Wednesday, June 24, 2009
New Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX HSM zoom lens
It took a big leap in faith, perhaps, to buy a third-party lens for my Nikon DSLR system. It's been years since I have bought any type of non-OEM photograhic product, whether film or digital. Simply said, none of the camera makers actually have a lens in this range - this is a strictly-digital APS-C short-to-medium telephoto zoom. The result is a smaller optic than the traditional 70-200mm f/2.8's out there (this Sigma has an equivalent to a 75-225mm in terms of film mindset), and, of course, the very useful f/2.8 maximum aperture.
It weighs about half of the brutish Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and is half the cost, seems to weigh roughly the same as my AF-S 70-300mm VR.
My wish list is short - it would be nice to have some type of image stabilization on such a lens, and where is the AF/MF switch? The HSM (hypersonic motor) works as well as Nikon's own AF-S lens motor, it's absolutely necessary on the D40.
Having a very bright viewfinder is a joy to use (my Nikon zooms are slow and since viewing/metering is done at full aperture, you do take note of f2.8 vs f/5.6). Of course, what good is a fast lens if it doesn't have decent sharpness wide open? I have tested the lens enough in 36 hours, it works very well at f/2.8 and, naturally, is a little crisper stopped down.
It takes some getting used to such a thin depth of field, background out-of-focus (bokeh) highlights are pleasing as well.
These were recorded this morning on the D40, using ISO 200, 400 and 800 where necessary.