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Canon EOS 30D

Canon_30D
Review Date: Nov 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great Ergonomics, Very good high ISO performance, Excellent image quality, Autofocus is fast and accurate
Cons:

I have been shooting with my 30D since September 2006. It was my first digital SLR; prior to that I was shooting Olympus point and shoot digital, and Contax/Yashica 35mm film. The 30D is a wonderful digital SLR. I have really enjoyed the weight and balance of this camera. The ergonomics of the camera fit me perfectly. The image quality is superb and the handling of the different camera and lens combinations are phenomenal. I only shoot with the center AF point selected, and autofocus has been fast and accurate.

One of the many things that I have enjoyed with this camera is the ability to shoot at any ISO up to and including ISO 3200. I can shoot at higher ISOís when I need or have to, and not worry about a missed shot. The ISO performance on my 30D has been very good up to and including ISO 1600. I have even been pleasantly surprised at some of the ISO 3200 photos that I have taken.

I believe Canon did an excellent job with their menu system and user interfaces on this camera. Most of the everyday important functions can be changed with a push of the button and a spin of a control wheel. It works really sweet. Most of the important exposure controls can be changed in an instant, or in some cases, a matter of seconds without taking your eye away from the view finder and the object or person you are photographing.

Some folks have complained about dust on the sensor. This is a problem that all digital SLRís have. Some better and some worse. I have had dust. Usually, a small blast of air from a squeeze bulb takes care of it. I donít believe that the 30D is any better or any worse for dust on the sensor.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Nov 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $435.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, very sharp, AF is fast and accurate, solid build, USM, price
Cons:
Canon not including a hood

This is a wonderful Macro and mild telephoto lens. I have been shooting with this lens for 2 years. The image quality is excellent. I have found it to have excellent sharpness from f/2.8, and excellent color and contrast. I do not believe that there is a better Macro lens out there in this focal length. That being said, we will have to wait and see how the new ďLĒ version performs. The autofocus is very good on this lens. However, I find that I use manual focus most of the time due to preference on my part. I find the size, weight, and balance to be perfect for my Macro shooting. Now, if we could only get Canon to throw in the hood like other lens manufacturers. I find it annoying that I have to spend additional money for hoods every time I purchase a Canon (non-L) lens. I prefer to shoot with the hood installed.

 
Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X 535 AF PRO DX

atx535prodx
Review Date: Nov 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build Quality, Exceptional Image Quality, Out-of-Focus Blur (bokeh), Nice Focal Range
Cons:
Non-removable Collar

This lens is an excellent example of a third party lens manufacturer getting it right. I purchased this lens in January 2009. I purchased this particular lens based on test results and reviews that I had read. I originally wanted a fast zoom in the 70-200mm range that was not white. I am not a professional, and I donít want people thinking that I am. I found that there were not a lot of choices available that would meet my criteria. So, I started looking at the 50-150mm range and found two; the Sigma and this lens. I really wanted the extra 15mm that the Sigma provided on the long end, but in the end the data and the reviews led me to choose the Tokina.

I have not been disappointed. The focus is always right on and the color and contrast is excellent. And, the out of focus blur is exceptional. I have found the images to be extremely sharp at all focal lengths and apertures. Shooting with this lens is pure pleasure. The build is exceptional. The balance is good. And, it comes with a hood and tripod collar. It would have been nice if the tripod collar was removable. I find that I have to rotate it up and to the right when not mounted on a monopod or tripod.


 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Nov 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very Good Image Quality, Nice Focal Range, Very Good IS, Autofocus Accuracy, USM, Price
Cons:
Zoom Creep

This is one of Canonís most underrated non-L zooms. I purchased this lens in November 2007 to fill a need/desire to have an IS lens with this range. I have not been disappointed. Even though this lens is only f/3.5-5.6, I find that I can get consistently good shots at very low shutter speeds, and in low light. The color and contrast is also very good. I have read a lot of reviews comparing this lens to the 24-105L and I find that there really are not a lot of differences between the two; except in price. I have taken a lot of photographs inside and outside, with flash and without, and this lens performs very well. When I am not concerned about depth of field and I just want to relax and shoot, I will put this lens on my 50D any day.

 
Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG Lens

24-60mm
Review Date: Nov 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at f/2.8 and up, excellent color and contrast, solid build, zoom lock
Cons:
HSM would help with low light performance

I really enjoy shooting with this lens. I find that this lens is very sharp from f/2.8 and up, and has excellent color and contrast. I purchased this lens based on test results and reviews that I had read. I have not been disappointed. It lives on my 50D presently. Prior to my purchase of a 50D, it lived on my 30D. I find the 24-60mm range to be ideal for general shooting. I do not miss any shots due to a missed focus.

It was not always that way. I purchased this lens in January of 2007. Shortly after purchase, I experienced an autofocus failure. I sent it into Sigma for repair. The repair took a few weeks because the needed parts were not in stock. However, when it was returned, it has worked perfectly ever since.

Third party lens manufactures do make some excellent lenses. This is one of them.