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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 21 Feb 2012 (Tuesday) 11:34
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Sigma 17-50 vs Canon 17-55 ... my one week tryout

 
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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 11:34 |  #1

In my indecisiveness on my kit lens upgrade, I bought both the Sigma 17-50 and the Canon 17-55 and decided to try them each in different conditions for a week or so, then return the one that I thought was the underperformer. I wanted to share that here, for others, since it seems to be discussed a lot.

BTW I still have both for about a week - if you want me to try something with both of them, let me know!

Things to keep in mind as you read this....

  • I didn't use focus charts. I shot real stuff. Kind of boring stuff. But real stuff.
  • I can post other pics, or full shots. but figured I'd start with only 100% crops below.
  • My experience is based off only 1 copy of each lens. Lightrules and others have had more copies.
  • These sample shots here were in Av mode, so sometimes the shutter speeds are different between comparisons. Don't flame me on it. I just forgot to go full manual.
  • This isn't scientific. This was me (amateur) with handheld shots.
  • Most of this has been covered before, I know - this is just my $.02.


OK - with the disclaimers out of the way, here are my basic conclusions.
  • I seem to get more out of the IS on the Canon than the OS on the Sigma. Both systems are noticeably working - when I turn them off it's pretty clear at 1/20, 1/13, 1/8 speeds but when on they are OK. I just seem to get a little more out of the Canon. $450 more? Uh, not quite.
  • The MF ring of the Sigma has an annoyingly short turn. Like you need to be a ninja to actually make use of it. Of course it doesn't have FTM but that's been covered.
  • The build of the Canon seems strong on the outside, but when zooming it does feel meh. The Sigma build is nice, not crazy nice, just nice.
  • sharpness/corners. I had a mixed bag here. Sigma sharper sometimes, Canon sharper sometimes. Most corners to the Canon, with an exception on the bottom left of my test image below.
  • colors - all about your preferences I guess ... with my copies, Sigma was slightly warmer.


On to sample shots. These are all 100% crops, with the AF points highlighted - exif data on the screenshot. No PP, with only exception being the 17-55 grass and brown leaves shot which I brought up the exposure just a notch.

**In all cases, the 17-50 is on the left, and the 17-55 is on the right.**

Again - if you are on the fence about these two lenses and want me to try something out while I have them, let me know.....

There's a few center shots, then I show the corners of the basket.

Random dead flower
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grass and leaves
IMAGE NOT FOUND
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rose leaf
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Basket shots....first the center
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Top left
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Bottom right
IMAGE NOT FOUND
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Top right
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Bottom left
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

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norf
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Feb 21, 2012 11:56 |  #2

thanks for the report.

did you use a tripod at all? If not, I would take a couple of comparison shots with the IS turned off while using a tripod. At 100% I think you can get some motion blur even with higher shutter speeds and the IS on.




  
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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 12:07 |  #3

I will give that a shot hopefully in the next day.


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Numenorean
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Feb 21, 2012 12:10 |  #4

You should sell the one you don't want to keep, not return it. That's not very ethical. If you wanted to try before you buy, you should rent them before buying one.


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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 12:25 |  #5

Numenorean wrote in post #13936631 (external link)
You should sell the one you don't want to keep, not return it. That's not very ethical. If you wanted to try before you buy, you should rent them before buying one.

I didn't start the thread for an ethics debate. Provided I treat the lenses appropriately, return them in pristine new condition, and include all original docs, I see nothing unethical about it. B&H's return policy is pretty clear - "If, for whatever reason, you are dissatisfied with your purchase, you can return it".

Prior to doing this I even went to the trouble of doing an online chat with B&H customer service and told them everything I was doing. They had no problem with it and encouraged it. If B&H's return policy were more strict, or the cust service rep had told me not to do that, then I would agree with you.

Now if I drop a lens, then attempt to return it as new - that would be unethical.


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Stir ­ Fry ­ A ­ Lot
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Feb 21, 2012 12:26 |  #6

I'd like to see uncropped comparisons of images that are full of color and contrast. It's well documented that they're both exceptionally sharp even wide open. I've owned both, though not at the same time and ended up with the 17-55 simply because I preferred the way the images were rendered overall. Everything just seemed to "pop" a little harder imo. I didn't care for the ergonomics of the Sigma either though I do like the fact that it's smaller than the Canon.


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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 12:28 |  #7

Stir Fry A Lot wrote in post #13936757 (external link)
I'd like to see uncropped comparisons of images that are full of color and contrast. It's well documented that they're both exceptionally sharp. I've both, though not at the same time and ended up with the 17-55 simply because I preferred the way the images were rendered overall.

OK - let me see what I can dig up.... I'll try to find approximate equivalent exif.....


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LightRules
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Feb 21, 2012 12:31 as a reply to  @ Stir Fry A Lot's post |  #8

I think your intent and effort is appreciated. However, I'd be cautious to draw too much from these crops. AF is a tricky thing, and nailing it when comparing two lenses isn't as easy as one might think. Your subjects can also play a big factor in accuracy. In your test shots it's very possible some are slightly mis-focused and that can affect everything, from center to edge.

I think your general user comments and experience is probably the most useful aspect here and can add to the overall impression between these 2 lenses.




  
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Numenorean
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Feb 21, 2012 12:36 |  #9

nccb wrote in post #13936749 (external link)
I didn't start the thread for an ethics debate. Provided I treat the lenses appropriately, return them in pristine new condition, and include all original docs, I see nothing unethical about it. B&H's return policy is pretty clear - "If, for whatever reason, you are dissatisfied with your purchase, you can return it".

Prior to doing this I even went to the trouble of doing an online chat with B&H customer service and told them everything I was doing. They had no problem with it and encouraged it. If B&H's return policy were more strict, or the cust service rep had told me not to do that, then I would agree with you.

Now if I drop a lens, then attempt to return it as new - that would be unethical.

You can't return something as new if you've used it. It's no longer new.


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Feb 21, 2012 12:38 as a reply to  @ LightRules's post |  #10

I'm with numenorean. The issue is the next customer, not B&H. When I pay for a new lens, I want a new lens, not one that someone has been playing around with. That's not an argument against returning something that is unsatisfactory. It is an argument against buying something that you no full well you won't keep.


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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 12:38 |  #11

LightRules wrote in post #13936789 (external link)
I think your intent and effort is appreciated. However, I'd be cautious to draw too much from these crops. AF is a tricky thing, and nailing it when comparing two lenses isn't as easy as one might think. Your subjects can also play a big factor in accuracy. In your test shots it's very possible some are slightly mis-focused and that can affect everything, from center to edge.

I think your general user comments and experience is probably the most useful aspect here and can add to the overall impression between these 2 lenses.

Understood. I agree on the difficulty of nailing AF. I found as I was doing these that AF was playing mind games with me. I would do a shot with the Sigma and it would seem to be front focusing/back focusing (I forget), but then do another under very close circumstances and it would be dead on. The same hit or miss happened with the Canon. Probably a lot due to my inexperience, which I readily admit. I came to the conclusion that if both were tricky to nail the AF on, then it is either me having just a T2i or simply user error and no tripod.

So adding to my above disclaimers ..... as Lightrules says, don't put too much stock in the crops and keep in mind the difficulty of AF (and possibility of user error)!


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nccb
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Feb 21, 2012 12:39 |  #12

Numenorean wrote in post #13936823 (external link)
You can't return something as new if you've used it. It's no longer new.

Sorry but I see dozens of people every day on here talking about lenses they've bought and are returning. Presumably those people would have used them and taken some shots with them.


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Numenorean
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Feb 21, 2012 12:44 |  #13

The difference is you are specifically buying them intending to return one.


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paddler4
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Feb 21, 2012 12:50 |  #14

The difference is you are specifically buying them intending to return one.

Exactly right. And "other people do it" is no defense. thousands of people shoplift every day. Does that make it OK?


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aquaforester
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Feb 21, 2012 12:51 |  #15

paddler4 wrote in post #13936840 (external link)
I'm with numenorean. The issue is the next customer, not B&H. When I pay for a new lens, I want a new lens, not one that someone has been playing around with. That's not an argument against returning something that is unsatisfactory. It is an argument against buying something that you no full well you won't keep.

I don't think B&H or any retailer can sell an open boxed item as new, unless otherwise stated. The reason B&H has such an easy return policy is volume and with volume comes manufacturers bending over backwards.


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Sigma 17-50 vs Canon 17-55 ... my one week tryout
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