Which Telephoto to compliment my 17-55 F2.8

Started Dec 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
MirekE Contributing Member • Posts: 925
Re: Which Telephoto to compliment my 17-55 F2.8

jumpingjack wrote:

Some months ago I couldn't make my mind up between keeping my 24-105 with my 60D or selling it and replacing it with the 17-55.

I went with the latter and I don't regret my choice. The quality is as good as the L lens, the extra stop is great and the 17-23 range is really useful to have.

I now however find myself at times requiring greater reach and I am looking for a lens to compliment the 17-55.

I love sharp photos and detail (hence the 24-105 and 17-55 which are both superb in their own right)

The two lenses I have been looking at are the Canon 70-200 F4 IS and the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 OS as they are both around the same price of £800 UK.

The only thing that bothers me is that whenever I have tried Sigma in the past I have always found them to be an OK lens but when compared the their Canon counterpart I always come back to the thought that you get what you pay for and you see it in the end result.

I then stumbled across the Canon 55-200 F4-5.6 IS lens and by all accounts it seems to get very favourable reviews. My main walkaround lens is my 17-55 F2.8 and that is where I want the best quality I can. The extra reach will just be useful at times. The 55-200 isn't that much slower than the 70-200 F4 and has the extra 15mm at the wide end. This lens costs £165 UK.

While I don't expect the results from the lens to produce results on par with the L lens, for my purpose will it be good enough. Is there a £164 - £800 difference in the two lenses if viewing the same image with each at 100%.

Any thoughts or advice on this would be welcome. Also any views on the sigma.

I am aware of the weight and size differences between these lenses, I am really just wondering if 4 times the price is going to be worth it. If it is I'll pay it. If not I'll go for the smaller and lighter 55-200 and save the cash.


I think it is better to start from the other end. Instead of looking at what lens complements the 17-55, consider your shooting needs and make a list of features you expect from the lens like speed, size, cost, AF speed, IS, weather resistance, ability to take teleconverters (Canon and generic) and range without TC and start from there.

For example, if you shoot sport, you most likely need a fast lens. Even if the 55-250 was optically better, you would most likely get more keepers from the 2.8 Sigma than from a 5.6 lens. Or if you do mainly travel photography, you probably don't wan't a big and heavy lens that attracts too much attention or stays in the hotel due to its portability. Or if you hike a lot, perhaps weather resistant lens with good IS for landscapes without tripod that is not too heavy fits the bill.

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