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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Mar 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, build quality, HSM AF, Internal focusing and zooming. Great combo with the 1,4 TC
a little weighty but it's the price of quality

This lens is very sharp, and is one or perhaps the best zoom produced by sigma. This lens is as sharp as many primes in the respective range, both on the 20 D and the 5D.
The build quality is great, the AF is fast and silent, the internal focusing and zooming are great features. The level of geometrical distorsion is very low.
This lens make a great combo with the 1,4 TC (sigma or Canon : did not tried others brands), with only a little loss of resolution.

I higly recommand this lens

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

Review Date: Jul 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, wide for a full frame lens, wide enough on a cropped camera
Ghosting (blue patterns) some flare (but not so much for a wide angle), no USM

This lens deserve his DG logo. This lens is better on a DSLR camera, than a film one. Stopped down to F5,6 and F8 this lens is very sharp at all focal lenghts. It's perhaps the sharpest zoom at 15 mm.

There is a slight yellow cast, but on a DSLR everything is just a question of white balance. There is some ghosting issues : blue patterns (I use one hand to handle my camera, and the other to hide the light emiting source), and some flare (althought it's more a ghost issue than a flare one : for a UWA zoom, I will said that the flare is rather good).
This zoom is rather large, not so heavy. It lack USM but the AF is rather fast, but a bit too much noisy.

The filter diameter is a bit too much : 82 mm. Filters at this size are rather expansives.

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Feb 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: tight sharp neutral color distorsion free
only 1:2 Slow AF

I own this lens since 15 years. At a time I used on my EOS 10 (film) to shot only with this lens, and I was very happy with it.

It's also tight sharp on both my 10 and 20 D. This is a very good prime. I keep mine.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optical quality Build quality AF

Optically wise this zoom is excellent. It's well build, has an intelligent retro zooming design, and a top notch AF.

My copy is sharp even wide open. The contrast, color and bokey are great.

This is my favorite lens.

The only cons (with the price, but you paid for what you get) is the weight : not for taking shots (the weight will help you to get steady), but for carrying it around.

Tamron 200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Easy to handle Well build quality Sharp even wide open
CA at the longer end No hypersonic motorisation

Only some months ago, people in quest of a zoom able to reach 500 mm had only one real option : the Bigma.

Tamron just released this new zoom, and by hazard in entered in a shop who was selling some. I tried it, and was surprised by it's sharpness. So I bought it.

This zoom is well built (typical Tamron construction). The focus ring is sweet, and the zoom ring is OK. This zoom is easy to handle. The AF speed is good, but slower than the hypersonic motorised lenses.

Optically wise, this lens is tight sharp at 200 mm, and quite sharp at 500 even wide open. The overall contrast and the color rendition are good. There is some amount of CA at 500 mm, but practically none at 200.

Conclusion : this lens is sharp, light, easy to handle and well build. Of course it's only 6,3 at the wide end, but for 900 $, this lens will allow you to take some nice shots. I don't know how it compare with the Bigma, but this lens should merit your consideration. I love it.

Tamron 200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Easy to handle, good sharpness
Chromatic abberation at 500 mm

There is not so much good zoom that reach 500 mm on the market. The tamron definitevely is a choice to consider.

The lens is well built, with a smooth focus ring. The zooming ring is a bit harder than the focus one, but is good.
This lens is easy to handle for a zoom with such a reach.
The AF speed is average, but good for a non USM zoom (my sigma 100-300 EX F4 is faster).

Optically this lens is sharp wide open, but give the best of itself stopped down at F8. At 200 mm this lens is tight sharp. At 500 it's softer, but still good enough for decents results.
There is some amount of CA at 500 mm, with purple fringing in very high contrasted situations.

Conclusion : there is now an another choice than the heavy bigma when you are in quest of a zoom who reach 500 mm.
You can make your own opinion with the samples displayed here :