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  Reviews by: Zagisis  

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

Review Date: Mar 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Fast, Great Bokeh, Noticeable. "G" CPU.
Lens cover fit, Adds weight...

Wow, I have only had a few days, but I can attest to its wonders. Very fast, sharp. Makes a lot image "keepers".

Build strong and durable since I have already dropped it slightly when I had to break suddenly, and the camera bag fell off the vehicle back seat on the floor. No problem with either the D300 that it is mounted on, or the lens.

Its very noticeable and obvious. So be careful when you walk on the "wilder side of social enviroments".

I am comparing it to my Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L lens. It is slightly sharper and faster. The photos come out well balanced in terms of color and contrast. Very creamy Bokehs. Like I said in another review, I am seriously thinking of selling my Canon gear. I think I might try from my "Camera Bucket List", the Nikon D3 with this lens.

I am covering a theatre production in a few weeks and a "civil war" reenactment. So lets see how it functions under low light situations as well as fast moving subjects.

If you have the bucks it a great investment, if you don't try and sell a kidney. Just kidding...

If you care to see some magic Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR images, click on"

Thanks to all.

Nikon D300

Review Date: Mar 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good size and grip. FPS, Fast startup, Hight ISO
Missing bracketing button, flimsy battery grip door. Image hot.

Is this a revolution or what. Are the long time Canon users coming around to Nikon. I have to admit as I still use my Canon 5D and 1DMKII, that I really enjoy this camera.
It makes my job as a photographer much easier. Its fast, and captures beautiful images without too much post processing.
I am surprise at the quality of the high ISO shots. Dont' shoot higher than ISO 1600, 3200, 6400 have bad noise issues.

Its a new unit to me, but I have always liked the Nikon photograhs. They appear smooth, warm and sharp. Along with Canons, I also use a Nikon D70 which is showing its age. I comitted to Canon because I needed a fast camera for sport photography. Now there are more choices for quality images and FPS. "I am not loyal to any brand, only to my wallet and my customers".

As I have done with previous reviews I am not going to bore everyone with the cameras technical babble. On the negative side, I have to say... what is with that weak battery grip door. It feels like the compartment hinge will break soon. Its made of very soft plastic and one too many pulls and push will result in a separation, then what! the other minor issue is the missing bracket button on the camera body. Now you have to dig inside the menu to set the parameters. Also why is there no option to preview image on the LCD without all the camera shot data. The 3 inch LCD needs to be clean to view all the details of the image. Yeah I know that there is image zoom, but that only distorts the original shot.

I like the AF lens correction, hight ISO, Auto ISO, fast buffer.
I pretty much figured out the camera without even reading the user manual. Everything is straight forward to figure out.

If this keeps up, I will have to sell 7 years of Canon equipment.

Cheers to the World!

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Mar 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good color, quick focus, small.
Lens hood, Pricey.

I have been contracted to shoot professional indoor playhouse productions. These images would then be used for newspaper and other publications. I needed the best photos so I had rented a few likely lens candidates. I had tried the Canon 85mm f1.2L and the 24mm f1.4L on my Canon 5D. These lenses were adequate for my purposes, but I found that each had its drawbacks for my uses. The 85mm was a tad too close up for stage action. The 24mm was too wide and had some vignetting issues on the wide ends. I went ahead almost blindly and purchased the 35mm from B&H.

At first I noticed that the lens cover was difficult to put on. It was more of a struggle than my other "L" lens. So I thought I practice on and off a few times. I also purchased a 72mm UV filter. At first I noticed some CA on the corners right away. Finally I took off the lens hood and UV filter. I reposition them and have had no problems.

The real test will come next week when I get to use the 24mm in a few stage productions. I am sure that all will be good.

As for as the initial results the 35mm performs very well. The images are sharp, good color, it creates a very creamy "bokeh" background. Its best when the subject is in the middle of your focus. I am not going to bore you with the MTF and other specs. To me those things are not as important as real life results.

The lens is costly, but I am positive that it will pay for its self soon enough. I have recently seen a video that illustrates how lenses are made. They claim its takes very expensive raw materails to make, and one lens takes about 6 weeks to manufactor. If you like to view the upcoming images using this lens please click on:

Thanks for reading...

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

Review Date: Jun 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, Good Bokeh, Works with 5D, 2.8, Price good.
AF stiff, Filter costly,

After recently purchasing the Canon 5D for its full frame qualities, I was disappointed that I could not use my 24-70mm 2.8L lens. It showed barrel distortion and vignetting.
I don't know yet if its the camera or lens. Luckly, I had the Sgima 24-70 2.8 in my bag. It works even better on my new Canon 5D.

The images are sharp and the backgrounds are soft. The colors are natural and crisp. It is a little slow finding the focal points, but it still works well.

The UV filter was very costly in comparison to the lens itself. I could only find it for $120.00, new. Its a Heliopan UV, and its does provide a great filter for UV rays that sometimes hamper the lens and color tones of certain images.

I would highly recommend this lens to others.

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: May 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Full Frame, smaller body, 2.5 LCD, Easy controls.
Lacks vertical grip, frugal body, needs CS2 upgrade, 3fps. "L" fringe.

At a first glance and feel its very similiar to the 20D. There are however quite a few differences. The price is bigger as well. My first few shots were not pleasing. I read the manual and changed my settings. The best for me is the "faithful" setting. It has warmer tones, and realistic color contrast. The rest of the settings tweaks the camera too far.

I am torn about whether this camera is a professional camera or not. It has no built in on board flash, which is a plus. But why does it have an "auto" button? What about that print option. Its almost like Canon could not decide who to market this unit to. I know that serious photograhers will purchase this camera just for shooting raw images in full frame. This will still be my backup camera to my 1d mk II. I also have the 20d and miss the faster frames per second. There is noticeably quieter shutter click. Its soft and slow. Almost like the Nikon D70.

I like the fact that I can shoot with a smaller, lighter body. It fits in my smaller camera bag. I did purchase the vertical grip and it does add weight, but not as much as the 1d mk II.

I was disappointed that Photoshop cs is not compatible with this camera. You also have to upgrade your "Microsoft raw viewer". I still prefer Photoshop raw editor to other third party applications. I have since upgrade both applications and my images never looked better.

I am disappointed that my Canon 24-70 2.8 lens has barrel distortion as well as serious vignetting. However, my Sigma 24-70mm 2.8m lens works and focuses much better. No distortion or vignetting. My other L lenses work fine. I am disappointed but I can compensate with my Sigma lens for closeup portrait shooting. I also experience the camera locking up once. I could not explain what happen. But I turn it off and kept shooting at another location. Any one else have this problem, please let me know.

Overall, Canon has reached another marketing milestone with this camera. They have put in the full frame feature and tried to lure prosumers into the pro type camera. Although the price is still high for amatuers the camera is within reach of serious shooters. There is nothing worst than shooting a wedding with some rookie with a $3,000 digital camera, standing next to you asking you questions how it works.

I can see the Canon 5Ds mk II, in the near future. If you care to see samples of the 5D at work, click on, THANKS!

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

Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Smaller, lightweight, quiet focus.
Cost, Needs light

After much hoopla, the Canon EF lens, 24-105mm F4L USM is available. The supplies are limited, some stores are back ordered until late November 2005.

Which much anticipation I waited to receive and try out this "walk around" lens. The features like Image Stabilizer is suppose to give the equivalent effect of a shutter three stops faster. The USM for fast, quiet focusing which it does. Manual focusing is available in autofocusing mode. Tight seals to ensure dust proof, moisture protection. All of this is already available on other Canon L lens.

This lens has been on my Canon 1D MK II for 8 days now. I like the lens, more for its size than its ability to provide sharp quality images. So far I kind would have liked this lens to have an constant aperture of 2.8. It does not do well in cloudy or darkly light subjects. The constant 4.0 opening tends to produce softer photos. The middle ranges are probably where I see better results. I write all of this with some hesitation. I am hoping with some real outdoors shooting that I will be a big fan of this lens. The quiet focusing is almost too fast. It makes it feel like the camera or lens has not reacted to the subject. Something that I have to get used to.

Having already owning the Canon 70-200mm 2.8L lens, I have to make some comparisons. Although this larger and heavier lens is more expensive, its does produce some quality photos. Being fair to the new 24-105 lens, I must give it some more time to win my confidence. As of this point I pray that my investment will pay off.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Apr 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Quick startup, smaller size, intutive hand controls, 5 FPS, Optional Battery grip. Wide ISO range. 8.5 MP, Strongly built.
Picture quality okay, Nikon D70 better, Appears color flat. Needs constant PS/CS tweaking. Formating and deleting buttons can improve. File counting system screwy.

Quickly moved from Nikon D70 to the Canon D20, simply because the D70 was too slow. Canon's D20 has many good features. 5 FPS is good enough for now. I am sure the sibling to this camera is already being created.