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Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

21mm
Review Date: Aug 7, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceptional build quality, tack sharp, color rendering and micro contrast
Cons:
Nothing

This is the latest addition to my Zeiss arsenal. I have 50mm Makro Plannar, 35mm f/2, 100mm f/2 and 85mm f/1.4 and they are all amazing performers but I got to say, 21mm Distagon is just a notch above.

Although the lens is a pure landscape beast, it can be used in many other situations. It's tack sharp wide open ... sharper than any other wide angle I used in the past 15 years. My trustworthy Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 didn't stand a chance, I sold it with no regrets whatsoever. In terms of sharpness, the Nikkor 14-24mm comes close but at the same time pictures are just plain sterile.

Color rendering and micro contrast are typical Zeiss therefore you can expect amazing results at any given aperture. When shooting with this lens, the subject simply pops up ... 3D effect at the best. It reminds me on some Leica glass I owned long time ago. The build quality is just superb. No plastic nonsense, just pure CNC processed metal.


 
Nikon 28mm AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G

28-f18
Review Date: Jul 11, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Minimum focusing distance (for 28mm), contrast, sharpness, cost
Cons:
Nothing really

Oh boy, this is a one unique and interesting lens. I bought it used just few months ago. I read many online reviews but you know how misleading that can be. Anyway, I decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I did. I shoot FF so the lens covers an exceptionally cool 28mm which is not too wide yet far from being narrow.

In the past 20 years I tried many different 28mm primes. The best by far is Nikkor 28mm f/1.4 but Nikon is not making them any more. The Zeiss 28mm f/2 comes second but I got to say I was really surprised to see what Nikon 28mm f/1.8G can do. It's almost 3x cheaper than Distagon, produces great results and feels exceptionally good on the camera.

Shooting wide open, I found it to be a bit soft especially corners of the frame. Lack of contrast and sharpness could be fixed in post production but it does require some work. Stop it down at about f/2.8 and you have an amazing kicker capable of producing some stunning images. Overall, I can't be happier ... high quality images for a very reasonable price.


 
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED NIKKOR AF-S

224-70
Review Date: Jul 11, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, fast AF and good built quality
Cons:

Nikon 24-70 is a super versatile lens applicable to many different style of shooting. It covers a great range and as a 28-70mm successor it offers wider focal coverage yet without compromising picture quality. It produces pretty darn good results for a zoom lens. At f/2.8, center sharpness is pretty good although corners are definitely softer with less resolution. Neverless, everything comes together at f/4 where I think this Nikon really shines. AF is lighting fast and accurate and this alone is a huge plus. Micro contrast is not the best in the world but in my opinion better than Canon's 24-70mm.

Nikon 24-70 will always be a popular lens ... among professionals and amateurs. Unless you option for the very best glass and shoot only primes, Nikkor 24-70mm is one of the best deals you'll find around ... excellent bang for your buck.


 
Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

35mm
Review Date: Jul 11, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Micro contrast, color rendering, sharpness
Cons:
None

I had this lens in a ZE mount but after I switched to Nikon I just knew I had to buy it again. The lens produces amazingly sharp images straight from f/2 but what really sets it apart is color rendering and amazing micro contrast. You won't see this in even faster 35mm primes ... Nikon and Canon counterpart's images are clear and sharp but kind a sterile in comparison to Zeiss. The build quality is typical Zeiss ... absolutely great.

 
Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S

1960NAS_180
Review Date: Jun 4, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great color rendering and amazing build quality
Cons:
Slower AF compared to 16-35 f/4

I got this lens almost 3 months ago and so far I'm pretty impressed with performance and overall usability. The build quality is second to none. The metal body is durable although not weather sealed. It definitely feels more robust than some newer Nikon zooms (24-70, 70-200). As per picture quality, 17-35 is a winner. Distortion at 17mm is well controlled and CA is not really a problem. The center sharpness at f/2.8 is quite good while edges are naturally a notch softer. Everything comes together around f/4, where the lens shows sharp results across the entire frame. For me, the sweet spot lies in between f/5.6 and f/8. At these apertures, Nikon 17-35 shines in every single aspect. The color rendering and contrast is a bit better than Nikon 16-35 f/4. Overall, this is a really good buy. I spent around $1000 USD (second hand copy) I don't regret it at all ...

 
Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

50macro
Review Date: Apr 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb color, great contrast, stupid sharp
Cons:
None

By far, the best 50mm lens I ever mounted on Canon DSLR body ... and trust me I tried them all (Canon 1.2/1.4/1.8), Contax Zeiss, Sigma and Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4. No glitches, no issues, no negatives ... just plain awesome lens!

Two quick samples 5 minutes after I took it out of box:

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p53143348/e1aba970a

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p53143348/e128918a5


 
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

120_300_1_
Review Date: Jun 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great zoom range, price, built quality
Cons:
None so far

After few months of debating, I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy this lens. I picked up a used one (non DG version). Based on reviews and the fact this lens covers such a great range I thought this could be a perfect choice. I needed a lens for sport events, something versatile, sharp and fast and within a reasonable price range. After just few days of testing, I can say this Sigma not only proved to be a right choice but it convinced me that great telephoto lens doesn't need to be white and very expensive. Sigma 120-300 is tack sharp even wide open ... and it goes like that through the entire focal range. I have 2 other Sigma lenses and this one is no exception when comes down to colors ... pleasantly warm and nicely saturated. The thing I like the most about it is the fact I can follow the players all around the soccer field no matter if they're close to the sideline or right at the center of the field. I couldn't do this with Canon 300mm f/2.8L. BTW, this lens is as sharp as Canon 300mm f/2.8L ... in my opinion the picture quality is almost identical. Highly recommended!


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Jan 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness,heavenly bokeh,built
Cons:
price

In the past 4-5 years I think I've tried all 50mm primes that will fit Canon DSLR. Leica and Zeiss were awesome, Canon 1.8 and 1.4 didn't disappoint and Sigma was pretty good too. Then came 50L ... I don't know if I was just lucky enough to buy a stupid sharp copy or maybe Canon improved something in the past couple of years but I can say that this lens coupled with 5DMII is a dream combination. I have no focusing issues what so ever and the lens is darn accurate and sharp even wide open. Highly recommended!!!

 
Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Dec 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight, sharpness and build
Cons:
None so far

I know many will disagree but this lens performs better than my 24-70L. Beside being lighter than a "brick", Tamron really shines in all aspects. The sharpness and color matching is absolutely fantastic. I have to say I didn't expect much from it but after few days of shooting and testing, IMO the lens outperforms many Canon L zoom counterparts. 67mm filter size on this lens in compassion to 72mm on 24-70L will save you even more $$$.

 
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

1dsmarkii
Review Date: Nov 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Resolution & built
Cons:
None

This is by far the best body I ever used. I can't really think about any major flaw although it's quite demanding when comes down to lens you mount on it. Pro grade built quality .... overall this is 10 out of 10 for me. I'm pretty sure when time comes for an upgrade my 1Ds MII won't be for trade or sale .... keeper for good.

 
Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_105mmEX_1_
Review Date: Mar 26, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $400.00

 
Pros: Sharp,well priced
Cons:
Nothing

This is my second post. After almost 2 years using this lens I have to say I'm quite impressed. Fantastic macro performer but also a great portrait lens ... highly recommended! 90% of samples photos were taken with this gem:

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p744411946/


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Dec 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, fast AF, great indoor performance
Cons:
Nothing so far

Overall I would rate this lens 9 out of 10. I got it back in November 2006 and after a year I can say that 16-35L Mark I is an excellent wide angle lens. I shoot with FF bodies and I guess this is pretty much the reason why I went for it. 16mm is quite wide on my 5D and 1Ds. I noticed some barrel distortion at this focal length but then again you have to count on it simply because all wide angle lenses have this "problem". Compared to Sigma 15-30 I had before, vignetting is absolutely marginal. What really surprised me with this glass is sharpness and AF accuracy. This lens really shines anywhere between 20 and 35mm. I took so many shots at 35mm wide open at f/2.8 and the results are nothing less than amazing. Built quality is superb. This is light weight lens compared to my 24-70L and sometimes for me this makes a big difference. Two thumbs up ....

Some samples:

http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=1004815187
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=683530058
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=974196537
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=606745876
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p627420627/?photo=749326484
http://senicphoto.zenfolio.com/p1028695115/?photo=730939616


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Feb 25, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

 
Pros: Range, built, quality
Cons:
Price

This is my second review. I shoot with FF bodies and this lens remains on most of the time on my camera. After almost a year using it, I have to say this lens is one of the best zoom glass Canon ever made. I use 17-40, 70-200 f/2.8 and 16-35L but 24-70 always keeps the top spot on my list. I read many reviews in here where folks are complaining that 24-70L is not as sharp as some L primes ... that's completely normal cause I haven't seen one zoom lens that outperforms L prime.
24-70L does excellent job in low light conditions. I think it's fast, accurate and very versatile. It looks and feels very solid and durable .... built to survive WWIII.

Some recent shots I took with 24-70 ... http://senicphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/2488612#130600583


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

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Oct 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid build, great range, really sharp
Cons:
Moderate vigneting

I got my copy 2 months ago and my first impressions were pretty mixed. I was looking for inexpensive 17-40L replacement and as far as price goes this lens was a great deal. Reading throughout reviews here on FM, I thought I can give it a try.
First, I have to say that lens shines in all aspects except a moderate vignetting present in the range from 15 to approximately 22mm. It is quite noticeable especially when shooting outdoor where center always become a bit overexposed compared to dark edges and corners. I think a little bit of work in PS can definitely fix this problem. I use lens correction filter and after processing all shots are quite astonishing! Color match and sharpness are probably the biggest pros of this lens. In some shots, I found Sigma 15-30 a bit sharper @ 30mm than my 24-70L. Overall, this is a great lens.... if you can spend few extra minutes in front of your computer fixing things up, you will love this wide angle Sigma.


 
Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_105mmEX_1_
Review Date: Sep 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Well built, sharp & lightweight
Cons:
None so far

I got mine 2 months ago and I am more than happy with it. I shoot product and food photography and as an ex EF 100mm f/2.8 macro owner I was looking for something in this class. I sold my Canon macro 3-4 months ago and I was on the verge of buying it again. After I read all reviews about this Sigma lens, I have decided to give it a try. First, I found this lens exceptionally accurate and sharp although, the focusing is a bit slower than Canon's USM. This is not in any shape and form disadvantage because photos I am taking are not time restrained. Considering this is my only Sigma glass besides all other Canon L lenses, it shines in all aspects. Colors are quite worm and accurate. On a full frame body it does a great job. The build quality, in my opinion is better than Canon 100 macro. AF can be sometimes troubling but that happens with almost all macro lenses in restricted light conditions. My recommendation for all of potential Canon 100mm macro buyers ... before you make your decision, go to your local camera store and take some test shots with this awesome lens. Make a comparison and then choose your macro glass.

These are some of the shots taken with Sigma 105mm f/2.8:

http://www.minus14.com/pixelpost/index.php?showimage=47
http://www.minus14.com/pixelpost/index.php?showimage=42
http://www.minus14.com/pixelpost/index.php?showimage=43



 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid built, fast AF
Cons:
None so far

Got this lens two days ago (used). Awesome performance, great value for money. I would probably think twice before buying it brand new (compared to plastic fantastic f1.8). It's really sharp and clear.... very good in low light, perfect for portraits. I found it quite useful even shooting with maximum 1.4 aperture, although the shots are millimeters shallow. If you can get it used, go and buy it because you won't be disappointed.

 

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