Canon 24-105 F4 vs Sigma 24-70 F2.8

Started May 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Canon 24-105 F4 vs Sigma 24-70 F2.8
May 8, 2012

I know this subject has been beaten to death but I would really like to get everyone's feedback.

I currently have the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens and am using the Canon T3i. When compared to my 50mm 1.8 in-doors, I am really unimpressed with the kit lens (lacks sharpness, contrast, brightness and punch). It's a decent lens during a sunny day, dont get me wrong, but when I edit my photos during PP and have a 50mm 2.8 photo side by side (even outdoor pics), I'm way more biased towards the 50mm and dont end up using as many kit lens pics. I would like to upgrade the kit lens in the future.
My objectives in getting a new lens are:

1) To acquire a solid all purpose walk-around lens with a wide range of focal lengths that offers indoor low light photography (churches, museums etc), with some decent zoom to catch that bird/squirrel sitting on a branch (creamy bokeh included), as well as to capture decent landscapes/scenery shots.

2) To find a lens that allows me to take low-light indoor group photos of family/parties/weddings. My first born is due in a month and we will have lots of family visiting. It would be great to take low light group shots, and photograph the weddings/parties coming up this summer.

I feel my nifty fifty is too tight indoors on a crop frame. It’s great for a sharp portrait of a child on the floor, but to get a group photo in a tight space is a PITA. How about trying to capture mom and baby in the delivery room and capture the whole room with the docs? I also noticed that when using the 50mm as a walk-around, the minute I step indoors, I need to swap out the 50 for the kits lens (in a church for example). I really don’t like swapping lenses while travelling as I risk dropping them or getting dust in the housing.

I was thinking about getting either the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, or the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon. Both lenses appear great in reviews (DXO link below), but with each lens I will comprise something. My questions are:

1) As the decision probably comes down to 51% need for a walk-around and a 49% need for an indoor lens, will the Canon 24-105 meet my low light photography needs for indoor group photos, parties, weddings, and family candids of my newborn growing up.

2) Is the extra zoom at the loss of aperture worth it considering my goals? One needs zoom for a walk-around but a larger aperture for low light. A real tug and pull between these two lenses no?

3) The cost difference between the Canon and the Sigma is $954 vs $824 respectively. Which lens offers better value in terms of image quality (overall image quality divided by lens cost).

4) Should the weight of the lenses be given more consideration that I have given (a 120 grams difference).

TIA guys. I guess the reason this question has been beaten to death is because the decision is not clear cut. But I welcome your feedback. I hope I have provided enough info to make this a meaningful discussion.

 Mummel's gear list:Mummel's gear list
Canon EOS 600D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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