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  Reviews by: Roy_H  

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Sigma 500mm f4.5 EX Apo HSM

Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lighter weight, Sharp, Cost

I got this lens used as I could not afford the Canon 500mm F4, and I heard that Canon was going to stop servicing their 500mm F4.5 (rumor). Now that I have it, I can honestly say I am not sure I will ever move up to the F4. The images from this lens are eye-popping. The lens is easy to use, colors nice, and images sharp. The 4.5 means teleconvereters put you into manual focussing, but going to F4 means almost three more pounds.

I love this lens!

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, Color

Owned this lens for a year and was very happy with it. I can not say enough about the colors, easy of handling, speed, and build quality. They are all great.

Some reviews show resolution factors for the IS version slightly lower than the non-IS version. In practice on my 20D I never saw a difference. On my 5D, side by side comparisons of shots with fine detail (hair, fur, feathers) did show the non-IS version to be a "hair sharper." Forgive the pun.

If you like to shoot handheld at speeds less than 1/250, get the IS version, as the IS will more than compensate the minor loss in resolution. If you shoot at higher shutter speeds, or use a tripod, save some dollars and get the non-IS version and know you have the best!

Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Review Date: Nov 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $569.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact, autofocus good enough to function as a medium telephoto lens.
Canon extenders will not physically mount to the lens, only Sigma's converters will work.

I have used the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM Macro, Tamron 90mm macro, and the Tamron 180mm F3.5 Macro.

Autofocus was quick and sharp and comparable to the Canon 100mm USM even when composing Macro shots. Far superior to the Tamrons.

Resolution was great as with all the macros. Comparable to the Canon 100mm, but not quite as good (by a hair) as the Tamron 180mm or the Tamron 90mm stopped down to 5.6 or lower. At 2.8, the Sigma was much better than the Tamron 90mm @ f2.8.

Build quality appears nice and solid, but not quite as good as the Canon in hand. SIgma notes this lens will work with teleconverters, but unlike some of their telephoto lenses, this lens will "only" work with their converters, not the Canon extenders.

In summary, considering price, size, image quality, and autofocus speed, I consider this the best macro lens value and I prefer it to the other lenses discussed.