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  Reviews by: bransonq360  

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Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L

Screen_Shot_2015-03-05_at_9_44_36_PM_copy
Review Date: Sep 10, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide-wide-wide, not fish-eye, zooms to 22, image quality, super sharp even wide open
Cons:
the bulbous front element, heavy, not easy to use

If you are interested in buying this go for it. It is very challenging. Any tilt up or anything not on center gets really exaggerated. But wow does it give you some wild optics while keeping your lines straight (unlike a fish-eye).

At f4 the lens is still super sharp. At higher apertures it just gets more amazing. I simply wonder how it was made?

It is nice that it zooms into 22mm so you can get some more 'normal' like shots. If it was simply a prime at 11, i would not be so keen on it.

The build quality is fantastic, and the zoom and focal rings feel nice.

The 16-35 is a great lens, but if you want to get wild, this is your best bet. You will never need to buy a super-wide again, so in the long run i think this lens is a good investment.

Get up close and watch the magic happen... the foreground just pops out and the background falls away to infinity.

I would not use this as a landscape lens as it is just too wide. I would prefer to back up and use a longer focal length.

Zero complaints, even about the cost. You get what you pay for. Just be careful of the front element!

http://bransonq360.com/mukdenpalace/habd9a00#habd9a00

http://bransonq360.com/daliancoast/h7b11a674#h7b11a674

all of these where taken with the 11-22

http://bransonq360.com/daoliprison


 
Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

ef_24-85_35_1_
Review Date: Sep 10, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $85.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Size, weight, focal length, "macro" capabilities
Cons:
soft, IQ not great, macro doesn't work well, plastic

Well for 85 dollars used i kinda couldn't resist myself and i came with a lens hood. I have a whole host of big boys, so i thought i would try my luck and maybe get something of a surprise. And it was just what i paid for. Down the middle average.

I would pick one up if you are needing something cheap like if you were going on a water trip, to the desert or a concert and didn't want to bring something fancy. Put it on an older body and you have little worries.

For beginners this is a much better option than picking up an EF-S lens. If you ever decide to upgrade, you can at least use this on FF cameras. Your EF-S lenses will be no good except for resale. It really is a versatile lens.

The lens is super light and that is really nice, especially if you are going on a casual day out and just don't need anything spectacular. The 105mm range is good enough to isolate the subject and get a little bokeh, so you can take some portraits if needed.

And 28mm is wide enough, especially on a full frame to give you some options for landscape or architecture. So all in all the focal length is really nice.

The image quality at 105mm wide open is surprisingly sharp, much more so than at 28mm. I have zero complaints at the 105mm range.


The macro function is simply ok... But again for 85 dollars i am not complaining. Does it stand a chance against my dedicated 100mm f2.8 macro lens. NO. But for a nice picture of a flower or two, it works well.

Would i buy it again? I can't say no.

All of the photos on this page are from the 28-105mm

http://bransonq360.com/dubois





 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 4, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, small even with hood, F 1.4, Fast focus speed, sharp as a prime should be
Cons:
nothing super special

I don't think I have to say much more about the price. The 1.8 is a 100 dollars, the 1.4 is 400 dollars, and the 1.2 is 1,400 dollars. So it narrows down the options if you are not interested in investing over a thousand dollars.

So the question is, is it better than the f1.8? Without hesitation, YES! Is it worth 300 more dollars? YES!

If you are reading this review and you are thinking about the 1.8 or the 1.4, go with the 1.4! Having had the 1.8 (which will always be my favorite lens-- 'cause it led me into the world of photography) I must say just get the 1.4.

If you are debating whether to go faster with the 1.2 or even the new 1.0, well you still have somethings to consider. Weight, and SLOW focus speed.

The 1.4 focuses fast! And unlike its noisy (super noisy) little brother it is silent. As mentioned above it is light and relatively cheap. Thus taking it into hostile environments is not super worrisome.

If you do a fair bit of travelling or backpacking, this will definitely keep you on the lighter side. Also if you just carry you camera everywhere then it keeps you light and simple. Versatile enough to take a few steps back to get most of what you need in the shot, and can shoot wide open to get nice bokeh in the background.
It is a 50mm prime, so CA, distortion, etc. are all at a bare minimum anyways.


http://bransonq360.com/shanxi/e5af9816d

http://bransonq360.com/shanxi/e5af98155

http://digital-photography-school.com/7-tips-help-youre-stuck-prime-lens/#comments


 
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

ef28mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: May 28, 2015 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 1.8, light, USM
Cons:
not so sharp,

I wish i liked this more than i do. It actually doesn't get much use and i had to go through my lightroom catalogue just to find some photos of it. You can see them from the sight below.

I bought it because i need speed and i don't have a neverending supply of cash. So i like the f1.8 except that it is really not all that crisp and it needs to be stomped down. It is also small and i travel lots!

I have not had the other versions of the 28mm f2.8 with IS, but the reviews on that seem to be much better.

I am going to go with 'NO' as a recommendation to purchase this because for 28mm which is not the special of a focal length and for its image quality, it doesn't stack up.

IT IS NICE AND LIGHT THOUGH! good for in the bag as a shorter focal length if you have a 70-200 on, etc. Quiet, simple and good for streets in crowded places. Just cant get over the softness wide open.

http://bransonq360.com/p43070272


 
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

l217_efs1755
Review Date: Apr 7, 2015 Recommend? no | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: F/2.8, very usable focal range, IS, light
Cons:
plastic, jerky focus, LENS CREEP

I don't want to sound overly critical or that this lens is not good enough for me, cause it has served me well. I have actually banged this thing around during some serious travel outings and has not failed me at all. It just is not something to write home about.

It is a great focal length if you are walking around wanting photos of the day and dinner. I include dinner as the F2.8 with IS, you can get some clear shots handheld late in the evening. So it can help keep you packing light, meaning the lens is not a tank and you don't need a tripod to get a shot at a night market, etc., although you will not be stopping any motion.

If you are shooting with APS-C this thing should be in your bag IF you know you are not going to move up to FF. If you have any interest in FF, don't make the same mistake and buy it. It is pricey if you move to FF. Then again, nothing in the FF focal length like this has IS (if you are looking at Canon lenses). The EF-S 10-22 should also be in there, as your ultra wide option... and if that is the case, forget the 17-55 and go for the 24-70L ii or the 24-105.

Is it sharp... mostly. Colors are good. I really like my 'bokeh' that I get with this lens. I really use it more than I like because it is functional, not because I love it.

In conclusion, I would not be using it on an important shoot, or something that I really want good results with.

http://bransonq360.com/p783190032/h76770c6#h76770c6

http://bransonq360.com/p831033090/h93b5fbb#h93b5fbb


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Mar 24, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size, range (compression factor), IS and IS panning, light, lock to prevent creep,
Cons:
rotating front end, lots of barrel movement (although i have no dust yet)

This is definitely a lens that is great for more than just casual photographers. Why, cause it is light and not obtrusive. The black and slim nature of the lens (looks terrible zoomed out to 300) is great for portraits while travelling. From a distance people don't run and hide like from the glare and suspicion of the big white lenses. The compression that you get from 250mm is great, just enjoyable to pull in the background so it is in your face...

The IS works well enough to get some soft water in streams hand held @ 70mm or even 85mm. I would say that is darn good. So the IS will let you keep shooting after golden hour, but it will not be stopping any movement. But for the money, you cant do better as far as IQ.

IQ is super crisp when you are not at the Max or Min of the lens either at focal range or F stop. again the extremes are not where this lens excels but it is the 1% that is 99% of the price.

I like the guy... and even though i have the the 70-200 2.8 IS i will still keep this one around, especially for longer adventures in the mountains where weight really is an issue or globe trotting where weight, space, and theft all come into factor.

I had this lens on a 5 day trip in Yellowstone and it rained 3 of 5 days... the lens did get wet, but the glass is clean on the inside and after 6 months in a anti humidity bag i have had no mold, etc. So maybe kicking up the build quality would be appropriate.



http://bransonq360.com/p1068477833/h8ec1a8e#h872c0e3
http://bransonq360.com/p868979749/h11e3f0df#h11e3f0df

http://bransonq360.com/p1068477833/h8ec1a8e#h140cbce3
http://bransonq360.com/p868979749/h11e3f0df#h6d8efbf




 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Mar 13, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: SHARP! great color, contrast pops, light
Cons:
macro shots at f/8 handheld can--

Each time i put this lens on, i am always amazed with the images... not only for macro stuff too. Portraits come out sharp with lovely skin tones, just stomp it down one stop and it is super sharp.

I don't have any of the slow focusing problems... even in low light my focus is bang on. Helps when you have the focus limiting switch in use if you are not shooting macro, just to get a little quicker focus.

At f/2.8 the photos ARE sharp, but the focal plane is super thin and thus it needs some stomping down... that is where you get into trouble if you are hand holding. So an IS would be nice here, but IS cost money and WEIGHT.

I definitely have this in my bag when travelling... and i travel to some funky places where extra stuff is cumbersome and at risk of getting stolen back in the "hotel room."

This was my second prime lens after the magic plastic... the 50mm was upgraded long ago, but this will stay around. NO NEED to get the L upgrade here.

http://bransonq360.com/p940366922/h2cec890a#h2cec890a

http://bransonq360.com/p233859272/h1f9eb56d#h1f9eb56d

http://bransonq360.com/p233859272/h1f9eb56d#hcae447b


 
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

pancake-1
Review Date: Feb 7, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: thin, quiet, SHARP, quick focus, good color and contrast, non-standard focal length,
Cons:
anti-flare ring (lens hood) combined with a UV filter almost doubles this things size, so you must use it naked. F 2.8

I can't say enough good things about this lens, even though it doesn't spend all that much time on my camera. That is my problem because every time i come home with photos from this lens i love them. It really is pancake and if you get get over how funny the body looks with it on there it become great for walking the streets especially in unfamiliar environments. While travelling i never like to leave my camera at the hotel my first stroll, but i also never know my hood. I travel in some funky places so this lens is a dream. AND what is most important, the images are so sharp.

I like that it is not "standard"-- keeps your brain thinking.

The f 2.8 is a drawback. any prime that is above 20mm and below 135mm should definitely be faster.

Mine came with a funny "lens hood" which i do keep on for protection and leave a UV filter off. Mine also came in a small soft drawstring case and it goes in my coat pocket frequently to counter the focal length that i have on the camera. (i forgot to mention in my original post that i purchased mine in China-- so that may be why mine was cheaper... i know the word China scares some people, but in this case no worries)

If you are curious, get it... images are worth it and you can't get smaller, and there is definitely something to be said for small.

http://bransonq360.com/p831033090/h17FB61F3#h17fb61f3


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Feb 6, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 10mm on a crop, rear focus, front element doesn't rotate, often super crisp in the center, wide open images are sharp in the center
Cons:
EF-S, chromatic aberrations in the corners,

I shoot this thing at 10mm all the time and most of the time i really like the images. It is not L quality but the UD lens does cut down on flare. I have had no issues with that. I have used in in many extreme environments and still works great. Must be attributed to the rear focusing system. Not much moves on the outside. I even got grit from the beach in it and with in a couple of days the gut wrenching grinding sound had worked its way OUT, not in the lens. Using this for star photography is not what I advise... the f3.5 wide open, bumps up the ISO and it just doesn't come out how you would like. HDR multi exposure panoramic (below) or just pushing the background way back (also below) this thing works great.

1) http://bransonq360.com/p1068477833/h3FB06C0E#h3fb06c0e

2) http://bransonq360.com/p1068477833/h3FB06C0E#h1d4e8c73

I cant say i don't recommend it, BUT it is an EF-S lens. I wish i knew then what i know now.