out of 5
I have used this lens for about 6 months now and have had my share of good photos and disappointments. However, there are three pics that it captured that made the lens a worthwhile investment. To begin with I will talk of the flaws. The lens is somewhat slow at the long end. 5.6 is just too slow to do any shooting on all but the brightest days. At 400mm it is also soft until you get to at least f8 and better at f11. It is also very contrasty (generally a good thing but on a digital camera it can blow the whites out). I like to shoot by under exposing about a 1/2 stop to prevent this. Oh, remember a tripod don't even try without a tripod. You will think this lens never comes to focus if you don't use one. The zoom ring is stiff as well. The front of the lens extends way out at 400mm. I didn't find this a good thing. AF is quick enough if the subject makes up at least 10% of the frame, however, if it does not the it will hunt. Now the good (and there is a lot of good). It is very sharp under 300mm. It will rival almost anything in your bag at 135-300mm. Like I said it is also very contrasty. Colors are neutral and there is NO (none)chromatic abberation! This is the purple fringing that ruins very contrasty shots like a backlit fence or bridges aganist the sky. Flare though present is well controled. Build quality other than the stiff zoom is excellent. It doesn't feel as if it will fall apart. AF motor was not overly noisy but was audible and as I said above fast enough. The focus ring is wider than most af lenses and was smooth feeling as well. If you are going to use it though make sure you are "spot on" as there is not much depth of field in a tele of this size. Worth the $500.00 or so... YOU BET
8/30/2005 12:15:17 AM
Michael E. Johnson
out of 5
I have been using this lens for a while. It is a bit long, and a Mono pod or tripod is needed. I have used it at night for my son's football games with a flash and baseball. The pictures are good. Auto Focus is slow compared to the Sigma EX series lenses like the 120 to 300 f2.8 or the 50 to 500. For a person on a budget needing a long zoom this lens does well.