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

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Aug 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, solid and light walk-around L lense, 24mm for FF, 3-stop IS, fast focusing, image quality, compact hood, price
Cons:
f/4

This is the lens I use most of the time unless I'm in very low light situation and/or need the f/2.8 speed indoor, as I also have the biggest non-IS 24-70 f/2.8, or I need something outside its 24-105mm range. Its built and image quality are excellent, it's fast focusing and low priced to boot.

It's "only" an f/4, but also quite smaller and lighter than the 24-70m f/2.8, and the 3-stop IS is quite useful.

To complement what the previous reviewer (LPrimeFreak) mentioned. The Peripheral Illumination Correction (PIC) data for vignetting is actually written in the RAW files, and thus can be used by RAW converters (e.h. DPP, DxO) just like the camera bodies do for JPEGs - ergo, vignetting is not actually an issue even on FF.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark III

1DmkIII
Review Date: Aug 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SPEED (FPS, shutter lag), IQ, awesome construction, weather sealing, low-light AF, custom functions, battery life, high ISO, works flawlessly (at least mine does)
Cons:
LCD resolution, no auto ISO, very dim viewfinder compared to Nikon's, SD instead of CF for 2nd card, mostly useless AWB (like all Canons)

I moved from a 5D MKI to a MKII, but even though it's much improved over the previous model in both features and quality, I found its construction, speed and flexibility still limited.

After using a lot of Canon DSLRs over the years, I finally made the jump to a brand new (manufactured in May 2009) 1D Mark III as the price is now more reasonable - and I'm glad I did. Photographing moving objects is much better with this body than with the 5D MKII.

It's obviously showing its age, and given it's 10.1 Mpx APS-H sensor limitation the IQ is very good (using it mostly with a Sigma 50mm f/1.4). I was worried considering all the bad press it has received, but mine is working fine.

All-in-all an awesome camera.


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Aug 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, good high ISO, FF, sensor cleaner, HD video, much better LCD and battery life than MKI, lens calibration, price.
Cons:
Construction and weather sealing could be improved, very dim viewfinder, low 3.9 FPS, limited AF points, limited C.Fn functions, crappy grip, AutoISO speed can't be changed.

Overall it's much better than the old 5D MK1 and quite an excellent body, but it's clearly not a 1D and neither is the price.

The 1D MKIV should be quite formidable, hopefully the price will not be insanely expensive like Nikon's 3DX.


 
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Jul 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Boken, out of center focus, very usable at f/1.4, built quality, comes with hood and case, money saved vs. Canon 50mm f/1.2
Cons:
Boken CA (true of most such lenses), a bit pricey for a Sigma but the quality is there, no weather sealing.

I'm using this lense on a Canon 5D MK II and I believe it's much better than the Canon 50mm f/1.4, and much cheaper than the Canon f/1.2.

I'm not using this lens stopped down and/or for distant objects, but for photojournalism and/or indoor shots it's quite awesome, light, well constructed and very usable at f/1.4 ...if only it had weather sealing.

Very happy with it.


 
Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

50_500EX_mdl_1_
Review Date: Jul 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Range in a single lens, image quality, price, EX quality, HSM
Cons:
Weight, no OS, slow f/6.3, 86mm filters, AF hunts in low light and with busy backgrounds, stiff zoom, significant vignetting at long end

I'm using this lens, I got the EX DG HSM version, on a Canon 5D MK2.

It's a very versatile and quite sharp "outside" lens given the range, very "good bang for the buck" (offset by the cost of 86mm filters), however it's also a bit primitive.

It's slow (f/6.3), the AF hunts in low light (you will have to use manual focusing at times) or with a busy background. Unless you are a weightlifter, it could really use OS as it weights 1.8 kg and it's front heavy, so it's monopod time unless it's sunny. At the long end be ready to use a high shutter speed (and perhaps some high ISO), if you want to avoid motion blur, and expect some significant vignetting - on FF bodies at least.

It's quite a good and unique lens, the more so considering the price, but some weight reduction and OS would make it even better. I would have gladly paid another 10 or 15% for this.