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  Reviews by: anthonygh  

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Canon EOS 10D

Review Date: Jun 25, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Image Quality.....Build Quality
Old technology shows...not a joy to use.

I reviewed my copy some time back...but felt an update was in order.

It is still my back up body (to my superb 40D and 1V HS)....and still has the occasional outing in the studio.....where I shoot sub ISO200.

I tend to use a long focus lens on this for close crop head shots and the IQ is superb.....people used to talk about the 10D 'look' and they were right. Without cropping the image I get a first class A3 print.
What is really interesting in the inherent quality of the files. I recently loaded an old folder of images from the 10D into LR4 and I don't know what that programme does...but the IQ was superb. I had to go back and check it was the 10D!!

On eBay these are virtually give away bodies one if you get the chance.....add an L lens.....process in surprised!!

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Feb 28, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Price and IQ
Build quality a bit lacking...possibly the least substantial of my lenses.

This is my second review.....the reason will be obvious from the text below.

I actually bought this lens some years back and used it for B+W film and on my 10D. IQ was quite nice but nothing to get excited about, and eventually it ended up in the bottom of a case..unloved....replaced by more expensive purchases!!

I found it a week ago and decided to give it an outing on my 40D...what a difference!! I tend to shoot at f5.6 and use ACR to process files. I don't know if it is the 40D or CS5 but the IQ and sharpness were up there with the 50mm f1.4 I tend to use. I do model shoots and used this lens yesterday in the studio.....I thought the model had near flawless skin.....not according to this lens!!

I am used to L lenses and this is flimsy by comparison.....not so nice to manipulate. But still USM with full MF and lightning fast to no real complaints.

Definitely a lens that improved with age (or helped by other modern technology). I'm looking for my old USM 35-135 and 25-85 lenses now......

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 21, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: All the things already mentioned...
Cons: does what it supposed to do...very well..

This is my second review of this lens, which I have used for a couple of years now.

I use it for landscape on a FF 35MM 1V (exclusively B+W) and on a 40D. In both cases the images are excellent although the B+W images seem to have far more impact when printed...but this might be to due with using film as well as the wider viewing angle.

I mostly use this lens in a small studio environment on a 40D and it works really well...being a crop camera it is the equivalent of about 24 - 60mm...which nicely covers head shots to full length. I have a longer zoom which gives a better perspective on headshots, but this lens gives very acceptable results in my limited space.

It is really hard to fault this lens. Some people argue it's not 2.8...but then it never claimed to be...and in my experience (which included weddings etc ) the f4 max is focussing issues, and sharp images. Lovely colours as well.

Canon EOS 10D

Review Date: Jul 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Use it with care and technique ane prepare to be amazed....
Slow write speeds.......

This model is cheap as chips on eBay at the moment...but it is still an amazing camera and a real bargain. I have had mine (bought with battery grip) for two years. It's never missed a beat despite day long studio sessions. I use quality lenses and the results are ( to judge by the clients reactions) stunning!

I did a shoot recently with another photographer using a 5D. It was hard, in the end, to tell what images came from what camera...but I did have the better glass!

The build quality is beyond question...I am the proud owner of the EOS 1v ( with battery grip). For feel and handling...they are in the same league (obviously the 1v is much better for weather sealing etc...but handling wise they are similar).

I have thought about getting the 40D.....but decided the ideal studio setup (on my budget (I don't believe in throwing money at photography)) is two 10Ds with complimentary I can just switch from one camera to the other. Sorts out the slow write speeds as well.

I already own a mint 10D.....but if not I could buy two (with grips) for the price of a body only my mind it's a no brainer!!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Sep 3, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: See two reviews down
See two reviews down

I have spent a bit more time with this lens and I am increasingly impressed!

My initial doubts were unfounded in that my focussing technique was the problem - focussing at 1.4 has to be spot on as the DoF is so shallow it's easy to get it wrong - get it right and this lens is sharp from 1.4 (with some USM) to exceptional sharp by 2.8...really really sharp. I did the comparison with my fd equivalent (B+W Ilford FP4 film) and sharp as that lens is this version is sharper.

I am still more than happy with build quality, focussing speed's not a 'L' grade lens build wise but (like my 1.8 85mm) it's a decent bit of kit.

The down side really is that I bought it to use for portraits on a 10D and I don't think I will use it that much as I'm not really a shallow DoF person ( this lens might change that) and at my usual studio aperture (around f8) my 28 - 128 is pretty good and more flexible! And for head shots the 85mm 1.8 is unbeatable.

But I don't think I will be selling it for some time yet!

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Aug 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality...image quality....value......ergonomics.
If only it was a bit shorter!

Totally superb lens however you judge it! Amazing images from f4....well engineered but not heavy....a superb portrait lens...I could go on. The f2.8 might be better as many claim...but it's hard to see how!

This will be judged as one of the classic Canon lenses.

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Aug 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A very versatile lens and real value for money.
None for the price.

I can confidently use this lens at weddings etc as it gives superb results without fail. I confess to using a flash set-up that sticks within the f5.6 -f8 range and so it is probably within the optimum range for resolution but...this lens is real time USM, spot on focussing, very very sharp with great colours. and although not L build quality it seems to be robust enough for 'normal' use! Also reasonably light and compact, but still nice to handle. On a 10D I find it has a very useable zoom range at functions, and it produces a lot of saleable images. does one start a review for a new lens? I own the 35-135, bought new many years ago, and it's still one of my favourite lenses...I'd like to know what others think. Suggestions anyone?

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Aug 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well made for its price bracket...exceptionally sharp at f4 plus
Seems soft wide open (particularly when compared to my 85mm) and needs some skill to get decent results.

I was in two minds about buying this lens after some of the comments here but I am a T90 user as well and have the excellent FD 1.4 lens so I felt this must be better! To be honest, now I'm not so sure; it seems harder to get a good result; but to some extent I put that down to the shallow DoF and the need for critical focussing (on my 10D) which seems less of a problem with the manual focus T90 / FD lens.

After some considerable experimentation I found that (for some reason) images on the monitor looked soft (at f1.4) but they sharpened up amazingly with a decent dose of sharpening...providing I had focussed on the right spot. From about f2 the results were very decent. from f4 as sharp as any other lens I own...apart from the 70 - 200 L f4, which seems to be in a class of its own.

The more I play with this lens the better I like it. I'm not willing to do a studio shoot with it yet (I actually bought it as a '85mm' for my Canon 10D) but I'm getting there. I will probably use it on my EOS 3 very soon which will be interesting as I can make a more direct comparison between it and the FD f1.4 I own - if anything interesting crops up I will add another review.

PS: There have been several moans about noise during focussing etc compared to USM. People are being picky in my opinion; focussing is swift, accurate, and virtually silent. USM lenses might be better..but the difference is effectively meaningless in the real world...out there in the field, so to speak!

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality, sharpness, focus speed

I use this lens for studio work on a Canon10D; it allows anything from head and shoulders to full length. It works well in my limited space.

The images have a lovely deep quality with beautiful colours and image sharpness. I also use the amazing 85mm f1.8 and this lens almost rival that for sharpness although a direct comparison isn't possible because of the focal range difference.

I have sometimes taken this lens/camera combination out of doors and the results were excellent; landscapes seem to leap out of the monitor; and take a picture of something mundane like a bush and every leaf in the focal plane seems full of detail. At any aperture setting.

Prior to this lens I used the Vivitar Series1 19 - 35mm, which was both highly rated and cost me only 50 s/h. Maybe I have a good copy because I thought long and hard about shelling out for the Canon having seen what the Vivitar can do, and in some respects it didn't seem the wise choice when comparing results...except that with the Vivitar I had to draw on all it's strengths (best aperture, lighting etc) where as the Canon just gets on with it and everything just looks and works that much better. Overall, a purchase I am very happy with!

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Jan 2, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Well constructed, ergonomically sound and super sharp!

I have to admit that since gettin a 70 - 200L zoom I use this lens less and less partly as I'm too lazy to keep swapping over. That aside, this lens is so sharp it's almost scary, particularly around f4! Every good thing said about this lens is true from my experience.

The only real reason I tend to use the abovementioned zoom is I do mostly studio work using apertures around F5.6 to f8 and the difference in quality is negligible for my purposes at those settings whereas the zoom has added convenience.

However I do tend to keep it on one of my film bodies and always try and shoot off at least one roll of FP4 per session where the situation might benefit from using this combo! Beautiful results!

This is not a lens I would part with!

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Dec 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: So sharp - no other way to describe it!
None; it is the perfect portrait lens

Just fabulous, it is a prime lens but at the 85mm setting it is sharper than my excellent 70 - 200L zoom; in fact for portraiture it is too sharp for model shoots; it picks up skin problems that I don't notice by eye! No it isn't built like an L lens but it is a solid piece of engineering and whether on a full frame or 1.6 crop this is arguably Canon's finest portrait lens in bucks for your dollars. Some lenses might be marginally better ( would be surprised if 99% of viewers could tell the difference) but I doubt if anyone buying this lens will part with it.

Epson Stylus Photo 2200

Review Date: Dec 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank, can hardly hear it printing, drop dead georgeos results!
None to date!

I bought this printer off eBay with a quality CIS included. It hadn't been used for some time and several colours didn't print. I flushed the nozzles using a cleaning kit I bought from the USA and within a day it was working perfectly.

So far, using Ilford papers. it has been spitting out excellent prints - not colour perfect, but I know I will get those with more fine tuning. A lovely piece of kit, well put together and beautifully engineered. For the price paid I'm over the moon - if it had been double or treble the price I would have been as happy. This is ithe second A3 printer I have had from Epson and if this lasts as long as the first (bought from new five years ago and working perfectly) I will be more than happy.

Don't let the fact that this in a 2002 product put you off - it is a seriously pro printer!

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

Review Date: Jan 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A good balance of weight and construction allied to ease of use. Instantaneous auto focus. Sharp from f4. looks good ( I have the 'Champaign" version.
For what I paid for it on eBay...none...a real bargain.

Thanks to my D10 comparing lenses has become something of a doddle!

How good is this lens? I have the well respected f1.8 85mm so I did some simple tests comparing both at different apertures on the 85mm setting. The results were pleasantly surprising. The prime f85 was the better lens in terms of contrast and sheer image sharpness...but, once I applies some USM in Photoshop the difference became marginal at all apertures. Obviously, for many, the prime lens is the better portrait lens in that it had the larger aperture settings but that was its main advantage for portraiture. I feel that, taking into account the convenience and flexibility of the zoom range of the 24-85 lens, particularly with a 1.6 crop factor, this is the better lens for general portraiture. How sharp is it? Specks of mascara on eyelash sharp! Maybe if I was after A2 plus prints the prime lens would be my choice but until then....!!

Where this lens does score is the image quality/convenience factor. I have used it for 'event' type photography and it meets 90% of my needs Wide open, any aperture, for prints up to A4 it's hard to fault. Stop down to f8 and the same is true to A3 size. It is hard to see where investing in a 'L' quality lens is cost effective particularly for anyone who is post processing in Photoshop.

The real eye opener is that, when using film, the quality 'gap' is even less obvious...and my T90/FD lenses combo can easily match this lens and the f85mm. Basically, I know that most canon lenses (apart from the basic kit lenses) deliver the goods...and the quality of my images is down to me, not the equipment. However....if you see one of these for a decent price, buy it...It's a good deal!