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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

100-300if_1_
Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $820.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp from 100-300,constant f/4, good colors, great build, everything is included (hood, tripod ring, case) for a very reasonable price.
Cons:
The tripod ring gets in the way of the zoom ring. 82mm thread. No IS.

This lens is really sharp through the entire zoom range. I get sharp pictures at f/4 but it does get sharper stopped down a bit. By 5.6 to 8.0 it's as sharp as you could ask for. For me this is only for outdoor shooting in daylight so f/4 works for me. If you need faster look at the 120-300 f/2.8 but it'll cost and weigh A LOT more.

My only real complaint is that the tripod ring gets in the way of the zoom ring. Not a big problem. When shooting hand held (which is most of the time) I just leave the tripod ring off. If it's mounted on a tripod you have to grab the zoom ring from the top as the tripod ring's mounting plate is too close to the lens' body and prevents your fingers from grasping the zoom ring from under the body. Not a huge deal, but it is something they should correct. You could buy a different tripod ring from Sigma that gives plenty of clearance but it costs about $160 I think. Not worth it to me.
Also it has a 82mm thread size, not a convenient size.

Even with these minor negatives I give it a 10 because for the price the image quality and build quality of this lens is great.

IS would be nice but that would jack up the price and weight and I can hand hold this lens in normal daylight without it.

It's a big lens (long) and can get heavy too, but I'm young so not that big of a deal to me.