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

Review Date: May 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid build quality, HSM is very comparable to USM, great contrast and colors, tack sharp at f/4 and above, overall a solid performer well worth the price
A little soft at f/2.8. It's by no means "bad," but not as sharp as f/4 and higher. The lens cap is pretty flimsy...

After reading numerous reviews about this lens, I had mixed reviews hearing about softness at f/2.8, vignetting, noisy AF just to name a few. Based on this, I purchased a Canon 70-200 f/4 L because the reviews were great and I've only owned Canon lenses and know that their build quality is great. Well, it backfocused, horribly. Returned it and took a chance and called up Delta International and ordered the Sigma.

My experience with this lens is that the HSM is very comparable to Canon USM. I personally don't notice any difference in noise between the two and the lens doesn't "hunt" in AF. (Note: this does happen in very low light, but every lens does) Vignetting is a very slight problem and is not noticeable unless you carefully examine pictures. I shot a picture of a white fence and there are tiny traces of purplish tint on the edges, barely negligible. Sharpness at f/2.8 is very good at 200mm but is a little bit soft. I would by no means call it bad an unuseable but it's not as sharp as f/4 and up.

Overall, a very solid performer and well worth the investment if the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L is out of the budget. For $400 less, you have a very comparable lens that performs just as well as the Canon counterpart. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fast telephoto lens.