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  Reviews by: Gil_W  

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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Review Date: Jan 7, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build Quality, Fast Recycle time, water resistance
Miss the slave mode switch but that would have gotten in the way of the locking handle and possibly been hard to waterproof.

Canon done good when they updated the 580 mkI. The mkII is built wonderfully and to me obviously worth the money (purchased with discounts) of the upgrade. Wanted the mkII as a second flash to use with my mkI that has a faster recycle time then my 550EX.
I use flash outdoors so the water resistance, at times, will be a nice to have.

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: May 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,995.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, not much distortion at all if held level, fast, great colors and saturation, well made, nifty lens cap
Protruding lens is scary, price is too :(

Was reluctant to get this lens due to price, amount of projected usage I would get and history of the mkI. Was very pleased when I got the lens and find I am using it more then I thought. Lens produces excellent images and I love it on my 1Ds, wonderful pictures with that combo. I just wish the price was not so high, but I guess it's just the way it is with a lens of this caliber.
I have the 35L but feel they should not be compared. I can do things with each lens that will not work well with the other.
I also have the Tokina 12-24 for my 20D (IR) and 40D. While the Tokina is wonderful, the images that the 14L produces is a bit better color and saturation wise. Plus the 14L can use it on my two 1 series cameras.
If you want wide on a FF or 1.3 crop and don't mind dropping a fist full of dollars, I would say this lens is the way to go.

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build Quality, price, sharpness, color and contrast, quick focus, and neat sounding focusing motor. Straight f/4.
Tendency to flare sometimes but what else is new with a wide lens. A little bit of chromatic aberration in high contrasty areas in bright sun, easily removed.

I spent many days researching a wide zoom for my IR 20D and 40D. I do not have a photo store to go to to check out lenses anywhere even remotely close to where I live so I have to depend on what my own surfing can come up with. I found that the Tokina 12-24 had a better reputation for build and image quality then the Sigma wide zoom and Canon 10-22. To their credit, the Canon 10-22 owners seemed extremely passionate about their lens. However, it is image quality that counts and not passion and I have now found that yes, the Tokina 12-24 puts out an excellent image. It is a fantastic indoors lens with very little distortion which suprised even me. Outdoors it does pick up a little flare if you have the wrong angle to the sun and there is a tiny bit of chromatic aberration (another trait of some wide lenses) which PS or LR can easily handle.
This is my only non-Canon lens. It is a lens for 1.6 crop bodies ONLY! Some post say that this lens can be used on a 1.3 or FF body. I have both, it doesn't work well, only partial use say 15-16mm-24 on 1.3 crop and 17-18mm-24 on FF and image quality suffers.
Yes the 10-22 gives you 10-12, if you want super, super wide get that, to me the 22-24 was more important as was the straight f/4 vice f/3.5-4.5.
If you buy this lens, I am sure you will be as impressed as I am and like the price of this very well made lens.