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  Reviews by: abargath  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at all apertures, good colours and contrast. Built like a tank and IS works like a charm after you learn how to use it.
Doesnīt balance as well as the 24-70L on a 20D with a battery grip. Weight seems to be more to the front so if you plan on using this for hours you really need a monopod or tripod. Other than that, nothing.

Hardly the best lens value for $ but this thing is awesome... Everything you have heard about it is true. If you got this and the 24-70L you are pretty much set, there is really nothing I can imagine you canīt do with these in general photography.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at all apertures, good colours, contrast and built like a tank. Balances very well on a 20D with battery grip, can carry it and a 550ex for hours without problems. Brilliant design to get the most use out of the lens hood.
Uh... just to say something it usually draws attention to you (wether that be good or bad)

Hardly the best lens value for $ you can get, but if you want an all around "normal range" zoom that can do pretty much anything and you can afford it, go get this lens and donīt even think twice about it.

I have had NO problems with it and have had this lens for little over a year now and it always delivers, I have 6 other lenses and this is the one that does about 50-60% of my work and if I had to go with only one lens, this would be it.

As a side note on how well this thing is constructed iīll tell you a little story. About a week after getting this lens I was taking shots around all around town in febuary in Iceland and we had snow everywhere. I saw an interesting statue I wanted to get closer too but underneath the snow there was rock hard marble and what do you know... I totally lost my footing on the staris beneath the statue and as a reflex I broke my fall with my brand new 24-70L. I landed on my lens straight on, the impact was right on the front end of the lens hood and you can imagine my anguish when I got up to check out the mess that I thought was once my dear beloved (and first I might add) L lens. There was not even a scratch on the hood!!! I am not saying I am a big guy but I am about 182cm and 82kg and the LENS HOOD broke my fall and didnīt even budge or scratch! NOTHING HAPPENED!

Nuff said, I canīt reccomend this lend highly enough.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Mar 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp at all apertures, well built and light, good range, focuses fast and a good all around performer.
Loses a bit too much contrast from flare for my taste. Lens hood a bit useless against flare on a 1.6 crop camera but still useful against blows to the front element or rain.

Nothing really that I can say about this lens that hasnīt been said before. Itīs really good and pretty much the only qualms I have with it is that it looses a bit too much contrast from flare. I have thought about exchanging it for a 16-35 f2.8 since this is the only lens I own that is slower than 2.8 but I just cant justify it yet, I mostly use it outdoors in sunlight anyway or when I use it indoors I use bounced flash anyway so the aperture has only been a factor a couple of times in about 1 year and then I have gotten away with using the 24-70L.

Go get this lens if you can live with the aperture, pretty much nothing bad I can say about it at all.

Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Descent contrast and colours. Small and light, good as a walk around lens. Sharp when stopped down to preferrably f8.
Pretty soft unless stopped down. Seems sharper at the wide end than the long end but never tested this, just a feeling. Make sure you get the hood with this lens cause flare can be a problem otherwise.

Optically itīs nothing special, hardly bad but not good either. Excellent snapshot lens though, focus is resonably fast for a non L and colour and contrast are pretty good.

This was my first lens back in march 2003 when I first got the 10D. I was very happy with it until I got the 50mm 1.8 and then I just couldnīt see past the 24-70L that I got to try out one weekend and I sold this lens in febuary 2004 and got the 24-70L.

I donīt miss this lens one bit but I still recommend this lens for beginners and people looking for a decent zoom in this range, itīs a pretty good all around lens and you get good value for your money.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, light, focus is fast and good aperture. Built pretty well, at least compared to the new version. Optically pretty much as good as they come.
Ugly bokeh (compared to 1.4 version or 24-70L).

Optically great, give it a 10 there easily. Used this lens very very very much, love the big aperture and everything about it but I exchanged it for a 50mm 1.4 about a month ago. Here are the reasons why I exchanged it.

1. Wanted better bokeh, the 5 bladed diapragm wasnīt delivering as good images regarding bokeh as I had grown accustomed to from the 24-70L.

2. Wanted an USM focus motor.

3. I could afford it.

4. Not really the reason, but I was curious about what could be done with a 1.4 aperture.

If I was a poor student I wouldnīt have parted with this lens for anything but I could afford the 1.4 lens so I did. I sold this lens to one of my good friends and I know it has a good home now, normally I would just have kept it for the memories or as a backup but I wanted to do him a favor as he is just starting out in the SLR world.

Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: EXTREMELY good optically. Clever hood design. Autofocus extremely accurate but very slow.
Awkward way to switch from manual focus to autofocus. Autofocus very slow and pretty useless unless target is stationary or slow moving.

Optically this lens is as sharp as they come. It produces awesome crisp pictures and there is nothing to complain about in that department. Autofocus is slow but very accurate and very good for macro work and portraits but useless in for example sports or chasing children around the house. Itīs sharp even at f2.8 and has a good aperture range up to f45 where image quality suffers a little bit due to diffraction but you get good DOF for macro shots.

Actually I mostly used this lens with manual focus and just set the focus on one spot and then moved back and forth to get the target in focus.

I have no real complaints about this lens but I still sold it about a month ago and got the Canon 100mm macro lens. The reasons for this is that the contrast and colours didnīt look the same as my other lenses did (all Canon) and also I wanted a USM focus motor. The main reason I switched however is that I plan on getting the macro ring lite flash and use my flashes wirelessly as slaves and I didnīt want to purchase the Sigma ring flash.

Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good image quality, little distortion for a wide angle. Light but still built resonably well, felt solid.
Terrible flare, can only use 82mm filters and no filters with full frame cameras. Awkward pull focus system. Average contrast and colours (compared to canon L glass)

I bought this lens to use with a 10D in the summer of 2003. I was very happy with it optically but I sold it after having it for about 1 year to get the 17-40L from canon. I used this lens as a wide angle when the 24-70L wasnīt wide enough. I exchanged it for the 17-40 for the following reasons.

1. The flare in this lens was unacceptable, lost too much contrast and every single light in the shot is star shaped. Pretty much useless for me personally in night shots.

2. Uses 82mm filters and I had lots of 77mm ones and I wanted to be able to have as few filters as possible. Also plan on getting a full frame camera sometime in the future and in either case you just screw the filters right on the 17-40L but not this one.

3. While the images were pretty sharp for a wide angle zoom they still didnīt have the same "look" as the 24-70L so I found myself having to set the WB specifically for this lens and another setting for Canon glass. What I am trying to say is the contrast and colours are different from what I had grown used to from the 24-70L.

4. I had gotten used to the USM focus motor on the 24-70L and really didnīt like the focus system on this, both the fact that you had to pull the ring to switch to manual focus and also I wanted a quieter focus motor.

5. I really hated the fact that if I was at 15mm and f3.5 and then zoomed out to 30mm the aperture goes to 4.5 and then when I zoomed out to 15mm again the aperture is still 4.5. This is just nitpicking but I am NEVER again getting a lens that doesnīt have a constant aperture throughout the zoom range, wether it be f2.8 or f4.

All these issues are just personal issues with this lens and optically itīs pretty good. If I couldnīt afford L glass I would still have this lens and be pretty happy with it, but I could afford to switch so I did.