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Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Review Date: Apr 19, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Built, F/2.8 across the zoom range, almost no fringing, usable for portrait
Front focusing, AF hunts in low light and when contrast is low, no full-time manual focusing, focus ring rotates in AF mode, vignetting at widest end of the zoom, not as sharp as expected

This is the first lens I purchased for my very first (D)SLR....a Canon Digital Rebel XT. I did not buy the 18-55mm kit lens for the XT due to bad feedbacks from many users. Decided to get the Sigma because of good reviews I've read about it, and because of the impressive specs. But was not satisfied with the performance I've been getting from it. This lens is notorious for front-focusing. When I got my Canon 85 F/1.8, I quickly noticed the big differences. I realized how noisy, slow and inaccurate the Sigma AF is compared to the Canon lens (which costs only $339). The Sigma focus ring rotates in AF mode. I find this annoying because there's not much room to hold the lens on comfortably while I try to avoid holding on the focus ring. Vignetting is very noticeable at wide end of the zoom. The good thing about this lens is it's not prone to CA or PF. It's also usable for portrait shots because of the consistent F/2.8 across the zoom range...but better to use manual focus because front-focusing in AF mode could ruin the shots.