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Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO

Sigma_80-400_OS
Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,009.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good build, nice finish, sharp.
Cons:
heavy, slow focus, noisy.

I had been looking for a lens of this type for a few months. I read every review I could find and decided on this lens over the others in the category. Problem is nobody has them on the shelf to try around here in Wisconsin so I ordered one. It was an up and down ride when I got the thing. The box was huge, bigger than the one the camera came in (20d). Opened it up, Wow, this thing has a beautiful finish, like a powder coat, and you know its metal under that. The proportions are double what you expect (zoomed out it must be a foot long). I started taking some test photos and was crushed. It was not a miracle lens like I wanted. I read these reviews that said you could point the thing wildly and get sharp photos at 1/15s blah blah blah. Then after a couple days and couple hundred shots I started to see that this lens does everything its supposed to do. It will give you 2 free shutter stops. All the way out you are supposed to stay above 1/400s or is it 1/640s for the conversion? That would mean 2 stops are 1/100s or so. It does that. Lower than that and its 50/50. It is super sharp if you can stop it down one. Dof is really shallow so you have to pay attention to your focus. All in all I think its a great lens for the money and does what the company says it will do, just don't expect miracles.