5 out of 10 points and recommendedVery well built and professional feel/look.Much too soft at max aperture and range.
I recently received this lens from an on-line vendor for my Nikon DSLR. I was pretty excited opening the package and immediately noticed how well the lens was built. This thing is built like a tank! Very professional and nice looking. The lens motor was very quiet and fast. I tested this lens over a period of two days at various distances and lighting conditions.reviewed February 4th, 2007 (purchased for $889)
Unfortunately at (200mm @ f2.8), the range I planned to use this lens the most I found was extremely soft. In this range was also a glowing effect around contrasting areas. Zooming down to 135 or less significantly increased the sharpness. Also bumping the f-stop to 4.5 or a little above increased the sharpness significantly, but the glow near the contrasting areas was not as easily eliminated.
To be fair, I don't know if this particular lens is faulty or if all the Sigma lenses are this poor.
I plan to return this lens for a refund and hope that I'm not as disappointed with a new Nikon lens.
Here are some examples (lens mounted on tripod) showing 2.8 and 4.5 aperture differences:
10 out of 10 points and recommendedVery quiet and nice reach.A little slow focusing in low light.
This lens really surprised me on my D200. Previously I had a Sigma 70-300, however I wanted to get VR for some of those moments when there was just enough light to hand hold at the long end. I'm amazed at the SIGNIFICANT difference in image quality of my old Sigma 70-300 compared to the Nikon. As it turns out, this lens is not only quiet, great VR performance, great reach, but the sharpness of this particular lens is incredible! Although > 200mm the lens gets just slightly softer, but it's really still very good up to 300 mm. Stopping down a little helps some, however I'm totally surprised at the overall quality of this lens! The contrast, colors and sharpness of this lens makes this a great value for me @ $499.reviewed February 20th, 2007 (purchased for $499)
10 out of 10 points and recommendedImage Quality and PriceZoom ring turns different than my other lenses, but not big deal once use to it.
This lens completely surprised me with its image quality. I wanted a fast lens and was willing to take a small hit in quality to get the speed, but to my surprise, this lens ended up being sharper, better contrast and color than my Nikon lens! Even at 2.8 the sharpness is incredible. If you are considering this lens at all, don't hesitate...it's an incredible lens, even if it would have cost more...My only regret is delaying the purchase of this lens because I was worried about the quality and how I thought "you get what you pay for". If you are looking for great image quality and pretty good construction and speed...go get this lens now!reviewed March 12th, 2009 (purchased for $435)
There are a few others who rated this lens as poor, but I'm guessing that's a small group who may not be using the lens properly or else may have a defective lens, however the number of positive reviews I see here for this particular lens are a very good indication of how happy people are with this lens and how they want to share this excitement with others.
Good luck on whatever you decide...