Now I’ve started playing with my telephoto lens, I thought it might be time to talk about it. The name is a bit of a mouthful, and it’s quite big, especially when it extends to its maximum 300mm zoom, but it’s a rather nice lens for the price. Quite apart from being as long a zoom as I’d want to use without a tripod, it also works as a moderately good macro lens for really close work – and I’ll be putting some examples of that on show soon. Its autofocus is quick enough, though compared with my Canon 17-85mm main lens, it’s quite loud.
Build quality is somewhere between the lovely engineering of the 17-85mm and the very plastic 50mm f/1.8. The mount is metal, which is always a Good Thing. The focus mode switch works well enough, but the macro mode one can be a bit fiddly – for a moment today it seemed determined to stay in Macro mode which would have been a little inconvenient, but it settled down shortly afterwards. The zoom ring works smoothly. The manual focus works quite well too, but I haven’t really needed to use it much, as autofocus works just fine on the 30D.
With a maximum aperture of f/4 at the short end and f/5.6 at the long end, quite short exposures are possible in good light, which is just as well, as camera shake would definitely be a problem with this lens, especially at the long end.
And this being a Sigma lens rather than a Canon original, you get a lens hood and a padded case included in the price, which makes it even better value.
Nice kit – not as seriously nice or as versatile as my main “walk around” lens, and perhaps not as interesting as that nice wide aperture 50mm lens, but a very useful part of my kit. If you’ve got a Canon DSLR and you’re looking for something to complement the lens you got with it, then this is certainly worth considering. Zoom zoom!
 Well, that was the case when I bought it last July, and I’m assuming that’s still the case.