Friday, February 29, 2008

New Zoom Lens

I knew it wouldn't be long before I wanted another lens on my new camera. I did a bit of research and decided that the Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS (Optical Stabilizer) Zoom Lens was a good purchase.

Between this lens and my f/1.4 telephoto, I have a nice combination of lenses for the new camera. One for low light, artistic, macro and portrait shots (the f/1.4 telephoto), and one more general purpose and zoom lens.

The biggest features I was looking for in the new lens were, of course, the maximum zoom ability and the Optical Stabilizer (OS). The OS technology in this lens is just like the IS (image stabilization) in the Canon lenses, and the VR (vibration reduction) in the Nikon lenses. Basically, the optics are controlled with solid state gyroscopes to compensate for camera shake, giving a much better focus in low light and high zoom.

This Sigma lens goes nicely from 18-200 mm, giving me a decent macro and wide-angle lens, plus an amazing zoom capability. Add to that, it came with a free lens hood, so I'm really pleased! If I ever desire a career as a private investigator, this is the lens I will use! I could easily take a photo of my neighbors license plate four doors down.

Here are some comparison shots:

1. This first shot is taken in evening light at 18 mm (not zoomed). The color rendition in this photo is amazing! I particularly like the trueness of the blue sky. Notice the birdhouse in the center of the frame. This is what I will test the zoom on.

2. The same birdhouse, from the same spot, using the full 200 mm zoom.

3. A little later, when the light was less, I wanted to test the OS capability. This first shot is with OS turned on.

4. This shot was with OS turned off. Big difference.

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