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  Reviews by: Doug Vann  

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

sigma50f14a
Review Date: Jul 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice feel with Canon 6D, great DOF for having the subject pop out.
Cons:
A bit pricey but it is still less then the 50L and sharper.

I have owned several 50mm lenses over the past few years. Sigma 50mm EX DG HSM, Canon 50mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.2 L. The new Sigma 50mm DG HSM f1.4 Art lens is the best of the lot. Super sharp, consistent results. The previous Sigma lens was almost as sharp as this one but not quite. The 50 f1.2 L was not as sharp as either Sigma lens but was pretty good for portraits.
The new Sigma is a bit on the heavy side for a 50mm lens but it feels real nice on my Canon 6D. Has a quality feel to it. Have taken several full body shots outdoors as well as flowers and am 100% satisfied with the results. Subject is amazingly sharp with a nicely blurred background. Exactly what I was looking for. Have 5 weddings coming up and this lens will pay for itself shortly.


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS

24-70
Review Date: Nov 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Useable macro in a zoom lens, sharpness, excellent IS, great wedding/family zoom range.
Cons:
None that I can find after 2 months of use.

Have got some outstanding sharp photos from this lens. Even seems sharper then the 24-105 L that I used to have. Works so nice on my Canon 6D. The zoom range is just perfect on a full frame camera for walk around shots at a wedding or family function. I have also used it on my tripod with ND filter for flowing water shots - so nice. Also nice on landscapes - however when it comes to wildlife I generally use my 70-200f2.8 L IS II lens because of the further zoom reach. I highly recommend this lens and a perfect companion to the 70-200.

 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, good feel on 5DII, great walkaround lens, great value for the cost.
Cons:
none

I have given this lens a LOT of use over the past 3 years with my 5DII. I just finished having a poster size print done from this camera/lens combination and the sharpness was amazing. It really surprised me that it was that good. I also have the Canon 70-200f2.8ISII lens as well. Have also had the Canon 100mmf2.8L macro, Canon 135mmf2, Canon 17-40f4, Canon 16-35f2.8II, Sigma 50f1.4 and a few others so I am able to compare to a big variety of lenses. I don't know if I have an exceptional copy or not however I would highly recommend this lens to anyone that wants a great quality lens giving outstanding results.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Feb 25, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,400.00

 
Pros: Fast, quality build, sharp images
Cons:
none

Just adding to the previous review I did. After using this lens for about 3 weeks and closely examining shots on my laptop from various camera settings .... I can report the following...
The lens was built in October of 2011 and I bought it new in London Canada. I use a Canon 5D2. The lens did not require any micro focus adjustment by the camera and seems to be dead on. Every shot is sharp and in focus. Shooting at f1.2 is producing excellent useable shots even close up. I actually had the lens for 2 weeks before I even tried my Canon 580EXII flash with it. It is that good in low light. Not sure what to say to those who have reported focus issues. Maybe there was an issue and Canon has resolved it with newer production run models. All I can say is that I am getting perfect results with every single shot. I have used it indoors with and without flash. Also outdoors in below freezing temps and the results are consistant every time. I also own the Canon 70-200f2.8LISII and Canon 24-105 L and the 50 can stand with these 2 lenses no problem. The build quality of this lens is tops. I know this lens is mainly a portrait lens but I have done many outdoor shots shooting a considerable distance and the images are as good as with any other L lens. I also like the view using a full frame camera. I think with a full frame it would be a better indoor lens then on a crop camera. If you are thinking of getting this lens NEW - go for it. Can't speak for older model used ones.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Feb 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great DOF, very well built, just seems to fit perfect with the 5D2, great portrait lens.
Cons:
none

After reading some of the reviews I was wondering if I should get the Sigma 50f1.4 (owned one previously) instead. I was a little concerned with the focusing issues I was hearing about. As soon as I bought the lens I had to do a photo session for engagement pictures so figured I would give it a workout. Did not take long before I had a photo that was blurry. However the issue for me (maybe this is the same issue for others as well) was that I had the AF set to Al Focus instead of One Shot. When I focused on the couple and then wanted to retain them as the focus point and re-position the shot so they were at the side - the camera re-focused on the new center point as I moved away from them. Anyway after changing the setting to "One Shot" I have not had any issues since then. Of course another thing to remember is that this lens is not a IS lens so there is a need to try to keep the speed at 1/50 second or faster which also helps achieve sharp images. The low light indoor shots without flash turned out amazing. Only had to bump the ISO up to about 800....

 
Canon Extender EF 2x III

lens-extender2xIII
Review Date: Nov 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $490.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great match for my new 70-200f2.8L II IS lens. Excellent image quality. Well built. Great resale value. Gives much longer lens reach with very little space needed in the camera bag.
Cons:
None really.

Bought the extender for my 70-200f2.8L IS II lens to get a little more reach. Works pretty much as described in the Canon info. I think if you are using it with a great lens to start with then the results will be very good. If it was used with a low level lens I would think the results may not be as good - but this is just my opinion. Anyway the results I have seen with this lens/extender combination are worth the cost of the extender. Takes up very little space in the camera bag which is a positive when you consider the alternative of buying a longer lens. Perfect quality fit when assembled to the lens and camera.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Mar 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality build, finish, sharp pics, great IS performance, not much else you can say.... price is high but if you want the best then you have to open your wallet.
Cons:
None

Used the lens for about 2 weeks to make sure I was giving a proper rating. Sold a Sigma 50f1.4, Canon 70-200f2.8 and Canon 100 f2.8 L macro to get this lens. The results I have got are the best. I don't need a selection of primes in that range any longer. Used to have the 200mm f2.8L and 135 L as feel I am fine with this new lens in the same range. Why carry around 6 lenses......

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Jan 1, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Nice zoom range. Decent sharpness.
Cons:
Build quality is not acceptable. Apparently this is a common issue with this lens. 3 internal screws came loose and the lens jammed at 17mm zoom setting. The cost of repair was too high to make fixing it worthwhile. I would not recommend this lens to anyone. Although not in the "L" price range it is expensive enough that it should not be falling apart internally. This lens came with my 50D when I owned that. I now have a 5D mkII.....

When functioning, this lens did give pictures with decent sharpness and the zoom range is ideal for most shooting. However the build quality is not acceptable and I would not recommend this lens to anyone. Seems the lens is built in 2 locations - Japan and Taiwan. The ones made in Japan might be better quality. If it doesn't say Made In Japan on the front of the lens then it is probably the Taiwan model. Canon should be ashamed of the build quality of this lens and should have given a refund to anyone having the lens fall apart internally - instead they have chosen to ignore the issue. Anyone owning this lens should consider selling it before it becomes a paperweight.....

 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

ef10028lmisu_586x225
Review Date: Oct 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,179.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality, sharp images, good for macro and profile shots. IS is nice feature as well.
Cons:
A little pricey but you get what you pay for.

I have not had the chance to use it very much yet. However the few pictures I have taken made the price worthwhile. Too bad I waited until after all the insects etc were gone for the season before buying.....

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Feb 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, Canon quality.....
Cons:
little expensive

Once you see your pics you will know why the lens is rated the way it is.....

 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Nov 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, build quality, super wide shots
Cons:
have not seen any

Got this lens about a week ago and used it this past weekend with my 5D mkII at a wedding shoot. Wow - love the results. Especially the printed versions of the digital files. The combination of the 5D mkII and the 16-35 L just gives amazing results. So sharp and the 16 mm setting lets you get creative given the right location. 25-35 mm setting gives closer to a normal type of shot. My clients will be so pleased with the results. Only thing I would say is just keep in mind how wide this lens will go on a full frame camera. When set to 16mm you will know it is wide angle when you see people at the edges of shots. However this is the characteristic of a lens this wide. Just use the setting to get creative and keep the people toward the center of shots unless you purposely want them to have that wide angle view. Lens is expensive for sure but you get what you pay for. Feels real good on the 5D mkII..... I highly recommend this lens.

 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Oct 14, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Full frame shots, image quality, well built
Cons:
none yet

Price was with the 24-105 lens. Getting great shots but was wondering how many shots people are getting from their battery. It does seem to last longer then other cameras but wondering if I need to get a 2nd battery for weddings? I am thinking it might be good enough to do a complete wedding...... the batteries are also more expensive then other cameras I have owned.

 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Aug 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid feel, large files for enlargements, video is a bonus, produces very sharp images, low light capability. Better deal if you buy it with the 24-105 lens.
Cons:
Canon keeps raising the price.

Had a 50D before getting the 5D mk II. Getting excellent clear, sharp printed pictures from the 5D. The 50D also produced excellent shots but I think with the 5D giving larger files it should be more capable in the enlargement area - especially bigger enlargements. The 5D layout is very similar to the 50D so it was easy to get used to. Really nothing negative I can say about the 5D or the 50D for that matter...... Highly recommend to anyone thinking of getting one.

 
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Jan 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build, great portrait shots, quality pictures.
Cons:
A little pricy.

I was considering the Canon 50 f1.4 but prefered the build quality of the Sigma to the Canon. This is my first non-Canon lens. Have had some great shots with this lens.

 
Canon EOS 50D

50D_1_
Review Date: Jan 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, IQ, great low light performance, great $$$ value, excellent enlargement quality, micro adjustment for lenses.
Cons:
Like the position of the on-off switch on my XTi better.

I ended up buying the 50D with the 17-85 IS lens. I already have 2 L lenses - the 17-40 f4 and the 135 f2 so was not really looking for another lens but the price was too good to pass up. It was only another $180 with the 17-85 lens then just the body and they are selling the 17-85 up here in Canada by itself for over $600. So I figured I would end up selling the lens later and making a bit of money. However after using the camera and doing some lens comparing I am very surprised at how the 17-85 performs on the 50D. I have taken many shots using that and the 17-40 and after enlarging on my iMac screen I cannot see any differences worth noting - in some cases the 17-85 image seems sharper. So now I have 3 lenses and am not sure what I am going to do now. Especially with the 17-85 having a wider range, IS and macro setting. Anyway back to the 50D - I really like the quality feel of this camera. My last 2 cameras were the origional digital rebel and the 10MP XTi. The XTi really did take nice shots with the L lenses but I did a similar comparison between it and the 50D and the shots with the 50D were sharper when using the exact same lens and settings on a tripod. Especially when enlarged. I am also very pleased with the image quality at higher ISO settings. Took a couple of no flash photos in a bar the other night and they were way better then I would have got with the XTi. This should be a big plus when doing a wedding where the flash is not allowed during the ceremony. I also tried out the micro adjustment feature on the lenses and found out that the lenses are pretty good in their origional setting point. Nice feature however if you have a lens that you think may have a focus issue. You can custom set and basically fix the issue. I also have an older Canon EX500 flash and it works great on this camera. Not sure why but it seems to give better results on the 50D then it did on the XTi. Overall I am very satisfied with moving up to the 50D and bottom line is, that is what really matters...

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Jan 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images, quality build, good in low light.
Cons:
none

Before buying this lens I checked out the reviews on this site. I only bought it 2 days ago but long enough to agree with the vast majority of posteers here. I was previously using a 200f2.8L which is also a great lens but when I moved from film to digital this lens became too long when using a 400D.
Excellent background blur...... great for portraits or sports.
Going from the 200L to the 135 L - the wife couldn't even tell I had bought a new lens :-)


 

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