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Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Review Date: Jan 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpest lens in my bag, compact, nice bokeh, macro, solid hunk of metal, very nice color, looks great on the camera, unreal price:performance ratio
Long slow focus throw to make it a macro, misses and hunts in low light

The sharpness of this lens is the begining and end of the story. It could weight 10lbs and cost $1,000 more and I would still buy it.

Two bad drops, one onto a rock the other straight to the sidewalk. I'd swear it's sharper now than when I bought it. No scuffs or scratches, the rock scrapes wiped off.

What a deal.

Sigma 24-70mm f3.5-5.6 Aspherical HF

Review Date: Jan 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $85.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, size, price
Can't complain for $85.

Excellent overall sharpness, sharper in the corners than my 24-70 EX at wide angles. Only a tad softer in the center. In good to excellent light my EX and HF are very, very hard to tell apart. The main drawback is night shooting and shadow detail, where the lens looks a bit grainy compared to the consistent clarity of the EX. Pretty slow at 70mm.

Excellent for the money. Very smooth operation and sure AF. Doesn't look or feel like a cheap lens.

Fantastic bargain.

Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Jan 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Impressive sharpness corner to corner at 15mm, EX build quality, fast AF, dual focus ring floats in AF mode for easy camera rotation, fixed pedal hood, 82mm threaded pedal cover plus rear gel filter option, separate IR focus index line, never changes length, 8 blades, price.
Some flare. f3.5 is a bit slower than the less expensive Sigma 17-35 EX, but with 15mm you don't need a lot of shutter speed to hand hold.

This lens couldn't be much sharper at 15mm, it is pristine. Softer at 30mm, though still better than average corner to corner. I like that it seems optimized for 15mm. Very impressive, Sigma. Some flare, but any 15mm zoom is really prone to that. f3.5 is a little slow, but at 15mm 1/15 sec works for handholding, so it isn't a problem. Incredibly deep DOF at 15mm, makes for spectacular foregrounds, sharp from your feet to the horizon (at least with a cropping DSLR). 8 blades is very respectable for a lens of this price and not much is usually OOF.

Superior. Suprisingly light for it's size. Fast AF. The 82mm front thread is accomplished using a felt lined cap that slides firmly over the permanent pedal hood. A little awkward but it works a lot better than it sounds. No vignetting with an 82mm front filter using a cropping DSLR at 15mm, I doubt the same would be true with full frame where the angle of view is really uncanny.

Arguably the best in its class, great price makes it even better. Everytime I see the images I thank myself for buying this lens.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Jan 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp @ 70mm f2.8, speed, build quality top notch, very discriminating DOF, 9 blades, non-rotating front ring for polarizers, dual focus ring floats in AF mode for easy camera rotation, super price.
People always want to borrow it, softer @ 24mm f2.8, meaty.

Very impressive sharpness at 70mm all the way from f2.8-f11. Softer at 24mm f2.8, but still good performance. 9 blade design makes for nice circular bokeh which is neutral to diffuse, somewhat dependent on the scene. Fabulous clarity at night with striking 18 point starbursts. 82mm front element makes for great DOF discrimination, but pricey filters. $100+ filters wouldn't seem so bad for a lens of this quality if it weren't for the bargain price of the lens in the first place, so it is hard to complain.

Very fast AF. Smooth mechanicals though extension from about 30mm to 24mm requires noticably more torque (the lens gets longer as it gets wider). Weighty. Superior fit and finish. Seems a little power hungry, but not out of line enough to be able to prove it.

Superb workhorse lens. Couldn't be happier, especially at this price.

I dropped this lens out of an unzipped camera bag from about 2 feet onto a concrete sidewalk. It hit hard. The sound of shattered glass wasn't encouraging as I picked it up. I was tempted to throw it in a nearby garbage can without even looking at it, in disgust for my own carelessness. I'm glad I didn't. The UV filter was shattered, and the empty filter ring is now stuck on but the lens still works beautifully. I can't believe it.