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Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

ef24mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Oct 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, excellent sharpness from f/4 onwards, f2.8 still great in the center and acceptable in the corners on a crop camera
Cons:
Slow f/2.8 maximum aperture, no hood, plasticky

I don't agree it doesn't make sense in these days of pro zoom. It's small, easy to carry around, and give great performance on a crop camera. Your 17-55, etc is at least 4X the size. No doubt it's not a zoom, but it's faster than most consumer level zooms but about 1 stop. I wish it was a f/2.0 but that was not to be. The L version is large and heavy with a big price on it.

You can always bring a 50 f/1.8 for those situation that requires a longer lens. That makes it a very small ( and I dare say cheap ) kit when on the move.


 
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

113_small
Review Date: Feb 26, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Bright, very sharp in the center even at F1.4, reasonably fast focus for a very good price
Cons:
Corners at f1.4 to f5.6 are very soft. Uneven sharpness - the right side of the view is significantly softer than the left - perhaps a centering problem? Spectral hightlights have strange ugly triangular shape.

I bought this to see what it can offer. I tested at the shop on the focus issue for a few days before I bought it - after hearing so many issues on this.

At least this copy was OK for focus. However when I took it home, I found that the corners and the right side are very soft when I took a picture of my bookshelf - the only thing I have that is flat. I compared it to my very old 35mm f2 - and it is obvious. By f5.6, the left side of the picture is acceptably sharp, but the right side need 1 more stop to decent. I have no issues with corner sharpness at f1.4 to f2.8 - for the purpose of this lens, the corner blurrness doesn't matter at those aperture. However, I expect that corners should be acceptable by f4 - it was still horrible.

Only by f8 was the corner acceptable.

Also, when doing night shooting, out of focus spectral hightlights have funky ugly triangular shapes - not too sure why since the lens is set to about f2!

I am not too sure what I am going to do - send it for adjustment for centering or return it.

My old 35mm f2 is not so sharp in the center at f2, but by f2.8, it is excellent, with even very good corners. At f4 it is impeccable.