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

Review Date: Oct 29, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $215.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp across all focal lengths, light, nice color and range. And the price cannot be beat. Will be used a lot as a very good walk around lens on a 1.6 crop body.
None really, but see my hood issue (discussed in review) with the VR version that has me leery of this one.

Just got this lens from another FMer. After taking about 600 snaps with it, I have found that it is extremely sharp copy of this lens. Much sharper than the VR version I had (purchased new) and also sharper than the Canon 17-40 L I had. I know of 4 people that have this lens and all have had different levels of sharpness. They are all pissed that mine is the sharpest of the bunch! Scary that 4 lenses made from the same company are all different focus wise (come on Tamron, lets get better quality control), but if you find a sharp one, you really cannot beat it, especially for the price now selling on the Buy and Sell section of this site.

The lens is light. The colors are nice. on a 1.6x crop, it is like a 28-75 +/- (I am not good at math), so it makes for a great walk around lens especially with f2.8 available.

The build is pretty good. The lens is pretty solid. Focus on my copy is tight. Manual focus is tight as well. I do not mind the lock button only being for lens fully in.

I first used this lens on a cloudy day with good light outside, but shot in a barn with no light on the inside and focus did not lag at all jumping back and forth. The noise is not an issue! The camera shutter makes more noise than the focus, and it focused pretty quick on low light. No different than other lenses I have had.

Overall, a 9 out of 10. Not being a 10 because of this:

I am sure it is just me, but I do not trust taking the hood off and putting it back on often on this lens. It feels very weakly built. I had the VR version of this lens and would take the hood off often (just like anyone else in normal use). It just seemed cheap. One day at a shoot, I went to put the hood on it and tried to snap it into place (there is a click on a stiff fitting one) and heard a loud crack. I tried to take the hood off and heard another crack and the hood came off in my hand with the ring that the hood screws into! I had never seen this before and it made the lens useless. It HAD TO HAVE BEEN a defective lens because I have never heard of this ever happening before. I am just leery of this hood because the feel is exactly the same as the VR version that basically broke in my hand. It does not feel as solid as other lenses I have had. FYI, Tamron would not fix this under warranty. I took photos of the issue and told them what happened, but they said it was not covered which is weird since it had to be a defect and it was only about 2 months old. There are tiny screws in there and I think one may have cracked something unseen when it was built. Very leery of this issue personally, but I am sure that this was maybe a very strange one off issue that may never happen again and weird issue none the less that has me very careful when I put the hood on or take off.

If you can get a sharp copy of this lens and at the price I paid, I highly recommend it.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jun 6, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, price, image quality, IS and the build is better than expected.
nothing that I can see so far.

I got this lens on a crazy Adorama promotional sale price that was posted here at FM. The lens and a Canon calculator for $309 new. I was looking for a little longer range than the 70-200 f4 I had and decided to pull the trigger. Could not beat the price.

In all honesty, the image quality equals the 70-200 f4 I had. Quite surprising since I never investigated this lens before. The build is no where near the L glass, but it is still nice and solid. I have mainly shot in AI Servo with this lens and have had no real issues with focusing speed or inaccuracy. Of course, my subject has been my 5 year old, so I am not using it for any pro sports, etc... Smile

Overall a solid lens. I am very pleased with it. Was working to get a 70-200 f2.8 L, but now I am not in any hurry because this will serve me just fine.

Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Review Date: May 10, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast. Great focus. insanely well built. Perfectly balanced. Excellent image quality.

Can an 8 year old DSLR still be relevant? Can it still perform and compare to newer cameras today?

It really tells you something when people are still reviewing it 8 years after it's original release date. I picked mine up 2 weeks ago and after about 2 minutes of use, I kicked myself for selling mine 3 years ago. I have a 7d and 60d that are sitting at home right now since I made this camera my every day walk around body. So fast, so accurate focus wise, and so solid, I cannot get enough of it. And for the price, it really is a steal. Images are excellent still. With enough light, this camera is still a winner. It may suffer at higher ISO compared to the newer cameras, but if you have enough light, it performs perfectly. For sports, it is still killer with 8fps.

If you can score one of these, I would do so. It still works fantastic to this day.

Canon EOS 7D

Review Date: May 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build, insanely fast, sharp, excellent features.
other than a slight cosmetic issue, none.

I think this camera is a winner. I am amazed by the overall quality of it. The build quality is stellar. I thought I would be taking a step back build wise coming from the 1Ds Mark II, but after using it, it feels almost the same with the battery grip on it (the grip is a little wider than I like, but it was easy to get used to). The grip fits tighter than any other grip I have tried.

It is a blazing fast camera, especially for the price. I wouldn't expect this kind of speed from something under $5k.

Sharp images are the norm. The AF is dead on (but I highly suggest reading the manual and maybe viewing these videos: http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3167 to check out the new AF system).

Menu structure gets better and better for every new EOS release and the features list grows. Love the way the menu is set up here, and the screen is nice and large.

I don't video much, but that may change since the video mode in here is top notch.

They only gripe I have, if you want to call it that, is I have found that the dial moves rather easily. Too easy if I am in the field. Just the slightest touch will spin it.

There is a reason why the camera is getting such high praise in this review section: It is truly a great piece of equipment anc Canon has hit a home run with it.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

Review Date: Sep 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: brilliant piece of equipment. Everything about it is positive.

You have all read the reviews, so there is really not much more that I can say. I will throw a wrench into the comments about weight. I absolutely love the weight of this camera. First off, it is not a toy, so it should not feel and weigh like one. In 3 years, I have gone from a Digital Rebel, to 30d, to this, and every jump has been large, but the 30d to this was huge. The weight is perfectly balanced with my 100-400 and my walk around 24-105 works great with it as well. I rarely wear it on a strap, so I ain't got it dangling and choking me due to the supposed heaviness. The menus are set up nice, a step back from the 30d, but I like them just as much in other ways. Sure, no mirror lockup, small screen, blah blah blah, but we all knew that going in, so.... LOVE the battery life. Brilliant battery life. LOVE the AI Servo focusing, LOVE the ISO, and absolutely LOVE the image results. This is by far the finest piece of equipment I have ever used in photography (for the short time I have been doing it seriously), in I.T. (a computer geek by trade) or anything else I can think of. If you can get your hands on one of these new, Canon has phased it off their site, and want the most serious piece of camera hardware you can get your hand on (until mid November), I would definitely buy it. I carry it everywhere I go in a Slingshot 200 AW and could not be happier.