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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Aug 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent bokeh for 50mm focal length on Canon
Cons:
QC - image softer on left side than on right side

I want this lens. What I mean by that is I just purchased this lens and I want a good copy. I know what this lens is capable of as far as image quality is concerned, so I am convinced that it is a good design. However, the one I just received is definitely defective: images are sharp on the right side and center, but they never get sharp on the left side. Sure, this would be alleviated somewhat by stopping down the aperture, but I purchased the lens because I intend to use it at f/1.4 through f/2 most of the time.

Therefore, the lens gets high marks for quality, but poor marks for quality control: Please improve your quality control, Sigma.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Aug 3, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $475.00

 
Pros: Fast autofocus
Cons:
Back focus problem, very soft at and near MFD @ 200mm

Very bad experience with this lens. I purchased used and received the lens in great, mint-like condition cosmetically. The problem is, it has a very distinct and consistent rear-focusing issue which, even if Canon could repair it, would cost me more than the difference between buying the amount I paid and buying a brand new lens with warranty.

Person who sold it to me magically disappeared after selling.

On the other hand, the focus is fast and the area in focus is generally quite sharp even wide open; but I rarely use my lenses past f/3.5 anymore and though I thought this would suffice until I could afford an f/2.8 telephoto zoom, it seems that it just isn't fast enough.


 
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

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Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Great color, very fast AF, sharp in center. Comes with practical, unobtrusive lens hood. Built like a tank. Heaviness actually a boon because of increased stability.
Cons:
f/4-5.6 is fairly slow, noticeable vignetting at most apertures, edge CA not as controlled as Canon 10-22mm. Textured finish isn't really my preference. Possible QC issues.

I've used this lens for about a month and a half now. I confess that I was never totally happy or at ease with it from the start (you know how sometimes you just feel uncomfortable about a particular new lens or other recent purchase). I think my unease was warranted.

After testing as well as casual use over time, I've come to the conclusion that the problem isn't user error, dirt, or a problem with my eyes. The problem? Pretty much the entire right 1/3 of most/all shots I take with this lens gradually get much softer, to the point of eye-watering blur, whereas the left side retains much more detail and clarity and is, in fact, rather sharp all the way to the edge (shooting at f/8). This seems to occur anywhere, whether photographing the interior of a building or shooting landscapes. I've recently contacted Sigma regarding this, as I believe it may be a defective lens. Ask me for samples of this very consistent anomaly if you want to see what I mean.

If I can get one that has mine's left-side sharpness on both sides, I'll be completely satisfied. CA and vignetting are both much more easily rectified than softness/blur.

Recommended because I believe that a good copy will produce truly excellent images.


 
Tamron 90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

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Review Date: Jan 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent color, light weight, decent focus speed, functional limiter
Cons:
huge focus extension, focus mechanism sounds a bit flimsy

Really, really excellent, sharp edge to edge, as close to perfect color as I've seen. Haven't found any noticeable CA. I think it's become my new favorite lens. On the downside, I'm paranoid about sucking dust inside it, so I usually use a lenspen and cleaning rag on the tube (with obsessive care) before I retract it.

I now refer to this lens officially as my "hard-on macro."