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Sigma 500mm f4.5 EX Apo HSM

500f4_5EX_lg_1_
Review Date: Oct 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Not so heavy as the competitor,also a lot cheaper.
Cons:
Slightly slower AF than Canon,also less contrast "as is"... Not as rugged and "all-weather" as Canon`s 500 f/4.No stabilizer...

This lens from Sigma is shurely a very good performer and a good competitor to Canon`s 500mm f/4,wich is almost standard amongst wildlife-photographers around the globe.
This one from Sigma is perfoming very good,and is shurely a good investment for those looking for a lens not too heavy.After all,if the rig gets too heavy it tends to stay in the car or at home,wich then again means that it can be the best lens in the world(back home...)At least,the Sigma is acceptable both at size and weight,it will join you in the field and give you the pic`s you want instead of being the one you missed out...
The autofocus is slightly slower than the reference-model from Canon,it can jog in and out a few times before i locks.
There is also less contrast in the Sigma compared to the Canon,but just slightly less and no big fuzz.
The only thing missing on this lens is of course an image stabilizer.An IS on this lens would have been a real deal even if you would hav to pay more...
The build and ruggedness is ok,but I`m not comfortable with the matte layer covering the lens,it will shurely get a lot of scarches wich of course will affect the seconhand price/value when that day comes.
Overall I can recomend this lens for those who`s not willing to pay the price( both in cash an sweat) for the Canon( or Nikon for that sake).It`s a really good lens giving you pin-sharp pic`s if you give the autofocus the extra second it needs to lock up!


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N

1d_mkii_n
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Pinsharp fast autofocus,also in harsh lightning conditions.Lovely overall feeling of the whole camrea,sturdy and rugged,takes almost all conditions for the nature man...
Cons:
Heavyer than other Dslr`s like the 20/30/5d

Went from D60 to 20D to this one,there is no doubth that this is a camera for the pro.The ruggedness and tough build is just what I needed,being outdoors shooting almost all year.This camera handles it all well,from rain and fog to tentlife in january.Strong batterycapacity together with CF extremeIII cards and L-series lenses makes it a dream to travel with.
In my daily shooting as a interior/estate-photographer I shoot at jpeg large-settings and the dynamics is very good.When I switch to raw-settings,the quality is slightly better than the 20D,but you won`t see the difference imediately.
The biggest advantage from the 20D is of course,besides size and build,the speed and buffersize. It`s amazing how fast you can fill up a 4G card shooting raw!
The menus can be a little fiddly at first glance,but once you get it right it`s quite fast to work with.
The only downside I can see so far is the weight,all in all the complete bag is getting dangerously close to 12 kg with lenses and tripod.And still the tend/sleepingbag/matress etc isn`t loaded up... Sherpa anyone?
My dream is a camera sized as a 5D,20 mp senson with a 12-800mm f/2,8 IS attached,equipped with a 16G card and shooting 8,5 fps.And weighting only 1,5 kg complete.
Beer anyone?


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N

1d_mkii_n
Review Date: May 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: So fast,so accurate! Indeed also a lot more accurate on exp.control than my recent camera,the 20D.Also a pleasure to go on tour with for a couple of weeks,with an extra battery we`re talkin about at least 3500 shots! More cards man,more and bigger!!!
Cons:
Heavier than the 20D(although not negative at all compared to the benefits)

As a update of the recent 1D mk2 this is not such a giant step forward as one could expect,but the updates are absolutley worth paying the extras for.
The camera gives an instant feeling of durability and "ready for battle" impression.Takes a little to get used to getting straigth from the 20D,but not a big thing at all.
Having used it now for about 3 weeks,the satisfaction just keeps on growing better and better.
Put simple: a pro camera for the pro-photographer in need of high speed/high quality pictures,prepared for almost anything!

I just can`t wait to get up in the mountains with this fellow and the 500mm L IS within a few weeks...