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Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO

Sigma_80-400_OS
Review Date: May 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Superb image quality. Build quality . OS is excellent, as good as Canon version (on the 100-400 F3.5-5.6L IS USM). Price
Cons:
Slow noisy AF. Hunts. Interestingly the canon gave me about 1/2 stop faster shutter speeds for same settings, apertures etc, and light. Zoom ring is stiff when new but eases off.

Got this lens instead of the Canon 100-400 F3.5-5.6L IS USM in an attempt to save about 300. Image quality does not disappoint, sharp even at 400mm and beautifully contrasty accross the range. Slightly soft at max apertures but come anout 1 1/2 - 2 stops and as sharp s you need. The OS is fantastic. I disagree that it's inferior to Canons. Handhold 400mm (over 600 on a 1.6 crop factor body) at 1/100 or occasionally even less. Very good indeed.

However - the AF lets it down - not only slow but occasionally hunts badly in poor light. You can assist it with the manual focus ring which really works but I never got consistently good at it and the focusing remained a pain

I got the above mentioned Canon eventually. Similar - maybe slightly better IQ but the AF is miles better. Much more useable lens all round because of it.

But if you don't mind the AF or are adept at the manual focus assist method it's as good as the Canon and significantly cheaper.