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For many years I dismissed Sigma as a 3rd party manufacturer to be avoided due to my inexperience and subjective point of view, then when the time came to get rid of my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L for something a little faster to add a little mood to my photos was forced to take a long hard look at where my money was going for such a big investment. During my conversation with fellow photo-enthusiasts and journalists, a name kept popping up along with the expected Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L, the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX. It apparently was a very solid performer with shining reviews from the experts, so i took the dive and have never regretted it since. This is now my lens of choice!
Optically my copy is extremely sharp in the centre with a slight softness on the edges when fully open, but I have never seen this as a disadvantage due to the fact that part of the point of being wide open is to blur what is not the subject, and more often than not, the subject isnt popping out the edge of the frame!
CA is fairly low as expected from a lens of this tier and it is not as heavy as I first expected.
My only criticism is the finish on the lens hood, which is durable but looks dusty and worn if slightly dirty.
The lens zooms as smoothly as an L lens and I don't have any problems with vignetting. Distortion is also quite mild and is easily corrected with Canon's own free software.
I constantly recommend this lens to anyone wanting to take a step up in their portrait, sports or evening photography.
My score - 98/100