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Sigma 300-800mm f5.6 EX IF APO HSM

300_800_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp! super-quality build, tremendous reach
Cons:
heavy, unwieldy

super sharp, takes excellent pictures. i have mine mounted to a bogen 516 head for my video camera and it's solid. but mostly i bought this to keep in my truck, because where i live, i see a lot of fabulous wildlife shots out my car window, and didn't have enough reach for quick out-of-the-window shots. i can just lay this on a beanbag on the window of my vehicle and get some really nice bird shots.

here's a kestrel i recently encountered. i shot this at about 70 yards:

http://ia300212.us.archive.org/1/items/Kestrel/kestrel.JPG

it's a lot of weight to carry, and it's unwieldy, so it's definitely not all-purpose. but i love it for my purposes. here's a photo of it hooked up to my XL2 video camera:

http://www.ourmedia.org/node/152989

there's a 7.2x crop factor on a video camera. now *that's* some reach! lots of fun taking sky shots and moonshots on video....


 
Tamron 24-135MM F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) Macro

24135mm_1_
Review Date: Dec 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: comfortable handholding weight on a Rebel 350D, perfect range for a walkaround lens, nice and sharp!
Cons:

i just purchased this very clean used copy from B&H for $280, which included shipping, and it seems like a terrific deal at that price. i also own a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L lens and a Canon 100mm macro. i'm happy to report that the Tamron keeps up with those lenses for sharpness and clarity. at a phenomenal price!