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Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

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Review Date: Dec 29, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $740.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: solidly built, fast HSM, quiet
Cons:
soft wide open, incorrect focal length readings beyond 100mm

I picked this lense up from Wolf Cameras and was pleasantly surprised with its feel and weight. It's not as heavy as most people have said for it to be but that's pretty much a relative issue. I've also read about the many issues regarding the softness wide open and the focusing problems it has on the 10D in particular. Well, after having it for several days, I ended up returning it. I really wanted this to work out but after looking at some of the pictures, I was utterly dissapointed with the softness I was getting at various focal lengths with maximum aperture especially with outdoor shots. And, it was front focusing badly. I was even using a tripod. Another thing that bugged me was the incorrect focal length readings I was getting in the EXIF data beyond 100mm. For example, at full zoom (200mm), I was getting 456mm. I don't know think it affected the shot but for me, it should read correctly. Anyway, I'm not sure if this was a bad copy or not but I wasn't going to risk trying for another.

Would I recommend it? By all means, if you have a good copy, keep it. For the price, it's the best value you can get with this quality of lense at f/2.8. Otherwise, it's up to you if you want to keep exchanging until you get a good copy...

Good luck!


 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

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Review Date: Dec 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solidly built, well-designed lever locks for legs, easy adjustment for the leg angles, quick to setup...
Cons:
Can be heavy for the long hikes, but for it's durability, I wouldn't trade it for anything else...

I bought this tripod only because my 11 year old Velbon broke. I know it was low-end tripod but that was all I could afford back then. Anyway, in shopping for a new rig, I originally had looked at the 3001 model but I still wanted something a little more. That's when I saw the 3021. After getting my hands on this tripod, I knew this was what I wanted. The height was just right and although it may seem heavy for some, it felt perfect for me. I also got the spiked feet and the 3030 head to go with it - a wonderful combination for a basic setup!

If you're looking for something durable that can handle a good amount of weight, then this is the tripod for you. You won't regret it!