9 out of 10 points and recommendedPrime-like overall image quality (simply beautiful and sharp images). Impressive bokeh. Usefull 1.5m minimal distance focus switch. "L standard" 77mm filter thread. Best USM lens I ever used, period.Price, but you get what you pay for (worth every penny). White...but you get used to it and in the end you start loving it. The original hood is very expensive.
My best lens ever. If you hear someone say "the image quality is similar to primes" believe him. It is a prime with a 70-200 range.reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $1,200)
This lens produce an impressive bokeh, one of the best I've seen. And what can be said about USM...it's just addictive. Fast, silent and precise. Once you try it, you don't want to go back to anything else.
One thing to note about this lens is the price for a replacement hood (ET-83II). I bought this lens second hand and since the hood had some marks over it but the rest of the lens was mint I decided to go and buy a new hood just to match the awesome conservation of the lens. 45 bucks was the cheapest I could find...if you add the delivery cost to that you have a lot of money for a piece of plastic...of course you can get a 77mm hood from some other brand...if you don't mind going < 100% original. Besides that and the 1k+ price tag, this is a dream lens to have. I would only replace it with a bigger range lens with similar performance.
Some pics taken with it:
8 out of 10 points and recommendedInexpensive for a 24-70 F/2.8. Sigma EX = Great build quality. When the AF works fine you can achieve impressive results. 82mm hood included.If you have a bad copy you will ocassionaly have front focus problems. No HSM. 82mm filter thread. A bit big and heavy.
(Canon mount)reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $510)
Bought this one second hand. After using it for portrait photography for a while I realized that about 35% of the pics I took with the lens where out of focus! In my case there was not a defined pattern for this behavior, some times it was obviously front focused while some others it was back focused.
That seems to be the Aquiles Heel of this particular lens from Sigma, everything else is great for the price paid. It`s a deal as far as you get a good copy.
On that 65% of perfectly focused pictures the quality was impressive.
+: EX finish is great. Lens pouch and hood are included.
-: Autofocus is very noisy. 82mm filter thread (makes good filters very-very expensive and hard to find)
Sold the lens half a year ago. After analizing the different options I decided to switch to primes for portrait photography. Got a Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC right now, very happy with it & the 30D.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedImpressive image quality. F1.4!! EX finish and Q. ultra-silent HSM. Hood & pouch included. Lightweight.Border sharpness could be better (for a prime). Cropped factor only. Produces some vignetting even on the 30D (below F2.8)
(Canon mount)reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $410)
This beauty IS my first prime and I have to say, I will never regret for the day I bought it.
Got the chance to shoot so many pictures with it and in so many different situations: Portrait, Lansdcape, indoors/outdoors and it simply works great all the time.
First of all, the fact that it is F1.4 lets you shoot almost everywhere-anytime you want. It image quality is excelent overall though borders are a bit to soft for a prime. That, and the fact that it produces some slightly noticeable vignetting below F2.8 are the only two image quality issues, but believe me, they are not THAT bad as they sound as neither of those weakneses are very pronounced.
The box includes a lens hood and a pouch (very handy). 62mm filter thread is OK for the filters are not that expensive on that size.
As usual Sigma's EX & HSM are a killer combination. You'll love this lens. I only wish it would be FF compatible so I would never have to sell it.
Some pics taken with it:
9 out of 10 points and recommendedRange of course, very good image quality, HSM, EX quality, comes with a soft-case & hood, price.86mm filter size, wish it was at least a constant F4.
(Canon mount)reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $980)
I will use as a reference for this review the Canon 70-200 F2.8L which, I believe, is one of the greatest sub-2k lens available:
The main reason why I actually sold the 70-200 was the "short" range, and I have to say this is the MOST impressive feature of the Sigma all-in-all. I knew from the beginning this "extra-range" was going to cost me some "image quality", but to be honest, image quality was not that much compromissed and, to my surprise, the lens even shows some highlights where it outperforms the Canon. For example: Though overall image quality of the 70-200 is better, the 50-500 produces a better bokeh in about every situation.
HSM and EX finish are two very pleasant details (even though the lens is not weather sealed, but for a sub-1000u$s this is not surprising).
Another plus: the lens comes with a soft-case and hood.
Now the minuses:
86mm filter size is not cheap at all, but well, considering this lens is "only" about 950u$s and the only comparable lens in the market, the Canon 100-400L, is almost 500u$s+ (talking always about the Canon mount version)...then spending an extra 70 bucks for the UV filter is still a good deal.
Lack of stabilization and excessive weight are complains you can usually read here for this piece of glass, but IMHO any serious 300mm+ lens should be used with, at least, a monopod to achieve better results, and since I always carry a monopod in the backpack, neither of these are considered as minuses by me, but have in mind before buying that this is an almost 2 kilo (4 pounds) non-stabilized lens.
My biggest complain with this lens is the aperture. The F4-6.3 is a real limit to the posibilities of it. Though with an appropriate camera and a careful setting you can almost override most of the "light requirement" limitations and shoot everywhere-anytime. Of course you wouldn´t have to care for all that with a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM but well, you need an extra 5.5K to get one of those, so in the end this Sigma jewel is kind of a real deal.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedRange. Cheap. In general it is a good perfomer (for the price you have to pay for it, of course).CA. Resolution. Cheap build.
(Canon mount)reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $130)
This was my first lens back when I switched from P&S cameras to DSRLs so for me at that time, the quality of the pictures I took with it where very nice and the results exiting. But even after more than a year using DSLRs and having the chance to use many lenses in the meantime, you simply can't believe this is a 120u$s lens by looking at the pictures it produces, especially when comparing those pictures with others taken with lenses that are as much as 10 times the cost of this one.
All in all the lens is a great deal for what you pay. Image quality is very acceptable and the range is very usefull.
On the down side: pictures have a noticeable chromatic aberration and it's construction is very "cheap", not only in the looks but in the feel too, but for 120 bucks that is more than acceptable.
A couple of pics taken with it: