Dear fellow members of POTN, excuse me for bringing up a more or less deeply covered issue about this range of lenses, but after going through all those stickies and topics on the subject I feel a bit reluctant on taking the final step. Funny thing is that the more I read, the more "hard to decide" I become
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The whole research started when I decided to upgrade my gear, with faster and "better" (in means of sharpness and optical quality) lenses. I currently own a 400D with a 50mm f/1.8 and a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DC. In fact I purchased the 400D with the Sigma and then the nifty fifty, an incident which made me pursue more and more shallow DOF's and fast lenses... I am an amateur photographer, feeling like a child in the candy store, who is trying to shoot a great variety of subjects, from liquid macro to automotive races and also landscapes to people's portraits and live concerts. An example of my addiction is my latest summer vacations, where I shot around 2000 images in 30 days time...
During this period I noticed that after 18.00 the only lens mounted on my camera was the nifty fifty, mostly because I shoot handheld, in low light conditions without flash of course.
But lets just cut to the gist...
Here is a list comprised of Canon and Sigma lenses, in the focal length range of 16-70, including "value for money" and also professional and expensive lenses.
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM
17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO
18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO
20-40mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL
24-60mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL
24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM
24-70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO
28-70mm F2.8 EX DG
What I have in mind is that I should get rid of the Sigma and replace it with 2 lenses, one from the above list and a 70-200 or 70-300 one.
Not really sure on whether one should skip a walkaround lens, providing a variety of focal lenghts, without the need to exchange lenses outdoors, in a windy, cycladitic greek island for example... but this is based on budget I guess...
Talking about budget, I am willing to spend around 800-1000 euro ($1000-$1500), for both lenses, new or used.
Q1: The all classic debate between Canon and Sigma lenses... Are the Sigma's fully compatible with a Canon body? I have read that some have some IQ problems during autofocus, HSM is not supported for Canon mount lenses (at least in this range) and some state that they are not sharp as the Canon equivalents...
Q2: Is it best to purchase a used expensive lens than a cheaper but new one?
Q3: Are there other options that could serve decently this range, letting aside L lenses which are expensive? I always try to maintain a balance in terms of skill vs equipment, where according to my philosophy one should upgrade his equipment only when he has managed to make the best of the previous used. I don't get excited simply with a red ring around Canon's and I am surely not a brand whore, as many have correctly stated on such debates. Wanting a ferrari and not being able to drive fast is a lost case scenario.
Q4: I haven't included IS and non USM versions of lenses, because I think USM is a handy asset and IS is not needed on such focal lengths. Am I right?
Q5: I noticed in Sigma's range that some lenses are named macro and some not... and I mean the same lens (eg the 24-70). Does this affect the quality or build of the lens? What are their differences?
Q6: What is the effect of an Aspherical featured lens?
Thank you for reading this topic and excuse me if I got carried away...
Also please excuse any amateur mistakes on statements or evaluations I may have made.
Comments like "you are asking too much" or "a solution based on these facts is impossible to answer" or even "you are a moron, stick with your current gear" will be also appreciated.
I really thank all of you who have contributed so much in this great forum, with patience, knowledge and experience, providing all that help to amateurs like me.