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Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

28_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Feb 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance for the price, solid construction, macro capability, comes with shade and case.
Cons:
Heavy and unattractive matte finish.

Put it on a great low light camera like the Nikon D3 or D700 and you have the perfect marriage. I prefer it over my 50mm 1.4 for shallow depth of field shots. I use a 28mm PC lens for buildings and interiors, but this lens for everything else. It is heavy, so for backpacking you might consider the excellent Nikkor prime lenses, especially the manual focus ones. Now if Sigma could design a comparable 35mm f/1.4 lens in this price range...

 
Nikon D700

D700
Review Date: Jan 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: High ISO performance, build quality, full frame, clean pixels, pro feature set.
Cons:
Size, weight, price. It will force you to re-evaluate the performance of your lenses when shooting full frame.

My biggest complaint is the size and weight of this beast. Not the most amenable to backpacking and trekking, unless you're happy with one or two lenses. Otherwise, great build quality and ergonomics. With the introduction of the D3x and possibly a D700x, I predict that there will be more complaints about lens performance and quality control. As these cameras approach medium format quality, lenses will have to follow and with very few exceptions, I don't see that happening. I would be willing to pay double or triple for a lens that performs as well as my Mamiya 6 or 7 lenses. One can only hope.