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Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS

150-500
Review Date: Jul 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $979.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: AF Speed, lighter feel than the Bigma (even though Sigma reports it's heavier)
Cons:
OS is loud

I tested an early production copy (serial number in the mid-1000 range) and had problems with the OS shuttering at times, knocking the image out of focus.

I recieved a second copy that was a later production copy (SN# in the upper 9000 range) and the problems with the OS were not present.

The lens focused well and image quality was good. The 150-500mm is supposed to be heavier than the Sigma 50-500mm but it handles as if it's lighter. It seems better balanced so that may make it feel lighter even though it isn't.

The only drawback is the OS noise. It makes a very noticeable sound when the OS activates or stops. If the noise level of the Canon 100-400mm is a 5, the 150-500mm is a 9. Once it gets running, there's a faint hum but nothing annoying.

If OS was quieter, then this would be an exceptionally good lens.


 
Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

50_500EX_mdl_1_
Review Date: Feb 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 500mm
Cons:
weight.... but you get used to it.

Need a good work out? Give this lens a try.

The lens construction is outstanding. Built like a tank and only half as heavy.

Image quality is very good. Can't say "L" quality but really good, especially at 500mm. In low-light situations, this lens has some difficulty focusing (as most lenses do). I've also found that if your shooting into thick brush or heavy thicket of trees, it will get confused on where it should focus.

It's almost funny that most forget theres a 50mm end to this lens because most of the time the lens stays at the 400-500mm range.

Definitely a tripod or monopod lens. I would imagine some can use this lens free hand but it will be challenging.

I got this lens to cover birds and other wildlife and maybe on occassion for my son's little league (got a Canon 70-200 f4 that I use mostly for baseball).

If your looking for a solidly built lens with a good amount of reach, you'll like this lens.


 
Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

exef14_1_
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: You don't loose any quality.
Cons:
Why couldn't it be a 1.5x

Bought this to use with my Canon 70-200 f4L. Absolutely no reduction in clarity. The AF does get sensative in low light conditions but in average to bright light, no difference.

Never understood why companies built 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. Why not 1.5x and 2x?

This is a good compliment to any telephoto L lens.


 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $415.00

 
Pros: *This is a follow-up review.
Cons:

I tried another copy and it is tremendously sharper than the previous copy I tried and returned.

It's a nice lens. A couple of points I'd like to add.

As far as construction goes, I wish Canon used metal on the lens barrel. While the plastic is sturdy, it takes some getting used to but it does make this a light lens.

There is a slight wiggle to the barrel extensions, probably due to the dual tube extension. I was concerned about this but have learned it is typical of this lens. Personally, I don't like parts that wiggle and feel it may increase the normal wear and tear of this lens.

Focus is fast and quiet. The IS is significantly quieter than the IS on the 24-105.

I can learn to live with the 28mm and will be keeping my Sigma 18-125 just in case I need something wider. Compared to the Sigma, the Canon produces sharper images. Where the Sigma would be a 7.5, the Canon would be a 9. Sigma's main problem is consistency. Only time will tell if the Canon shares this problem.



 
Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF 193

af193
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $169.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Takes acceptable images. Neat lens design.
Cons:
Soft wide open. AF/MF switch cheap and easy to bump.

I tried this lens and had no reservations about returning it. First the positives... I like the lens design. The barrel extends about 1/4 inch beyond the front element which allows the lens length to remain constant when zooming.

I don't like the plastic AF/MF switch. It looks like the plastic on a toy and the AF can be easily turned off when it is slightly bumped.

Image quality was o.k. Nothing to stop traffic, simply o.k. It was soft at the 19mm end. If your looking for an inexpensive lens for your child to learn with, maybe this would be a decent choice. Personally, I'd go with a Canon 28-90 or a prime from Canon that runs about the same.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. Build, image quality, price.
Cons:
Needs to come with a tripod ring.

If there's one lens everyone needs in thier bag, this is the one. While the 2.8 version is faster, if you can live with the f4, this lens is a keeper.

Sharp images, fast and quiet focusing, built solidly this lens will make you smile.

My only wish is that the lens came with a tripod ring. Most of the time, you can use this lens free-handed with no difficulty. However, add a teleconverter and your need for a tripod or monopod increases.

Maybe Canon could offer a TC/Tripod Ring package?



 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $615.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp images, fast focus, solidly built, very nice lens.
Cons:
40mm

If you can live with the 40mm end, this lens can't be beat. There was some issues with earlier copies but Canon has resolved this issue.

For me, I needed more than 40mm on the telephoto end and returned it. If it extended to 85 or 105mm, this may be the perfect lens (if the price was right).


 
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

ef_28-135_35_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $414.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS
Cons:
Some copies are soft.

My first copy of this lens was soft throughout the zoom range. The second copy was worlds better. The image quality is very close to "L" quality.

My only complaint about the construction is that I wish this lens only had one extension tube. Better yet, internal zoom so the lens length was not altered while zooming. The lens has dual extension tubes which for the short length the lens has to extend, is unusual.

The IS is handy in low light situations where you need to slow the shutter speed down, to allow enough light in. My guess is that the IS allows you 2-3 stops.

If you get a good copy of this lens, you will be happy.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: This is a nice lens. Very sharp, fast focusing, well built. Image quality is typical "L" lens quality.
Cons:
The price.

At $1250 this is way too pricey for what your getting. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good lens but not worth $1250.

This may be comparing apples to oranges but I have a Canon 70-200 f4L in my bag with a Canon EF 1.4x TC. This lens and TC produce just as good image as the 24-105. My lens and TC combo costs $400 less than the 24-105. I shoot with a 10D. I could have replaced the 10D with a 20D for the cost of this lens, sold the 10D and bought a 17-85mm IS and have money left over.

Sure... there are just as pricey lenses out there but I could see paying $1200 for a 100-400 IS or a 300 f4 IS.

I would price this lens at around $800-900 in value and for the cost, I would expect a 17-105, 17-135 or if the zoom was internal without changing the overall size of the lens.

I recommend this lens only if $1250 is a drop in the bucket for you OR if your collecting "L" lenses and this is the only one left.

Alternatives: Canon's 28-135mm IS or even the 24-85mm USM. If you can handle EF-S mounts, the 17-85mm IS.