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  Reviews by: Joshua June  

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Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Apr 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp as all get out, IS, IS, IS, silent, fast, efficient.
vignetting, Canon's marketing policy.

I will own every Canon lens before I die! That being said after reading all the reviews on this lens I made sure I bought a REFURBISHED piece, and have not been disappointed. I have not had any specks of dust after a month of use but apparently they correct that problem with refurbished pieces (membrane seal???) I dunno.

Positives: 2.8, IS, sharpness, the rumors are all correct, this lens does exactly what others have said. This is a leave on your camera lens for almost anything anytime lens.

Negatives: The flare issue is sadly true, buy the hood it makes it worth while and worth the money.Vignetting, it is very average in this regard, no better, no worse for comparable lengths.

Comments: All do respect to all the other fine photographers on this site, however, It did not say L on the box, there is no red stripe on it, so... Quite you, it is not an L, stop complaining like it is an L. The glass just happens to be better then the 2 pieces of L I have/had (17-40, 70-200), as a matter of fact this little guy is better then my 50mm MK I prime, however it cannot macro like my 50 mm macro. The price was also clearly marked for the quality of the elements and the fine IS system loaded in it. However, like many point out its body is not an L build.

My major complaints are thus: for the price and the "glaring" weakness, Canon you should have included a hood, its a 50 cent premium don't be cheap when you really should be working for loyalty. I hear non-refurbished builds suck in dust which means that the plastic friction builds up a static charge, or they did not put in a membrane or sweep baffle in the original lots, Canon should reward, not punish loyalist willing to drop a grand on their products.

Buy this lens, but get a refurbished or one of the newest lots out of Japan.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 7, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Nice lower cost L series Glass, sharp to the edges, buy a refurbished one to get a guaranteed calibrated piece.
No matter How I tried... I could not get it to function in low light or indoors.

I am going to keep my rating a 10, but with this caveat; I needed it for indoor film noir work after testing it in super contrasty bright outdoor work. I was beguiled by the easter like explosions of color but was quite disappointed when I brought the lens inside, in less contrast environments. Which is not the purpose of this glass, thus the rating stays a 10, I'm just saying be careful when using this with an Xti or the like where anything beyond ISO 400 looks like crap thus forcing you into higher exposure settings... Not to mention it really finds some creative depths to focus on in low light giving you some very strange albeit frustrating photos.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tight Crisp images and great color rendition. Price. Weather seal, sold balance, speed, IQ, quiet. Does a good job breaking down problems with chromatic and barrel aberration.
well... I really miss being able to stop down to 1.8... but I knew it buying an f4, but still (whine whine whine)

Great lens, I'm addicted to Ebay! Anyway my copy is sweet to the edges at f4, and at f20+ it does blue out on me or over darken the edges like cheaper lenses to... Or is that a camera trait? Not sure, anyway the lens still requires me to be a good photographer to get it to work properly indoors, no IS, but, the glass is top notch, well worth the money and the skillz you will develop using this lens.

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Aug 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, nuances of focusing, performance in good lighting, Macro capabilities
... at $170 I'm not sure I can complain about a very very slightly slower focus.

I actually sold off my MK I 50mm 1.8 after getting this guy. Why? because its zoom is faster, more accurate and clarity is close enough were I cannot tell a difference in sharpness, and I can get closer by far to my subjects and get accurate focusing in lower lighting then the standard 50mm.

Something I should also note: This lens has the finest tuning focus dial on any lens I have ever owned, it practically can be turned 3 full times around just for focusing as opposed to most zooms that only give you 90-270 degrees of rotation. This allows extremely fine tune adjustment of focus subject.

Also, any wash out of color or bokeh, I drop it 1/3 a stop, this gives me those deep colors, IF NEEDED I photo shop my image a little lighter or more saturation, I really prefer this lens over the nifty fifty.

I own an Xti, and am on a mission to try every Canon lens new and discontinued.

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Jul 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, Quality, Decent IQ, Reach, Color quality, Sharpness, USM
Sometimes convinces itself into a blurry image, lower and upper ranges do distort or fuzz a tad... however stopping down always fixes the problem

I think I'm going to own every canon lens by the time I turn my Xti in for a full professional model... Anyway this lens does wonders as a walk around or adventure lens when you cannot lug a lot of equipment with you. (I had mine in a zip lock bag in a Tupperware container to go khiaking.) The range is excellent the colors and DOP wonderful and with RAW images tweaking is simple and the results vibrant. Now to compare it to other bargain (50-350$) lenses:

Tamron 28-80 f3.5-5.6 - The canon kicked the crap out of this little guy, color, sharpness, "sound", Range, everything (the Tamron was only 50$ so I cannot complain)

Canon 50mm f1.8 Prime, MkI - This is an unfair comparison the 50mm is just so damned sharp and contrasty, although I had more AF issues with the prime compared to the Canon 28-105, and the AF was slower on the Prime then the 28-105. All the other aspects where superior slightly with the 50mm.

Tokina 28-70 F2.8-4.5 macro - Think the wider aperture would help this lens? Nope, grainy, noisy, slow, and flat comparatively to the canon only the Macro is superior, which is the only function of the Tokina in my bag.

Nikon AFS Nikkor - 18-135 mm F3.5-5.6g - This was actually on a friends camera but apparently it cost 400$ or so, however the lens had no bite, constantly blurry, no color rendition, and was bulky as all get out.

In other words this lens is worth the money, new or used. Get a lens hood though cause It does flare on the occasion. Buy it.

Lowepro Mini Trekker AW

Review Date: Jun 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $42.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good price, Good Design, Solid padding on camera and arms, efficient room use, convenient accessory pouches, I could go on.
for its purpose, the only complaint I have is that it is not water PROOF just resistent, but a can of scotch guard fixes that easy enough.

The camera bag is not meant to be a camel-pak water supply or hold your laptop or connect to a hang-glider for extreme sport base jumps... although it might be able too... It is meant to secure your camera with a snug custom fit and do it well. I bought mine off E-bay (42$), if you go to Ritz camera cause you like your local camera shop pay the 70$ and don't complain about the price, this is the finest most compact bag you can purchase without a custom made leather job. It has 2 different lateral straps for mountain or jogging purposes to keep the bag from sliding around or wearing into your skin, small clasps for holding the zip buttons shut, and other sewn on goodies for additional equipment connections. It has good padding, excellent stitching, easily water-proofable, and ridiculously good internal camera padding, firm yet supple. It saved my lenses and body many a times. People that complain about price have apparently not shopped in the same price category, for anything less then 200$ this is the way to go, and is deliciously compact, without necessarily screaming out to the yokel never-do-wells "hey I'm a camera bag, take me take me!" Get this bag for your adventure photography.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: May 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap, Clear, Grabs ambient Light, fairly well constructed, MK I
AF a little slow... but faster then cheap lenses... thus not much a neg (in low light manual focus is better anyway)

This Lens is hard to find, and not to be confused with the MK II. Also to set something straight as I adventure into the photography world of professionals... why complain about AF motor being loud, who cares? really? thats like saying you don't like the black color of the lens, good grief. Its not even that loud.

Anyway Compared to the L glass I have seen I'm not sure I would even call you spoiled, buying the 1.2 L 50 mm would make you unfortunate, a waste of clarity and money. Buy an L zoom, but buy this as your prime.

Looking at the context of the price and purpose of the lens some other photographers comlained about it lacking the depth or reach of their other lens etc. etc. ... Then why did you buy a 50mm? It was clearly marked when you bought it, also like buying a 100 - 300 mm Canon and complaining about not having enough wide angle... good God.

So, for the context of the purpose of this lens, find it, buy it. The Tamron lens (s) I own are shadowed by the capabilities of this fine piece it will not fall apart, its built right, it will be clearer then most L lenses and will cost less then third party makers at the same mm length.

Tamron 28-80MM F/3.5-5.6 Aspherical AF

Review Date: May 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: PRICE, range, overall durability and quality
Hit or Miss Focus, Fuzzy corners, Lens Flare!!!

Once again a review ONLY FOR NEWBIES.

I purchased a kit with a handful of beginner lenses including this one with a Rebel Xti base. Let me say the images are of a high enough quality that no non-professional photographer shall ever complain, especially the rock bottom price.

That being said, as a general walk around lens this baby fits the bill much better then the stock Canon lens. Don't buy it. At the same price in any new kit you can pick this little number up at minimal cost perhaps even cheaper.

Of the 45,000 photos I have taken in 2 months I have found this lens a reliable work horse that no house wife or amateur will find disdainful. However...

I did buy my camera for the purpose of medical photography in my practice and some details of alacrity and clarity are lost in macro settings... For this I will explore into a Canon Macro lens or the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM for my slightly wider shots... (For you pros what room is less dust free then a surgery bay?)

In short, for the price, get this lens for general use, it is superior to the stock lens and so darn cheap (ebay) you almost have no excuse.

Tamron 75-300MM F/4-5.6 LD Macro AF

Review Date: May 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Inexpensive starter lens with good reach and somewhat good quality and alacrity.
Overall quality not professional standards, lens quality and build suspect, NEEDS a tripod or stand to use properly.

This review is for beginners only. The quality and build are quite diminished compared to professional lenses (that my patronizing friends let me touch) so it is unfair to put them in their category which costs at least ten fold more.

After 2 months of use with this lens I had to add a tripod and a mono stand to my collection for image stabilization purposes in any light. That being said...

The quality is incredible for the price I paid, absolutely not a bad deal given price range. Against a D80 with the Nikon Stock and optional Zoom addition I was able to generate a better photo, faster, for 400$ cheaper on my Rebel Xti. The reach is shaky and as I see it a tad "dark" as in it does not absorb light as much as I wish it would but with babysitting and the rock bottom price I really cannot complain. For the beginner wishing to get butterfly or flower photos this lens with a mono stand will do you wonders, just don't use it as a walk around!

Simply put, It did all I wished the lens to do in a wide range fashion with the exception of sports photography, it simply isn't fast enough. But as CHEAP as this guy is, do not buy the stock lenses for canon if you can get a kit with this semi-precious gem.