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  Reviews by: Kris K  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: good build, excellent clarity and color
Cons:
should come with a lens hood (but doesn't)

An excellent "consumer" lens that rivals the L lenses. I'm quite happy witth the sharpness and color rendition it affords. Unlike some others, I have found the focus speed with be excellent (on a 1D/1Ds, and my former D60).

The extra stop this lens provides over its smaller brother, the 50/1.8, really can make the difference in low light/ambient light settings (both for focus lock, and getting the shot w/o having to resort to excessively high ISO's).


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, color, clarity, size/weight
Cons:
none

Best piece of practical glass I own. Outstanding in all respects. Once you've tasted this in action, you'll never look at those expensive mid-range telephoto L zooms the same way. Sure, the zooms have their place, but when the results are critical, I always opt for the 135/2.0 and use my feet to do the zooming (where possible).

 
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

ef14mmf_28l_1_
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Excellent wide angle perspective, good color, excellent build.
Cons:
Expense; good, but not great sharpness, especially on a full-frame. Vignetting wide open

Great perspective on a 1.3 or 1.6x digital. Sharp enough to be quite useable, but a little too expensive for what you get. Surprisingly fast focus for an ultra-wide angle lens. Rear filter mount a necessity, but a pain. Fairly prominent CA and flare in the "wrong" photographic circumstances.

I purchased this for my original D30 and it performed quite well. In retrospect, the 15mm/2.8 fisheye would probably have been a cheaper and better choice (especially with all the great perspective correcting programs that are now available).


 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

ef24mmf_14l_1_
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build, color rendition, great perspective on full-frame
Cons:
Not as sharp as other L lenses, but even wide open it's still very good.

I originally picked up this lens, as well as a 14/2.8L for my D30. The 14mm was fun, but the 24/1.4 was used a lot more b/c it had better color rendition and clarity. Even the corners on a < full-frame were very good. It is a fast focuser, even on my D30/D60, and as good as any other wide angle on my 1D/1Ds.

It doesn't see as much use now that I have the 24-70/2.8L, but I still keep it b/c is really affords a lot more low light flexibility.


 
Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

ef200mmf_18l_1_
Review Date: Mar 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent clarity and color to the corners. Sharpest lens I own, with the possible exception of my 135/2.0L.
Cons:
Heavy, heavy, heavy, cost, vignetting wide open on a full-frame

I purchased this lens for candid shots, especially of kids in action. The short depth of field wide open yields interesting results with candid shots.

Focus is nearly instantaneous. Colors are rendered extremely accurately. Corners are essentially as sharp as the center.

The weight of this lens doesn't lend itself to prolonged hand holding (unless you're going to skip the gym that day). I thought originally that I'd like to see this lens with IS, but I really haven't had any problems w/o it due to the flexibility of the large aperature.

Size does make this lens a little unwieldy for travel. With the hood attached, it monsterous in size...not exactly an inconspicous lens


 
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

120_300_1_
Review Date: Nov 19, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Very sharp, good color. Very good, but not great AF speed.
Cons:
Poor QC and poor function on a 1Ds. Unusable AF (serious back-focusing)

I tried two different copies of this lens on my 1Ds. Neither came even close to acceptable AF function on this camera. The camera has spot on focus with 5-6 other L lenses I own, so I know it was the Sigma lenses. When manually focused, this lens if fabulous...but I won't pay that type of money for a MF lens. I've since read that Sigma is aware of a suboptimal function of their "comparator" chip which makes it unlikely for this lens to perform well with AF on the 1Ds. I know other users of this lens w/ a 1Ds have reported no problems, but I've yet to see any proof of that. I, on the otherhand, have numerous tests and mis-focused photos to demonstrate that at least two of these lenses did not work. If you're going to try it on a 1D or 1Ds, I'd be sure there is a good return policy from whomever you purchased it.