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  Reviews by: Todd Klassy  

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Nov 12, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Please disregard the review immediately below. I thought I was on the 5D Mark III page, not the 5D Mark II page. Sorry.

 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

5DIIIs
Review Date: Nov 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Updated auto-focus system, image quality, low-light performance, low noise, etc.
Cons:
Auto-focus point illumination changed (and changed for the worse), inability to auto-focus with lenses + teleconverters at f/8, price is higher than it should be.

Simply put, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a superb camera in almost every regard. I've owned the Canon 20D, 50D, 5D, 5D Mark II, and 1D Mark III and I am very pleased with this particular camera; more so than the 5D Mark II.

Let me start by talking about the things I don't like, because they really get under my skin. For starters, the 5D Mark III is incapable of being able to use auto-focus when you use a combination of lenses and teleconverters at an aperture of f/8. This is especially odd because Canon has killed off its 1D line. One would think that they expect photographers now to use the 5D Mark III to shoot wildlife and sports, especially with its revamped auto-focus system. However, when you use a f/5.6 lens + a teleconverter you can NOT auto-focus. Huge bummer.

ALSO, and most troubling for me, is the revamped AF point illumination method. I learned after getting the camera that it uses a AF illumination method similar to that of the 7D, but it is radically different than any previous xxD series, 5D series, 1D series, and/or 1Ds series camera. What makes it so troublesome? The AF point is no longer highlighted in red when selecting an AF point and it is not solid red when using AI Servo mode. In low light circumstances and when you have to rapidly change AF points to change composition you get lost in the viewfinder trying to find the AF point. Even in brightly lit scenes where the subject is dark it is difficult to see easy. I do a lot of Montana photography and western photography which includes fast moving cowboys, native Americans dancing in powwows, wildlife, etc. and this issue affects every type of photography I do. Making cowboy photos is especially difficult compared to my 5D Mark II. It just is not nearly as intuitive as the method was with any of my previous cameras. It is VERY annoying.

These two issues are disappointing because if Canon had not erred in these matters the 5D Mark III would be one of the best Canon cameras I've ever owned. Now it is a camera that causes me to curse at times, especially in low-light circumstances when it is very hard to see the black AF point.

Now for the positive things; the camera's auto-focus is VERY snappy. Image quality is superb. Colors, contrast, etc. are awesome. I've owned dozens of Canon lenses, and when this camera is mated to one of Canon's newer zoom lenses it shines, so much so I no longer miss the image quality of my prime lenses.

To see how this camera shines, here is a small sampling of images I've taken with this camera (most with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM:

http://toddklassy.com/canon-5d-western

Click on the images to see a larger version.

Would I still recommend this camera? Yes. But if most of your photography is sports or wildlife I would encourage you to know what you're getting into.


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Nov 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Updated auto-focus system, image quality, low-light performance, low noise, etc.
Cons:
Auto-focus point illumination changed (and changed for the worse), inability to auto-focus with lenses + teleconverters at f/8, price is higher than it should be.

Simply put, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a superb camera in almost every regard. I've owned the Canon 20D, 50D, 5D, 5D Mark II, and 1D Mark III and I am very pleased with this particular camera; more so than the 5D Mark II.

Let me start by talking about the things I don't like, because they really get under my skin. For starters, the 5D Mark III is incapable of being able to use auto-focus when you use a combination of lenses and teleconverters at an aperture of f/8. This is especially odd because Canon has killed off its 1D line. One would think that they expect photographers now to use the 5D Mark III to shoot wildlife and sports, especially with its revamped auto-focus system. However, when you use a f/5.6 lens + a teleconverter you can NOT auto-focus. Huge bummer.

ALSO, and most troubling for me, is the revamped AF point illumination method. I learned after getting the camera that it uses a AF illumination method similar to that of the 7D, but it is radically different than any previous xxD series, 5D series, 1D series, and/or 1Ds series camera. What makes it so troublesome? The AF point is no longer highlighted in red when selecting an AF point and it is not solid red when using AI Servo mode. In low light circumstances and when you have to rapidly change AF points to change composition you get lost in the viewfinder trying to find the AF point. Even in brightly lit scenes where the subject is dark it is difficult to see easy. I do a lot of Montana photography and western photography which includes fast moving cowboys, native Americans dancing in powwows, wildlife, etc. and this issue affects every type of photography I do. Making cowboy photos is especially difficult compared to my 5D Mark II. It just is not nearly as intuitive as the method was with any of my previous cameras. It is VERY annoying.

These two issues are disappointing because if Canon had not erred in these matters the 5D Mark III would be one of the best Canon cameras I've ever owned. Now it is a camera that causes me to curse at times, especially in low-light circumstances when it is very hard to see the black AF point.

Now for the positive things; the camera's auto-focus is VERY snappy. Image quality is superb. Colors, contrast, etc. are awesome. I've owned dozens of Canon lenses, and when this camera is mated to one of Canon's newer zoom lenses it shines, so much so I no longer miss the image quality of my prime lenses.

To see how this camera shines, here is a small sampling of images I've taken with this camera (most with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM:

http://toddklassy.com/canon-5d-western

Click on the images to see a larger version.

Would I still recommend this camera? Yes. But if most of your photography is sports or wildlife I would encourage you to know what you're getting into.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Nov 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Much better than its predecessor. Nice colors and contrast. Lightweight, but durable as a 'L' lens should be. Great lens.
Cons:
Not as sharp as I would like wide open at 35mm. BIG, expensive filter size.

The first 'L' lens I ever purchased was the first incarnation of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM and I was very pleased with the results, especially when mated to a variety of different Canon dSLR cameras, including the 20D, 50D, 5D, and 1D Mark III. However, once I moved to a camera with more megapixels, such as the 5D Mark II and Mark III, the quality of those images began to suffer. That's why I purchased the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM. And I've never regretted the purchase.

I do most of my work in dirty, dusty places in the rural parts of Montana photographing ranches, cowboys, agriculture and the like, and I'm very happy, that like its predecessor, this lens is weather sealed and is built with the typical Canon 'L' lens ruggedness. Montana photography means I do a lot of landscape photography, and I feel the color and contrast of this lens is much better than the first version. It has a snappy autofocus, and the lens is very lightweight.

For me, 16mm to 35mm is the perfect wide angle lens. And although it suffers a bit wide open at 16mm, it is beautiful at at almost every other aperture and focal length. I didn't like buying screw-on filters for this lens; it was an odd filter size and because of that filters were expensive. Other photographers might night find that to be much of a problem.

Here are some examples of photographs I made here in Montana using this lens to give you a feel for what I'm currently doing with this lens.

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-1

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-2

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-3

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-4

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-5

http://toddklassy.com/montana-photography-6


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Apr 4, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, fast autofocus, rugged, and image stabilization.
Cons:
Price is a tad steep, but well worth it. It is also a tad heavy.

I did a lot of research before purchasing this lens. I live and work in a very remote corner of Montana and it is important that my gear work well because it is often difficult to replace and/or fix quickly.

I was very pleased with the first gyration of this lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (Mark I), and wondered if this new version would be worthy of its replacement. I very quickly learned it was. When I first looked at images I took with this lens a very broad smile came to my face.

In addition to the images being super sharp, the autofocus on this lens is very snappy and very accurate. And like all 'L' lenses this lens is built very well and the weather sealing is always a plus.

I generally used this lens with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my IR-converted Canon EOS 5D (Mark I). It really shines on cameras with a large sensor. Its improvement in image quality is a must if you own a camera with > 18 MP and the difference in quality on my 5D Mark II is quite obvious.

I guess my only problem with the lens is its weight. When coupled with a Canon 5D Mark II + a battery grip, my rig is quite heavy, especially when swinging it up and down 1000 or more times every day for many weeks. In doing so I developed tennis elbow (i.e. tendinitis) and it took many months and exercises for it to go away. Shocking, but true.

That said, this lens is so exceptional it is well worth the pain of having to fight through tendinitis.

I came from a world of primarily prime lenses (i.e. 135mm f/2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 50mm f/1.4, 24mm f/2.8L, etc.) because I was never satisfied with the image quality of zoom lenses. But this Canon lens changed all of that. And now it is the lens that gets more use on my camera(s) than any other lens.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this exceptional lens...

Three bison (or buffalo) dash across the open prairie in front of me on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/6331906432/

A horse rears its head at the moon while high atop a ridge near Havre, Montana:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/6123177901/

A cowgirl and her horse as the sun sets over Montana:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/6123179125/

A yellow-bellied marmot, otherwise known as a rock chuck, spotted at Glacier National Park in Montana.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/5957104585/

An Air Tractor AT-301 crop duster flies low over a wheat field spraying fungicide near Chester, Montana:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/5908535610/

A very long row of electrical poles disappear over the horizon near Big Sandy, Montana:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/5904210081/

Needless to say, I am very happy with this lens. I worried about the price when I first purchased it because I wondered if it would be that much better than its predecessor, but I can say with confidence it was worth every cent and has paid for itself many times over.


 
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

ef15mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, rectilinear focal length, small size, does the job very well on cameras with a full frame.
Cons:
No USM, nosier focus, lens cap, no full-time manual focusing, colors a tad muted than other Canon lenses I own.

The Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens is a bit of a boutique lens, but can come in very handy in certain circumstances if you own a camera with a full-frame sensor. If your camera(s) has/have a APS-C or APS-H sized sensor, this probably isn't the lens for you.

This is a rectilinear lens, which means the geometry of straight objects, such as walls or the sides of buildings, will appear less curved despite the extremely wide focal length of this lens. The lens, however, still maintains a fisheye 'look' as objects will appear increasingly stretched and enlarged the closer they are to the edge of the frame.

Overall this is a good lens. Build quality is good, images are sharp, and it is very lightweight. It could, however, use some updating, as it does not have USM focusing (it is somewhat noisier than all other lenses I own when it focuses), its lens cap is an annoying design, it has no full-time manual focusing, and colors are a tad muted. But since it is a boutique lens and is only on my camera in specific situations these shortcomings are not all that annoying in the grand scheme of things.

Here are some photographs I have taken with the Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2058114898/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/274509497/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/3833097929/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/1664079216/


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, good color and contrast, nice creamy bokeh, and excellent price.
Cons:
Build quality isn't on par with L lenses...but it's not a L-lens, is it?

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM is a fine lens, especially for the price, and has been the stalwart in Canon's line on lenses for many, many years. Though Canon has announced its new 100mm f/2.8L lens, its older predecessor is no slouch, even on cameras that have much larger sensors than when this lens was first released.

I've used this lens on a Canon EOS 20D, 50D, 5D, 5D Mark II, and 1D Mark III and it has never failed me. It is always in my camera bag and it is always manages to take exceptional macro photographs and fairly decent portrait shots that can rival those taken with the legendary Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens. Many amateurs see it only as a macro lens, but should be reminded that its larger aperture can isolate a subject in non-macro shots, too.

If you are an amateur photographer and you do not yet own a prime lens, this is probably the first lens you should get. You won't be disappointed with the images it helps create (which should be your primary criteria when choosing a lens).

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/3081572784/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/343633778/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/1985427515/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/26586044/


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Oct 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good focal range, image stabilization, build quality, sharp images > f/5.6.
Cons:
Color and contrast not as good as other L lenses, f/4 maximum aperture, vignetting (especially at 24mm), and lack of weather sealing.

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a good all-around lens. I owned this lens for almost three years and found it to be a very useful every day lens, which is available at a relatively competitive price.

Images are sharp and clean on my Canon 5D and 5D Mark II; especially those > f/5.6. The focal range makes it a good walk-around lens, but I always thought its maximum aperture of f/4 was a bit lacking and I always wanted something more. Color and contrast are good, but not stellar, and definitely not as good as the other L lenses I own. Like most zoom lenses, this lens is the 'jack of all trades' but a master of none.

If you plan on owning just one lens, and want to replace the silly kit lens that came with your camera, then I would say you can hardly go wrong owning this lens. If, however, you own other lenses in this focal length, or if you are trying to build a nice collection of useful lenses, this might not be the best option for you.

I briefly owned a Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens and I can not say the EF 24-105mm lens is a substantial upgrade over the EF-S 15-85mm lens...because it is not; especially if you own a Canon EOS 7D, 60D, 50D, or any other Canon camera with a 1.6 crop factor. About the only real advantage this lens has is its EF mount, which means you can also use it on a 5D, 1D or 1Ds, and it affords better build quality. Images are also a bit sharper than the EF-S 15-85mm, but the difference IMHO is negligible.

Trust me, this IS a very good lens, but if I had to do it all over again I would have purchased the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM instead.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/135745767/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/97621020/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/98733366/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/98276792/


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, focus speed, light weight, and price.
Cons:
Soft at f/1.8 and minimal chromatic aberration (CA).

The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM is arguably the biggest bang for the buck in Canon's line-up of lenses. It is an excellent lens to own, especially good for shooting indoor sports. Focus is fast and image quality is exceptional for what this lens usually costs. Images are a tad soft wide open, but that's often the case for lenses in this price range and it still performs better than the 50mm f/1.4 wide open.

IMHO the focal length is a tad long for cameras with a APS-C sized sensor (i.e. 1.6 crop factor), but that also depends on how you plan to use it.

That said, those who compare it negatively to the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM don't know what they are talking about. Yes, the cost of this lens is a fraction of that for the 85mm f/1.2L, but the optics on this lens' more expensive cousin is out of this world and can not be fairly compared to this lens. The bokeh of the f/1.2L is also infinitely nicer than the 85mm f/1.8. These are two different lenses, and for the post part, meant for two different markets and two different types of buyers.

Here are a few examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/266287266/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/262713309/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/263163874/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/248610683/


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Oct 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, great contrast, f/1.2 aperture, & beautiful bokeh. Image quality overall is unbelievably good.
Cons:
Focus is a tad slow.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is an exceptional lens. For portraits it is absolutely superb. Its bokeh is unmatched and its sharpness is unbelievably good. I love this lens. And while someone would automatically think of using it strictly for portraits, it has some many uses outside of the studio or portrait environment, too. That bokeh is oh so amazing.

Colors and contrast are also amazingly good, very little fringing (if any), and it is also built like a tank.

Buyers should be aware that it is a large and heave lens. It is like having a softball on the front of the camera. I call it 'Big Bertha'. Also, the rear element is awfully close to the mount, so I would advise anyone putting this lens on their camera to be careful when they do so as to not scratch that part of the lens. Focus is a little slow, but that would be expected on a lens with such large and heavy glass...it's not like it is the first lens you would pick to use to photograph sports.

If you do wedding photography or portraiture of any kind I would recommend you taking a serious look at this lens. Arguably it is one of Canon's three best prime lenses. Period.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/365278305/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2280382988/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2907174824/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2863026063


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Oct 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Exceptional image quality, sharp images, good colors & contrast, and excellent price.
Cons:
SMALL amount of color distortion around the edges of objects in bright light, but very, very negligible and a very minor issue. Also wish it was available without a EF-S mount.

I always say the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4 USM is as close to being a L-lens as any non L-lens in Canon's arsenal of lenses. It's not built like a L-lens, but its optics are wonderful. Anyone owning a Canon camera with a APS-C sized sensor with a 1.6 crop factor would be hard pressed to find any lens from anyone else that can produce better images.

I used this primarily with my Canon 20D and 50D. In both cases, despite change in the size of the sensor, the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4 USM shined. Color and contrast were always good, and images were remarkably sharp...especially for a non-L lens. Especially if you are used to using kit lenses on your camera, you will be blown away by the image quality this lens produces. Every landscape photographer using a camera with a 1.6 crop factor would love to have this lens in their camera bag. It is well worth the price.

Here are some examples of photographs I have captured with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/295270244/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/73646156/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/249790910/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/280290629/


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

ef500mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Oct 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful images, VERY sharp, wonderful colors and contrast, and size much more manageable than the EF 600mm f/4L IS USM.
Cons:
Wish Canon offered a f/2.8 version. And the hood mounting mechanism is a tad cumbersome; it really should be designed to go on easier and not have a knob sticking out, but those are MINOR complaints.

What an amazing lens! The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM is in a league all by itself. A favorite among sports and wildlife photographers alike, the image quality of photographs taken with this lens is absolutely superb. With some practice anyone can take some truly wonderful photographs with this lens.

One of the nice features about this lens is that it is 'relatively' portable. In other words, it is not as huge as some of the other super telephoto lenses. One can actually hand-hold it if necessary, but more importantly, it is easy to maneuver on the sidelines when attached to a mono-pod. Also, it is equally easy to maneuver when affixed to a Wimberly head when on a tripod. Also, when coupled with a EF 1.4X Extender image quality is still very good.

I have used this lens for some time now, and it is well worth the price tag in almost every regard.

There has been some talk about replacing, but optically, I don't see how much image quality can improve, unless Canon's future wildlife and sports camera(s) (i.e. 1D line) intend to have a much larger sensor, which may necessitate better optics. Otherwise, with a 1D Mark III or IV, this lens really shines.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this lens when attached to my Canon EOS 1D Mark III:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/3522774236/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4029202040/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2969299276/

Oh, and these lenses retain their value quite nicely...provided you take good care of it.


 
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

ef14mmf_28l_1_
Review Date: Oct 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wonderful wide lens, unique angles, good color rendition, fun lens.
Cons:
Softer in the corners, some chromatic aberration, non-detachable hood.

The first generation of the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM is a fun lens. Some would call it a boutique lens (or niche lens), but it is a nice lens to have for large, sweeping landscape photographs and unique angles of view. Having this lens in my camera bag allows me to take photographs that few other photographers have, making my photographs more unique, and as a result, more marketable.

Image quality is very good, but not super exceptional...but that's only because images tend to be a tad soft in the corners, especially when it is mated to a camera with a very large sensor, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The front element of this lens is very large and bulbous, and it protrudes forward, which means you need to take great care when using this lens. Front filters are not an option.

This lens was already very pricey before it was replaced by the more more pricey Mark II version. I'm confident that the image quality of the Mark II version is a substantial leap forward, but so too is the price.

Overall I like this lens and I am very happy have it.

Here are some examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2997118707/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2332708636/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2816999467/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/3075204229/


 
Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

149_small_1_
Review Date: Oct 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Auto focus, colors, good quality lens for the money.
Cons:
Loud auto focus, average sharpness, not a rectilinear lens, image circle does not cover entire frame on APS-C sized sensors.

The Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye lens is a boutique lens that doesn't get a lot of use, but for the right shot it is invaluable. I have owned both this version of the Sigma 8mm lens and its predecessor, the 8mm f/4, and find it a good value for the money.

8mm is about the only option one has if you are shooting with a non-full frame dSLR. No, the image circle doesn't take up the entire frame of your image on cameras with a APS-C sized sensor, but it is is not a hassle to work around this flaw in post production. One can either crop the image or add a strong artificial vignette to cover the black corners. If you want to produce fisheye-looking images with a camera with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor, 8mm is the only way to go, and the Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye is the only option with auto focus.

Image quality is average. A little extra work in post production is necessary to sharpen images, but colors are good (maybe a tad too warm for my liking) and CA is very manageable.

Build quality is average to above average. Lens is heavy and seems sturdy, but the charcoal gray/black paint Sigma uses can tend to flake off over time...which obvious does not affect image quality.

Overall I would say this is a good buy for the money IF you want or need a fisheye look on a camera with a 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor...or a complete circular image on a full frame camera. If not, there are likely bigger needs in your camera bag.

Here are examples of images I have captured with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/54166091/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/28140024/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/28026331/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/81152808/


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images, parfocal zoom, weather sealing, rugged build quality, quiet AF, color rendition.
Cons:
None

A lot of people are talking about the new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM, and rightly so; I'm sure it is an exceptional lens. It's predecessor, however, should still receive its props and in virtually every regard is an exceptional lens and no slouch when compared to its replacement.

One of the key advantages of this lens over the Mark II version is the fact that it is parfocal, which means it stays in focus when magnification/focal length is changed. The Mark II version, I'm told, does not have this feature, which for sports and wedding photographers may be a limitation.

I use this lens most frequently with my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM as I backpack and travel around performing my duties as a travel photographer in Montana and throughout the Midwest. It is most frequently coupled to my Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which has a might large censor as you know, and the Mark I version of the same camera. It always performs and I seldom if ever have to worry about "getting the shot." Shots are crisp and clear, even on my 5D Mark II, with its extended resolution. Colors are great, bokeh very good for a zoom lens, and its build quality has to be second to none. Simply put, I love this lens.

Here are some examples of shots I have taken with this lens most recently. I think you will agree that it does an exceptional job:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4703087574/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4854765652/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4706126864/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/5008258292/

And here is one wide open:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/4861410037/


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Sep 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp > f/2 and good at f/1.8. Good value for the money, nice bokeh, and good colors rendition. Inexpensive.
Cons:
Not as well-built as a L-quality lens, what do you expect for the money?

I enjoy using my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens very much. For the money, it hard to go wrong having this lens in your camera bag. Prior to owning this lens I used a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 USM, which is also a very good lens for the money, but not nearly as good as this lens...especially when mated to a camera with a ton of resolution, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

I have owned this camera now for four years and it is always the lens I take with me when I want to pack light and if I don't want to intimidate people with too large or too fancy a lens. While the build quality is not on par with a L-lens, one would not expect it with a $300 lens.

I considered replacing it with the much, much more expensive Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, but couldn't justify purchasing it given the fine quality images this lens produces. Those dollars and cents IMHO are better used in the bank or on a different lens.

Here are examples of photographs I have taken back home in Wisconsin with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2366084365/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2428660207/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/1881110128/

This portrait was taken wide open at f/1.4:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/2807122789/

Overall it is an excellent lens for the money.



 

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