, you mentioned that you were shooting in your garden. Were you taking relatively close shots using the zoom? I'm in the process of considering whether I want the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 or the 100-300 f4. I'm going to be shooting mostly sports and musicals/plays, but there will be a pretty good mix of indoor/outdoor shooting. So, based on your experience, you'd recommend the 2.8 rather than have the 300mm?

Post #2, Dec 05, 2003 10:31:14




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hickory
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vvizard,

did you get any pics you can post?

I think I mentioned to you that I have the Sigma and it is a great lens for the price. Sorry you have to separate yourself from it. Thats a bummer............isn'​t there something else you can sell off first?

Post #3, Dec 05, 2003 13:23:54


1Ds MK III, 5D MK II, 50 f1.4, 24-105 IS L, 70-200 IS L, Nikon 14-24 G
tomdarbyphotography.co​m

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vvizard
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I did both close shots and distant shots. Distant most, cause motorsports is what I intend using it for too. Sorry, don't have any pics actually. It's embarresing to say, but I haven't looked at any pics from it, I've only shot without the CF, cause my Microdrive is full of backup-files from a Linux-partition I had to wipe. Until I rebuild gentoo I don't have any CF-card =) But just the view on the LCD-screen after the shots was enough to confirm whether there was a slight possible chance of getting a sharp shot. And if it isn't sharp on the LCD, it's sure as *** won't be sharp blown up to 3000+x2000+ =)

I could of course dump the MD to the windows-partition and start shooting some pics for you to see, but there's a folder on the MD that windows refuses to read, although I verified I could read it in Linux before I removed the partitions, so I really don't dare to let the 10D have a go at the MD before I save all the contents.

Well, I guess I could separate with my 50mm f/1.4 instead :/ But I would really hate that.. I think that's a more "usable" lens for me than the 70-200.

sds4kst8: If you'll shoot indoor, forget about f/4 unless there's _PLENTY_ of light there! f/2.8 isn't fast enough to shoot around in my living room. My 50mm f/1.4 can do it as long as it's enough light.. But 2.8.. No way.. Then I'd have to use iso-1600 or 3200 at least.

And for outdoor, let me just say it again: Usually you'll have plenty of light, so f/4 shouldn't be a problem. But do remember, overcast days do happen! And I'd hate to lose an entire shooting-day because I wanted to save a pretty small amount of money on some f-stops.. Of course you can correct that by ISO-settings, but heck, I know the 10D is great to keep noise down, but anyway, I always prefer shooting at lowest ISO possible.

Post #4, Dec 05, 2003 13:41:08




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PaulB
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Sorry but stopping a Sigma 70-200/2.8 down to f4 DOES NOT make it into a Canon lens. It would be true that the ISO you would shoot at with the Sigma 2.8 would not suit any lens with a maximum aperture of f4 but so what? Change the ISO to get the shutter speed, change to a shorter lens with a larger aperture.

I do hate it so when people will insist in comparing chalk with cheese and drawing sweeping conclusions.

Post #5, Dec 05, 2003 13:58:51




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RichardtheSane
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Paul, if you read the thread again you will see it isn't the lenses that are being compared, but the usefulness of the max aperture.

Post #6, Dec 05, 2003 14:55:45


If in doubt, I shut up...

Gear: 40D, 12-24mm AT-X Pro, 17-85mm, Sigma 150mm Macro Sigma 100-300 F4, 550EX, other stuff that probably helps me on my way.

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PacAce
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vvizard wrote:
I've asked this question here some times, and have noticed others have as well. So these lenses are undoubtly popular, but many newbies like myself always ask the question, will the difference from f/2.8 to f/4 make a difference when shooting outdoors?

From playing around with my Sigma for one day, I just have to say _YES IT DOES_. In sunlight or other bright light, probably not. But today when outside, The sky acted like this giant softbox (which it often do in Norway in autumn/winter). Don't mistake, it wasn't dark. It was bright indeed, but no direct sunlight. I had a hard time handholding 200mm @ f/2.8 today. At ISO-100 my shutter-speeds where as low as 60-90. I tried stopping it down to f/4 to see what difference it would make, and it was huge! Totally impossible to handhold (not a slightest chance @ 200mm)

Well that was just my experience from 20min of shooting in my garden today. I know for sure, that if this had been a f/4, I wouldn't have gotten any pics at all.

So consider this before buying, outdoor light doesn't neccessarely have to be bright, even though at 12:00pm. Just my two cents.

Just bump up the ISO to 200 and the f/4 will be just as good as the f/2.8. Not a big deal there. I've shot pictures in a darkened stage indoors using higher ISO speed and I've managed to get by with f/4 and higher. It's NOT essential to have f/2.8 except in very special circumstances of which I can't think of any right now.

Post #7, Dec 05, 2003 15:02:58


...Leo

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PaulB
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RichardtheSane wrote:
Paul, if you read the thread again you will see it isn't the lenses that are being compared, but the usefulness of the max aperture.

Richard,
Look at the header, "Re: sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 vs Canon 70-200mm f/4 (my short experience)"

As he hasn't got a Canon 70-200/4L how can he compare it with his Sigma - the aperture just makes "it seem like".
I DID suggest just altering the ISO to get the exposure right...............

Post #8, Dec 05, 2003 15:19:40




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vvizard
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I'm sorry if someone misinterpreted this as a Sigma rocks, canon sucks. That was not the intention. As stated, I haven't got the Canon. All I wanted to say, was my brief experience with playing around with my Sigma on an overcast day. The only reason I used the Sigma/Canon in topic instead of just 2.8 vs 4, was because lot's of people in the decission-making of which one to get, asks about the importance of the f-stop between those exact lenses, in this board. It was only meant as an attention-catcher for those people. Again, sorry if it was misinterpreted, that wasn't intentional.

If course you can bump up the ISO to even it out, but IMH-measurebating mind, bumping up the ISO isn't a good thing to do unless you need to. And of course, on the contrary, what about the situations where you would need ISO-1600 at f/2.8? Yeah sure, you can change to ISO-3200 and get the same result. Except, you ain't getting the same result, you're getting the same light-intensity, but you got a whole lot more unwanted "stuff" to go with it

So to sum it up, all I was trying to say in my first post, and by that I mean _ALL_, was that today, on a normal overcast Norwegian day, I was as low as 1/60s when shooting 2.8 at ISO-100 (and that's way to slow for me to handhold at 200mm). Now the people who're in the deciding process of f/2.8 vs f/4 can take that into account, and add it up against the weight/price, canon/sigma decissions which are running around their minds like crazy right now.

Post #9, Dec 05, 2003 20:48:09




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CyberDyneSystems
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sds4kst8 wrote:
V, you mentioned that you were shooting in your garden. Were you taking relatively close shots using the zoom? I'm in the process of considering whether I want the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 or the 100-300 f4. I'm going to be shooting mostly sports and musicals/plays, but there will be a pretty good mix of indoor/outdoor shooting. So, based on your experience, you'd recommend the 2.8 rather than have the 300mm?

SDS,
The 70-200mm f/2.8 has a terrible close focus distance... I can't remeber off hand but I think its like 5-6 feet! :(

On the other hand,. I use it exclusively for my indoor theatre shots,. the f/2.8 is a life saver.

I have stopped it down to f/3.5 indoors on occasion,. but NEVER have I used it at f/4 or smaller.

If you are going to shoot indoors with any regularity,, I don't think the 100-300mm f/4 is the right lens for the job. (excellent as it is) it just isn't bright enough.

Post #10, Dec 05, 2003 21:20:58


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CyberDyneSystems
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As far as the comparison between an f/2.8 Vs. an f/4,. I think VVizard's assesment is perfectly appropriate.

He did not try to compare quality in any way,. if he had had a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and tried to stop down to f/4,.. the resulting shutter speed change would have been the same,. or if he had swapped to a Canon f/4 lens,. still the same drop in shutter speed,.

So I am mighty curous what the issue is?

On the other hand,. a Higher ISO would solve the problem in a different way,... but it is not a perfect solution.

Try asking someone to give up there 200mm f/1.8 for an f/4 lens.... I'm sure they'll jump at the chance once you tell them it will be the same thing if they bump the ISO to 400 :D... NOT

Post #11, Dec 05, 2003 21:29:36


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sds4kst8
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CDS,

Thanks for the useful tip. I think after reading your post (and other related posts) on this topic the 70-200 f2.8 is the way I need to go. Although the more I read some posts (not yours) I'm starting to feel guilty for considering anything other than "L" glass@!! Ha!

Seriously, I just yesterday picked up a project shooting for our local indoor football team next spring and I know I'll need the f2.8. And, since the field is only 50 yards long I'm pretty sure the 200mm (320mm with the 1.6 factor) will be enough zoom.

Thanks again.

Post #12, Dec 05, 2003 21:57:30




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CyberDyneSystems
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lo,.. I know what you mean about Canon lenses,. I myself have a "mixed bag" :)

I would have been very happy to have a Canon f/2.8,. but I just couldn't justify the cost difference in this case.

FYI, here are two galleries of photos taken in theatres with the Sigma 70-200;

Fashion show;
http://cyberdynesytems​imaging.fotopic.net/sh​ow_collection.php?id=2​3439external link

Ballet;
http://carmenpremier.f​otopic.net/external link

The lighting designer for the Ballet ilkes it "moody" ,.. in other words WAY TOO DARK! It is a shame,. most ballets over come this with the use of additional followspots,. but for some reason this particular designer hates to use them... too bad,. makes it hard to get a decent picture,.

these were at 1600 ISO!!

The Fashion show was a lot better ight wise,. I mean you need to see the clothes!

But still dark,. I was able to stop down to f/3.5 for most of the shots and most were ISO 800.

Post #13, Dec 05, 2003 22:21:56


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PacAce
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CyberDyneSystems wrote:
Try asking someone to give up there 200mm f/1.8 for an f/4 lens.... I'm sure they'll jump at the chance once you tell them it will be the same thing if they bump the ISO to 400 :D... NOT

CDS, f/2.8 to f/4 is a 1 stop difference. F/1.8 to f/4 is more than 2. AAMOF, isn't it a 3 stop difference? I don't think they are equal comparisons. :)

Post #14, Dec 06, 2003 11:29:36


...Leo

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Emenresu
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Three and a third i belive.

Post #15, May 29, 2006 17:52:15


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