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  Reviews by: Marc Kurth  

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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Sep 1, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $875.00

Pros: This is a follow up after 5 years of heavy use. See page 7 for my original comments in 2004. It's on it's last legs now, after being mistreated for 5 years - but it has been worth a whole lot more than I paid.
How can I complain about this lens investment?

This lens has produced a huge number of my "money shots" in situations that my primes couldn't do it for me. Primarily shooting boat-to-boat in big surf and salt spray. That is a solid statement of lens quality.

After all of these years of getting salt water soaked/banged around/dropped, it is finally time to replace or repair it. I don't baby my equipment. Bodies and lenses are tools required to get the shot - sometimes at the expense of the tool. The HSM mechanism has become too sloppy to be reliable. The optics are still stellar.

I've heard complaints about focus speed and accuracy, but they seem to be related to Canon bodies. This lens has always been dead on for me with several generations of Nikon bodies over the years, starting with the D70. It's never been serviced or "calibrated" - it just kept ticking.

Just my two cents about an old f4 workhorse.

Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Oct 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $875.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, very fast focus, good contrast. This is a great lens for the money
I don't like the bokeh, but no real complaints when you consider price

Reasonable images at f4, great images from f5.6 to f22. Decent results with the 1.4X only if you shoot at f6 to f11. Overall images quality not as good as the 120-300 f2.8, but this lens is just light enough to shoot handheld and to carry around all day Ė which is what I need.

When used with the 1.4X at 420mm, I suspect that many people will get soft images by not following good long-lens practices - or shooting wide open. Once you get the hang of it, this combination performs quite well in good light.

Here is a small group of images - all shot handheld, all with 1.4X

Sigma 24-135mm f/2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF

Review Date: Apr 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Sharp images with good contrast when stopped down for close subjects. Wide zoom range, lightweight for a 2.8-4.5 lens
Slow focus. Soft images wide open, especially at infinity - not great for landscapes

I bought this lens for mountain biking, hiking and boating - locations that I wouldn't risk an expensive lens. I expected much worse performance than it actually delivers when stopped down at least a couple of stops.

If you are looking for a pro quality lens, donít buy this one - spend the extra $1,000. and buy a Nikkor ED or Canon L lens. This is a very low cost lens, you decide if it is worth $300. to you:

Edited Jan 2005 to Add:
After shooting with this lens for a year (9,000+ images) it has paid for itself several times over through image sales - I still like it and use it. Because of the heavy use, it is developing a lot of play (slop) in the lens barrel.