“Great imagery resides in glass not the body” In my honest opinion, The Canon 70-200mm IS f/2.8L II USM is arguably one of Canon’s flagship lenses. The sheer quality you get in build quality, image quality, and performance is second to none. Whenever I am shooting any beauty or editorial looks this is lens is mounted on my camera 90% of the time. What I enjoy most about the 70-200mm is its versatility you get so much in this one package, exceptional image quality, great range, image stabilization, and weather sealing. I previously owned the 1st version and quickly upgraded when the 2nd vision released. The difference I noticed between the two models, the 2nd is slightly larger, the focusing rings are buttery smooth, focusing is quicker and overall sharper. The 1st version cost me roughly $1,500 and the 2nd came in at $2,000 that is steal considering its initial release the lens debuted roughly at $2,400 I dropped the funds and never look back. I can go on about reasons why I love this particular lens, but here is what I dislike about it, this lens is super heavy coming at (2.9lb) this lens is nothing to play with. Paired with a full frame camera battery grip with 2 batteries you are looking at approximately (9lb). Can you imagine being on a long days shoot with this thing hanging from your neck? Fortunately, when I am using this lens it is primarily stationed on a tripod. Being that it is so long and heavy it can be a bit cumbersome. I am also worried about keeping it protected There is no way you can be incognito with this considering the dimension on are 8 x 15 x 8, without the lens hood. Anytime I pull out this baby out it is an instant attention grabber. You will most definitely attract a host of onlookers and occasionally they will come up to inquire about it.
I can not say that this is Sigma’s flagship lens, however this is by far my absolute favorite. I owned 4 different types of the “50mm” it was actually the 2nd lens I’ve ever owned. Coined the “Nifty Fifty” because of its versatility you are bound to produce great imagery with this lens. In, April 11, 2014, when this lens first released It had been totally redesigned and re-engineered to set a new standard for Sigma’s Art line. It literally changed the landscape of the 50mm everywhere. Prior to the release, I have only used Canon lenses. I’ve been utterly impressed with this lens the moment I laid hands on it. It actually lived up to the hype, It is a remarkable piece of glass and a jewel of a lens. This is all you need if you are into everyday shooting. Aside from it being a wonderful piece of glass, the overall aesthetics this lens produces is simply breathtaking. It is super sharp even at f1.4, fast at focusing, it’s bokelicious, and performs exceptionally well in low light. Paired with a full-frame body and ND filter you have yourself a nice piece of photographing machinery. The street value on this lens is between $750-$800 I was lucky enough to get it for a flat rate of $700. Being that it was redesigned this is not your typical 50mm, the dimension is much larger, weighing in at (1.80 lb), (3.35″) in diameter, (3.94″) in length, and 77mm filter thread. Translation, this baby is no joke because it is not designed like your conventional 50mm but with all the great stuff to be mentioned there is one minor thing I dislike about the lens, It does not have any weather sealing, Sigma what's up with that?
Enclosing, I am not here to state which lens is better or which lens I prefer over the other, I just enjoy using the two lenses primarily because of their versatility. You can do so much with just these two lenses for an example, playing with bokeh and depth of field or zooming in close to a subject without being super close to them. As mentioned in the first paragraph, the 70-200mm is mounted on my camera 90% of the time. Now when it comes to everyday photography or videography this is where the Sigma 50mm shines, it handles well in low light and I admire the contrast and color rendition it produces. In comparison, the 50mm is half the price, size, weight, a 3rd of the length and it is also easier to handle in between shoots. On the other hand, the 70-200mm offers features such as, two mode Image Stabilization, this is where the actual lens compensates for movement to keep the image stable. Let’s not forget about the range, and nicely compressed images it creates. Both of these lenses produce aesthetically pleasing imagery and performs exceptionally well in their respected fields. In regards to the price tag, sure you can complain about the prices on these lenses with the 70-200mm coming at $1800 and 50mm at $800, a consumer or semi-pro 50mm usually runs about $350. My outlook on things is this, it’s an investment. Smart buyers will always purchase an inexpensive body and go all out on the glass. Keep in mind great imagery resides in glass, not the body. Good lenses will last you a lifetime, and if they are well kept retain their resale value.