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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.

The 524th tub shot.

photograph of 2 toddlers splashing around in the bath

Ok, I’m guessing and I hope I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not sure.  Anyway, it’s not really a shot of the boys in the bath, it’s a photo of the water.

The beam of light.

wedding photograph of bride and groom walking along Sydney harbour in front of the Opera House on their wedding day

Claire and Damien’s wedding was in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, unfortunatley it was a balmy 37 degrees. Thankfully noone collapsed in the heat, but the groom’s mother was seen shortly after the ceremony standing in a tub full of ice! The storm clouds rolled in quickly in the mid afternoon as they often do in Sydney. We tried to beat the rain and headed over to the Rocks for some photos. As we rounded the corner underneath the Harbour Bridge, a hole appeared in the clouds and a beam of sunlight lit up the Opera House sails like I have never seen before. It was an amazing moment on a special day.