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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, fairly light, great bokeh
Cons:
not a thing

What a great lens!

The 100mm 2.8 USM is very sharp (most macro lenses are) and easy to use. It's amazingly light and built-quality is very good, although not on L-level. 100mm is a very good focal length for macro pictures, but you can also use it for close-up headshots.
Highly regarded!

If you're thinking about getting a macro lens, you'll likely to have to decide between this 100mm 2.8 USM and its 100mm 2.8 L IS - twin brother. Although I didn't test the 100mm L intensively, I don't think the addition of the IS is worth the price difference.



 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

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Review Date: Mar 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp!, IQ, built-quality, range, constant f2.8...
Cons:
price

Yes, the 24-70 is bulky and expensive. But if you're using it on a bigger camera like a xxD with BG or a xD, I think the size and weight actually becomes handy.
It is still more expensive than lenses like the EF-S 17-55 and way more expensive than the Tamron 17-50 but the EF 24-70 is also sharper (!), has a way better build quality, is wheather-sealed and (of course) can be used on fullframe bodies.

I think the zoom range is very versatile (maybe a bit too long on the 24mm end on a 1.6 x body) and the IQ is as good as it gets for a zoom.
I especially like the hood design: the lens is longest at 24mm, where the front end protrudes into the hood and shortest at 70mm, where the hood offers maximum protection from flare.
Besides the hood, the 24-70mm 2.8 also comes with a nice lense-pouch.
Strongly recommended.


 
Canon EOS 7D

canon_eos_7_d
Review Date: Mar 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: built-quality, autofocus, responsiveness, fast fps
Cons:
no big advantage in IQ compared to xxD cameras

The 7D is a very nice camera.
The new autofocus takes some time to get used to, but is very fast and accurate - I love it! Auto Iso in M-mode, fast fps-rate, decent built-quality, short shutter-lag, AF-Microadjustment, wonderfull LCD and many other smaller features make this camera a big step up from xxxD or xxD bodies.
Whether you really need those 18MP for cropping or the HD-Video feature is up to you (I'm very happy with it).

On the downside (except for the obvious MP-advantage), I don't think there's a big step up in IQ compared to cameras like to 40D. If you want ultimate image-quality, consider getting a 5D mk II.

Since I use my camera more for wildlife/nature/birding than for portrait/wedding/nude or landscape photography, I wanted the 1.6 crop, faster AF and higher fps. If the same applies to you, I can highly recommend the 7D.



 
Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

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Review Date: Jul 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharpness, IQ, 1:1
Cons:
slow and noisy AF, hood

I cannot add a lot to previews comments, just emphazise some points already mentioned:

This lens is very sharp indeed even at F 2.8. In fact, it's as sharp as some of Canon's L-zoom lenses. The 1:1 macro ability is very nice, although I find the focal length a bit awkward for insects or other small animals. But this lens is perfect for flowers, landscapes or even portraits - my favourite walk-around lens.

The only disadvantage is the autofocus, which - especially when close-focusing - is slow, loud and noisy and the hood-design (you can neither close the lens cap nor add a filter with the cap mounted due to an internal hood-threading.

Very sharp walk-around and macro lens for a very decent price.


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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Jun 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, versatile, great IS, 400mm, good price for value
Cons:
a bit bulky

This is a great lens. The newer ones are very sharp even when not stepped-down, IQ and built quality are very good, the focal range is great - for that price, it's an excellent lens.

You'll get used to the push-zoom quite quickly and although I'd sometimes wish this lens would be a bit faster (like F4) it's a perfectly good lens well worth the money.