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Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

Review Date: May 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp IQ stop down a bit. Inexpensive. Solidly built. Easy to do MF.
Heavy and long, longer than an EF 400L. Can be used in full f-stops with only Canon Digital D30, D60, 1D and 1Ds and limited to f5.6 with other Canon DSLR. It should work fully with Nikon or Minolta mount DSLR cameras.

It has a perfect review at so I decided to buy a Canon D60 (it is cheap now) to fully use this lens at all f-stops after using only f5.6 (with occasional err 99) for a while with my 20D and XT. The general IQ is excellent if stopped down to f6.3 or higher. Even though it is not as good as a 400L but at 1/3 of the price it is a great bargain. If you happen to use a film cameras older than EOS Elan 7e or EOS 30) (not including 7e/30) or digital D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds you can still take full advantage of this lens at a bargain price.

Sigma also has this lens in other mounts; Nikon, Minolta, Pentax .. and I think (but not 100% sure) they are fully compatible with the current DSLRs.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

Review Date: Mar 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: inexepnsive, light weight, sharp at 75mm
soft at 300mm, easy to get dusts inside the lens.

Since this is a consumer level lens I don't expect it carries the quality of the L's. It is much lighter and cheaper than the L's too. I often got good and sharp photos at the 75-150mm ranges with aperture step down a bit. It is however very soft at 300mm. Dusts will get inside the lens easily so I have to dust off the lens after every use. All in all, this is a good inexpensive lens for casual use or as a light weight walk around lens. You cannot beat the price especially if you can find a GOOD used one around $120-130 range. Sell it when you out grow it and get almost all your money back.