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  Reviews by: aldiss  

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Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM APO

Review Date: Sep 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, bokeh, excellent flare resistance, razor sharp center on the whole range at F2.8, fast AF, light & compact. Range is excellent.
Borders at 150mm F2.8 (not an issue for portraits though), bad aqua/magenta CA on strong out-of-focus higlights (fixable if you shoot RAW).

As usual with SIGMA lenses I had to send this lens for service as it was front focusing... and as usual the SIGMA service was excellent and a week after I had a razor sharp 150mm F2.8.

This lens is a keeper for me. I needed a small and light telezoom for trekking/travel and this lens is not a compromise on quality. Very high quality that is.

My major concern before buying this lens was the range (I use a Canon 20D)... I was afraid 150mm would be too short. But now I find the lens more useful than my 70-200 thanks to its 50mm wide end... and the reach is very good for a short tele.

Only real negative aspect is strong CA that can happen sometimes on out-of-focus highlights when you shoot wide open near 100/150mm. This magenta/aqua CA is not removed by default by software like LightRoom so you will see it. It's rather easy to remove in LightRoom though... as it's not common colors you find in nature (magenta/aqua) I simply cut those channels on the precise CA colors. Problem fixed.

At 135-150mm F2.8 borders are so-so which is not an issue for portraits... and if I shoot landscape I'm more at least at F4.0 (good borders) and F8.0 has excellent borders.

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price/Image quality ratio, extremely sharp at F8.0 on the whole frame (20D), very good at F2.8, light.
Build quality is correct but could have been better. A bit of flare in difficult conditions but not too much. AF hunts in low light.

This is my main axe on my 20D. I've had it for over a year now.
It's a real 28mm prime that can zoom...

it's a good interior lens even if I use manual focus as the autofocus hunts to much. I also like the lens as a portrait lens (75mm F2.8)... it will never compete with a 85 F1.8 but it's still damn good.

Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great optical quality, built like a tank, extremely fast HSM, next to impossible to flare with the provided hood, good quality with 1.4x TC, not too heavy
This is a long lens with no IS... this means you need to have a good technique to get good results. There is no IS to save you here...

I got this lens (non DG) in June 2005 and had trouble with it at first on my 20D : the lens would not focus consistently... really annoying... I did two weeks of intensive testing to track the problem (me? the lens?) and finally sent the lens to the canadian SIGMA service point. One week later they had fixed my problem (they changed some parts in the lens).

Now I'm more than happy with the lens. I'm using it mostly on tripod (Manfrotto 055+Arca B1e). The friction control of the ball head does a great job...

I did some testing and I can confirm too that : from 100mm to ~240mm the lens is very sharp at F4.0 and extremely sharp at F5.6.

At 300mm F4.0 it's usable if you've got no choice (poor light conditions) but on my copy it's sharp again if I stop down to F5.0 only ! Smile At F7.1 I get back microcontrast and the image quality is just great ! It improves again a bit at F9.0 but I seldom use the lens past F7.1.

With the Kenko Teleplus Pro 1.4x TC at 420mm you get average image quality at F5.6 but it's sharp again at F7.1 and by F9.0 it's extremely sharp. Compared to an upsized version of a photo the Kenko TC gives a slightly better job at F7.1 and much better results at F9.0.

I don't find the lens that heavy to handheld but much more difficult to use than on tripod. This is were you wished you had IS on the camera or on the lens Wink Even at high shutter speed (over 1/1600s) I will not get good results if I'm not perfectly still or if the lens is not resting on something.

Here are some photos taken at the last FINA 2005 - Swimming World Championships... all handheld.

On a final note it's a SIGMA lens... you do get a slight yellow cast... which takes 1s to fix in Raw Shooter.