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  Reviews by: dennisvillegas  

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Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

Review Date: Nov 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros:! i never knew Sigma could be this good! This is cheap, rocking 1.8!, and can work in full-frame dslrs! I love the colors, the bokeh, the sharpness, and the build quality. Great lens, a great bargain, too!
None maybe should have HSM even if I have to pay a 100 dollars more.

Superior lens, one of Sigma's underrated lens...Even works better if you work it with a full-frame such as the 5D or the D3.

I am very satisfied and will not hesitate to buy again.. Some rich hard to please fellows do not like it and would like to trash hundreds of dollars buying more expensive though not better lenses.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Sep 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Blazing AF, Dreamy Bokeh, Wonderful Colors, One of Canon's sharpest lenses, meaning it belongs to the same class as the high-end Canon telephotos(like the 200 1.8), sharper than the 200 2.8L, lightweight.
None. Maybe should have IS.

I owned two copies of this lens. Both are very accurate and very sharp.

I switched to Nikon a few years ago but had to go back to Canon simply because Nikon doesn't have an equivalent of this 135L. Now I promised to be always a Canon user just because of this lens.

I always enjoy using this lens. It makes me feel a better photographer. A wonderful, wonderful lens. Buy one if you have the means top afford it.

You will not regret it. Very highly recommended!

Here are two recent shots made with this lens and a Canon 1000D.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small,light,bokeh,sharp,cute,outstanding colors, one of the sharpest Sigma primes ever produced
None that I know of

I own the version 2 of this lens with the stupid AF/MF switch removed, and has full manual focus override.

The lens is specially designed for APS-C dslrs and performs as a standard prime. At f1.4, the lens is incredibly sharp. I don't understand why some users complain of corners being soft at 1.4. Corners really should be soft at 1.4 because of the wide open aperture! However, the center is extremely razor sharp! Stop down to f4 and everything becomes sharper.

I also own the discontinued and super-expensive Nikkor 28 1.4 before, but had to sell the lens because I cannot keep a very expensive lens in my bag. After some hesitation, I bought this cheapo Sigma 1.4 and was floored by the results: I found that this might be even sharper than the Nikkor.

The colors are fantastic and the bokeh creamy. I still believe to this day that this is one of the sharpest Sigma prime lenses ever produced, along with the Sigma 14 2.8, and the 180macro.

Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Bokeh, Light, Price, Fantastic Headhunter
Blades are exposed at the rear which can be prone to dust and dirt. Hard to find lens even in

I own the "D" version of this lens which is the latest generation of the 180mm 2.8. Bought it used for a real cheapo price (the seller stupidly switched to Sony for whatever reason). Anyway his lost was my gain as I found this lens to be one of my sharpest primes. I own the 80-200 2.8 AF-D and this 180 is even sharper.

Anyway, this is one razor sharp lens and gives outstanding colors and creamy creamy bokeh. At 2.8, the lens is sharp enough and even becoming sharpest from f4 to f8. The length of this lens makes it a perfect headhunter and can be a great ambush lens. This lens is also light enough to make tripod-less shooting.

On the negative side, I found the exposed back of the lens prone to dirt. Also this lens is becoming hard to find even in Adorama and Ebay, achieving a legendary status reserved for the outstanding Nikkor lenses of all time.

I highly recommend this lens to anyone who wants the sharpest mid-tele at an affordable cost---that is, if you can find one.

Sigma 14mm f2.8 EX Aspherical

Review Date: Jan 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ultra-wide, crazy-sharp, solid, built like a tank, very close focusing, true aspherical, built-in hood, price has dropped off!
weight, domed front glass prone to finger marks

I bought this lens for $450, and you can buy it in Ebay at almost the same price. The significant drop in price made me consider to buy this lens as against the Nikon 14 which is thrice the price.

I discovered that the Sigma 14mm is a very superior lens in making images with my D300, D80, and even the D40x. It is already sharp at 2.8, becoming so crazy sharp at f4 and beyond. The colors are great and well saturated, although the skin tones remain correct!

What I love most about this lens is the unique bokeh it gives, especially when shooting macro. Indeed, I no longer need my macro lens as the Sigma 14 does the job well.

Perhaps my only gripe with this lens is its weight.Well, actually it may also be a plus because it balances well with the D300. But myD40x suffers in the weight of this magical beast.

My conclusion is that if you want a great alternative to the Nikon or Canon 14, you can consider the Sigma 14mm. You will be in for a pleasant surprise

Here are sample shots from this fantastic lens: