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  Reviews by: fStopJojo  

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Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro

28_f1_8_1_
Review Date: May 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $169.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f1.8 speed, solid EX build, very close focusing distance is a boon, reproduction ratio of 1:2.9, sharp wide open and very sharp at f2.2 and on, price/performance value.
Cons:
Some have reported front-focusing problems.

I got an unbelieveable price on eBay for this lens brand new, so I jumped on it; I'm glad I did. I'm using a Canon 20D, and it's a fantastic lens. See some of my test images of lenses at my site: www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/lenstests

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A cracking lens, period.
Cons:
None.

Only lens I've ever rated a 10 overall. [www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/lenstests]

 
Canon EF 35mm f/2

ef35mmf2_1_
Review Date: Apr 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice and small, pretty fast lens, acceptable sharpness wide open, gets sharper and sharper from f2.2 and on, fairly fast AF, excellent on a 1.6x SLR, good 9.6" min focus distance.
Cons:
Infamous "wasp in a matchbox" AF noise (but you get used to it), not much else to complain about.

I'm very pleased with my copy. The focus is "bang-on", arguably the best focusing lens of all my lenses (in terms of accuracy). Sharpness is acceptable-to-good wide open, and only gets better stopped down. By f2.8 it is very sharp. Good colors and contrast. Great lens to have, period. See some of my test shots here: http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/primestest

 
Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DF

28_70df_1_
Review Date: Apr 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good focal range, good sharpness wide open, good EX build, very good flare resistance, pleasing bokeh, good colors and contrast, very little CA and color fringing, acceptable to good edge performance, very good performance-to-cost ratio.
Cons:
1st copy had some AF problems at the 28mm end/wide open, AF a tad noisy.

[I have the new EX DG version] I've done many tests on standard zooms and compared them with one another. I like this lens a lot and it is very similar to the Tamron 28-75 but with better EX build. I would opt for this lens over the Tamron. It really is a good lens, especially for what I paid brand new ($275). Amateurs and pros alike can do well with it. See my results here:

http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/shootout

fStopJojo@yahoo.com (emails welcome)


 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Mar 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Lightweight for f2.8 zoom, fairly sharp wide open even, good to very good colors and contrast, controls flare well, only very slight CA, good bokeh, locks focus well, lens cap design nice for easy removal.
Cons:
Feels very plasticky (i.e., cheap) compared to Canon L or Sigma EX line, slow AF, external focus ring rotates during AF, rear cap frustrating to put on.

I've had 2 of these lenses in the past year and wanted very much to like it but the MAIN reasons why it's not one of my favorites is: build and slow AF speed. The reasonable, objective user of this lens who has used Canon's 24-70L or Sigma's 24-70 EX must conclude the same. Optically it can be very good, however. I've posted many more comments, images, and comparisons at my site. Feel free to email me. fStopJojo@yahoo.com

www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/lenstests


 
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

18-50f28
Review Date: Feb 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Constant f2.8, lightweight, good EX build, accurate AF, excellent walk around range on a 1.6x SLR, sharp wide open, can't ask for much more
Cons:
No HSM (though the AF speed is good and the noise quite acceptable)

I was actually surprised at this len's performance. It renders nice colors/contrast, excellent sharpness even wide open, focuses well, and the close 11" focusing distance is a boon. Both DC lenses I have (18-125 also) have delivered beyond my expectations. I highly commend this lens.

Some test shots comparing it to other Sigma favorites:

http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/4lenstest


 
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

20_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Feb 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 20mm f1.8 (Canon has no equivalent), excellent "low-light" lens, versatile for both indoors/outdoors and landscapes, close focusing distance, almost no distortion, sharp (especially from f2.2 and on).
Cons:
A little bulky/big (but quite acceptable to me), AF speed/noise could be better (no HSM), MF double clutch system is "acceptable", AF tends to hunt a bit.

This lens is a cracker. Fantastic image quality, hand-hold any shot, use it all the time. I highly recommend it.

 
Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

4882618_125dc_1_
Review Date: Feb 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, very versatile and convenient focal range, good image quality, light, good build (for consumer lens), good AF accuracy.
Cons:
AF noise is "acceptable", not FF compatible, not a "low light" lens, some distortion.

It's my most versatile lens, though how I'd love it to be a fixed f2.8. Nonetheless, a cracker of a lens especially for the money. Highly recommend it as a good walk-around lens during the daytime.

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

l3a_copy
Review Date: Feb 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: W-I-D-E, FF compatible, good colors/contrast/saturation, distortion well controlled, excellent build, HSM, FTM, great landscape/cityscape/seascape lens.
Cons:
No front filter thread (apart from making up your own design), not a "fast" lens, flare control could be better

Another excellent Sigma offering. Love the EX finish, build, and HSM with FTM ability. I recommend this lens (here's to getting a good copy too).

 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

product_83
Review Date: Jan 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build, sturdy, excellent landscape and portraiture use, aesthetically pleasing (silver/aluminum polish), low-angle ability
Cons:
Some would say it's a bit heavy, leg locks take time to ease up

Basically in agreement with most of the other reviewers. It's simply a fantastic performance-to-cost value. If I were to consider another tripod for weight reasons, I'd look into the www.Feisol.com carbon fiber ones, but I'm quite pleased with this 3-legged beast.

 
Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

24_70EX_med_1_
Review Date: Jun 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $364.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: FAST f/2.8 and AF on 20D, solid EX build, color/contrast/saturation/sharpness excellent, nice bokeh, 24mm end beats out most others that start at 28mm, value is unbeatable, use it more than my 24-70L (which is also a sharp, good copy)
Cons:
Zoom ring a tad bit narrow (but not a big deal), switching to manual focus requires two functions, 82mm filter size is bit more costly, no HSM

I've now received the new Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro, and it's simply outstanding. In terms of optics and wide open, I'd say it's a 9.5/10 and my Canon 24-70L a 9/10 (and my Tamron 28-75 an 8/10). To pay $364 for a solidly built, fast AF, f2.8, 24-70mm lens, and to have FULL confidence using it wide open ANYWHERE in the focal range, it's sensational.

See this for some sample and test shots www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/sigma_2470


 
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

05_03_1_
Review Date: Jun 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast and fixed f/2.8, build quality, HSM, excellent in low-light, sharp, good contrast, cost
Cons:
Needs firmware upgrade as when I shoot at 200mm, EXIF data shows 456mm! [Not a problem as it does not affect anything.]

Highest praise for this lens. I shoot all sorts of genres: travel, portrait, wildlife, action, landscape, cityscape, seascape, etc. This lens does it all and does it at a pro-level and quality. It equals Canon's version (if not exceeding it). I've shot with the Canon equivalent and the sharpness is tighter with the Sigma f/2.8. When you factor in cost, it isn't even a contest.

I use the Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, and this Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 as my primary lenses on my Canon D-SLR. I also use some fast Canon lenses but use these 3 the most.

Feel free to email me at fStopJojo@yahoo.com