Thursday, February 03, 2011

Testing the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

*Disclaimer: This entry reflects my personal opinion on the said topic.

It was a wonderful day for taking photos and was a great time to test the new lens -- Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM. Here are photos of two models, Christine and Ynah.

Build. The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM on my hands feels solid and the weight is noticeable but not on the heavy side. Pairing it on my beloved Canon 1000D feels a great combination in terms of weight -- not too light and not too heavy.

AF. Relatively fast and spot on. Though as my camera tends to back-focus a bit, I have to do a little focus compensation -- not ideal but I have no choice at the moment. It is quite audible and not as silent like Canon's USM technology but I don't really mind at all. The front element doesn't turn during AF which is a good thing but the focusing ring on the barrel does and it's a little tricky when my fingers are slightly on the focusing ring and I think that disturbs the AF. I hope I get used to not getting in the way of AF. There's no FTM focusing and so I'm back to my focus compensation thing.

Sharpness. I haven't fully tested it but on the wide end (17mm) at wide open aperture (f/2.8), there a softness in the entire frame. Zooming to the telephoto end (50mm) at wide open aperture (f/2.8), I believe about 75-80% of the frame is very sharp.

Other. In some occasions, I sometimes hear something inside that there something that's wobbling or disengaging. I have to check this out on what occasions this happen particularly.

Below, here are some sample photos I took with the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS lens paired with my beloved Canon 1000D on a recent fun shoot.

50mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

45mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

Tried it to take a family portrait where the parents of this kid is intentionally put in the background and blurred. A softer blur could have helped better from a narrower DOF.

50mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec

At the end of the day, I feel good in having this lens as replacement for my AF-defective kit lens (Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS) and also for my nifty-fifty (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8). So, I'll soon be posting my nifty-fifty up for sale. As for my kit lens, I'll make us of it for my reverse lens macro shooting time.

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