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Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Di LD IF Macro Autofocus SP AF

Review Date: Aug 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp, good colors, absolutely no chromatic aberations, slow but very accurate AF, lightweight,
Filter effect control: the moving filter ring shold be something good, but in real life it's anoying to have your flashes twist around when doing macro work

After a long and extensive search for a good and long macro lens I gave this lens a try and fell in love with it: it's the sharpest lens I've ever used and the only one whichs AF beats my MF skills.
It has a very usable lens hood included, tripod collar (which could be build a little bit more massive, but works as designed and easily hold my D60 + battery grip + lens + flashes without problems) and a very smooth focus ring which makes MF a joy.
Besides Canon 100mm macro lens it's one of the few lenses that has VERY good corner sharpness when focused to infinity, so I recommend it for astro work, too.

If you want to see some sample photos (mostly macros) go to
select this lens and hit the search button.

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Dec 9, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Extremly wide (12mm), quiet focusing (HSM), nice color rendering, average/good focusing speed, in the center relatively sharp for such a wide lens
not very sharp in the corners (even stopped down), a LOT of chromatic aberations in the corners, very large (82m) thread size

I've had this lens for one weekend for testing.
First I was VERY disappointed when I saw my studio photos of a resolution
chart: unsharp corners, a LOT of chromatic aberations in the corners, average
But after I took some 'real-life' photos, I wasn't disapointed anymore: nice
colors, not very much distorsions, chromatic aberation not much visible.
I don't know if I should recommend this lens or not: stopped down to f/8 or
smaller (e.g. for landscapes) it's a nice lens; if you plan to use it wide
open I'd have a look for Sigmas 15-30mm or Canons 17-40mm lens first.
Look here (http://www.pbase.com/crowning/wide_01) to see some sample

Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

Review Date: May 7, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from 50-500mm (even wide open), HSM motor, good build quality, very unexpensive for a 500mm lens, very solid tripod mount and lensbag included.
Weight (but what do you expect from a 500mm zoom?), some not-so-good samples seem to be around (Sigmas QC is not the best).

After I've seen some realy good and sharp photos from this lens at 500mm I investigated more, read all available tests and it was clear that this lens is a bargain for its quality.
It's a little bit difficult to handhold at 500mm, but with some training you can get decent results.
For birders its a 'must'.