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  Reviews by: Armin  

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

Review Date: Mar 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, sharp, IS, solid, practice your muscles....a must have lense.
not really....maybe the lenshood, and it practice your muscles ;-)

The IS of the 2nd/3rd generation is the hammer, especially the IS-Mode 2 (pan).

I doubt, that some built in camera-stabilizations of the future can come close to this impressive developement. 1/30s exposing time is *safe* at any lenght, slower is possible (tried it down to 1/10 sec. with many keepers)!

Very sharp around f4- f16, pretty useable at f2.8.

Heed the DOF:

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 2 m you have ca. 2 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 2 m you have ca. 3 cm sharp depth

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 4 m you have ca. 6 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 4 m you have ca. 8 cm sharp depth

@ 200mm / f 2.8 focused at 6 m you have ca. 18 cm sharp depth
@ 200mm / f 4.0 focused at 6 m you have ca. 32 cm sharp depth

It's truth...the non IS version is a bit sharper, but with camera shake, the most sharp lense isn't helpful anymore. I'm looking forward for a very loooong cooperation with this first and only zoom.

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Review Date: Feb 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp (crop 1.6), good colors, solid metal buy.
little CA, no USM

On a 10D, this lense becomes a 38 mm equivalent - a very useful lenght. Good colors, relative sharp and solid - same filter diameter as the 50 1.4 with better overall built quality (metal). No USM, but fast focusing with acceptable noise (in most situations).

Even on a 10D slightly CA, not disturbing and barely visible in prints, but noticeable when inspecting the pix with photoshop.

Second hand lenses are often in a very good condition, and availible around 150-200$, thats what I call a best buy.

Sigma 20-40mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Feb 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: One of the best buys for 1.6/1.5 crop DSLR's 32-64 mm equiv., good picture quality, very good from 20-30 mm.
No USM, a little bit noisy,...It's not highend, but for the price it's outstanding.

I expected less when I ordered the Sigma 20-40 EX DG DF, so I'm pleased with this zoom, as it's really good built. Pictures are sharp enough and have enough contrast for more than just around the house shootings (f >5.6).

Focus on a 10D is fast and pretty accurate - just enviously about the silent USM of my canons (the sigma sounds sometimes like a toy). Slightly wideangle CA at the corners (expected), the average contrast output should be tuned in photoshop, the zoom typical flare is rare visible and not significant or really disturbing (maybe a benefit of the "DG" digital design. So - I saw more expensive zooms with bigger probs ;-) . No other cons....especially for the price.

Best results @ 20-28mm f 5,6 - f 11, in this range good enough for average pro-level.

Acceptable complement to my EF50/1.4 and 70-200IS. What do I need more....maybe a replacement with fast Canon L USM primes - everything else don't make me nervous.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Feb 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, quiet focusing, fits the 10D quite well, perfect for availible light demands - my favourite lense next to the 70-200 IS...
Could be slightly better produced...but it's in the green field, definitively better than the 50/1.8

This was the first prime for my 10D...I made pretty good shots with this lense, also at 1.4!

Here in Europe it's still expensive (500$ !) - but I didn't care, it's worth the money (&%$"/!" ;-). The Canon 50 1.8 got the same picture quality and is much cheaper, but sounds horrible while zooming (It's not slower).

I shot a couple of availible light scenes with good results @ 1.4. Nearly 30 % of the shots was accurate (with my 10D), so the challenge is to keep the DOF under control - depending on Your object distance there are only a few mm left! I guess, that's the reason, why a lot of people talking about "softness" wide open Wink On the other hand, one stop lower (1.4 vs. 1.8) is like ASA 100 vs. ASA 400, or the half shutter time.

If You bethink, that a lense like this will go along with You for many years, then You'll maybe agree, that it's worth the money - even in europe. For You lucky guys in the states or asia it's a nobrainer.

Good light,