I’m a big fan of Sigma lenses and my bag is full of them, I’ve always found them reliable, cheap and good enough for what I needed. Others have had different experiences but Sigma has never let me down. That said after several years I have finally made the leap into Canons L series glass with a late Christmas/Birthday present to myself of a 24-70 2.8 USM. This appears to be the must have lens that everyone raves about and lusts after so after months of contemplation I took a deep breath and went shopping on Saturday. I had thought I’d go with the cheaper option of a Sigma lens but when I went to Gunns Camera shop in Dublin they had the Canon lens for over a hundred euro cheaper than in other shops in town and just about a hundred more than the Sigma so I promised my credit card that I would be nice to it for the rest of the month and handed it over to Mr Gunn (a really nice man who seemed genuinely pleased to have my business, I always try to spend some money in his shop when I’m in the market for gear which unfortunately is rare enough).
Usually I’d be hit by buyers remorse sometime later in the day but that hasnt been the case with this lens. It’s a beautiful solid block of metal and glass. I took it for a walk around the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon and couldnt believe how easy it was to get get sharp focus and keep the shutter speeds to a nice hand holdable speed. For me if the speed falls below 1/100 handheld I know my shots will go down hill rapidly, but not with the 24-70. Yes there was still plenty of light around but I took it into a local church grounds and sports field with lots shadows and had no problems. It wasnt a very scientific or long test but I went home happy.
The above photo is of the water font outside the church asking parishioners to pray for George and his wife. As a test I set the aperture to 2.8 and focused on the O in his name. It came out nice and sharp and only required small tweaks most of which are related white balance and exposure with my old but reliable 40D. With my Sigma walk around zooms I had to apply lots of sharpening in post, not here. I couldn’t help myself and had to apply a bit of sharpening but I think with that small amount, a fraction of what I needed with the Sigmas, I might have over done it since the shot was sharp already, I’ll have to learn that this lens does not need the same after care as the others in my bag. Some may think the depth of field in this is a little shallow but that is what I wanted to test so I’m happy. I’m not a pixel peeper by any means. My attitude is I’m more worried about the content of the shot than the content of the pixels but so far I’m really happy with my new toy and I cant wait to test it out with some family get togethers and a wedding in a couple of months.