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  Reviews by: Jesse Evans  

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Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM APO

Review Date: Jun 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $630.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, Fast Aperture, Decently Fast AF, Flair is almost nonexistent, Smooth operation, and high build quality
Pretty bad CA in the near OOF areas, Initial front focusing problem, initial second lens group problem, general Sigma poor QC, high amounts of vignetting

This lens is around $620 and it gives an equivalent FOV of around 70-200 at f/2.8 (although it is more like 80-240 on a Canon body). I'd just like to point out that there isn't any other lens out there in this range that also offers HSM, USM, SSM, or whathaveyou.

I'd like to start out by saying that after about a month or two I ended up selling off the lens in favor of the 70-200 f/2.8L IS. There were two reasons for this but I will get to them later.

First off I'd like to say that this is an extremely sharp and contrasty lens, at least when you keep it under 135mm. After that things get a bit iffy and you need a lot more post to get contrast up.

The AF is really quite amazing, it is extremely fast and accurate (though honestly it is only about half as fast as the Canon L) though this comes with a pretty important sidenote: If you buy this lens, expect to have to send it back to Sigma for them to calibrate the focus on it. This isn't really that big of an issue as Sigma's customer service and turnaround time are really great. After they calibrated it with my test shots to assist them all was fine.

The bokeh on this lens when it is wide open is extremely soft, creamy and buttery. However if you stop it down to somewhere around f/4 you tend to get a lot of aperture effects by way of strange looking out of focus highlights.

The real problem that I had with this lens was a lot of horribly bright orange fringing that liked to appear in the transition area from in focus to out of focus. This normally wouldn't be an issue but when processing something like 500-600 shots and trying to get rid of it in each one it can be a serious hamper on productivity.

I know so far that I've said a lot of negative things about this lens, but in reality it is a real champ at it's price point and feature set. The 50mm side of the lens can be really useful as it's actually sharper than most primes at that focal length. I also had the feeling that the 50-150mm range was a lot more useful than the 70-200 range. But that turned out to be a tossup too as I needed the extra 50mm on the long end pretty badly at times.

Anyway, my advice would be this: This lens is AMAZING for a $600 50-150mm f/2.8. However, for the same price or less the 70-200 f/4L is better in most ways, and the 70-200 f/2.8L or L IS are both FAR better if you have the money. This lens is compact, sturdy and gives great images, but it has it's problems.

Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG Lens

Review Date: Apr 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Color and Contrast, Accurate and fast AF
Noisy (non-HSM) AF

After owning this lens for almost two years I've decided to post my first review on gushing over this lens.

First off I'll address the biggest con of this lens: The AF is loud. This is a serious problem for professional uses (read: weddings) in which people don't want to be bothered by the constant sound of focusing from the photographer. I have thought about getting rid of this lens and getting the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 USM for the silent AF, but I prefer the look of the pictures I get from the Sigma. Also, full-time manual focus would really be a nice feature for this and all of Sigma's lenses. I'm not quite sure why Sigma hasn't gone through and offered their full line of lenses in HSM form with an added cost of around 100-200 dollars, I would GLADLY pay it.

On to the pros: The AF on this lens is absolutely spot on despite it being noisy, and it is very fast even in low light.

Pictures are sharp from f/2.8 and completely razor sharp at f/3.5 and up.

Very little CA and no purple fringing.

This lens work amazingly on film bodies. Distortions are very well controlled and vignetting is gone by about f/4-5.6 on film bodies (though I'm sure it would be worse for FF digital bodies).