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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Review Date: Jun 8, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Range of movements for DoF control. Solid build. Smooth focus adjustment.
Bit bulky. Requires careful metering at full shifts. Prone to flare.

This is one of my favorite lenses for "close-in" landscape work. The perspective control available allows for shots that would normally take a 4x5 to achieve. The lens appears to be sharp wide open, with only minimal dropoff in the corners. There's some CA at full movements but only when shooting full-frame.

Without movements, this is a fine 24mm lens for general landscape work. The manual focus control is smooth and precise and it has a full DoF scale. I've had some trouble with flare on bright days (the hood isn't amazingly useful) but it's manageable.

If I'm shooting landscapes, it's in my bag.

Canon EOS D60

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Gorgeous image quality. Low noise on long shutter speeds. Relatively good LCD. Illuminated focus points. Illuminated LCD.
Slow auto-focus. Dim viewfinder.

I got my D60 back in October of 2002. Since then, I've probably taken 15K images with it. It's been a reliable and consistent workhorse. The autofocus *is* pretty horrible in awkward conditions. However, it's entirely useable if you don't provoke it. If you take the time to nail the exposure, the image quality is truly magnificent. Output at 13x19" is fuss-free and truly breathtaking. With a bit of extra work, larger sizes are possible and are nearly as good.

Some D60 owners have reported fairly extreme underexposures. My D60 will underexpose a little but I've found, in general, that the metering is pretty much spot on for the scene.

With the 10D stealing the crown of "Desireable Canon DSLR", the D60 is looking a bit unloved these days. However, it's still a solid performer and offers some amazing value in the used market. Until Canon offer an EOS3 based DSLR, I'm keeping mine as a companion to my 1D.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality. Professional build quality. Auto-focus speed and accuracy. Low shutter lag. Frame rate. Solid user interface.
Horrible LCD. No zoom in image review. Battery life. Noise with long shutter times.

I bought my Canon 1D for action and nature photography. In those roles, it's been truly fantastic. It pretty much lives with my 300 or 70-200 attached to it in my bag. I did worry a bit about the 4M sensor size (I also have a D60) but it's been a non-issue for a lot of my work so far. As other folks have mentioned, the image quality from the camera in RAW without tweaking is really superb. The build quality really inspires confidence. My 1D is used outside all the time and in some pretty horrible weather. It's been solid and inspired nothing but confidence since I got it.

At the current price range of $3400, there's pretty much nothing that can touch it for "active" photography.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Apr 6, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, detailed results. f/32 can often be handy.
Terrible autofocus performance

I have a love/hate relationship with this lens. On one hand, it's a permanent member of my photo backpack. I find myself reaching for it whenever I need to take shots of flowers or fine detail. The results can be truly breathtaking.

However, the autofocus performance of my copy is horrific. It hunts and dances around on my D60 unless it gets a really high contrast edge on the autofocus sensor. It's a bit better on the 1D but I tend not to use that for macro work. As a result, it gets used almost exclusively in MF.