Digital Photography Review’s look of Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 has me drooling. I have an el cheapo 50mm f/1.8 and am looking to upgrade. At $1500, Canon’s 50mm f/1.2 is just way too expensive, but their 50mm f/1.4 just didn’t seem to be enough of a upgrade to be worth the price. Sigma’s new lens, seems to do it.
I stumbled into that lens, however, as I was looking up Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro. I’ve had my eye on it for a while because I’m a fan of primes and in need of a macro, but that’s no reason not to look elsewhere. I quickly found the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 “macro” zoom. My preference to primes doesn’t blind me to the fact that a long-ish prime costs more than a decent used car, so Tamron’s promise of 200mm at f2.8 for under $700 seemed like a deal. Digital Photography Review entry on it is pretty good, too, but does reveal the reason I had to put “macro” in quotes above: the closest focus is only about 1 meter. And that review pointed me to another, this time for Sigma’s 70-200mm f/2.8 “macro” zoom. Like the Tamron, that lens isn’t really a macro by my definition, but it performs a little better in other respects. DPReview compared them both against Canon’s $1,500 optically stabilized EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM, but a fairer comparison is against the non-stabilized version, which is priced much closer to the Sigma and Tamron units.