Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens compared to Sigma 70-200 f2.8

Just before photographing a Sydney wedding a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a side by side comparison of my Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM against a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 II EX DG Macro HSM. 

I LOVE my Canon but it’s an expensive piece of kit and costs more than double the Sigma.  The Canon has Image Stabilisation, which can be very useful – especially photographing a wedding inside a church but in my opinion that’s not enough alone to make up for the difference.  I have always heard good things about the Sigma and I looked at it very closely before buying the Canon.  There are some well respected lens review sites which suggest the Sigma should be sharper than the Canon. 

So – I was geekily excited to be able to do a head to head review.  My excitement was short lived.  I really expected them to be close, but it wasn’t.

wedding photograph of a table setting taken with a Canon 70-200 lens

wedding photograph of a table setting taken with a Sigma 70-200 lens

The images shown here are 100% crops taken from the centre of the image.  The green foliage above the purple flower in front was the focal point.  It was shot at 1/1250th second zoomed to 200mm and the Image Stabilisation was turned off on the Canon.  They were taken less than a minute apart, the lighting conditions did not change and the white balance was set to the same value for post processing of both images. 

For a lot of photographers, the extra cost of the Canon 70-200 can’t be justified but I’m very glad there’s often one on the front of my camera.

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