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  Reviews by: Steve Lundberg  

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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Review Date: Aug 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: f/2.8, nice working distance, awesome build quality, comes with a pouch, hood, and tripod collar, very very sharp
Somewhat heavy, focus not up to tracking fast motion

I use this lens primarily for macro subjects, where it performs just as you would expect. The working distance is very nice to have for insects.

I also use it for regular 'prime lens duties', such as portraits. It works very well for this as the focus is accurate and the lens is very sharp. The colors seem to be cooler than some of my other lenses, but this is easily take care of with custom white balance.

Build quality is very high. I'm definitely not afraid of breaking this baby. It's a solid lens, but is very hand-holdable. I've never used it on a tripod.

High speed tracking with autofocus is not one of this lenses strengths, but using the focus limiter switch helps greatly.

Manual focus is smooth and full-time. It takes a lot of twisting to get from infinity to MFD, but that is to be expected with any macro lens.

As I said above, it's very sharp, even wide open. I don't hesitate to use f/2.8 (when the DoF allows me to).

I highly recommend this lens!

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp throughout it's range, fast focusing, constant f/2.8, build quality is pretty good
Somewhat loud autofocus motor, won't work on a full-frame body (if you decide to upgrade later, etc)

I would not hesitate to recommend this lens to someone looking at this focal length range.

It is a lot less costly than the Canon 17-55 (though the Canon adds +5mm on the long end, IS, and USM to the package). The Tamron comes with a lens hood, unlike the Canon 17-55. This is an excellent first lens for someone who purchased a crop body with no kit lens.

Picture quality is very good. It is sharp throughout, gives very nice brokeh at 2.8, with colors that pop. I have zero regrets about this lens, and highly recommend it.