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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Dec 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, F 1.4, contrast, *background blur*, focusing speed.
Cons:
The what seems to be focusing issues people have had.

First off, I'd like to say something about Sigma.

Ive owned 5 Sigma lenses. Every one of them has been good to me and I've never had any focusing issues, mechanical errors, or other problems. I'm sorry to read that other people have had these issues.

I'm not denying their existence. As you can see, its happened to a lot of people. Consider this, though: are you more likely to leave a review for a lens if it works perfectly, or if it had a problem? I think that most people who have a good-working lens won't care to leave a review.

Most people. As you can see, I'm leaving a good review. Summation: some people have problems, I never have.


Now, to the lens:
Ive owned the Canon 50 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2. Though all lenses I would buy again, theres a reason why I sold them all: because I have this one now. Do all the lenses do the same thing? Essentially - separate the background from the subject and perform well when there isn't much light. All the lenses did this.

The Sigma, however, did it the best.

First off, the focusing is quick, easy, and silent. Someone next to you couldn't tell you you even focused it (its that quiet). If you've used USM, its sort of like that. A little quieter? I think so.

The build of this lens gives you some confidence. You can toss it in the bag and not worry about it (though I don't). You could brush up against something and not worry about it falling apart. It's tough.

Most people love this lens for the bokeh, or background blur. As silly as it sounds, its nice to have a lens that does good in rendering things that ARENT in focus. If you see a picture taken with this lens, you'll notice how smooth the backgrounds (or foregrounds) look. It certainly will complement a sharp subject. The background blur is apparent at all F stops, but the best ones to use are 1.4-2.2 in my opinion. The way I see it, if you buy a lens that specializes in big f stops, use them!

I was not bothered by the price (ball park of 410-450). Once you start using it, it pays for itself, even if you don't sell your pictures.

If you are looking for one, check this websites BUY AND SELL board. If you haven't made an account, make one and then subscribe so you can get a lens from a member of the Fred Miranda community. Subscribing to the BUY AND SELL board will let you exchange lenses, cameras, and other equipment. It beats the hellacious fees ebay throws at us, and it keeps Fred Miranda from getting a real job!

10/10. (for me). Do poor copies exist? According to other users, sadly, they do. Get your hands on a good one and don't let it go.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Dec 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, f 1.4, sharpness, colors, bla bla..
Cons:
Redundant reviews.

I know what you're thinking - hey Beeber, how come you always leave 10's? Well ladies, I cant help the fact that everything I get is good. After all, I DID buy much of my gear after I read what other people on Fred Miranda thought of those items.

After getting this lens, its done nothing but echo what everyone on this website is saying. Yea, the price tag may turn some people off (unless youre an old man with lots of money.. wait. Thats this website!), but if you want to find a deal, subscribe to the BUY AND SELL BOARD and find one on there! Not only are you helping out your fellow photographer, but youre helping keep Fred Miranda from getting a REAL job.

If you got the money, buy this lens. Everything you take will look better than it does in real life. If you use this lens on a full-frame camera, keep in mind that it does have noticeable vignetting when used at f 1.4 (thats when there are black corners). Its subtle and NOT a reason not to buy this. Mine focused fast and accurately.

If you have the money, get it! If you don't, the 35 f 2.0 is also very good (thought not AS good).


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

ef100mmf_2usm_1_
Review Date: Dec 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, F 2.0, focusing speed.
Cons:
Not a con - but getting used to 100mm.

Bought this lens for 330. You could find some on the BUY AND SELL board on this website. If you are not a registered user, please sign up. I registered two years ago and everything I've owned photo-related was bought either on this website or from a recommendation from this website.

First off, this lens' f-stop goes down to 2.0. If you havent used a lens that can do this, you need to see it. It can take sharp pictures at that f-stop easily. If you change it to 2.8 or 4, the pictures look even better.

Works portraits so-fine. Some prefer the focal length (# of mm's) of 85 while some use 100, 135 or even 200. If you have a zoom lens and find yourself using 100mm the most, get this one, no doubt about it.

If you're new to photography, 330$ might seem like a lot for a lens that doesnt zoom. Wrong. Once you start to use this lens you'll like it. If you have an 85 1.8, you may not need this since its almost the same thing. I've owned both lenses - they're practically the same.

I COULD compare it to the 135L f 2.0. Its almost the same mechanically - a telephoto with f 2.0. Of course, the 135 has better color and sharpness, but its also more expensive.

Be aware that if you use this lens on a camera like a 40d, its actually 160mm which might make it harder to use.

If you're in the market for a well-built lens that takes nice pictures and focuses fast, this lens will work well for you. The first place to look is on this website.


 
Canon EOS 1Ds

21Ds
Review Date: Dec 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, IQ, bla bla bla..
Cons:
Only problem - o n l y p r o b l e m - buffer speed (how fast pictures go onto the memory card).

Hot-dog.

Ive owned the 1d, 1d2, 1d3, 1ds and 1ds2. As you may have guessed, I love how well these cameras are made and how they operate. Some may say the menus are confusing or hard to understand.

We just tell those people to switch to Nikon if words confuse them.

Hey, I'm Canon, what do you expect?

If you put images side-by-side taken with various cameras, I could point out the 1ds shots. To me, they look different than the 1ds2 - dare I say better? You'd think that the next camera in the line-up would be better at everything. Well, having owned both cameras, I would say the 1ds1 has better pictures. How else can you explain that

The Great Fred Miranda himself uses one? That doodz prolly got every camera maker throwing gear at him hoping he'll use it and get it popular, but he still uses the 1ds. Why? Because the pictures that come out of it are that damn good.

Heres why I sold mine - I can't stand how long it takes to buffer the photos. When you take a picture, you expect it to be on the screen by the time you take your head away and look at it. Not with this camera. You have to wait a few seconds.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. "Look at this stuck-up 21st century 'I want it now' crybaby! Back in MY day we had to wait a few HOURS to see our photos! (film) and we were LUCKY!". Yea, I get it. Whats a few seconds? Well, for me, too long. Much too long. Especially if you take a few pictures (burst is 3fps max 10) Now, I understand that it took a while because of the technology available at that time. I's spoiled, leave me aloooone.

This may not be a problem for some. If you dont review your pictures after you take them til you upload, then you'll be fine. I did use this camera for a few months before I tried another body. I just needed to see what I was taking. (if youre good, you wouldnt HAVE to see your picture) yea yea I hear ya'll. Do I need it? No, but it will help.

Everything else about this camera is 10/10. ISO files look good to me. Camera is heavy for some but what youre feeling is power.

If you can wield this relic, do so. If you need an easier camera to use, you have other options.

Please consider the BUY AND SELL board on this website. Subscribe to the BUY AND SELL and support Fred Miranda for everything he's done for us.

- Beeber!! Beeber!!


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, F 2.0 Quality, Size.
Cons:
Attention: Lack of IS is NOT a negative.

I hate to be an echo of all the other reviews, but this lens is just that good.

I used it on a 1d body, and it focused real, real fast. The focus ring is really nice, too.

Build - nice and solid. It feels great on the cameras I've used it on. Not too big and not too small. Its about the size of a 100 2.8 Macro, if you've used that.

Its 135mm, so you've got working distance. I like it because you don't have to zoom or do anything to get your subject in the right spot. I've had 'glate success' with candids.

Colors and contrast from this lens are very rich. You'll be able to tell youre using a 135 when you look at the photos.

Sure, 1000$ new could cost ya. But use Fred Miranda! Go subscribe to the B/S boards and you can get a used one for around 900. If you've never had a long prime lens, this one will change you for the better. Keep in mind, prosumers - 135 on your camera will be kinda long, so indoor shots of your crazy cats could be a problem.

Anywho. 10/10.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, solid build, price, sharpness, doesnt extend, and my favorite part - can be shot wide open.
Cons:
What?

Wow, what a lens. If you want to shoot macro, this is the go-to. Other macro lenses may have positive reviews surrounding image sharpness, but thats what macro lenses are all known for - sharpness.

This lens beats out the others. The first reason is that when this lens goes into macro mode, it does not extend. Other lenses like the Sigmas will have the front barrel extend.

Another reason this lens is the shit is because it focuses in a heartbeat without making a sound. If youre coming from a non-usm lens, its just a luxury. This lens focused faster than two of my other USMs (20-35 and 85 1.8).

The build quality of this badboy is SOLID. You feel like youre holding a man's lens - nothing girly-man about it. It fits well on your camera, especially if you have a grip (or a pro body.. yea, its nice).

The filter size is a 58 - no 60$ filters!

It has a focus limiter switch. What that does is makes it so the lens won't accidentally go into macro mode if the switch is set, which can help if the lens hunts (in low light).

The manual focus ring is refreshing too. Real nice.

The lens is the sharpest Ive seen of any lens Ive used, and its still the case when I shoot at f2.8. This ability is one of my favorite qualities of the lens. I've owned other lenses with a fast aperture, but you generally don't shoot at them because the quality is better stopped down. Why buy a fast lens if you stop it down all the time anyway? With this lens, 2.8 looks great! (I use a 1d 2)

For those newer to photography (or newer to buying new lenses that may seem expensive), Ive been in your shoes. I was happy with my 50 1.8 lens - a 90$ deal. A 400+$ lens was a lot for me, but when you read other users saying things like 'worth every penny', they mean it. Go spend the money on this lens! You'll be happy that you did. Hundreds of others on this website were. You could even buy one from them! Check out the B / S board here and support Fred Miranda.

- The negatives (for some) -
The lens is a fixed 100mm. We know that coming in. The fact that it doesnt zoom should not be counted against it. You have to work with your feet. Be creative. You can't easily shoot indoors on a 1.6 body. Also, 2.8 is a PLUS, not a minus. If this was f2, well.. they make an f2, so buy that one if you want, but 2.8 is perfect on this lens. Lastly, primes are better, get used to it.

I dont think I left anything out. If I did, sue me.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, price, weight, fast, sweet.
Cons:
?

Ive had this lens for 2 years and Ive never left a review on it. That might be because Ive been having a blast using it.

This lens can be purchased for 100$ shipped:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html

This lens has more reviews than most of Canon's lenses. Why? Its simple: most people own this lens. Why do most people own it? Because its just THAT good.

Until youve used one, youll never know how good it is. Its fast. People say the AF is slow and noisy. These people probably only use lenses that cost more than 900$. I think the AF is fast. You can hear it, but it wont fckin cause birds to fly away like a bomb or something.

The focus ring works. You gotta hold it right, but it works. Yea, it doesnt have that large focus rings that the privileged lenses do, but hey, you might not even use it that often (focus works nice for me).

If you own the kit lens (any kit lens) and are looking to buy your first lens, this is the winner. Ive personally got 5 people to buy this lens after their kit lens and it really opens their world into photography. If you just started, you CANNOT go wrong with this lens.

Im not a ditsy butterfingers. I dont carry bricks in my camera bag. The build quality is not an issue. Its plastic, but isnt that why they call it the 'plastic fantastic'?

F1.8 shows vignetting. So does 2.0. It gets better at 2.8, and f4 looks the best.

Dont spend 300$ more on the 50mm 1.4. Not when you have this option. I would say go for it if you break stuff easily, yea.

10/10 favorite lens.