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  Reviews by: Kevin Sanders  

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Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

Review Date: Jul 31, 2019 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, compact, sharp, fast focus, very usable focal range.
No full-time manual focus, though I seldom use this on other lenses.

I use this little gem of a lens whenever I travel. Like all super zooms, it has compromises, but the main one of reduced apertures, is compensated for by the high ISO capability of modern cameras.
The longest focal length is also very useful for nature and macro shots. On my Canon APS-C 70 and 200Ds I get really nice image quality right out of camera with little or no processing required.
Highly recommended for single lens days out or travel. I usually have a Canon 10-18mm IS STM handy, too😊

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Review Date: Jul 14, 2018 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Acceptable build quality Metal mount Very good image quality Good 'feel'
None, given the price

This was my first lens on my first Canon 70D. I was very happy with the way the lens focused, held focus and worked generally. Colours and contrast have always turned out very well.

It is virtually silent for video. Although I would always recommend an external recorder for serious work, when you want a quick little movie on the fly, this is an excellent lens.

Very sharp wide open throughout the zoom and aperture ranges. I don't pixel-peep so the perceived sharpness was everything I could reasonably expect.

Low light performance is pretty good given the aperture range, but I've found that the high ISO performance of the 70D is good enough to get pretty much any reasonable shot.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this lens, as I am with the other seven STM lenses I have collected.

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO

Review Date: Aug 14, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality. Handling. Build quality. Relatively inexpensive. AF speed. Popular filter size.
Noise breakthrough on video.

I was lucky to get my OS version on eBay for a really good price. I had the Mk II, non-OS version on my Sigma camera before and really liked that. Why 50-150? I got fed up using a 70-200mm on my Canon 70D as the range is all wrong. This lens gives me 80-240 equivalent and that range is just great.

For weddings I use this and the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 OS on a pair of 70Ds and get excellent results using a black rapid dual sling so both cameras are at hand.

For portraits I used to use a Canon 5D and a Sigma 85 F1.4, but I can leave the 5D in the car now as the 2.8 on this lens gives me enough OOF bokeh.

I'd reommend this lens to anyone for photographic work, but on my Canon camera I can hear the AF on the soundtrack of videos so I use the 18-135 STM instead for that.

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Review Date: Jun 6, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, rounded diaphragm blades, solid but light build. xcellent image quality.
Lack of FTM is a bit annoying as I use this as part of a two camera setup with a 50-150 OS which DOES have FTM and I kee forgetting.

I really wish that people who get obviously faulty lenses would not use a review as a stick with which to beat Sigma. It skews the results and it's not a fair review. If the lens is faulty, you can't say which aspects of performance were down to the lens design and which were because of the fault. If a lens is faulty send it back. If the next one is faulty and you decide to get your money back, don't post a review of a lens which, by reason of it being faulty, you are not qualified to make.

Rant over. This is still my go to site for lens reviews.

This 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens is superb. I use it as half of a two camera setup with a 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM on a pair of Canon 70Ds and find the combination brilliant for weddings and other such gatherings.

I use the 70Ds for video, too. One tripod mounted and static taking the main scene, the other on a monopod or steadicam to do cutaways and candids. I use Canon STM lenses for the silence on video, but in low llight I use Sigma F1.4/1.8 lenses and an external sound recorder.

For photography though, the 17-50 is on my camera virtually all the time. I use 8-16, 17-50, 50-150 Sigma lenses and a Canon 100-400 to give me reliability, versatility and sharp images from 8-400 with only a couple of changes involved. I'm very happy with the Canon/Sigma combination.

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Review Date: Apr 17, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact and light, fast to focus, razor sharp, image quality, build quality

This lens is a joy to use. I have taken some great photos with it. I have it's big brother, the 12-24 V2 and it is easily as good as that, if not better, but on a Canon crop it is equivalent to 13-26, not 12-24.

I still don't understand why people on this forum give poor ratings to what is obviously a faulty lens. I have found Sigma products to be, for the most part, reliable and of good quality. So often one reads in these esteemed fora something like "my copy was a bad one and didn't focus properly so I rate it 4 and I'll never buy Sigma again". One strike and you're out? Do Canon or Nikon never sell a faulty product? I know from experience they do, so why the down on Sigma? I don't get it. If you have a bad copy get it repaired or replaced and then rate it.

I love this lens for landscapes, architecture and at shows/exhibitions where you can use the close focussing and wide angle to isolate exhibits as they are often packed closely together.

The exposed front element doesn't bother me. If it did, I wouldn't have bought the lens. It is just part of the design. I have never hankered after a filter when using this lens, I think it performs brilliantly.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

Review Date: Aug 28, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build. Sharp. Accurate, fast and silent AF.
A rubber mount gasket should have been included. It couldn't be that hard to do.

Flawless performance at all apertures as far as I can tell. I was really impressed with the image quality, even wide-open.
When focussed at infinity, everything is sharp at F1.4. Everything!
This is currently the sharpest lens I own, although my recent purchase of the 18-135 STM lens from Canon gave me a shock. Lens technology is getting much, much better, and more affordable.
Sigma must be given credit for moving the bar with this 35mm gem!

Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Jun 2, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pin-sharp focus at maximum aperture. Good build quality and solid feel. Silent and fast AF. Excellent bokeh.

I love this lens. For candids or formal portraits I can't imagine there is anything better. I haven't tried the Canon counterpart, but I have studied images taken with it and, apart from the weather sealing, I doubt it has anything I would pay an extra 700 for.

Good Sigma glass is terrific value for money, but their QC leaves a bit to be desired. That said, I don't understand people giving a 2 just because they have a faulty copy. It would be much more helpful to get it fixed first (and it must be a faulty one judging by all other reviews) and then review it properly and, perhaps, the service?

Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro HSM

Review Date: Feb 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, close-focussing, cheap
Hunts in low light

I got this lens on ebay for my Sigma SD15. It is a brilliant lens. Sharp, contrasty, good colours. Excellent. I have a few cameras and lenses and was able to compare this lens on the SD15 with a Canon 40D with the Canon 300mm F4 L IS. Not a scrap of difference. Except that the Canon lens cost four times as much!

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Jan 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Range, build quality, image quality
Can't use a polarizing filter at the wide setting.

I don't understand why people pick up a lens second-hand, find it doesn't perform very well and then denigrate it without checking to see if it is faulty or if it was abused by the last owner. Why was it sold and why was it so cheap? Do they never ask these questions? No. They run off at the mouth and give a perfectly good product a rating of one because they bought a wrong 'un. Better to not rate it at all, huh? How about sending it in for service? Nope. They rant wouldn't be the same, would it? OK, that's my rant over <grin>.

I bought mine new when it was on offer at Warehouse Express and have nothing but good things to say about it.

I have compared it with images taken with my friend's Nikon 12-24 on a D300 and find that mine are just as good from the Canon 1D III or D40 using this lens. It is sharp wide open and gets sharper still when stopped down. I do miss the ability to use a polarizer, but you can't have everything.

It is especially useful at events like car shows where you can get in real close and cut out most of the surrounding exhibits.

Sigma products are no different to others in that you get what you pay for. I have several Sigma lenses in Canon, Nikon and Sigma fit as well as their SD15 camera. One can find fault with anything if one looks hard enough, but Sigma stuff is pretty good and holds it's own with the likes of Canon and Nikon.

This is a great lens and is always in my bag. I'm currently trialling the Mark II version, but so far have found no great improvements save the new body finish, which I like.

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM

Review Date: Aug 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap, light, IQ, sharpness

This is a very decent walk-around lens. I use it on my SD14 in conjunction with it's stablemate, the 50-200mm f4-5.6 DC OS HSM.

My ratings are based on the market sector and price, not compared to megabuck Canon 'L' glass. I use those on my 5D, but the SD14 and this lens are for making pleasing still life and landscape images which the Foveon sensor is very good at.

The image quality is remarkable for such a cheap lens and I'm more than happy with it. The stabilisation is effective, allowing shake-free shots down to 1/15 second.

Yes, there are some distortion and aberration issues when you look at the test results in reviews, but from a practical point of view this is a great little lens and a worthy upgrade from the kit lens.

It is acceptably sharp wide-open and has given me some excellent images.