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Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor

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Review Date: Jan 24, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp at every distance and aperture (some macros in my experience aren't as good at infinity; e.g. the 60 2.8D). Focus speed on par (even better at times) with other AF-S G lenses Negligible aberrations
Cons:
Working distance a bit close; fine for product stuff, not great for anything that might retaliate
 
Nikon 85mm AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G

nikon85f18
Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest lens I've ever used (although that might change once I test the 85 PC) Does surprisingly well against aberrations considering no Nano-coating Quick to AF
Cons:
Plastic filter thread not great for longevity
 
Nikon 28mm AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G

28-f18
Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Performs better against the sun compared to a 24 1.4G (in my experience) Superb IQ throughout the frame (slightly compromised due to field curvature) Nano-coating works its magic
Cons:
Focus shift (not that big of a deal), field curvature, a bit too light (dimensionally and weighted similar to a 18-55 kit lens)
 
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO

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Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness throughout aperture range (limited by diffraction), focus speed can be good with limiter on, minimal aberrations (distortion, flare, CA)
Cons:
external focusing, screw-in hood
 
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Quick AF, center sharpness, heftier than first party options, good OOF rendition
Cons:
Pricey, lots of LoCA, variance in quality control (esp. earlier Canon versions), focus shift
 
Nikon D800

d800s
Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Dynamic range in the shadows (not so much the highlights). Resolution and detail within it Scratches my itch for medium format resolution without the price Dual card slots immensely useful Sweeping viewfinder AF performance (picked up a D800 right after owning a D3)
Cons:
Huge files; probably requires computer memory+hard disk space upgrade Needs the best glass to make worthwhile Live view mode only shows input exposure brightness Left side AF issue (now correctable) Requires reconsideration of shooting technique (I'd handhold 1/30 with 85mm on 12MP no problem, but need 1/125 on D800)
 
Canon EOS 5D

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Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheapest option for full frame, controls noise very well (especially considering its age)
Cons:
No weather-sealing, not fitted with a great AF system, ISO button awkwardly placed, low FPS

If you're wanting to go full-frame but can't spend over a thousand, you're pretty much for sure gonna end up with a 5D. It's a great performer in terms of noise, especially considering its only got a DIGICII processor.
Unless you need atmospherically high ISO or 10FPS or weather-sealing, you shouldn't have too many complaints with this body.


 
Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb sharpness for the price, great upgrade from a kit lens, fast to focus
Cons:
Noisy AF motor, bit of distortion

My favorite crop lens alongside the Sigma 30. If I were to have all of my gear stolen and had to go back to crop, I'd go for those two lenses instantly.

Build quality isn't the best, but it's good enough for most people.
It's AF motor is pretty loud, but it actually does focus pretty quickly.


 
Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

1735mm
Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good center sharpness, lightweight, can be had for pretty cheap
Cons:
flare, soft corners, not the fastest AF, not constant aperture, distortion on wide end

One of the best wide zoom options available on FF, especially if on a budget.

Until you have enough money to afford a 16-35 or 14-24, this will get you by very well.



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

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Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Decently sharp, build quality, large yet light
Cons:
Vignettes a LOT on FF, loud AF, strange two-touch mf system, bit on the slow side.

Optically, it performs better than I expected (I expected a lot less for the price). Not the absolute sharpest, but it's satisfying.

On full-frame, it produces some really heavy vignetting.

The bulbous element may cause some users panic, much like the Nikon 14-24 2.8, although on this lens you can somewhat work against this by zooming in all the way, which retracts the front element.

For the price I paid, I couldn't be happier.


 
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Big and solid feeling (unless weight is an issue to you), sharper than the Canon equivalent wide open, silent focusing
Cons:
heavy, big risk of misfocusing

My copy wasn't as good as it could have been. I'm sure with a god copy it's a pleasurable lens to use, but mine focused very slowly, and on the 1D2 that I had at the time, produced an unpleasant focal length.

 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

1D2
Review Date: Oct 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, FPS, AF, handles noise very well, feels good in hand.
Cons:
two handed operations a bit confusing at first



 
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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Review Date: Aug 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Includes hood and pouch, focuses quickly, produces pretty good images
Cons:
For crop cameras only

I got mine used, and I was lucky I didn't run into the focusing issue that some users have gotten. I am very satisfied with the quality of this lens. If only it were full-frame compatible