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  Reviews by: Julius  

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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Nov 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,359.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very good range and excellent combination with the 24-105L lens. Image quality is superb, lens is well built.
I do not like one touch zooms but one can get used to it.

This lens is very sharp, actually it is even sharper than my 70-200 f/4L lens which I thought was very sharp. Image quality is very good even with the 1.4X converter. This is my third copy of this lens (changing systems a couple of times) but this one is probably the sharpest. Even with the 5D full field sensor it is razor sharp from edge to edge and corner to corner at every focal lengths even wide open.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent built quality like all Canon L lenses, contrasty and sharp at all focal lengths on the full size sensor camera.
None found so far.

This is a dream lens on a full field camera, the zoom range is perfect for an all around lens. I found it to be very sharp and contrasty at all focal lengths at f/8-f/16. It has more than average vignetting which is still visible at f/11 but this can be easily corrected in Photoshop. This lens stays on my 5D 90% of the time.
All in all I am very pleased with the performance of this lens.

Nikon D200

Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,649.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very solid built, excellent ergonomics, very user friendly. Outstanding value for the price.
Practically none. High ISO noise is more than the competition, but very film grain like and not bothersome. However I would not use it over 800 ISO.

I purchased this camera body within a week it came out. It was meant to be a backup body for my D2X but I have been using it more frequently now than my D2X. The results are just about identical on the 13x19 inch prints and the D200 has slightly better dinamic range, it keeps the highlight details a little better.
All in all it is a lovely camera, loaded with all the important features I ever need, extremely well built and a joy to use. This is my favorite camera by far from all the dozens of different (and brand) cameras I owned before.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

Review Date: Dec 14, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

Pros: Very sharp and contrasty with excellent color reproduction even wide open.

This is an update to my previous review of April 9, 2005 where I rated this lens as "8" due to slight image softness towards the edges and corners of the pictures.
However Nikon service replaced the lens on May 25, 2005 with a brand new one and this one is excellent. My rating based on this replacement lens would be 10.

Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S

Review Date: Dec 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superbly built, excellent color and contrast, outstanding resolution.

Simply the best wide angle zoom I have tried or used on any camera and I tried many of them including the Canon 16-35L, 17-35L, 17-40L, Nikkor 18-35 ED, 17-55 ED DX. This lens beats them all hands down even including the fixed focal length lenses in this range.

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF

Review Date: May 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,429.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, good zoom range, very sharp.
Old technology AF slower than AFS.

It has old AF technology compared to the 70-200 AFS VR lens but well built and very sharp. On my D2X the focus definitely and noticeably improved compared to older camera models and the pictures taken with the lens at f/8-f/16 are every bit as sharp as the 70-200 VR lens at any focal length. Due to the compact size and lighter weight it is always in my camera bag. It is also an excellent lens for macro photography with the Canon 500D close up lens where the VR feature comes handy producing sharp close up images.
The 80-400 range is also excellent, more useful than 100-400.

Tamron 24-135MM F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) Macro

Review Date: Apr 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very good zoom range, excellent built quality, reasonable price, as sharp as any of my other Nikkor lenses from f/5.6.
Sensitive for flare if not shielded properly.

I had one of these lenses before and really liked it. I was not sure how it would hold up in my Nikon D2X but I was pleasantly surprised how well it performs. It easily stacks up against any of my other Nikkor lenses I have, including the 17-55 DX lens. It is not a fast lens and not fast focusing either, but for general picture taking situations it is an excellent lens.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

Review Date: Apr 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent built quality, great ergonomics with removable tripod foot, sharp with pleasant bokeh

This is a replacement for the Canon 70-200 IS lens I had before I switched back to Nikon (D2X). While the Canon lens I had easily outperforms this lens wide open, the rest of the f/Stops are comparable and the bokeh of this lens is nicer, smoother. I really like the ergonomics of this lens with the removable tripod foot which makes hand holding a lot easier.
My opinion is the VR not quite as efficient as the IS in the Canon equivalent, where I could easily gain 3 f/Stops vs a max of 2 with this one. However all in all I am very pleased with this lens and the pictures it produces.

Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5G AFS DX

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

Pros: Reasonable price, good performance.

This lens is an excellent buy for the money. A little on the soft side at wide open but stopping it down by 1 or 2 f/stops makes it as good as any of my other lenses.

Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX

Review Date: Apr 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $930.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, quick focusing, excellent sharpness.
Very slight softness at the corners at 12 mm up to f/8-11

This is my absolute favorite lens since I love wide angle shots and this lens is as good as it can be. Excellent resolution and sharpness across the whole field except at 12mm there is a slight softness at the very corners up to f/8 or f/11 but really not noticeable on the prints.
Excellent wide angle solution for the Nikon Digital Cameras.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

Review Date: Apr 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very well built professional lens, quick focusing.
Sharpness falls off towards the edges and corners.

This is the second copy of this lens after I sent the first one back to the dealer for replacement and I am still not very happy with it. Center sharpness is excellent, but the sharpness falls off slightly towards the edges. I had the same problem with the first lens this is why I sent it back for replacement. My 12-24 DX Nikkor or even my 18-70 DX Nikkor is sharper at the edges. Since the range is excellent and it can be sharpened to be acceptable enough I guess I just have to learn to live with this lens.
It is definitely a slight disappointment for me.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Dec 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $628.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, very sharp, excellent handling
Price, and lens shade should be included with the lens.

This is the best wide angle zoom lens I have ever used on digital SLR. The lens is very sharp at every focal length with minimal Chromatic Aberration. It is even sharper than my excellent 17-40L lens, and the zoom range is great. I love this lens!

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Nov 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent zoom range, well built, compact, effective IS.
Excessive distortion and CA close to the edges and corners. Overpriced.

Pictures taken with the lens have excellent color and very good sharpness on most part of the image however sharpness falls off noticeably at the corners and close to the edges of the frame. There is more than usual Chromatic Aberration towards the edges and corners of the image but it can be easily corrected with Panorama tools or Photoshop CS on the RAW image files. It is still a very useable general-purpose walk around lens with excellent zoom range. The lens is way overpriced at $589-599, it should be in the same price range as the 28-135 IS lens.
The lens I have is the 3rd copy, the first 2 lenses had excessive softness at the left side of the image which indicates internal lens group misalignment problem. Canonís Quality Control leaves a lot to be desired.


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