which of these two lense would you get sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro or Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by -dad, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. -dad

    -dad Guest

    I am planning on purchasing my first DSLR and am looking at the Canon
    Rebel XTi with the kit lense EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-22 . I have an old ef
    f/3.5-4.5 35-70mm lense and am planning on getting the 50mm f/1.8
    lense. Now my question is aimed at the the longer zoom lense. Which
    of these two lense would you get the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro or
    Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III. I can get either of them for around the
    same prince. Which one do you all consider the better of the two

    Just abit about me:
    I cannot afford to buy much more than the above. I try to find the
    best of the lowest price and go with that.

    I like to take photos of almost anything from animals, bugs, rocks,
    water and flowers to sporting events and people, spontaneous shots as
    well as prestaged ones, both indoors and outdoors during the daytime
    and at night. I will even try by hand at some astrophotography thought
    my konica z3 doesnt do much here though.

    I am thinking the 18-55mm is a decent but not great all around lense.

    I am thinking the 50mm is good for lower light and indoor shot as well
    as night time sprots activities.

    I am thinking the 35-70mm will zoom somewhat more than the 18-55mm
    with the 1.6 multilplier making it around a 105mm zoom.

    And I am thinking the 70(75)-300 will be the zoom for the distance
    shots of all kinds of subjects from animals to the moon.

    Is my thinking all correct on the above or am I misinterpreting

    I would really be thankful for any positive, meaningful comments,
    thoughts, critizisms on what I am about to step into here.


    -dad, Nov 6, 2006
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  2. The Canon has IS, the Sigma doesn't.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
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  3. I think he's asking which one is better? The Sigma clearly has better
    optics, but depending on his neds and intended use IS might not be a needed

    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Nov 6, 2006
  4. The review at hand rates them identically in terms of optics. You may be
    thinking of the earlier model of the Canon, which was pretty iffy optically.
    The latest model is reported by the reviews to be a significant improvement.
    He didn't sound like a guy who's going to own and use a serious tripod. I'd
    guess he needs the IS. (Heck, my tripod's bigger than yours, but I wouldn't
    buy a non-IS telephoto.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
  5. -dad

    Bill Guest

    No offence, but you're putting crappy lenses on a good 10mp camera.
    This is a very common mistake with digital cameras, so don't expect
    great results with that kind of setup.

    Remember that the lense does all the work in forming an image for the
    camera. The sensor in the camera is merely the recording media, just
    like film.

    If you can't afford better lenses, then I suggest you consider other
    camera bodies and use better lenses. Perhaps buy the less expensive
    Canon XT model or even a Nikon D50, and put more money into quality
    lenses. Don't worry about the megapixel numbers (it's mostly a
    marketing game) unless you intend to make large 13x19" or bigger
    prints. You only need 3 megapixels to make excellent 8x10 prints.

    Or you can hold off getting the 50 and 75-300 lenses, save up and buy
    better glass later on.
    Bill, Nov 6, 2006
  6. -dad

    Bill Guest

    Sorry David, but you're mistaken.

    The 70-300 model which costs over twice as much has IS. The cheap
    75-300, which is priced similar to the Sigma 70-300 Macro, does not.
    Bill, Nov 6, 2006
  7. -dad

    Recycle THIS Guest

    I can't comment on the Canon tele, but I own and use the Sigma lens and I
    have been extremely happy with it at the price.

    Even at the highest zoom, the pictures are clean and crisp, the AF is fast
    and responsive. I have taken photos of the moon with it, and was amazed at
    the detail it brought out (I use a Canon 350D). I would recommend that if
    you get a telephoto of that length you also invest in a tripod for the
    really distant work (like the moon).
    Recycle THIS, Nov 6, 2006
  8. http://photo.net/equipment/canon/70-300is/review.html

    That's an IS lens.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
  9. You may have a good point. The tiny pixles mean that any infelicities in
    resolution or contrast (which actually are the same thing) will show up.

    As I mentioned in another note, I'm getting sharp images from the 55-200
    plastic junk lens on my 5D, thanks to the fat pixels.
    Yep. Still, there are some gems amongs the dreck in the cheap lens world;
    the Tamron 28-75/2.8 is seriously amazing on the 5D.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
  10. Sigma makes two 70-300mm F4-5.6 lenses: the DG Macro and the APO DG Macro.
    The DG Macro is OK at best, the APO DG Macro is a very good lens for the
    money. I'd pass on the non-APO version. You can tell the difference by
    noting that the APO version has the red ring around the barrel.
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Nov 6, 2006
  11. mike.hamilton, Nov 6, 2006
  12. You're right. I think of the 70-300 IS as a cheap lens, since the
    alternative DO lens is twice the price of the 70-300. But there's even

    So my answer is neither, since there's no way I can handhold 200mm, let
    alone 300mm (and that's on FF), making IS a requirement.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
  13. -dad

    Skip Guest

    Actually, there is a non IS version of that Canon lens, since he doesn't
    mention IS, I'm betting it lacks that feature. If it is that one, or even
    if it isn't, it's not exactly one of Canon's stars. Rita is right on this
    one, the Sigma might be the better buy.
    Skip, Nov 6, 2006
  14. -dad

    Skip Guest

    David, the current IS model is a 70-300, not 75-300.
    Skip, Nov 6, 2006
  15. -dad

    SimonLW Guest

    The base Sigma and Canon version are pretty similar.
    The APO macro sigma is a notch better.
    The Canon IS lens is even better. Canon has improved the optics in this new
    version of the IS lens, giving much better wide open performance at 300mm.

    Sometimes its better just to save and get the better lens. These 70,75-300mm
    and older IS lens didn't even challenge the resolution of the 6MP digital
    Rebel, it will be worse on the 10MP version.

    If you want a cheap lens to hold you over until you get the good one, get
    the Canon 80-200 II for a little over $100. Canon's own MTF charts show it
    out performing these 70,75-300 zooms at its long in (granted is doesn't zoom
    out as far) and it is nice and small.
    SimonLW, Nov 7, 2006
  16. -dad

    Ken Lucke Guest

    You're both right - the current model is a 70-300 with IS, but there
    ALSO is a 75-300 with IS. I own it. Selling it soon, actually, and
    buying a 100-400 L (with IS, of course) to replace it.
    Ken Lucke, Nov 8, 2006
  17. Why? Do you really think it will be that much better?
    Look at Canon's MTF charts. The 100-400 is not all that sharp.
    I have 75-300 (non IS), 100-300 IS, 100-400 L IS, and
    find them OK, but not great. In place of the 100-400 L
    I use a 300 f/4 L IS, and even with a 1.4x TC, and find
    it sharper than my 100-400 at 400. It is also lighter
    and costs less.

    Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 8, 2006
  18. -dad

    Ken Lucke Guest

    Sharp enough on the left side of the chart for me (I'm using an 1.6x
    sensor camera [XTi]).
    Having taken pictures with both on the same camera, yes I _know_ it
    will be better. I always rent L series lenses I am in the process of
    evaluating for purchase before I buy them - saves heartache in the long
    run. I've rented enough that my rental place doesn't even charge me
    the normal $1000.00 deposit any more :^).

    The main reasons I'm switching are the weatherproofing and the Mode 2
    IS, which works better with panning shots than the original IS that's
    on the older 75-300 IS USM II. Also, I really hate stacking glass, so
    I try to use a teleconverter very seldom. I've never taken a good
    picture with a teleconverter - yes, I know others have, it's just not
    _my_ experience. I might try renting your combo, though, just to give
    it a try. Which TC are you using, the older series I or the newer
    series II? (my rental place only has the older series I TC's)

    I have a cunning plan (as Baldrick would often say to Blackadder) - the
    100-400 will stopgap me until I can pick up a couple more long prime
    L's (400, 600) and the 75-300 DO, which I've found is actually as good
    or better than most L series glass, IMO*. The 100-400 will retain
    enough resale value that I will get my mileage out of it and still be
    able to resell it on eBay for a pretty good percentage of what I will
    pay for it. I can turn around and resink that into the newer lenses
    when I am ready to do so (middle of next summer).

    (*) yes, I've looked at the MTF charts there, too - the falloff on the
    short end doesn't bother me, as I normally have the 24-105L on the
    camera anyway as my "walkaround lens" to cover the lower end of that
    range. At the 300 end of the range, it's pretty flat, actually
    starting to improve towards 20mm (although at this time I don't need
    that, when I move up to the 1Ds Mark II [or whatever is top-o-the-line
    at the time by next summer] it will become more so).
    Ken Lucke, Nov 8, 2006
  19. -dad

    JC Dill Guest

    I own the non-IS 75-300 (it's in a box in the closet) and also own the
    70-200 L f2.8 (which is on the camera) and regularly borrow the
    100-400. IMHO there's no contest - the 75-300 lenses (both IS and
    non-IS) are not in the same class at all.

    JC Dill, Nov 8, 2006
  20. Of course your lens should outlast your camera body, and in a couple
    of years when the full frame sensor is under $1,000 you may think
    differently ;-)
    100-400 L IS weatherproof? It seems to pump air quite well
    with zooming (and it also pumps dust). There is a Bill
    Hilton thread here about a test with an XTi and a 100-400 adding dust
    to the sensor.
    I can understand that. I had the same experience before switching
    to fixed focal length lenses.
    I use Kenko pro 300 TCs. This is one example of the 300 m+ 1.4x TC:
    I went through a similar sequence. In my opinion, the route through
    the 100-400 was a mistake. But if your really interested in a used
    one, I'll might sell mine (contact me off list). Its hardly used.
    These were done with then 100-400:
    (click the next button 3 time for a total of 4 images).
    In my opinion, the 100-400 makes fine 8x10s (not super sharp,
    but OK). The 300 f/4 L makes 16x20s. Remember, the XTi has spatial
    resolution in the focal plane higher than ISO 50 slide film
    (Velvia) pushing sharpness requirements to a high level.
    So my advice is skip the 100-400, but if you insist, buy
    used, so when you sell, you at least come close to breaking
    My 100-400 has sat unused for a couple of years once being replaced
    by the 300 f/4 L IS. Even with my 500 f/4 L IS, the 300 still
    travels with me (I use it on a second body often).

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 9, 2006
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