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  Reviews by: DavidWEGS  

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Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast to lock focus, sharp results at all apertures, great build, wide aperture.
distorting a little a 14, minor but thought it worth mentioning.

Great fast(ish) wide zoom for quick work at parties. On the crop bodies it seems a great lens to replace the Nikon 12-24, or Tokina 12-24. I do think you need to be prepared to deal with the weight, though not like a 70-200.

There is no chance to use a polarizer as it won't take a filter.

I thought I would try it, and assumed it would be going back for a refund. Well, it's staying and I expect to start using it for work by early spring. Gives me time to adjust to it...

Nikon D300

Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,799.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Auto Iso that works as advertised; great AF when using center/recompose; Fine tuning for individual lenses point of focus; frame rate; shutter life estimate 150k; Feel (subjective); weather sealing; battery life; rear LCD.
High ISO (3200) is crippled by the fact that Nikon has failed to offer some wide fast primes (20/1.4, 24/1.4) and have quit selling the 28/1.4.

I have had this for a couple weeks now and am still adjusting to it. I find myself reaching for it over the 40d and even the 5d at almost every turn. I like the look of the noise produced, more film like and less bandy than Canon's.

The layout is great and the thoughtfulness of UI is as good or better than the 40d's.

It feels quieter and more responsive than the d200 and smaller Canon bodies. Not quite a D3 or D2x, but very close to them. I love the battery life. Kudos on that one Nikon.

All in all (and having shot other camera brands from time to time), I think this one feels as good to use as the 5D's when I first got those a couple years back. I find myself liking what I see in just about every situation and the files are great.

Would like to see this with a dual card option and would be willing to pay the piper for it too. Add $200 more and I would be happy to pay it for this one with that dual card slot.

Nice job Nikon, this is the DSLR I have waited since '02 for.

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Oct 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast to focus an acquire its subject. Sharp at both ends and very light.
Not so good in very low light, but that is compared to the likes of the 35L, so no surprise there.

I have had this lens for a while as a backup to the 17-55 Canon. I used it once for a whole day and found it to be quite surprisingly good. Better than I had expected or hoped for in a cheap 2.8 Zoom. Kudos to Tamron for their product and their Warranty.

Canon EOS 40D

Review Date: Sep 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build is better than the other XXd's, AF is great, close to the orig. 1d IMO. The low light performance is very good. It focuses fast and accurately, and at ISO 1600, looks great. My menu is a great idea.
ISO needed to be improved more at 3200+

Having shot with this for a couple of weeks now, I find it better than my 20 and 30 d's. in all aspects with the exception of a similar quality 3200 iso. It has a nicer feel to the 3200 though since the shadow noise is less colorful and therefore to my eyes, more pleasing.

It does seem about 1/3 less sensitive than the 30d or 5d. I am using these as backups to 5d's and don't worry too much about using them in the lower light. That is not something true of the 30d's.

Overall, a good solid camera and decent for the $$.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS.
Weight, well not really, but I can't complain about anything else ;-)

As has been said, this works as advertised and has performed at the top for over three years now.

If using with a TC the images are slightly softer, but still very close to the 400/5.6's IQ.

I would buy it again.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jun 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight (compared to the 24-70 or the 24-105), crisp images, good distortion control (not as good as the new Tamron 17-50/2.8, but close), IS is an obvious +++.
Cost, EF-S.

I am all about the image at the end of the day. With that in mind, I find this to be close to perfect on the 30d. One of my assistants won't let me play with it anymore ;-).

It is fast in low light. Clean and accurate focus, is coupled with sharp glass. I found this to be at least as sharp as the L Zooms and better than the 16-35 which I tested against directly. The contrast is also great for the type of lens.

Highly recommend if you can splurge for this one and don't care about it being an EF-S lens.

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Dec 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $459.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: WIDE on a 5D (obvious), good distortion control consistent, accurate focus.
heavy but not bad, vignetting is there on the FF sensor but again, not bad.

Used for about 4 gigs now and I am very pleased with the results for the $$$. Great if you want this range.

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Review Date: Jul 29, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Price, f2.8, small and light, reasonable build quality.
Consistently OOF

After ordering this lens twice (to get a good copy) and using 3 seperate bodies for testing, I found the AF to be off in 8 out of 10 shots.

Some shots are better than others and at close distances it does reasonably well. However, beyond about 10' to subject I could not achieve many accurately focused shots at all.

I would like this range (Canon offers nothing to compete in the fast zooms) but cannot live with the OOF.

Another one returned. Sad

Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus

Review Date: Jun 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp enough for its price and use. light weight :) which I love when shooting outdoors portraits.
Feels a tad weak (compared to the 135/2) and is very slightly soft wide open.

As a backup to the 135/2 and for its SF effects this was purchased and barely used.

Recently I had to send in my 135 and 70-200is for calibration which left me only this lens, to do the portrait work I like this focal length for.

It is very slightly soft at the widest (F2.8) aperture and to my eye quite pleasing when used for people shots. I will probably take this one out more often in future when I don't require the f2 or that shallow a DOF.

Highly recommend this lens for portraits and the like. A great backup to the 135/2

Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Review Date: Jun 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $269.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: impressively sharp given the range. Focus is quick enough. Great street lens. The range is very useful.
Vignetting visible but easily corrected in PS. Slightly noisy AF.

Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Review Date: May 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weight, price, build (surprisingly good) optical qulaity.
A tiny bit softer than the 16-35/L (now are you really surprised there?) not a great fitting hood.

I've had this for a few weeks and shot about 3 weddings and many portraits with it. It is a solid performer, giving about 92% of the image quality of the Canon L in the same range. Focuses fast enough and accurarately. Feels quite good in the hand.

Very pleased for the $$.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

Review Date: Mar 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,995.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Iso is fine up to and including 800. The write speed/buffer size. The review times are quick. FF sensor (duh)
No bluetooth. The file size is huge (processing currently on a G5 2gigHtz with 4 gigs of RAM) and tends to frustrate if you are a little impatient. Best to batch and leave for a while.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Mar 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: $value, sharpness on the second one (I returned the first for rear focus issues) is flawless. F2.8. weight is a touch less than the 24-70/L and I like the feel of this one. Fairly fast focussing

this is another one for an assistant as I don't think that warrants the L galss. (until they are familiar with the care needing to be taken).

I got the first and returned it as it rear focussed a bit @ f2.8. It was exchanged (digital foto discount club) without issue or question :-)

This one is dead on at f2.8. and at least as good wide open as my Canon L.


Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Mar 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $668.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: good overall build, fast focus, sharp shot when correctly focussed.
Mine rear focussed at all focal lengths when open. I would shoot the same way as I do with the Canon but it always shot with the focus hitting the ear and not the eye.

I got this as a backup or assistant lens. I found that when @ F5.6 or smaller, all shots were in focus. However, @ F2.8 nothing was hitting the focus point I had selected. If you were to get a copy that hits focus wide open, it would be equal to the sharpness of my Canon L (same range). Where it was focussing it was wonderful and sharp/contrasty.

I will be getting a Canon as the second. Sad

(can't keep trying multiple copies and paying the shipping)

Sigma Electronic Flash EF 500 DG Super

Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $179.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: faster rcycle than the 550. better output power (imo, based on the times i used two off camera flashes the stronger shadows were always from the Sigma side, and better exposed too)
more "clunky" build quality

already said.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Oct 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Much closer to the 1D MkII than I expected. I now have three and no longer use the 1D2 (no need for what I do). Fast; response, AF, focus point selection, write speed and Iso performance. Decent FPS. Exceptionally light compared to the 1D2/1Ds. Battery use is great too.
Multiple lockups. No ISO in the viewfinder.

Hope to get a firmware update soon, but I will be keeping them all regardless.

I am very pleased to have these for weddings and events. Anyone needing to shoot such should seriously consider this camera.


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