about | support
home
 


  Reviews by: dcains  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add dcains to your Buddy List
Tamron 28-200MM F/3.8-5.6 XR Aspherical (IF) Macro AF

a03
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $89.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very inexpensive, nice build-quality, nice image quality, light, small, good zoom range.
Cons:
Zoom ring is a bit tight, but maybe it will loosen up with some use. variable aperture, but at this price, that's expected.

Wow, count me as another impressed user of this lens. I'm a Canon shooter, with plenty of high-end bodies and glass, but I found a nice, used Sony A350 for my wife to learn with. The 18-70 kit lens is pure junk, so I bought this Tamron with high hopes, based on these reviews, and it was only $89 shipped (in 3 days) from Beach Camera. What a massive improvement! It's an absolute steal at this price, maybe at even twice the price, and the image quality is quite nice. The AF is pretty quick, and accurate, too. I'd recommend this lens without reservation, although can't make any promises about copy variation or performance on other mounts. Works great with this Sony.

 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Sep 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, sharp, not expensive, quick AF, no zoom creep, hood included, nice front cap, 6-year warranty (pay attention, Canon, to those last 3 items)
Cons:
No full-time manual focus, not sure about the build quality (Made in China), a few more mm on the wide end would really be nicer.

Count me among the fans of this lens, and I'm a new first-time Tamron owner. I wanted an inexpensive lens to haul my XT around with every day, and this lens really performs well. AF is fast, good sharpness/color/contrast, and it's pretty nice wide-open, too. Mine performs best from f/4 to f/8, but the bokeh gets a bit grainy at those higher f-stops. The AF seems to work better on my 30D than XT, but that's no real surprise.

Tamron includes a hood, front cap that works well with the hood mounted, and a 6-year US warranty, which is a lesson that Canon should learn.

I might be a little wary about build-quality, though, as this lens is assembled in China, and it doesn't have the rock-solid feel of a higher-end Canon or Sigma EX, but street price is only ~$350 new, and it seems similar in build to other mid-range lenses I've tried. Wish it was a little bit wider, for use on a 1.6X body, as every mm at the wide end can really make a big difference in FOV. All things considered, I'm going to be happy with this, I'm sure, as a general-purpose lens on my daily-use XT.


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Aug 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ/sharpness at all focal lengths, amazing IS, lightweight/black, inexpensive, uses 58mm filters, great service support from Canon.
Cons:
No FTMF/real USM, front element rotates, f/4-5.6.

Surely the best lightweight zoom out there, and the best value, too. Mine was an early lens that was supposed to have the portrait orientation softness, but I never saw it. I sent it in for the update anyway, the "inner lens unit" was replaced, and now there's no zoom creep, either. Very nice work by Canon! The cons listed above are all pretty minor, the pros outweigh them by a good margin, and this lens is a favorite of mine.

I would recommend buying a collapsible rubber hood for this lens (~$12 shipped from fotodiox, for example) as it really does improve IQ, and the Canon hood @ nearly $50 is highway robbery.


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

15_30f35_45_1_
Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great range, warm colors, good contrast, fast focus, fantastic value, not too heavy, nice build quality
Cons:
Just a hint of flare under some conditions; odd arrangment of non-removeable lens hood means filter (huge 77mm size) must be mounted on the front end of the hood; it's a big lens, too

This is a fantastic wide-zoom lens for my 10D. The focus isn't Canon USM, but it's sure and fairly quick, without too much noise. The colors are a bit warm (which I like), and the contrast is nice, as is the detail from this lens. This was my first Sigma lens, and I liked it so much that I also just bought their 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG, which is tack-sharp and creates the bokeh I've ever seen. I'm very impressed with both these lenses.

My only concern is that Sigma's "fuzzy" finish isn't as durable as Canon's shiny painted finish, but I giess time will tell. I feel like I stole this lens for $349 (new, from an eBay online camera vendor), but even if you've got to pay close to list price, I can't think of a better value in its 15-30mm range.


 
Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_02_1_
Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing sharpness, contrast/color, and beautiful bokeh. Great price, too.
Cons:
Noisy focus motor, perhaps the durability of the finish?

It's hard to describe how impressed I am with this lens. If Sigma charged $500, I'd still be happy with it, but at less than $200 (new lens purchased from an eBay dealer), I'm ecstatic. I'm using this lens on my 10D and it's not only a great macro lens, but also a nice "walking around" lens for landscapes and portraits, too. I guess I'm most impressed by the ease with which I can manipulate the depth of field on my shots, and the resultant bokeh is the smoothest I've ever seen. The background colors just seem to melt into one another seamlessly, absent the slightest hints of ghosting or graininess. Focus is noisier than Canon's USM, but not bad, and it's just about as quick on my 10D. For 1:1 macro's manual focus is the way to go, anyway. My only worry is that the "fuzzy" finish Sigma uses on it's lenses might not be as durable as the smooth paint Canon has on its lenses. I also appreciate that the lens is very well-made, compact, and lightweight. Comes with a lens hood, too, but not a bag or case for the lens.

I always shoot in RAW, and I find myself leaving many (sometimes all) of the pictures nearly untouched in post processing, other than the conversion from RAW to JPEG. The colors and contrast are that good. Many times just a touch of CS2's USM is required, but much less than I'm used to.

I bought this lens based on the other reviews here, and also because I am so happy Sigma's 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 EX DG I recently purchased. These are the first non-Canon lenses I've owned, and I'll be happy to try Sigma lenses again in the future.