Potential Sigma telephoto setup, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by systemdown, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. systemdown

    systemdown Member

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    I'm pondering purchasing the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (the EX DG HSM Macro model) for my 20D, coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter. I think it's a cheap (compared to the alternatives like Canon L glass) way of turning the lens into a ~100-280 f4 lens equivalent.

    With the 1.6x crop of the 20D, that would in effect make it a ~155-450mm f4 lens, right? A similar lens (prior to 1.6x crop factor) would come in the form of something like a 100-300mm f4, that without going into any specific brands, would cost a bundle - far more than I'm willing to spend.
    But I can get the Sigma with 1.4x tele setup for about $1500 all up if I get it from some place like BH photo (from the 'states).

    I know the Simga lens is heavy, but that doesn't worry me too much.. I've been trying to think of drawbacks to this cheap tele setup, from a purely technical point of view, but can't really think of any. I'm not the type that's interested in pixel peeping, so I'm not overly concerned about having perfect image quality either - not that the Sigma has bad IQ from what I've been reading. Do you think there's anything I've neglected to think about here?

    Primary use would be the odd sporting event (e.g. next one is a day-nighter at the Gabba), I'll be pretty close to the action so I might be able to get away with not using the 1.4x tele so I can shoot f2.8 after dark). Besides that, some portrait stuff and bokeh experiments might be in order.

    Cheers, any comments / thoughts appreciated.
     
  2. a777

    a777 Member

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    The other alternative is the Canon 70-200/2.8L (non IS) US$200 more expensive than the Sigma. I would recommend the Canon, many others will recommend the Sigma and save the money.

    Correct :)
    Incorrect :) The Sigma 100-300/F4 is only US$899 the same price as the Sigma 70-200/2.8 by itself.

    +GST and customs fee if it gets flagged (likely).

    With the TC on the images will be softer and the focus will be slower/less accurate. If you stop down a little this is less of a problem but there is still a difference.
    Sounds good.

    Enjoy your new lens(es) :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
  3. [AFX]Northy

    [AFX]Northy Member

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    i would have to disagree about the image quality between the Canon and the Sigma, unless your going to be super anal about the pics, you will never notice the diff. Munkiboy and i went out the Queensland Raceway one arov and he shot with his sigma 70-200 f2.8 and he also shot with my Canon f2.8L IS 70-200 we got the short home and couldn't tell the diff, so after reading your post i think the sigma lense is going to suit you down to the ground.

    also noticed that your in brisbane, if you wanted to checkout the diff between the 2 im sure we could arrange somthing.
    :thumbup:

    Corey
     
  4. Julz

    Julz Member

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    considered the bigma at all? sigma 50-500mm
     
  5. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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    The Gabba is pretty good for shooting. Was there last night with the canon 70-200 2.8 IS and wide open at ISO 400 was shooting at 1/500th. Was on the upper tier though, and the 1.4 tc would have been nice.

    regarding the bigma, I think the aperture would be a bit of a bugger for night shots at the long end.
     
  6. nxsr20

    nxsr20 Member

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    The 70-200mm F2.8 + TC would offer more flexibility. Take off the TC and it's a decent camera for low light, whereas the Bigma would be too slow.
     
  7. oli

    oli Member

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    If you expect to be using the TC really often, why not just get the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX instead? It costs about the same as the 70-200 anyway but is better than using a TC if you don't need the f/2.8...
     
  8. Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Same reason nsxr posted I guess but if the TC wont come off...


    Considered the 100 to 400mm?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    systemdown

    systemdown Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone, appreciate the feedback.


    Yeah I'm not sure I need the Canon. My budget and photographic skills / needs don't call for Canon L glass - that's why I think the Sigma is an attractive option for me right now.
    True, but a large part of the attraction to the Sigma is the flexibility to use the lens sans the 1.4x TC for low light etc. Not sure that permanent f4 will satisfy my "need" (nay, "want") for speed. That and I think the 'Gabba for example has a 200mm limit on lenses brought into the ground - not sure about that though.
    Ahh of course.. but still cheaper than locally bought (from the several sites I've looked at). Might influence whether I go local or overseas, I guess local is always easier for warranty repairs etc.
    Hmm.. if the images produced aren't "noticeably" soft then I'll still be happy I guess. Focusing issues would annoy me.. I don't remember reading anywhere about focusing issues with telecoverters, does this mean ALL setups using telecoverters are prone to focusing issues? I'll need to look into that.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    systemdown

    systemdown Member

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    Yeah as I said I'm not too fussed about the difference if it's not noticeable, have heard the Sigma has great image quality anyway, and your example with the side-by-side comparison shows that.
    Thanks I'll keep that in mind =)
     
  11. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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    Gabba restrictions depends on the event. Cricket Aus say 200mm and only for personal use. For the ashes they were far more severe. Also depends on the security person that checks your bag.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    systemdown

    systemdown Member

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    Saw someone at the cricket with one (don't know if they were an authorised photographer or not), it was a massive thing.. however nxsr20 hit the nail on the head:
    That sounds like the way to go for me, having f2.8 when I need it, as I don't see myself needing a really long reach in low light anyway (and by low light I mean less light than a fully lit stadium at night).
    Yeah, awesome. I've only shot during the day, so far only with my 135mm f5.6 and while it definitely wasn't long enough, it was still pretty decent in terms of getting a good shot of the pitch and the players and umpires in the frame. Having 200mm f2.8 or more at f4 would be fantastic.
    I think maybe the TC would "go on" when I needed the extra reach rather than leaving it on all the time.. I mean if I can get away with 200mm and have f2.8, then great, but if I needed to go longer I would be able to. I might even be able to shoot f4 under lights depending upon the conditions and where I'm seated. And during the day f4 would be no problem at all and I get the extra reach. I'm willing to put up with taking the TC on and off as needed, but I doubt it would happen so often as to annoy me.
    Ah right, although I swear I saw people in the crowd with lenses much larger than 200mm, I guess they were lucky. I'd be more concerned with the CCTV cameras picking me up rather than the bag checking though, but I probably wouldn't want to risk giving up photograping an event due to getting caught with an "illegal" lens.

    All in all, I guess it looks thus far like my original intent was not too far off the mark, will have to follow up on a few things first, but am still confident. Thanks guys.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006

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