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  Reviews by: Lani Kai  

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Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye

Review Date: Aug 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The only 180-degree diagonal fisheye available for APS-H Good colors and sharpness Close MFD for interesting effects Excellent build, very smooth zoom ring
Wild CA, not very flare resistant, no focus clutch

This is a very fun lens to use. It gives a full 180-degree diagonal fisheye effect on my 1D Mark II at 12mm and is the only lens capable of doing so. The lens vignettes at wider focal lengths, as it was not intended to be used on APS-H. Build is excellent and the focus ring is well damped. The front lens cap is a push-on type for obvious reasons but it stays on very well. Color is very saturated and contrast is high. As for sharpness, I couldn't ask for more, especially from such a wide lens. Highly recommended.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Oct 30, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated


Correction to my review two posts ago... I meant ISO 800, not 200.

Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Oct 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: ISO in viewfinder and in 1/3 stops, speed, control, excellent LCD, build, Picture Styles
Useless Print button (needs a custom function), battery grip (BG-E2) could be better

I had a 20D and was offered a killer deal back in April, just after the camera was released, and decided "for $1,050, why not?" The improvements over the 20D were immediately obvious. The best improvement Canon made was the ISO in the viewfinder while being changed, and the fact that it can be adjusted in 1/3 stops instead of full stops. I'm also quite fond of the Picture Styles and the bundled DPP software. All things equal, the included software is so much more attractive than the one that Nikon includes with their cameras.
So far I haven't had any problems with the camera and am very satisfied.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Oct 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, build, ergonomics, weather sealing... What everyone else said
Moire is visible quite often, battery life, LCD has slight color cast

I bought this camera because I intend to get into sports photography a bit more. I shot a hockey game last night at ISO 200 and while there was noise, it was very film-like, as others have mentioned. The colors were excellent.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, range, build, image quality... Pretty much everything
A tad pricey

Some say 24mm is not wide enough on a 1.6x, but considering many point-and-shoot cameras have a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38mm at the wide end, I didn't find this to be too much of a problem. In fact it complements my 10-22 very well; a reason why I chose the 24-105mm f/4L IS over the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. And it comes with a hood and case.
The IS mechanism is impressive and much has been improved over previous IS lenses. I get plenty of usable shots with 1-second exposures at 24mm (38.4mm equiv)

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good build, fast, great price
Mine was kind of soft near MFD at 200mm

My copy was not exactly sharp at 200mm closer than about 3m. Aside from that it was tack sharp at f/2.8, with the wide end being slightly better. A great bargain compared to the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L

Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range, image quality
Weight (although for what it offers it's quite light), f/6.3

ISO 400 and f/8 allowed me to handhold the lens in almost all daylight situations (even overcast). I decided to be brave and use it as a walkaround lens a few times. The pictures turned out great without a tripod or monopod; it just calls for good handholding techniques. While it was in my possession it was never mounted to a tripod. Fully usable handheld if you've got a steady arm and moderately good shoulders.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Jul 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent in every respect. Sharpness, contrast, saturation, speed, weight... As others have said, this is about as close to perfect as it gets. Although it is a bit of an awkward focal length on 1.6x (for me anyway) I still find myself using it whenever possible, even if that means stepping back quite a bit.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, light, inexpensive, great colors, inconspicuous
Built-in hood a little too shallow (MkI)

This was my first L lens. In the three months following my purchase of this lens, I bought the 70-200mm f/4L and then 300mm f/4L IS... I think I've caught the L fever but I don't have any problem with that... Though my wallet does. In the end I decided to keep the 70-200mm f/4L and sell this because I don't really need the f/2.8 and the loss of IQ wasn't too bad. And I don't have anything else that covers between my 50mm macro and 200mm. Anyway, this is not to say this is a bad lens because it is a fantastic lens. A great value, too. Very sharp with excellent colors, and very portable. My copy was a UH--made in 1993--but it was as smooth as a new lens.

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp! Light, built-in hood, relatively inexpensive, IS, great colors, short MFD... the list goes on
1st generation IS. Which is still much better than nothing.

I can't emphasize enough how wonderful this lens is. I use it for a variety of purposes--I've even shot some landscapes with it. I often use it for macro shots as well, even though I have a really sharp Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro... I've used it as a walkaround lens and it's light enough that this is possible. I wish I could use it more but not everything can be shot at 300mm... The images are stunningly beautiful.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Mar 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Broad range covered by one lens, image stabilization very useful. The lens probably does what it is intended to do better than any other lens in this range.
Weak on the wide angle, hood not included, rather pricey

Most people will find this range very useful for everyday shooting. However the wide angle is indeed weak, and since I shoot a lot of wide angle I will be parting with it, as my Tokina 12-24mm f/4 has replaced it as a walkaround lens. However in my several months with the lens I was never dissatisfied with it; most of the issues this lens has at the wide angle (barrel distortion, CA) can be corrected in post-processing. The price is a bit expensive (especially when compared to the 28-135 IS, the full frame equivalent); the used price on the Buy/Sell forum, however, is more sensible.

Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Review Date: Dec 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $185.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Dangerously sharp. Beautiful, creamy bokeh and beautiful price too. Lightweight and good build.
Working distance, slow AF (though that doesn't really matter on a macro lens).

I got this lens from someone on this site, and although I've only had it for a week and a half, I really love it. It is by far the sharpest lens I have, and it's a very good deal for the price. I don't shoot insects so I don't really mind the short working distance, but if you do, then you may want to go for something longer, like the 105mm. The screw-in hood makes using a polarizer easy, but it also means that it can't be attached backwards while not in use. Not really a big deal.
In short, I'm really impressed by this. If anything, this is a far better choice than the EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro because this does 1:1 for a lower cost, and it's EXCELLENT. Truly worthy of the EX badge.

Canon EOS Rebel (300D)

Review Date: Nov 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $688.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, good entry-level D-SLR, image quality
High ISO performance, tiny buffer, a bit slow, lacking in many controls

I got a very good deal on this camera 1 year ago and I still haven't found any new ones for significantly less than what I paid, even with the introduction of the XT. The Digital Rebel was my first D-SLR, and It has served me well over the past year. I found it very easy to use and it has taught me almost everything I know about photography today. Unfortunately, as I acquired new knowledge I found myself wanting more control and features, and I upgraded to the 20D, another fantastic camera. If there's one thing I couldn't bear about the Rebel it's the buffer that only holds 4 images... Even my Fuji FinePix F410 was able to do that much. But aside from that it's great for starters and with prices coming down I would recommend that beginners step into the D-SLR world by buying a good used copy of this camera.