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Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

120_300_1_
Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast focus (HSM), metal lens hood, carrying case, very sharp
Cons:
heavy (as it should be), don't really need the case much, bokeh seems a bit...off?

I love this lens. I have the Canon 70-200L f/4 and HAD the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 and have used the larger canon L lenses and I would safely say that I prefer this lens for the price. It not only has 100mm more on the canon 70-200 zooms, but most lenses of this size should be on a monopod/tripod anyhow. It's possible to hand hold and if it's bright you'll be able to take very sharp pictures throughout the range of zooms. some folks complain about sharpness at 120mm but mine seems very sharp even in the corners.

You'll have a hard time trying to put this in the horizontal position on a monopod with a digitla camera that has a vertical grip. somehow the grip sticks out just enough to hit the quick release lever of monopods. on both my canon and bogen monopods. quite an annoyance as you have to loosen the tripod collar, rotate the camera, then rotate it back to shoot in horizontal. I mostly shoot in vertical so it avoids this problem but you'll find yourself STUCK if you switch to vertical and then try to take it off the monopod. you can't release it without turning it to vertical! GRRR!!

lens is heavy to hand hold. i work out a lot and used to doing finger tip push ups for kung fu and i find my arm getting tired trying to hand hold. those on here that can hand hold...you guys must be bears.

focusing is very sharp. just expect to pay a TON for filters. i picked up a uv and circular polarizer for a whopping $240-280 or so. with a 105mm thread, don't even bother looking at any of the cokin series! anyone know if the lee filters will even fit this??


 
Canon EOS Rebel (300D)

300D-2
Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, decent range of ISO's, light weight. good range of features
Cons:
plasticky, lacks pc sync out port.

Beyond a great entry digital slr. While it won't be the mainstay for wedding photographers (lack of pc synch out can be a major drawback), it can be used in studio (with pocket wizard attached). even in wedding situations where you won't use strobes but have on camera flash, it's fine.

The turn on delay annoyed me a bit and resulted in lost shots (my 20D is instant and now i'm spoiled). Auto turn off feature had me sometimes pressing the shutter and waiting for the camera to turn on to fire...

i found the camera to be highly useful. The range of ISO's decent, although my A2 film based camera definitley seemed to have better pictures with 400 film and better light sensitivity than the rebel at 400 iso. with good lenses, i would say that it can be pro level. it won't be particularly useful for those that depend on sports shots for a living, buffer of 4 shots is a bit weak and i constantly found myself wishing for 3-4 more buffer spaced. the 20D solved that and the rebel is my backup now. but for soccer moms and dads, i feel the rebel will be more than enough. layout of the camera took a bit of getting used to but failry intuitive. I suggest getting the vertical grip, not only because it allows the camera to fire a LOT longer without changing batteries, but it just helps in vertical shots and holding the camera better when doing so.

great overall camera. wait for the dell online coupons, you can pick up this for $700 as of today!


 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS, relatively light, very useable zoom range.
Cons:
not as sharp as i'd like.

For a good walkabout lens that's useable both indoors and outdoors, this is a good lens to have. i use my tamron 28-105 f/2.8 more but this one had it's use for quite a while. The IS helps immensely indoors when shooting without strobes or a flash.

sharpness was decent if you could stop down to f/8+ but it's definitely useable even when it's at it's max. it's not an L lens and don't let others trash talk this one too much. it's less than half the cost of the 24-70 and it covers a more useable range with the digital rebel and 20D that i used it with. i still like it with my A2 (film) but i sold my film and now have sold this lens too as i've moved to the tamron lens.


 
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

ef75_300_1_
Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Relatively cheap price compared to faster 70+ lenses, lightweight, IS, inexpensive filters, decently sharp pictures.
Cons:
not a fast lens, soft, lens extends a ton at full zoom.

If you're on a budget and need a good zoom lens. I would get this one, but if you can afford a bit more, get the 70-200 f/4.you'll thank me later. i used this lens for outdoor use once and came to find the IS handy but not completely helpful indoors. The 5.6 aperature at zoom just makes it useless indoors unless on a very stable tripod with a subject that won't move. 1/15 of a second was typical at iso 800 on a digital camera and most indoor subjects MOVE :-).

if you use this outdoors, save some $ and want a light lens to balance off the light weight digital rebel, a great combo. i have shaky hands so the IS works wonders for me. i found this lens to be a bit light and like the 70-200 better on the 20D body. more balanced IMO.

those that got the digital rebel kit with the 18-55 lens will find your filters fit on this one perfectly. no need to get multiple sets of filters or step down/up rings!

no hood comes with this lens, and i found the lengthening of the lens while zooming a bit annoying sometimes.