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Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_105mmEX_1_
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Outstanding sharpness, lovely colour, sturdy build and great price.
Cons:
AF/MF clutch and occasional focus hunt - very easy to get used to though.

This was my first Sigma lens for the 20D. At just shy of $500AU dollars, this lens was more than three hundred dollars cheaper than the Canon equivalent. I have the later EX DG version. The build is sturdy, with smooth focus action. The lens is solid and very nice to use, the feel of the matte finish is nice also.

I really, really like this lens - initially, I was concerned about noisiness and AF issues, but not now. Motor noise is a bit louder than USM, but only by a little, and the noise is just 'different' to USM - I don't consider it a problem, and it doesn't bother me. AF hunting does occur, but it's not bad, and I am seeing less and less hunting as my technique and application use of the lens improves. Oddly enough, I did notice the lens hunted more when mounted on my 20D, as opposed to a fairly quick focus lock when mounted on my film EOS 100/Elan... Smile

Fussing with the AF/MF clutch is my only whinge - I got used to it quickly though, and now its operation is just second nature.

I have several metal hoods from my manual focus film SLR days, so the metal hood feels 'right' to me. I attach the hood to a Hoya filter I keep on this lens. I used to own a Hoya 77mm Ultra Slim filter, but it sacrificed itself protecting a lens, and I was left with the plastic Hoya lens cap which comes with that slim filter - that Hoya cap fits snugly over the end of the Sigma hood, which was a sweet discovery. Smile

All in all, I would happily buy this lens again. The little bit of fuss you go through while using the lens is more than compensated for by the wonderfully sharp and contrasty images it will produce.

It's a lot of lens for not a lot of money - a wonderful deal and a wonderful lens which many EOS users enjoy. :D


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Jul 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00

 
Pros: Build, colour balance, contrast.
Cons:
Soft across the range, severe chromatic aberration prevalent.

I received a very bad copy of this lens. The CA is really quite appalling, and the sharpness is so minimal over my 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens that I could hardly believe it. I am using the lens with a EOS 20D.

For 2,200 Australian dollars this was a huge disappointment. I know from the many reviews that this lens is usually a beauty - but gosh knows what I received. The retailer did not appear surprised when we started conversing about the quality issues - perhaps he has seen a few bad copies of this lens pass through his hands.

I live in a regional area, and to freight lenses in and out is a bit of a pain. I'm going to send this one back and just wait to see if the need for it rises again. If it does, I will need to try it in the store to be convinced that a bad copy has not come my way again.

I just have to mention the CA again, it was really bad! Sad The lens sweetspot is at f/4.0 - before and after that, softness and wild purple / green CA just took over with my copy.