This lens is a beast, plain and simple. The way that it is constructed it feels like it should cost three times as much. The plastic doesn’t feel cheap like some third party lenses and the manual focus mechanism is tight and sturdy. The lens has 14 elements which are organized into ten groups and boasts an amazing angle of view.
The only thing I found that was a bit touchy is taking the lens into and out of Macro mode. The mode itself only works when the lens is extended to 200-300mm and it clicks on seamlessly. The issue sometimes is turning the mode off. I found that if the zoom isn’t situated just right on either the 200 or 300 mark the button will not move, however a little manual manipulation of the focus ring seemed to do the trick and it clicked.
The lens also does not have vibration reduction, and although I haven’t experienced a big issue with it, I have noticed in some photographs that they had come out a little shaky. This issues typically had arisen in low-light situations where “P” mode would compensate with a bit longer of an exposure. Nothing your trusty tripod can’t fix.
The telephoto capabilities of the lens are astounding, and coupled with the quick auto focus motor it’s a unique weapon to use in the field. With the built in Macro mode and you can really get some amazing photographs, and you’ll quickly find this lens indispensable.
Here’s a quick break down of the lens stats…
- 14 Elements in 10 Groups
- Angle of View: 34.3 – 8.2 degrees
- Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 Blades
- Minimum Aperture: F22
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 95-150cm / 37.4-59.1 in.
- Maximum Magnification: 1:4.1 (1:2 Macro mode)
- Filter Size: Diameter 58mm (Rear)
- Filter Size: Bayonet-type Hood
- Diameter: 76.6mm
- Length: 119.5mm
- Weight: 540g/19 oz.
Sigma supplies you with a hard plastic bayonet style hood, which unlike the lens feels cheap… I haven’t actually used the hood with the lens yet, I haven’t had the need to. Lens flare (unless you’re trying to create it) is virtually non-existent.
It weighs only about 19 oz. and is not too large and bulky to safely fit into my sling bag making for some pretty convenient transport.
The first photo is one I took of my Australian Shepard Rivet, who was about 150 yards away… and he never holds still, so I’m considering this one mission accomplished. The second photo is of flowers on a bush–utilizing Macro mode–I was still standing about 3-4 feet away from the flower and got stunning results.
Verdict: 4/5 stars
A lot of people are going to pass this off as a “beginner” or “amateur” lens because of it’s price tag. I don’t typically agree with that. This lens easily stands up next to similar brand lens with the much higher price, and holds it’s own. With the added feature of Macro mode and the insane depth of field, this lens bolsters itself as a must have in any photographer’s arsenal.
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