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Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO

Review Date: Apr 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Optical Quality, Build Quality, Optical Stabilser, Strurdy Tripod Ring, , Price (IF you can still find one!!)
As some of the other reviews; AF speed is a little slow - but put up with this and reep the rewards.

I was looking for a long range telephoto zoom, and initially after the Canon 100~400 USM. But with the prices escalating daily from January onwards has seen this lens price jump from around the high 900's to near enough 1,300. Also against the Canon is it's push-pull zoom design, which I do not like using, and much prefer the Sigma's zoom function. So a month ago started looking at the Sigma, Tokina and Tamron equivelents. After exhaustive research looking through all the reviews and tests I could find I decided to take a chance on the Sigma. In the UK there were a half dozen outlets that had this lens as discontinued stock, and I secured one 2 weeks ago. My test shots on a tripod were excellent right thru the zoom range. On a monopod they were almost as good, but some were not quite sharp due to camera shake. Handheld with the OS system on, I was able to get reasonably sharp images right down to 125th second at 300+ zoom. The lens is very well made - like a tank, and I probably will use it most on a tripod / monopod for wildlfe & birds. Sigma currently have an extended warranty to 3 years on all 'EX' lenses, which adds to the overall value of this lens. SO - if you can find one it is worth the investment at this price. Top quality lens!!