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Canon EF 20-35mm f/2.8L

ef20_35mm
Review Date: Aug 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $740.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Color rendition, contrast, sharpness, bokeh. Lightweight but sturdy. Price I paid ( 420 Euros) is still low for what you get.
Cons:
None. Zoom range is less than 2x, but the difference btw. 20 and 35mm is huge anyway.

I got mine in near mint condition on eBay. It's a great lens, a true L. I also have the 24-105L which is fine, too, but this is a totally different tool. The colors are crisp and it is tac-sharp even at 2.8.

on my 5DII, I normally shoot primes and use zooms only when I'm lazy or leave the bag at home. This little gem not only feels like a prime, it also shoots like one.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Nov 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast!! Sturdily built, compact; really a nice one. Quite fast USM. Cheap.
Cons:
Not optimized for digital fotography

Well, this one is not so easy to comment on. I should admit that I bought this lens because the many positive reviews on this forum made me curious. I love to shoot at available light and I also like to shoot with very narrow depth of field, so this lens should be pefectly suitable for my purposes. I bought this lens in mint condition on eBay. I also want to state that I buy a lens for using it to capture images. I'm not the guy who shoots resolution charts or color checkers, though I'm glad other people do so :-)
When I unpacked the little fellow I was quite surprised how weighty it was. They really stuffed this one with glass. I never had a lens this fast, so I was struck by the size of the rear lens. The build quality is very solid for the price, too.
The focussing behavior is very good. The lens focusses quickly and accurately (well, when you shoot with a 10d, the reason for missed focus points is rarely the lens)

Now for the dark side of this pal. If you go for portraits, nature, graffiti and the like, this lens will suit you fine. If you're after chrome-polished Harleys, jewelery or other highly reflective items, save your money. This lens was put to the market twelve years ago, it is certainly not built for digital photography. If you shoot wide open, you can get moderate to severe purple fringing and other bad surprises. The bokeh is really nice, but if you have highly contrasted elements in the background, they won't get blurred evenly, but might get some greenish halo. I don't know if this can be improved by stopping the lens down, I'll check that out. Anyway, I want to use the lense wide open, so I'll have to avoid extreme highlights.

All in all this is a great value for money lens but it has its weak points. Sharpness and color rendition are excellent, it's surely a bargain; but it's not an 'L'
Keep it up, Bernhard Peball

*update*
After two weeks of walking around with this lens, I have to give it a 5/5. The lens still has it's weak points, but I am simply stunned by the look of all the images I got with it.


 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Oct 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, good contrast, no vignetting. fast AF
Cons:
relatively lightweight for this quality, but still quite heavy

well, this is an excellent lens if you are asking for brilliant, tack-sharp images. the bokeh is beautiful, the AF is fast and it is possible to shoot very long exposures without a tropod. most people say it's possible to go down to 1/125 at full zoom, i tried it at 1/8 (!) in the field and was very pleased. my little secret: if you have a dSLR, you can take as many shots as you like at no extra cost. I took a series of pictures at a mountain river and wanted the water to apppear motion-blurred with the rest of the image sharp and static. of the 8 (well, maybe some more:) exposures i took, 2 were exactly the way i expected. this could not have been done without the IS at about 300mm.
as can be expected from an L lens, images are sharp to the edge. there is virtually no vignetting or distortion, the colors are vivid and the contrast is fine. i got used to the push/pull design very quickly.

please bear in mind that this lens is quite heavy. it comes with it's own case and strap, but still it's everytime a decision to take it with you on a trip longer than an hour.
i bought it by weight: every gram a euro Smile

have fun,
bernhard peball


 
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

l3a_copy
Review Date: Oct 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: feels good, solidly built, very reliable. distortion negligible. sharp. good contrast.
Cons:
front lens is very sensitive to dust.

sharper than anything i know in this wide angle range.
wait - i don't really now anything comparable to this lens. a few years ago this lens would have been beyond dreams.
it's a little heavy, but gives the 10D w/ BiG ED3 a nice balance.

the front lens is very sensitive to dust. can be a problem you not only buy it for looking at it (which is very nice though), but take it with you to the nasty world outside. well, be a little careful and this lovely lens will definitely broaden your artistic spectrum.

this lens is worth every cent - and every ounce: as my 100-400L, i bought this lens by weight: every gram a euro Smile

have fun,
bernhard peball