Wanting to dive into macro, i looked a whole slew of lenses like:
ef 100 and 100L
The decision that swayed me towards the 150, even though it's more expensive than some of the other options, is that it offers me a focal length/aperture combo i don't already have in my arsenal, that is 150mm @ f/2.8. This lens doesn't have image stabilization, but i plan to test its non-macro abilities later when i get a chance.
Tank like. Seriously. The shell feels like tank armor and tapping on it with your fingernail reveals a metallic *kink*, very satisfying. My 70-200 doesn't even feel this sturdy. Feels so well built I almost wonder if it could survive a 3~4ft fall w/o knocking anything loose. I will not be testing this theory, maybe mythbusters can do a special on this one. This is the only sigma lens i have used, so i can only assume the rest of the EX lineup has L-like build quality. This lens has a nice heft to it, which is why the tripod collar is there. Very nice to have in the included price. Also included is a lens hood and carry pouch.
The motor is quiet and smooth, and when you let the camera work with all focus points enabled, it locks on focus quickly. Granted my 70-200L is faster when looking at subjects far away, but only slightly. The only Issue I had was when you select only one focus point to work with. The lens would hunt&seek quite often with non-macro targets. If you don't limit the focus range, the lens will go in and out from infinity to close up. Sometimes the lens just wouldn't grab onto the target and focus.
So basically this lens is not suited for any kind of action photography whatsoever, and i'm completely fine with that. This is a non-IS macro lens, so more deliberate steps are necessary to grab a non-macro shot, like a portrait or generic telephoto shot. If you are shooting sports, i'm pretty sure this is the last lens you will reach for, so this is a non issue imo.
In macro usage, this lens was a champ. After setting the focus limiter to the closest range, I let auto focus do all the work (with all focus points enabled). All the shots below had no manual focus adjustment... and I think they all turned out great. Granted these were quick snaps off my tripod, i know some could've turned out slightly better if i finessed the focus, but i'm quite happy with the "no-effort' results.
Focus ring movement was quite smooth as well, no perceptible difference from canon manual focus rings.
IQ is quite good, all macro shots are straight out of the cam. All shots of the lens are touched up a bit (17-55). I feel the sharpness is there, even wide open. The first macro shot is wide open at f/2.8, the rest are at minimum aperture of f/22.
Pictures of the lens and accessories
These aren't catalogue worthy photos, just quick snaps in a dimly lit room. They should be good enough to give you an idea of the size and build of the lens.
The surface has an odd twinkle-star coating, interesting.
feels solid in hand
Lens hood attached