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Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

Review Date: Jun 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $470.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp images, excellent build, includes hood
Not wider, backwards zoom ring

One of the top UWA zooms available. This lens produces excellent, sharp images. The image quality rivals that of the popular Canon 10-22 while the build leaves it in the dust. There is the expected edge distortion of a lens this wide, but it is fairly well-controlled and is no worse than the competition. This lens has a constant maximum aperture of f4, which is nice.

The lens build is reminiscent of Canon's famed L-series lenses. It has a nice textured black paint with an overall substantial feel. The zoom and manual focus rings turn smoothly and are well-damped. The lens includes a nice hood, so you don't have to spend more for one. The AF-MF clutch is a nice design in which you push the MF ring forward to engage MF and pull it back to engage AF; nice. The only drawback is the zoom works in reverse from Canon's so takes getting used to and can throw you when lens-swapping between this one and a Canon lens.

Overall I am very pleased with the lens and it's earned a permanent spot in my bag. Highly recommended.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Speed, image quality, high ISO noise handling
I'd like a larger RAW buffer & a faster write speed. Spot meter would be nice.

I waffled for a long time between this camera and the D100. I made the right decision. The 20D is simply an awesome tool & still amazes me how well it works. It's been able to handle just about every situation I've thrown at it. The only limitation I run up against is shooting RAW I can fill up the buffer pretty easily. Highly recommended.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: optics, price
slow, noisy AF

I got this lens based on the many glowing recommendations in the forum. I have not been disappointed, for the price this is a fantastic lens. It produces nice, sharp images and is a good low light lens. The downside is the AF can be a little slow, especially trying to shoot action in very low light. It's definitely worth adding to your collection.