Transitioning quickly from one shot to the next using a variety of focal lengths—it’s one of the features I appreciate most in the new APO 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC HSM telephoto zoom lens from Sigma. One moment you can get down low to compose a close-up of a lizard and the next you can zoom in tight on a bird about to burst into flight 50 feet away. In addition to its quick response time, the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) autofocus is remarkably silent. And the manual focus override switch makes changing from one mode to the other simple, even while shooting.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden was an ideal location to put the lens and its features through their paces. I spent a long afternoon photographing all sorts of birds, lizards, squirrels, bugs and insects—the possibilities for compositions are nearly limitless here. And sometimes, I had only a few seconds to frame, focus and get the shot. The Sigma lens didn’t let me down. And with an ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture, you can minimize depth of field, which is especially useful when shooting wildlife portraits or sports-action with a distracting background.
The color and sharpness of the resulting images were excellent, not surprisingly. The lens construction is comprised of 18 glass elements, with four Special-Low-Dispersion elements. This technology helps correct for possible color aberrations, flare and ghosting, problems that can often occur in telephoto lenses.
Compact and lightweight, the Sigma APO 50-150mm is well balanced, and with the rubberlike EX finish, it feels good in the hand. Estimated Street Price: $1,050.
Contact: Sigma, (631) 585-1144, www.sigma-photo.com.
[ Specs Of Note ]
Focal Length: 50-150mm
ƒ-Stop Range: ƒ/2.8-ƒ/22
Filter Size: 67mm
Lens Construction: 18 elements in 14 groups (includes four SLD glass elements)
Size: 3.0x5.3 inches
Weight: 27.2 ounces
1 Fast ƒ/2.8 50-150mm lens for Canon, Nikon and Sigma digital SLRs