New Lens - Sigma 24-135 2.8/4.5

Started Jul 21, 2006 | Discussions thread
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New Lens - Sigma 24-135 2.8/4.5
Jul 21, 2006

I can now be officially welcomed into the Sigma 24-135 club. Mine arrived yesterday. I thought I'd share a coupe of first impressions.

First of all this is a good size lens. I knew when I ordered it that it took 77mm filters but it wasn't until I received it and had it in my hands did I actually realize the size. The size is really not a problem, just bigger than expected but it weighted less than I expected. The zoom is a bit stiff but I'm sure it will loosen up. One other thing that surprised me was the zoom ring rotates the opposite direction from my other zooms. Again not an issue, just takes getting used to.

I did a couple quick, unscientific tests to see the performance. I use an open sheet of newspaper taped to my wall as a target. It won't give me lines of resolution but I just wanted to get a feel for the corner sharpness. At 24mm/2.8 and the newspaper filling the viewfinder side-to-side I was very pleased with the results. Yes, there was some softening in the corner but it was magnitudes better than my Minolta 35-105 3.5/4.5 lens at 35mm/3.5. In fact the Sigma lens may actually be better at the corner than the minolta 35-105 was at the center. The exposure seemed level but in any case my lighting might not been even enough to see rolloff in the corners. It did have barrel distortion at the widest setting (so does the minolta lens) but I was able to correct it in GIMP.

I repeated the test at 50mm with similar sharpness. I didn't have enough space to repeat it at 135 (need to move my target to a more open area) but I thought closeups of the newspaper at 135 seemed better.

Auto focus seemed good. (these tests were done using As/center sensor. I'll probably repeat it using manual focus.).

So far I am very pleased with the performance but seeing that I don't take many photos of newspapers on the wall I am looking forward to seeing how it performs in the real world. The 24-135 range should be great. This is the real test.

I'll post some images when I get something worth looking at.


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