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Old 09-11-2011, 11:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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just how dangerous is a sigma lens on a canon?

Been reading reviews and info sites etc and I've noticed theres a lot of disclaimers "if you buy a sigma or other third party lens, you might have issues with future bodies". How common is that issue and is it mostly lenses from the dawn of the EOS standard now not being compatible with the latest gen stuff? or is it relatively recent lenses and bodies with issues?

I know canon doesn't license their mount and third parties have to reverse engineer which is the problem.

Reason I ask is two sigma lenses have caught my interest for possibilities down the road and both are fairly recent lenses. right now, I have a T1i/500D, but down the road sometime i'll probably move up to something in the 60d/7d class. no plans to go full frame.

The first is the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM which seems an interesting alternative to the the Canon EF-S 10-22. Truthfully, I'll probably still go with the canon, but it has had me interested enough to explore the idea. Theres also a local shop that sometimes has them in stock that I might be able to take a few shots with. I'll probably be looking to pick up one or the other this winter.

the second lense is a much farther out type of thing, as in a year or two type thing. I haven't been super impressed with my canon 70-300 so far. I got a good deal on it from someone selling it as a kit lens they didn't need so I don't have a lot invested in it and it might be the lens I look to replace sooner then later. I actually hadn't even planned to get something in that class (and I hadn't decided for sure what to get) til this winter but I couldn't pass it up.

I pretty well need IS so my options here are pretty limited within a budget and the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM has been getting good reviews. I know its not as good as the canon version, but I won't be making money off my photo's so I can trade a little quality for a lot of price. I know in that time frame a lot can change as well.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I rock a T1 as well, with a 8-16 SIGMA.

It's honestly a great little lens to have, having such a short focal length is fantastic on a crop body. I can not stress how wide this lens is, so many times I've taken pictures of my feet or tripod by accident. It does require some PP to straighten out edges if your taking pictures of buildings, or they will lean, but it's not quite as bad as a fisheye lens.

To my eyes, it's an extremely sharp lens overall, I would call it equal, if not a little better than my 24-105 F4 L. The colours are excellent and the AF is shocking fast, and have not had any issues with back or front focusing either.

I have zero issues with this lens in the past few months, the 3rd software seems to be perfect, unlike some of Tamron lens I've used in the past. No IS isn't really a problem with this unit. Only negatives is it's a little on the slow side, starting at F4.5 and going up to 5.6 @16mm, and the lack of ability to use filters from the front element shape.

The Canon 10-22 is a great little lens as well, had a chance to use one in the past as well. No complaints from me either.

Which 70-300 do you have? There are several version within Canon's lineup.

70-200 mm L series Canon's are easily worth the money man. Just amazing to use, minus the awesomely expensive price tag.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The short focal length lenses were the one place I wasn't afraid of not having IS. Glad to hear you really like the sigma. How much do you notice that difference between 8mm and 10mm? Looking at reviews it looks like a big difference but hows it stack up in the real world? I am hoping I'll get a chance to try one out a little before making a choice.

the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is the one I have. pretty decent reviews but it hasn't impressed me a lot yet. first problem I have with it is it hunts, a lot. I almost have to manually focus in on my target then switch to AF if there is even remotely anything else for it to focus on. I took it out a little this weekend beyond the back yard and I was a little happier with it so it may become more a factor of knowing its limitations and getting comfortable with it, and my squirrels make for a challenging practice subject. second issue is its not as sharp as I had hoped, Its not bad but its defiantly not my 15-85.

Like I said, I hadn't planned due to budget (bought too many expensive toys in too short a time) to get another lens beyond the 15-85 right now, but it was too good a deal to pass up to have a lens now. Had I waited it would have been all sorts of tossups. I have no doubt at all the canons are the better lens, and weatherproofing is no laughing matter. I don't have super steady hands so ISM is a big thing for me I realized real fast which was why I had been leaning towards the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM from the start over the 70-200 4/L. I was also looking real hard at the next steps up as being the better route and probably ended up skipping the 70-300 had I waited. Considering the available options, the Sigma looks real interesting, About the same price as the Canon 70-200 F4L IS USM but at 2.8 and a grand less then the canon 2.8L IS.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Canon does not publish the EF mount electronic communication specs, so Sigma simply reverse engineers the interface and gets it right most of the time.

The trouble comes along when Canon makes a revision to the lens communication in new cameras. Presumably there are features or details to the spec not exposed by Sigma's reverse engineering, so while Canon's own lenses continue to work fine without any modification, Sigma's lenses do not.

In the past, Sigma has offered re-chipping for certain lenses that were incompatible with new bodies. Most, if not all Sigma lenses from the 90's no longer work on digital bodies.

As for how often this happens, it's hard to say. It's going to depend on how often Canon tweaks things and how good Sigma's reverse engineering is.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wolf13: The difference between 8 to 10 mm is tiny in the big picture in my opinion....

The only really big positive that going with the Canon 10-22 over the Sigma 8-16 is the Canon has a 12 mm focal distance difference (I don't know the tech term on this one) vs 8 mm on the Sigma.

I have the same 70-300. Much like you, I haven't been very impressed with it. Its good, but nothing really special. Mines going up for sale in about a month or so.

Sigma: At least the reverse engineering is good most of the time unlike Tamron. I have a 17-50 VC 2.8 and 1/2 the time it works at best.... Same results as a few other lenses I've tried with them. Not impressed at all.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf13 View Post
Considering the available options, the Sigma looks real interesting, About the same price as the Canon 70-200 F4L IS USM but at 2.8 and a grand less then the canon 2.8L IS.
If your photography doesn't require 2.8, look a the Canon 70-200 F4 lenses. Go cheap with the non-IS version and get exceptional image quality or go with the IS version and get slightly better image quality and the ability to handhold at slower shutter speeds. I shot the non-IS version for years and loved the images it made. I had already moved to the 2.8 versions when the F4 IS version came out so I have no experience, but the positive reviews far outweigh anything negative.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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sparky: Have you found an improvement with your 70-300 stepping it down to f8? I shot a test series at differnt apertures this weekend and did see a little improvement around there so I might experment more with that. Have a show this weekend I'll be using it at.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sparky: Have you found an improvement with your 70-300 stepping it down to f8? I shot a test series at differnt apertures this weekend and did see a little improvement around there so I might experment more with that. Have a show this weekend I'll be using it at.
No clue big guy, the lens hasn't been with me for the past year. I'll try to remember and play around when I head home for you.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a pretty faira mount of experience with Sigma lenses.

Their 70-200mm 2.8 is exceptional. Optics are great, fast focus.

However, many of their other lenses that I've used, 17-70mm 2.8, 28-70mm 2.8(a few of these), and some others have resulted in reliability problems.

The most consistent problem I've encountered is them not being detected by the camera. Basically they have poor mounts. This has happened on 2 of my Sony alphas and a Nikon D90 with several variants. No other brand/lenses creates this problem. I had to periodically wiggle the lens on the mount to get it to redetect.

My advice...stick with Canon. They're a good company and there's a reason their lenses cost more than Sigma.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I was screwing around last night and did this picture for this thread.... This is the Sigma 8-16 mm. 15 meters from the 50 yard line, and you see both goal posts..... It's wide. Really wide

Note: 50 yard line there are people.....

F/11
ISO 200
0.60s
Sigma 8-16 mm @ 8 mm
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