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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

sigma50f14a
Review Date: May 23, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness even at f1.4, nice bokeh, well built, elegant design
Cons:
Heavy, bulky, poor lens cap

This is a brilliant piece of glass. Sharpness is awesome, even at the maximum aperture in the centre. This lens delivers contrasty images; sharpness (or "piqué" as it is called in French) is very good all over the frame at higher apertures.

Build quality is at the same level as the Sigma 35 mm Art : solid and trustworthy. I like the "chic" design, also when coupled with the lens hood which comes with it. The lens cap is not of the higher standard as I have some difficulty when putting it back on the lens.

Autofocus is known to be a weak spot of Sigma, but since the Art line came to life, things seem to have changed. At least in my case, using the Canon 5D mark III (famous for its accurate AF system). To be sincere, I had to use the USB dock of Sigma to tune the accuracy of the focus at different distance ranges. After calibration, results were more than satisfactory and consistent, something you can check looking at your f1.4 shots at 100% magnification. AF speed is quite good and silent. I haven't tested the lens for AI Servo, so can't say anything about that point.

The lens is quite heavy and big (but not more than a good zoom).


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Screen_Shot_2013-11-16_at_5_30_13_PM
Review Date: Mar 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optically outstanding, excellent and fast AF, decently built
Cons:
no IS (but you know that), expensive expensive...

Love at first sight after opening your box and start shooting...

 
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1

sigma35
Review Date: Mar 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very well built, very sharp even at f/1.4 in the central area
Cons:
some lateral CA, vignetting

This lens is extremely well built with an ideal mix of metal, plastic and rubber. The rubber focus ring is large, a good thing. The barrel gives an impression of solidity, pity there is no rubber joint at the mount.

Sharpness is outstanding, even at f/1.4 on the focus points. This lens is a jewel when coupled with a 5DIII. However my copy had a front focus and I had to correct in camera with the micro-adjustment feature. That done, AF is reliable at close and far distances.

I noticed some greenish lateral chromatic aberration on high contrast edges in out of focus areas at f/1.4. Also some vignetting. All of this can be corrected in LR.

All in all a great lens.



 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

5DIIIs
Review Date: Dec 17, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Brilliant autofocus system, nice LCD screen, great build, good for most of situations (events, landscape, macro, portraits), reactive and nervous, good control tools, very good image quality,
Cons:
still expensive...

With 5D3, Canon answered many customers concerns, no doubt about that. I remember reading all the forum posts asking for no more pixels, but better AF and speed, etc. As many users have noticed, the camera mixes the best of the 5D2 and the 7D.

True, the AF system is spectacular. It is flexible, fast and accurate, either in One Shot or Servo mode. Coming from a 7D, the system is quite familiar, and even better (so not to mention the conservative AF of 5D2). You can easily focus on a target without having to recompose thanks to the outer points and get more keepers. Thanks to its AF reliability, 5D3 has given a new life to some of my lenses, like the EF 50 mm f/1.4.

Sensor dust cleaning is much better than the one of 5D2 (which could drive me nervous). Shutter is quieter than on the 5D2, and even quieter with the silent mode. 6 FPS also makes the camera a nice tool for event photographing. Low light shooting is a défini te plus : pictures are clean or easy to PP up to 6400 and even 12500 (though smoothed by NR process).

I find HDR a very highly useful feature (just as the multi exposure mode).

Handling the camera is a pleasure and reminds of the 7D. I really like the grip which is covered with a special rubber. Everything in the build seems solid. The dual card slot is the least you can expect from a camera of that category and price.

AWB, skin tone work pretty well.

A brillant DSLR.

Cons: DR inferior to 6D, no built-in flash (fill-in or remote flash piloting), awkward illumination of viewfinder during focusing, no viewfinder following track of single AF point in Servo mode, no swivel screen, and no wifi for android/ipad control, slow live view autofocus, optional grip doesn't increase fps, no face detection tracking, lack of trap focus or focus peaking, no spot metering at the focus point, no gps, menu: no quick way of navigating from one category to another, sync speed of maximum 1/200 (please, Sir !),

Update: Made a mistake about navigation through menu : yes, you can easily pass from one category to another by pressing the Q button. There is a learning curve with this camera.


 
Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

35mm
Review Date: Oct 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Impressive sharpness, beautiful contrast and colors, solidly built, nice to handle
Cons:
none

Really a top glass. On a full frame or on a 7D.

 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Jun 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very convenient focal range. Good IS. Sharp enough even at f/4 especially in the centre. Satisfying contact and colors. Fast AF. Well built.
Cons:
Vignetting at f/4 (24 mm).

Very pleased with this zoom.

 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Jun 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Very convenient focal range. Good IS. Sharp enough even at f/4 especially in the centre. Satisfying contact and colors. Fast AF.
Cons:
Some vignetting at f/4 24mm.

Use this zoom with my new 5D mark II and am very satisfied. My copy is quite good. It's an excellent walk-around zoom and as sharp as my 17-55 mm f/2.8 on my 7D. A great tool for travel photography.

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Jun 13, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast AF, nice OOF blur, well built, crispy colors. A jewel.
Cons:
No IS.

An outstanding lens.

 
Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

21mm
Review Date: Dec 23, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well built. Sharp, sharp. Nice colors and contrast.
Cons:
Hood can be difficult to put or remove. Heavy. Expensive.

The lens has a nice design. Very elegant despite being built as a a tank. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be cautious with its manipulation : some scratches can easily appear on the black paint of the barrel. The focus ring is soft, pleasant to use and accurate. There is no autofocus, but a green light flashes when target is in focus. Had a problem with the hood as it remained blocked in the thread; fortunately the retailer managed to fix the issue.

Glass is amazing, especially contrast, color and sharpness. Very good for landscape photography. Purple fringe may occur, but not often. You can have flare if sun is at 10h-14h even with the hood on.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Sep 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Reasonably sharp, nice bokeh, cheap, good for portrait, nice built
Cons:
requires a tripod for good results

This is a good lens, though not stellar. Not as sharp as I expected at f/1.8. Suitable for portraits, but with tripod.

 
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

113_small
Review Date: Aug 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nicely built, relatively fast AF
Cons:
soft

The lens is quite well built, nice feeling and easy to handle. Also elegant with its hood. I had some fears about the precision of its AF, but I am lucky to have a good copy. Image quality is not that exceptionnal and I am a little disappointed. There seems to be a lack of contrast, images are not crispy, yet usable. Softness until 2.8, but even at smaller apertures, it's not great. My Canon 17-55 zoom is far better in comparison. Maybe I am not able to work properly without IS, but then, why do I get better results with the prime Canon 60 mm ?

 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

ef10028lmisu_586x225
Review Date: Aug 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent IS, fast and accurate AF, reasonably built
Cons:
no collar for tripod

I agree with most of the previous posts about the high quality of this lens. This is an excellent lens that enables to shoot macro handheld thanks to its exceptional IS and its reactive AF in AI Servo. Good contrast, very sharp.

A jewel.


 
Canon EOS 7D

canon_eos_7_d
Review Date: Jan 9, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very effective autofocus, very well built, good ergonomy and customizable buttons, level, nice viewfinder, exceptional metering system, 8 fps, reactive, good noise control up to 1600, handy menu, HD video, wireless flash control, high quality LCD screen
Cons:
DOF button in a difficult place to handle, not a dual CF/SDHC slot, no SDHC recognition with a CF adaptor, AWB still could be better in artificial light

I own a 50D, a very good camera that now gets better press or internet reviews than last year (price has dramatically dropped). OK, there were some problems and these got solved with successive firmware releases. Also there were dynamic range deficiencies in which highlights were washed out and output would be quite artificial. But now the Canon EOS 7D really is awesome and exceptional, a mile ahead of its predecesor 50D. I've been using the 7D for about two months, testing in various ways and settings and even doing pixel peeping (shame to me, but it was because of bad AF on some forums).

There is so much to say in favour of the camera that I don't with what feature to begin. Autofocus is great, acurate, very speedy. There are so many features and these can be controlled very handily in the wonderful viewfinder. With the mini-joy stick one can easily shift from one collimator to another, turning the camera from horizontal to vertical can change the AF point according to your programmation. One can follow the AF point travel in the viewfinder when in AI servo mode. By the way this AI servo enables you to take better handheld macro photos ! It's very sensitive and acurate.

Difficult to tell whether the body is fully tropicalized, I wouldn't dare experimenting. Anyhow the body seems to be strong. It's nice to hold it, there is a nice rubber feeling when holding the grip, the thum and the forefinger have their natural place. It's a pleasure using the control buttons, except for the DOF button that remains in it's same awkward position.

Image quality is awesome. The metering system means that you don't have to go through too many DPP RAW manipulations (this was not the case of the 50D that required a lot of DPP work). Noise is better controlled than with 50D and pictures are reasonnably good at 1600 ISO though I sometimes noticed some white points in dark areas (maybe due to excessive sharpening, I really can't explain).

All in all this Canon DSLR is a miracle of technology and quality.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Dec 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/1.4, satisfying sharpness if well focused,
Cons:
has to been stopped down for optimal quality (so the f/1.4 lens is - let us say - a f/2.8 lens)

I sometimes experience some focusing problems with this lens, especially at short distance subjects; this is probably the effect of the small DOF. When well focused and stopped, sharpness is good.

Otherwise built quality is OK, though with a plastic feeling.


 
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

efs60_28macro_usm
Review Date: Dec 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Impressive sharpness, very good AF, well built
Cons:
none

I bought this lens today. Usually I wait one or two months before posting a review about a lens. But this one conquered me very quickly : pictures are dam sharp, so sharp. I must say I just recently got a Canon 7D and have been using it with other lenses such as EFS 17-55 or EF 70-200 IS 2.8. Results are OK with the gear, but I wanted another sharp one. So I read a lens review by "Chasseur d'images" and Canon's 60mm macro was strongly recommended. Now I understand why.

 
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

atx116
Review Date: Jan 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp (especially in the center), strongly built, f/2.8, affordable, delivered with sun hood, very nice to use
Cons:
systematic chromatic aberration, flare when shooting with lights or sunrays



 

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