May 3, 2007
So, I bought a S3 a while back to see if I liked photography, and became hooked. I'm looking to upgrade to a dSLR. I'm trying to decide what set up to get, im almost set on a used 20d (for the faster fps, solid build quality, and better high iso performance), also a 50 1.8 for obvious reasons. Im trying to decide on a good lens for out on the track. I figured this would be the place just because so many people on this forum has so much talent in this area. Does a 70-200L sound about right? Im leaning to getting the 2.8 but might settle with the 4. I do have a budget to stick to, but don't mind investing in good quality glass. Any input would be great on these two or any other lens to start out with.


Dec 31, 1969
The 70-200 is a great range for the track, 2.8 is worth the extra $$ for sure. Check out the Sigma 70-200 EX DG HSM, awesome lens.

Click Me.


May 3, 2007
Yeah, ive looked at that one too. I was asking on another photography forum, and it sounded like all three would be a great choice, but the canon will always have the edge in quality, anyone else have experience with each? would it be worth it to save for the extra $300 for the canon? I'm also looking for a less expensive fill for lower range. A zoom lens that would cover a wide angle to ~50 or so. Ive herd nothing but bad from the kit lens, so im looking for something in the middle of the road.


Lifetime Sponsor - Photog Moderator
Apr 9, 2002
I was in your position a few years back, I had saved enough for the Canon 70-200 f4 or the Sigma 70-200 f2.8, I could not afford or justify the expense of the Canon 70-200 f2.8 at that time.

My choice was the Sigma and I was thrilled with the results for two seasons until it died on me. It turned out to be a small chip in the Lens that died Sigma Assured me it would be a quick and easy fix. After several excuses that they could not get the correct chip for my version they finally relented and replaced it with a brand new lens under warranty. I had already replaced the lens with a Canon almost imediately after it failed as I had a race to shoot and didn't want to do it with a 24-70 as my only lens.

I've had plenty of folks talk to me about the superior focusing speed of the Canon and to be honest I never really noticed much difference on my 20D's, I never did do a back to back test on the Pro series bodies though.

My thoughts are given that the Sigma's come with a 10 Year warranty in Canada (not sure on US warranty) if I did not need to rely on the lens to make a living I would buy it, or if I was in a bind and really wanted a f2.8 lens over the Canon f4.

Pics in this thread would have been with the Orignal Digital Rebel (300D) and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8.

Pics in this thread would be 20D + Canon 70-200 f2.8 Check exif anything under 70mm was the 24-70 f2.8.

Pics in this thread would be 1D Mark II and Canon 70-200 f2.8 anything under 70mm was the 24-70 f2.8.

Hope this helps somewhat, anything else just ask.


May 3, 2007
Thanks for all the quick responses! Ill most likely go with the sigma then. I was looking for another lens that is one step above the kit lens. Because im prob buying a used body, I wont be getting a lens at all with it. What would be a good replacement for the kit, that would be a step up from it? I saw that sigma had a middle of the road with F2.8 fixed for ~$400, anyone used this piece?

Rich Rohrich

Moderator / BioHazard
Jul 27, 1999
Gopherkid said:
What would be a good replacement for the kit, that would be a step up from it? I saw that sigma had a middle of the road with F2.8 fixed for ~$400, anyone used this piece?

Sigma makes an outstanding Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens. On Chili and Squid's recommendation I bought one for my Nikon and couldn't be happier.

A large percentage of the of the pics in this thread were shot with the 24-70 :


Always Broken
Dec 26, 1999
I actually have Chilis old sigma 70-200 and couldn't be happier. Origonally I used it on the first generation Rebel and saw a very huge differance and now I use it on a Rebel XTI. Altho I have a big learning curve to catch Chili, Rich, and Squid I am very happy with the results it is giving me.
This is a thread of some recent shots with it- lighting was not good very overcast

this thread was shot at sunset and even a couple after the sun was below the trees


Jul 5, 2006
I'll put my 2 cents especially that the Canadian Dollar is actually worth something now.

The sigma 70-200 is a great lens, but it is not on par with the Canon 70-200 IS. I have done some simple tests with both lenses and there is a noticeable difference in focus speed between the two. Now don't get me wrong here, the Sigma is a great lens, just stating the facts. Chili has the non IS version of the Canon and I have heard they are not as quick to focus as the IS version, but I have never tested this for my self. Now to clear things up, this as far as I can tell only applies to situations where you are shooting in low light, so in other words it doesn’t make a difference when shooting outdoors in the daylight.

As for a something a bit wider, the sigma 24-70 2.8 MACRO is a great lens. Probably one of the better lenses I have ever used. I tried a Canon version and I actually prefer the Sigma over it. The one thing I don't like about the Sigma lineup is the zoom ring works in the opposite direction of the Canon, so that can be a bit confusing.

Good luck.


Jun 10, 2006
I've had a few Sigma lenses over the last several years. IMO they work fine, but they will stop working under heavy use. All of mine just stopped. I'm not sure what the warranty is or was because I didn't bother with it. I needed something reliable, that could take the abuse of shooting all day everyday so I bought Canon lenses. That said the Sigma would be a great way to get your feet wet, but if your going to shoot A BUNCH then save up for the Canon.


Nov 8, 2007
I'd say go for the canon 70-200L F4. It is a great lens for $600. They also make an IS version of the F4 for about $1200 I think.
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