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Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS

150-500
Review Date: Aug 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, HSM motor, handling, price
Cons:
filter cost, big, AF response slow in older bodies

Ignoring the price for a moment, this lens offers a good option with the ultrasonic motor and optical image stabilisation for anyone looking at a versatile tele. Add the low price (compared to the Canon or Nikon options in this specification/range) and the value delivered is excellent. I was doubtful at first that it was a good buy, but have been using it since I got it (more than my Canon 100-400 L IS), and getting very satisfactory results. It is no prime, and the AF response can be sluggish with older (Canon) bodies, but have had no AF problems otherwise. I don't do birding, but I did some bird test shots and found images with very good resolution and accurate focus. use it mainly for kids soccer games, very happy with servo tracking on my Canon 40D. Recommend to anyone looking for a general purpose stabilised tele-zoom.

 
Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS

18-200OS
Review Date: Mar 14, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

In comparison with Canon's 28-135 IS lens. the IS of both about equal. The Sigma is a bit sharper.

 
Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS

18-200OS
Review Date: Jul 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very useful general purpose range, the OS does work well, good contrast, fast focusing, a one lens solution
Cons:
expected distortion at the wide end, softness in corners, some CA when wide open

ok, I'll be first then. My wife has the old non-OS version on her XTi, and on occasions when we have been out together (like travelling) she has managed to get decent shots, while I fumbled changing lenses and lost the opportunity. And this, in my opinion, is what this lens is about: practicality.

It allows general purpose, daytime, outdoor or well lit indoor shooting hand held. The results are adequate for record shots and I would even consider printing to 12 x 8 and framing some of the results I got.

Pixel peepers and "L'prime sharpness addicts look elsewhere, and pay heaps more. Equally this lens is imho more suitable to consumer DSLR's than pro models, effectively a very good and handy travel or one does all lens (eg family shots) and a worthy upgrade to a kit lens, particularly for Canon and Nikon users where you don't get in body SR.


 
Sigma 24-135mm f/2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF

sigma24_135
Review Date: Jun 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: useful range, good quality results, my main walk about lens
Cons:
not very fast

For what I paid (approx USD 200 at Cameta Camera) it's been a very rewarding buy. Used on a Pentax K10D as a walk about lens, with a useful range (unless you need more width).

It's not EX rated, but my copy at least, is not far behind c/with the 28-70 EX F2.8 also from Sigma for example. Originally bought to use on an old film SLR, tried it on the K10D and it stayed there.

Recommended to anyone looking for an inexpensive mid range general purpose zoom for Pentax.


 
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

ef20mmf_28usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, great color, contrast, fast and accurate AF
Cons:
a bit costly, and have to buy the hood as well

An excellent lense, love using it. As always with Canon (and only Canon!!!!!) you have to pay for the hood, a 50 cent piece of plastic that sells for 30 bucks!

The range is useful in cropped and FF, certainly more than the 24 MM (it is "just" right on a 1.6x sensor like on the 30D).

I went with this instead of the also well regarded Sigma version, costs roughly comparable, but the Canon not as warm as the typical Sigma coating.


 
Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: well built, sharp and useful wide angle on FF camera, better corrected than Canon 17-40 L
Cons:
noisy AF with some hesitation (not a major issue)

For the price I paid an excellent lens, used on a Canon FF digital. Compares well with Canon's 17-40 L in most aspects except quietness in the AF, but AF is very accurate nonetheless. Well built although not weather proof, but I limit my use in dusty or wet conditions as the camera is not WP either! You can't put a filter on the front, and as others have commented there is a risk of damage to the front element, but I've not found this limiting. If anything a bit too wide at 15mm on FF, but correction is excellent.

 
Sigma 20-40mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

20_40F28_1_
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: solid, focuses fast on my 5D, sharp, great color and contrast rendition
Cons:
focusing a bit noisy but not disruptive, large filter but these are minor issues

I don't know why this lens doesn't received better reviews. Sharper than my Canon 24-105 L and just as well built, renders excellent color and contrast, with edge to edge sharpness (close to a prime at 20mm). It is solidly built (you could hammer nails with it). It complements well my Canon lens set up of the above mentioned 24-105 and 70-200 F4 L.

 
Tokina 24-200mm AT-X 242 AF

8232atx242af
Review Date: Aug 5, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: solid quality build and feel, 24-200 range covers most walkabout uses even on cropped sensor cameras. Contrast close to an L lens on my Canon
Cons:
Difficult to get a sharp image, maybe one in five is usable. Is it the photographer or the camera? Using other lenses from Sigma or Canon presents no problems. Notable distortion at 24-50 mm.

The price (and this depends on where in the world you are) would be justified if the lens performed to a decent standard, but it doesn't. It's a hit or miss affair used on a Canon 30D, regardless of the available light, number or autofocus points used, metering mode, camera setting and whether you auto or manual focus. The color rendition and contrast is generally very good, I compare it with the better Canon lenses I have. Manual focusing has a very rough feel, and is not all that sensitive.

I have tried everything I could think of to get an acceptable image from this lens, seems OK at the long end, but below about 100 it just doesn't cut it. Don't know if I have a dud copy, but will be traded in at some stage shortly. During a recent visit to a different shop from the one I've bought this lens the salesman (without knowing I own one) refused to even show me one, saying it's simply not a very good lens and that I should consider Canon, Tamron or even Sigma.