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

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Jun 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IQ, price and good range. Build quality is nice for what it is. Spectacular with film, and even with 1.6 crop it is useful.
Cons:
flare from the slightest thing, "dual focus" is strange, unnecessary huge. No front filters!, protruding front element, noisy af

I bought this seven years ago with my eos 3 and with 20d and 5d it is so useful. My longest lasting lens and looks brand new. The build quality is great for what it is, and I am still not tempted to buy any newer uw zooms.

The lens is sharp and colors don't disappoint. I mostly use stopped to 7.1 and the distortion control and sharpness is consistent through the focal range. I can barely notice some CA but just barely. Flare is pretty nuts on a good day, and shooting this indoors with lights on is not fun. I am fairly satisfied with this lens even today and am not crazy about the canon 17-40L compared with this. I have yet to compare the 16-35L.

Focus ring is well damped, zoom is smooth, no creep, nothing rattles when shaken.

Nice integrated hood that is tough (bumped many times no paint scrapes or marks)

The dual-focus seems strange, to go from af to manual you have to push the giant focus run forward in addition to the af/mf switch, and vice versa. Basically with the zoom ring on the AF position, it does nothing- it turns undamped and free floats.

This is what happens if you run it in each config:
AF Switch / Focus Ring / Effect

AF / AF / Autofocus fast, floating focus ring (you can hold it and rotate it and it does nothing) < right way to AF

AF / MF / Autofocus, slower like struggling, focus ring rotates < don't leave it like this because this lens isn't FTM

MF / MF / Manual focus < right way to MF

MF / AF / Manual focus, floating ring (basically turns focus "off" at the present focus position) < this could be useful to keep focus at a manual set distance and then hold the lens by the big focus ring and it wont mf and when you press shutter it wont af either.