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Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Feb 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, colors and build quality
Cons:
Glare, non removable shade.

May be I was one of those folks who was fortunate to get a "good copy" of the lens... I was waiting for new Sigma 10-20mm lens. I was planning to sell 15-30mm as soon as I get new Sigma 10-20mm. After shooting both lenses for a week my new Sigma 10-20mm took a train to eBay. Sigma 15-30mm was hands down superior lens. I usually use some Photoshop leveling, unsharp mask even shooting shorter focal lenses with tripod. I even add a bit of sharpness to shots made with Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 D. I was absolutely speechless opening Sigma 15-30mm shots in Photoshop realizing those shots did not need any corrections at all. Fabulous sharpness, contrast, color saturation where attributes of virtually every shot made with this lens. I assume by mounting this lens on a smaller x1.5 image sensor I have also avoided some vignetting, distortion and edge softness a lot of full frame 35mm users complained about... Have not noticed much of those things viewing full size NEFs.
The only serious complaint I can master is this lens does not control glare well (Sigma 10-20mm much more superior in this matter). Built quality is very good, non-removable lens hood is probably not so good. AF/MF push/pull design does not bother me for some reason. Auto focus performance is ok even in low light. HSM would help but I do not find it critical at the moment. For around $300 new it's a bargain for sure. I would strongly recommend this lens to all DSLR users who do not want to pay over $1k for Nikon or Canon alternatives.