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Lens Comparisons

um012015
Occasional Contributor

Looking to purchase a fast lens for sports with limited resources.  Can someone with knowledge gave me a comparison of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II with Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 DI VC USD and Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM.  Would welcome any other recommendations.

10 REPLIES 10

cicopo
Esteemed Contributor

Hopefully EB will read your thread & join in but for now see

 

http://community.usa.canon.com/t5/General-Camera-Discussion/Best-camera-for-outdoor-and-indoor-can-b...

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

ScottyP
Respected Contributor
Unless there is someone on here who works at a camera store or a lens rental place it will be hard to find folks who know all 3.

I played with the Tamron in a store exactly once. Was not as smooth as the Canon but was plenty smooth. It didn't seem to grab focus quite as fast but I can't say that for sure.

No idea re: the Sigma.

I own the Canon and I absolutely love it. Focus is lightning fast and silent. Images are super sharp with fantastic colors and contrast. I love its images so much I moved to a FF body so it was not so long on the wide end so I could use it for more things.

How much of your sports shooting is daytime outdoors and how much is indoors or at night?
What sports? Long like baseball/ or shorter like basketball/tennis?
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

"Unless there is someone on here who works at a camera store or a lens rental place it will be hard to find folks who know all 3"

 

Hmmm,  Smiley Wink  I don't own a camera store but I do have all three.  I also have all three of the 24-70mm f2.8's.  I don't think I am too hard to find either!

Anyway my assessment of the three as asked is.  First, neither the Tammy or Siggy is a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens.  If you expect it t be, save your money for awhile longer and get the real deal.  However, for about a grand less, you can get one of the others and they are very good indeed.

 

Most people do not need the extreme build of a Canon "L" lens and that is the biggest factor where the Tamron and Sigma fall short.  So in short, take care of it, if you get one.   The is a lot of plastic.

 

I would bet the average shooter, that is not a pixel peeper, wil be able to tell if a photo was taken by which lens. 

 

As Scotty pointed out they probably do focus somewhat slower but again we are talking very little difference.

 

I think the decission of which, the Sigma or the Tamron, is really a moot point.  They are very similar and each has a few better points and a few not as 'better' points.  I also would warn against buying one used.  If you are into this area of expense, you are already saving approx. a grand so buy new!

 

Oh, BTW, if you decide on the Tammy make sure you get the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens,  MFR # AFA009C-700.  It must have these letters in its name. The A009 is the latest version as there are some lesser models and you don't want one of them.  I think there is ony one version of the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM but there are its letters.

 

And, BTW 2.0, make sure you get the USA versions as they have a 6 year warranty.  I never used it myself but a couple friends have and they do honor their stuff.........................................................so far!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

BTW 3.0, if you do want a 24-70mm f2.8, there is considerable difference.  The order is, Canon followed by the Tamron and lastly the Siggy.  In this case none of these are up to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.

 

The Tammy is closest  again, is much cheaper and has stablization.

 

The Sigma is shorter and lighter but not as good IQ and no IS.  It is also the cheapest of the three.  And again for the average shooter probably fine.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

TCampbell
Esteemed Contributor
I own the original 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, but I ran across a video by Tony Northrup in which he was comparing the three (as well as Nikon's lens in that range) and he made a very interesting observation about lens "breathing".

"Breathing" refers to the fact that when you change only the focus on a lens, the focal length also changes (even though you didn't touch the focal length -- just focus.)

If you zoom the lens to 200mm and then focus to "infinity" then your lens really is a 200mm focal length lens.
But if you focus to minimum focus (leaving the focal length at 200mm) the "true" focal length of the lens will drop.

What impressed Northrup about the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is that it only dropped by about 10mm (it's a 190mm lens at minimum focus distance). But ALL OTHER LENSES In the range dropped considerably... they were all in the 130mm to 150mm range.

This much of a drop in focal length caused by "breathing" is a big deal if you use the lens for portraiture (and many photographers do) because those are the situations when you will zoom to max focal length and yet place the subject somewhere near minimum focus distance. That gives you outstanding compression, minimizes depth of field, and maximize the quality of the background blur. If you lose 50 to 70mm of focal length due to "breathing" you lose a lot of the qualties that make a 70-200mm a thing of joy to use for portraiture.

I realize you asked about sports and not about portraiture -- but since we're comparing the lenses here, I thought I'd point this out. The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II really does stand above everything else in the category.
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I am a huge fan of Tony Northrup and I have seen that vid.  Actually it caused a interesting conversation between myself and Tom (astronomy buddy) about lenses.  Tom knows more about lenses than anybody I know.

We both think the video has a couple misques or at least not explained well in spots.  Otherwise it is pretty good and I recommend folks watcht it.

 

IMHO, focus breathing is a none issue.  Most people are not even aware it exists.  One issue Tony misses is the Nikkor is probably not a true 200mm lens at 200mm!  I don't know what it is but it is something less.  Most likely 185mm or so.  As a matter of fact, I have never seen a lens that measures what the manufactuer claims it is.  They are all always short.

 

Want a test ?  Take your 70-200mm and set it to 135mm.  Now look through it and a prime 135mm lens.  Do you see the same FOV? Probably not.  Actually not only because of the focal length disparity but the markings a not very accurate.

 

Focal lengths are rounded to the closest standard focal length. You ever seen a 83-187mm zoom lens?  The manufacturer probably marketed it and sold it as a 80-200mm.  Even the EXIF data will report the focal length as 200mm when the actual focal length was 187mm.   The lens has a chip that is programmed by the manufacturer to report "200mm" when set at the maximum focal length.

 

Focus breathing is like crop factor.  It just doesn't matter.  If folks thought of the 'angle of view' of a lens instead of focal length, things would be far easier.   But the focal length is what is printed on every lens so that is what we use.

All lenses move when you focus them.  This changes the focal length. And it does so on either end, the wide side and the tele side.  Not solely the long end.  It is what it is.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ScottyP
Respected Contributor
Ebiggs: you have to tell us how you came to own 3 different recent versions of the same 70-200 same f/2.8 aperture lenses. It seems like maybe you started with a bargain one and upgraded, but why twice?
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

No Scott, I am just a complete nut!  Miss Elizabeth reminds me almost every day and I have come to believe her.

 

I love to get lenses, try them, test them and just play with them.  When I was working I had the Canon and later I got the II version which I still have.  The older one has been passed on.

I usually sell on most of what I buy but these three are all keepers.  Some I decide or find out they aren't worth keeping or I have no use for them at all.  (After playing around with them.)

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

um012015
Occasional Contributor

Thanks for all your comments.  Right after I posted my enquiry, I saw the reference under 'Lens Upgrade' and a comparison of all three lenses by Bryan Carnathan.  Now I am deciding between the Canon or the Tamron.  Thanks.