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70-200mm focal length 105-300mm equivalent focal length on APS-C camerasc 112-320mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum Ring-type ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing Image stabilizationc 4 stops claimed. Dual modec normal and panning 77mm filters 1.40m/55.12 minimum focus Available in Canon EFc Nikon F (FX)c Pentax KAF3c Sony Alphac Sigma SA mountsExtra Description
Style: Sony Digital DSLR Camera Sigmas APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is the second generation of this large aperture telephoto zoom lens now incorporating Sigmas Optical Stabilization functionc OSc our own anti-shake system which makes viewing a stabilized image in the viewfinder possible for Sony and Pentax users if chosen. Two FLD glass elementsc which have the performance equal to fluorite glass have also been added along with three SLD glass elementsc all which provide excellent correction of color aberration. In spite of the additions of all of these featuresc Sigma has managed to make the lens more compact than its predecessorc measuring only 7.8 in length. For any serious photographer where the 70-200mm focal range is often the most important second lens to own after the initial standards lens or mid range zooms. The fast aperture is extremely useful and important in low light environments or when shooting fast moving situations where a higher shutter speed demands maximum lights thru the lens. HSM ensures quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focus capability. Super Multi-Layer lens coating reduces flare ghosting and assures high image quality throughout the entire zoom range. It has a minimum focusing distance of 55.1 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8 The rounded 9 blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out of focus images. This lens is equipped with a petal-type hood. Its exceptional versatility as an all-around lens is perfect for journalists and wedding photographers. This latest version of the Sigma 70-200mm is well regarded for its outstanding image qualityc light weight and ease of operation. From the Manufacturer brbr Large aperture telephoto zoom lens incorporating Sigmas original Optical Stabilizer function This large aperture telephoto zoom lensc incorporating Sigmas original Optical Stabilizer functionc covers focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm and offers a constant aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range. The OS function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. It makes shooting easy for many types of photography such as portraits and sports. Two FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elementsc which have performance equal to fluorite glassc and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of color aberration. Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. The lens incorporates HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor)c ensuring a quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focus capability. It is also possible to attach Sigmas optional APO Tele Converters. No Optical Stabilizer (top). With Optical Stabilizer (bottom). Super Multi-Layer Coating The lens is equipped with Sigmas own unique OS (Optical Stabilizer) function. This system offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possiblec making telephoto shooting easy. Mode 1 is ideal for general photography and Mode 2 is designed for panning subjects such as racing cars. For Sony and Pentax mountc the built-in OS function of this lens can be used even if the camera body is equipped with an anti-shake function. As compensation for camera shake is visible in the view finderc the photographer can easily check for accurate focus and ensure there is no subject movement. For Pentax and Sony mountsc it is not possible to use the AF and the built-in OS function of this lens when attaching it to film SLR cameras as well as Pentax ist series and K100D. When using the OS function of a lens with a camera which incorporates a stabilizer unitc please turn the cameras stabilizer unit off. This lens cannot be used with film SLR cameras with the exception of the Nikon F6 and Canon EOS-1v. Compact construction This lens has a compact construction with a diameter of 3.4inc overall length of 7.8in. and weight of 50.4oz. This compact and lightweight construction makes it ideal for many types of photography such as portraitsc landscapes and sports. No Super Multi-Layer Coating (left). With Super Multi-Layer Coating (right). Excellent Optical Performance This lens features two FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elementsc which have the performance equal to fluorite glassc and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements providing excellent correction of color aberration. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and ensures high contrast images. High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range. FLD glass is the highest level low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission. This optical glass has a performance equal to fluorite glass which has a low refractive index and low dispersion compared to current optical glass. It also benefits from high anomalous dispersion. These characteristics give excellent correction for residual chromatic aberration (secondary spectrum) which cannot be corrected by ordinary optical glass and ensures high definition and high contrast images. Hyper Sonic Motor High speed and quiet AF HSM indicates lenses equipped with a Hyper Sonic Motorc driven by ultrasonic waves. Incorporation of HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures quiet and high speed autofocusc while allowing full-time manual focus override. For Sony and Pentax mountc AF will not function with DSLR cameras that do not support HSM. Rounded diaphragm This lens has a rounded 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive bokeh to the out of focus area. Lens Construction In a conventional lensc focusing requires an extension of the entire lens or the front lens group. Howeverc to better accommodate autofocusing mechanisms and closeup photographyc a need has arisen for lenses that do not change their length during focusing or suffer from focus-dependent variation in aberration. Thereforec Sigma has developed focusing systems that only move elements within the lens barrel. These incorporate smaller and lighter moving lens elements which help improve auto-focus speed. With their unchanging barrel length and small variation in the center of gravityc these lenses also enhance balance and stability for the photographer. Furthermorec since the front of the lens does not rotatec polarizing filters can be used with extra convenience. Specifications Lens Construction 22 Elements in 17 Groups Angle of View 34.3 - 12.3 degrees Number of Diaphragm Blades 9 Blades (Rounded diaphragm) Minimum Aperture F22 Minimum Focusing Distance 140cm / 55.1in. Maximum Magnification 1:8 Dimensions Diameter 86.4mm x Length 197.6mm /3.4in. x 7.8in. Weight 1430g / 50.4oz. MTF Chart View Larger Image MTF (Modular Transfer Function) is one of the measurements that evaluates a lens performancec and it contrasts sensitivity at different spacial frequencies. The horizontal axis is in millimeters and shows the distance from the center of the image toward the edgesc and contrast value (highest value is 1) is shown in the vertical axis. The readings at 10 lines per millimeter measure the lens contrast ability (red lines)c repeating fine parallel lines spaced at 30 lines per millimeter measure the lens sharpness ability (green lines)c when the aperture is wide open. Fine repeating line sets are created parallel to a diagonal line running from corner to corner of the framec are called Sagittal lines (S) and sets of repeating lines vertical to these lines are drawnc called Meridional (M) line sets. Distortion View Larger Image effective distortion: When you take a picture of a lattice patternc it will appear as the blue dotted line shows. the red line illustrates how the lattice pattern will appear in the actual picture when any lens distortion is taken into account. relative distortion: In this chartc the horizontal axis shows the ideal image height (the distance from the center to the edge of the image mm). The vertical axis shows the extent of distortion. The extent of the distortion is represented by how much Yc which is the actual image heightc grows (or shrinks) against Y0 which is the ideal image height. Extent of distortion: D%(Y-Y0/Y0)x100 When you take the picture of a square objectc if the distortion amount show a minus valuec the image will be seen as expanded (Barrel distortion). If the distortion amount is a plus valuec it will be seen as a recessed (pincushi on distortion). When the distortion value is close to 0c the appearance of distortion is very minimal. Vignetting View Larger Image The horizontal axis shows the image height (the distance from the center to the edge of the image mm). The vertical axis shows the amount of light in the image (based on the amount of light in the image center being 100%). If the peripheral amount of light is lower than the centerc the four corners of the image will be darker (vignetting).
Probably like a lot of you right nowc I agonized over this decision for about a year. As a Canon shooterc I have the good fortune to be able to outfit with an enormous range of the very best telephotos made. For around the same price as this lensc I could get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USMc one of the sharpest if not the sharpest lens produced in this category. For a whole lot less I could get either the f/4 or f/2.8 in non-stabilized form. And of coursec the gold standard of photo journalistsc the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USMc albeit for a cool extra grand. Theres even the excellent Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. What follows is yet another of my ILWRs (incredibly long winded reviews)c make yourself comfortable! br brSoc why consider a third party lens at all Wellc if youre here you know its because of the magic of f/2.8. All of that glass gives you twice the light of an f/4. Were also not all made of money. $1c000 extra is a lot of coin for a lensc especially when your livelihood doesnt depend on it. There are definite advantages to the Canon (or Nikkor) brands. Metal builds. Weather resistance (not waterproof). Guaranteed forward compatibility. Peace of mind. Oh yesc and that red ring for Canon shooters. br brThat saidc Ive come to like the Sigma brand as of late. Theyre upping their game and producing some of the very best macro lenses on the marketc and a huge range of UWA lenses for crop-sensor cameras. Ive had great luck with my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM and Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD . Since Im lacking a good lens with range and speedc a fast telephoto seemed in order. I honestly invested in Canon to own one of those gray beautiesc but wanted to keep an open mind (and less open wallet) when it came to a new lens. br brSoc I read every single review I could lay my hands on. I even brushed up on my German! I asked people on photo forums for every thought and photo theyd post. In Europec this lens is garnering rave reviewsc winning awards and placing incredibly well in comparisons. In the end of coursec it comes down to going rogue or sticking with the known commodity. Emboldened by my recent experience with the Sigma 17-50c I took the plunge. br brThat saidc this lens is far and away better than I ever imagined. When it comes to reviews and reviewersc the top of the line lenses by Nikkor and Canon have obviously jaded everyone. The bar is set incredibly high. Remember that when Sigma introduced this lensc the first generation lenses were the target. And herec Sigma succeeds in spades. Its only when compared to the second generation it has some shortcomings - but it also succeeds over its competition in places. br brThe optical traits of this lens are complexc and when examining detailed MTF charts and other datac Id agree with a lot of it. But where the rubber meets the road so to speak - optically this lens simply stands up to comparisonsc period. I was fully expecting to see softness at f2.8c weak edges and poor contrast. Wellc if you have to A/B photos with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II at 100% to see the difference (and you do)c then the Sigma has already won the first round. Seriouslyc this lens is quite sharp at f2.8 (especially from 100-200c which is at odds with some review MTF charts)c and then at f4 competes with pretty much anything. The big weakness Ive found exists around f2.8-5.6 at 70mmc and thats red CA on distant (50) contrasting objects. The flick of a sliderc or using the lenss filter in Adobe RAW or Lightroom solves it. Reallyc Im guilty of pixel peeping in the first degreec and scan around my shots at 100% far too often. Not only is this completely unrealisticc but extremely gratifying when I cant find anything to complain about! Once you move beyond 70mm - say 135 up this lens is amazing. Photos of flowers at f2.8 reveal every single hair on a honey beec and all the little crystals of pollen on its legs and the flower stamens. And it gets sharper from there Wow. br brOkayc optically this thing rocks. But reallyc where are the shortcuts Ill continue to outline the characteristics of the lens in sections to give you my thoughts (such as they are) of tradeoffs and omissions. br brIQ: brThe lens is sharp. Some very minor softness is exhibited at the edgesc and more in the very corners of an image depending on focal length. According to chartsc there are certain focal lengths + apertures where the center is actually softer than mid-framec which is sharper than center frame in other places. As I mentionedc it has complex optical traits. Have I personally found those places and said ohc look! No. Im still looking though! Theres a lot more to a good lens than sharpness. br brColor and contrast is wonderful. If you own any Sigma lensesc the color has the same warmish cast - which Ive come to prefer over Canons slightly crisp-cool blue coloration. Care needs to be given working wide open howeverc and attention given to your histogram. I find it a bit more sensitive here than my 17-50 f2.8c but just a bit. br brDistortion is negligible. Ive already mentioned CAc which is one of the few things that annoy me with any lens. Its absent for most of the range and apertures. If you point the lens at the sunc you will get flaring. Its most noticeable again at 70. I dont believe its any worse than any of the other 70-200 fast lenses; its going to happen with that many elements in a lens. Shooting in the general direction of the sun poses no issues. Unlike many telephotos or poorly coated lensesc work against reflective and bright objects is not a problem. br brBokehc its marvelous! This really rivals some of my older primes. This is something Ive personally always deemed secondary for image quality in a zoom. But when youve got itc its noticed and appreciated. Foreground and background images blur wonderfullyc you can just see that plane of focus simply slicing through your image. Theres no etchingc busyness or vortex effect. Light reflections are frosty and shimmerc just hanging in space. Colors blend effortlessly. The end result is far better than I ever expected here. br brLow light performance is great. Theres something thats really hard to pin downc but its more than just romanticized. Yet its accurate. I was taking photos of flowers in our backyard just at duskc the sun was down but in the summer evening the light was wonderful. Somehow this lens caught it. I was floored. I took pictures the following evening with 2 other lenses and this onec and got the same effect only from the Sigma. Somehow it just gets the color of the lightc and you just know when it was. You can feel the dense air and stillness of the moment. Simply magical. Could you get the same effect in PP Probablyc especially if you had a shot from this lens to compare it to! That sounds sillyc doesnt it Indoorsc you can capture images with only the slightest light coming in from the windows. Here againc by not having to crank up the ISOc and dropping the shutter speedc the ambiance of the moment is yours for the taking. This is all enhanced by the creamy dreamy bokeh of the wide-open lens and the abilities of the OS. This lens will be pushing your creative buttons with a heavy hand. br brBreathing brJust a word about lens breathing. When I purchased the Sigmac I was also testing the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD. In comparing the 2 lenses (which I did heavily for a few days)c the close distance difference was quite noticeable on the Sigma. This may or may not drive you nuts. To mec if what I see is what I getc Im fine with it. Butc if you compare the shrinkage to another similar or fixed lensc be aware that youll lose reach. It seems most noticeable at 70mmc but is apparent throughout the range. To offer an unscientific guessc Id say its about a 20mm loss. I believe its in good company with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II being about the same in that regard. Not many mention thisc but it is a weakness of the lens and is worth noting. br brOS brSigmas Optical Stabilization is very goodc but not amazing. Smooth handling pays offc sloppy shooting is not entirely compensated for. I have easily managed shots down to 1/12c but alternatelyc have had some with obvious motion blur at even 1/60. I have not used setting 2 for panning yet - but will insert my thoughts when I give that one a spin. Im quite sure a lot of what Im experiencing has to do with the weight of the lens. Other telephotos Ive used seem betterc but they also weigh a fraction of the Sigma. When initiatedc youll detect a slight jump in the viewfinderc and a very subtle clunk as it engages. Complaints about noisy OS should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The OS remains engaged for about 2 seconds and shuts off with a similar clunk. While 3.15 pounds of lens doesnt seem like much at firstc fatigue does set in after a while. Consider a good monopod or similar if dedicated shooting over a period of time is anticipated. br brUnfortunately for Sony and Pentax users there is no version without OS available. I know some that have gotten the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II Macro for this reason. Even more unfortunatec the OS lens is a complete redesign opticallyc and IMHO far superior. Only you can judge if its worth the $400 upgrade. It really is a shame that Sigma doesnt make a version without the OS in these mounts for a little less. I have a feeling though that people would then be complaining theres not a non-OS version available for Canon and Nikon! Soc Pentax and Sony users get the short shrift on this one. br brBuild Quality brThis is where youll notice some of your $1000 savings. Butc it doesnt seem like it. The build is tight and solid. Its plastic. Solid and dense plasticc and I dont mean to be facetious. Tapping on the broad section of the barrel gives off a telltale slight hollow sound. That asidec overall the lens has a built of a piece feeling to it. In this regard it holds up to the competition very well. Unlike the first versions of this lensc mine is completely new finish. Its a silkyc smooth finish that seems unfazed by fingerprints. Most review copies (or as shown in photo here) had combination old and new finish. The focus and zoom ring portions of the barrel had the old flat finishc giving it an odd 2-tone appearance. br brTo back up even further (if you dont know)c Sigmas originally had a sort of matt crinkle finish on their lenses. This was excellent at disguising the plasticc and many assumed their lenses were metal. It had a nice felt-like appearancec and slight insulating properties. Howeverc the old finish was supposedly prone to wear or peeling. While this never happened to mec I can say that the old finish is extremely difficult to clean and keep clean. Im delighted with the more homogenized aesthetic now that Ive seen itc and Im positive it will wear better over time. br brThe metal mount is solid and well machined (at least the Canon version)c and connects smoothly and effortlessly. The interior of the back element is finished with black ribbing up to the glass element. The front element goes right to the edge as you would expectc it conveys every single one of its 22 elements. Looking into the eye of this lens really is a sexy experience! It positively lights up. New for Sigmac and now carried over on their 50-150 f2.8 OSc the focus group is placed to the rear of the lens. The zoom ring is prominently placed forward - which may or may not be an issue for some people. br brThe lens is not weather resistant. Thats probably the biggest trade off. And one I happily relinquish. If youre livelihood depends on your camerac then it makes all the sense in the world to get the best lens money can buy for your body. You dont know where youll need to be and when to get the shot. For avid photographers and hobbyists its the same. If money is no object and you dont want to come in out of the rainc by all means get the very best. Im fairly confident though that this lens will not be affected by a slight misting or spray. And no lens is sand or dust proofc so caution is advised in any outdoor situation with any lens! Ive read too many sad stories about sand in L lenses. A clear filter may be in order on these occasions: Marumi DHG Super Digital High Grade MC Lens Protect Slim Safety Filter 77mm br brHandling and Operation brOccupying the forward positionc the wide zoom ring is smooth as silk. Its completely linear with zero variation in frictionc and a delight to use. The ring turns counterclockwise to go upc right or wrong depending on your platform! Just behind it is the narrow focus ringc which also offers just the right amount of resistance and silkiness. It rotates about 120° with a soft stop. Focus distance is displayed on the scale window - accuracy is yet TBD. The zoom and focus ring have slightly different sized/spaced hard-rubber ridges; the result is the zoom ring feeling a bit sharperc a nice Sigma touch. Nice not because thats unusualc but because visually they look nearly identical which helps streamline the look. Most other lenses have decidedly different looking rib patterns. Howeverc since the focus ring is so narrowc theres little chance youd mix them up even if they were identical. It will take some folks a bit of time to adjust to the forward zoom position though. br brSitting on a raised section and held by 4 screws are the 2 switches for manual focus and the OS off and on positions 1 & 2. The switches operate in a precise and positive manner; I dont feel these will suffer accidental switching when pulling in and out of your bag. All in allc you wont really see or feel anything that seems like corner cutting here. The balance of the lens is something worth noting. Mounted on my 60D (24 oz.)c the balance of the lens is almost perfect if the fulcrum point were just forward of the collar. Add another 2-4 ounces and you could literally balance it with one finger under the mounting point. So basicallyc right where youll be grasping the lens in a one-handed mode the balance is 50/50c which makes a huge difference. Im sure this is not accidentalc and it is greatly appreciated. This is not something Id expect on a budget lens. Bonus points! I have 3 Sigma EX lensesc and as nice as they operatec this is the first one that Id put against an L lens for overall feel. br brPossible omissions here would be a focus limiter switchc and a switch for range. The first isnt really necessary depending on your body or platform. You can usually limit excessive hunting through the menus. With this lens its really not an issue with a modern body. The second switch however could be helpful. Againc Ive not had any focus issues when shooting near objectsc if youd call it near. One downside to this lens is the minimum focus distance of 55.1c or about 4.6 feet. Id say its closer to 5 if not a bit morec but I havent measured it. I can say Ive had to step back several times to be able to achieve near focus. br brAF brThe operation of the HSM is near flawlessc its fast and accurate. The Canon lenses are notably faster from infinity to near focusc and back again. 50% faster Maybec but thats about it. While this looks really great on paper or youtube shootoutsc I cant think of many times where Ive gone from one distance extreme to the otherc and frequently. If you tend to shoot: wifec moonc wifec moonc wifec moon and time is of the essencec then perhaps this is the wrong lens. Orc if your paycheck depends on catching unexpected and sudden shots. Once youre anywhere near a given rangec the focus is plenty fast going from subject to subject or tracking. The performance of the HSM really is another highlight of this lens. Ive not experience one time where its been off or missed. No issues with front or back focus which is greatc since my camera cant MFA. br brFocus Testing Methodology br4 types of focusing methods have been tried and proven on this lens. The first and foremost is single center-point (one shot) focusing. Back to backc dozens of shots at a time at various lengths and apertures. This was done to see if focus is consistent and accurate every time. It is. Subjects included dogsc the S.O. (who likes getting her picture taken up to a point)c flowers and plantsc landscapesc dogsc brick and stucco walls and dogs. These were all shot between 6-60 mostlyc with some leaning towards infinity. Additionallyc the standard battery test was implemented to see if there was any tendency for front or back focus. There is not. Ambient/low light tests were also tried to check for hunting. No issues were found here either. Pretty much if you can see itc and you can get the shot handheldc there are no issues as far as locking on. No further tests necessary here. br brSecond was multi-point focus (selected) for accuracy in corners. No issues. Shooting involved the same subject matter as above. Just as fast and quick to lock on as center point. The third focus tests involved AI servo and burst modec to see if there were problems tracking - and to check for speed as well. Keeper rate is about 90%c most problems were deemed user error. Its so hard to find good help. This lens would probably be good for (close) BIF shots in skilled hands with the appropriate body. For motorsports its a natural. Of course it will absolutely shine for indoor sports such as basketball or outdoor sports like soccer and baseball. My humble little 60D however is no match for the lens. Im sure things would only improve with a 7Dc a 5D mkiii or a D800 for that matter! br brFinally we have live mode. Ive tried live mode in daylight and very low light conditions. Contrast detection by nature is slowerc so speed really isnt something any lens excels with here. The Sigma has no problems in brighter conditionsc but when things get really dark c past handheld c the lens noticeably slows . It also for the most part will go past its focus point and then go backc but always on the first pass. In this regardc it behaves as every other lens Ive used with my body anyway. Since live mode is so camera and system dependantc it may behave completely different on your body. br brGoodies brAs with most Sigma lensesc you get everything you need to start enjoying your lens immediately. It comes with a hoodc and a hood extender for crop sensor cameras. I have left that in the boxc the hood is big enough to deal with. As with the 17-50c the hood throws some folks. Simply line up the in arrow with the dot on the lens and rotate. When it stopsc rotate a bit harder and it will snap into place with a nice firm click. Sigma includes a high quality zippered hard padded case for storagec with a carrying strap. Also included is their excellent tripod mounting collar. Its easy to use and take on and off literally using only one hand. The finish is a nice silky smooth dense coating on metalc with a polished anodized metal band on the rings interior for a scratch-free mating. Lines on it correspond to lens markings for horizontal and vertical use. I can say this absolutely blows away the Canon collars. A center pinch lens cap and back cap finish off the package. br brPros: br Fantastic build quality br F2.8 br Great sharpness at f2.8 br Amazing sharpness throughout br Great color and contrast br Fast AF br Smooth and easy operation br Optical Stabilization br Great balance br Hoodc case and tripod collar included br 4 year warranty br brCons: br Weight br Lack of weather resistance br Plastic build br Minimum focus distance of 55.1 br Reversed hood on lens makes operation impossible br Third party (possible future compatibility issues) br No version without OS for Pentax & Sony users br No gray body and red ring br brYeahc thats it. Im almost done. Ill join the chorus of what took me so long. This lens is remarkablec and in places the performance is off the charts. Certainly a lens of this type really is a personal decision. A 70-200 is most often a second or third lens of choice for the avid hobbyist. But when you need onec you know it. If I were shooting as a pro (which I doc but not with this type of lens) Id lean towards the best Canon or Nikkor lenses without a doubt. You dont often get second chances if youre a photo journalist. Theyre rugged and dependablec and can go anywhere. The AF will work fast and flawlessly on their given platform. They will continue to function day after day after day in all conditions giving consistent results. br brFor a lot of us thoughc this may not be the #1 go-to lens in our arsenal. In factc the cameras might not even come out until the weekend. But if youre shooting a Nieces weddingc capturing your Sons soccer gamec or snapping the Grand Daughters piano recital Saturday night - this lens is p-e-r-f-e-c-t. The money saved will buy you a lot of extra equipment. Or one trip to the orthodontist. Alsoc if youre shooting a crop sensor camerac check out the Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. Its performance on cropped sensor is as good and potentially better on crop. Its a bit less expensivec and visually identical to this lens. A heck of a bargain if you intend to stay with cropped sensors. br brIf youre just starting to lookc dpreview.com and lenstip.com are good beginning points. Both of these sites have photos and charts to compare. Dpreview has a particularly informative interactive chart where you can choose the lenses and camera bodies. You can pit the Sigma against first and second generation Canon and Nikon 70-200 f2.8 lenses. This chart will show how close and at times even better the Sigma can bec and also how much of an improvement it is over the first generation f2.8s from Canon and Nikon. br brAgainc theres always the caveat of a third party lens and forward compatibility. That saidc and without the slightest hesitationc I give this lens 5 stars. If all things were equal (and theyre not)c the Canon would get 5 stars and this one 4.5. The performance and value of this lens is simply off the charts for a mid level enthusiast lens. I look forward to see whats in store from Sigma in the future. Theyve hit it out of the park with this lens in so many ways. Thank you Sigma! And thanks for sticking with me. Theres a lot of good lenses out therec you cant really go wrong with most. But you can certainly save some money if you want toc and still get an amazing piece of equipment that will keep you happy for many years. I hope my thoughts on it will help you make an informedc confident decision! br br Update 9/20/13 brBack in August - exactly one year after this review I purchased a Canon 6D. Ive had over a month to evaluate it - and again another trip to Hawaii. br brThe Performance of this lens is simply astounding on the full frame. It didnt need the handicap of shooting on APS-C! In factc it is muchc much better as far as sharpness edge-to-edge than my EF 24-105 f4L IS. The 2 new L lenses I purchased needed MFA on the 6D on both endsc and are also just a bit soft on my 60D. In fairnessc this is 100% pixel peeping. I mean theyre sharpc but not compared to the Sigma. Andc the Sigma needed no MFA at all. Wide open its fantastic. I guess the one thing I have to get used to is the razor thin depth of field at f2.8. I have to stop up just so I have more than a half an inch of focal plane! Im delighted I got this lens in anticipation of going FF. Its a gem. brFive Fantastic Full Frame Stars!