Photoshop actions

  Reviews by: imagician  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add imagician to your Buddy List
Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 EG

Review Date: Feb 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $34.99 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Roomy, functional, well made, attractive. Holds more stuff than my Tamrac System 7 (for less money!). Lots of pockets and niches for things. Can't beat the price!
A little tight for my 300D with the battery grip. Flat pocket not large enough for 8-1/2 x 11 papers or 8x12 folders.

Wow, what a steal! More convenient and less obtrusive than a blocky gear bag (though admittedly harder to get into than my Tamrac). I put electrical tape over the Canon logo (Japanese for "Steal Me") until I can figure out what else to pin over the logo.

This bag is made of nice materials, sturdy, attractive and well proportioned. It easily holds my camera body with long lens, four additional lenses, charger and spares, and assorted claptrap that I couldn't get into my Tamrac. There are two flat pockets for papers, maps, even MORE claptrap, and then there is the shockcorded external open pocket which worked well with my water bottle.

The side pockets expand to hold a lot more than you'd think, though the flap is a primitive desgn that won't completely cover a chock full side pocket. (On a recent trip, though, it was able to completely cover a pocket with my cell phone, a reporters notebook, and several pens. But not much more.)

I would give it two gray marks: no well thought ouur scheme to mount a real tripod with 3-section aluminum legs, though easily capable of a lightweight travel tripod; and it should be 1/2" deeper to make the fit easier for a grip-equipped body.

For the money, though? What are you waiting for?

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Feb 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $639.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Corner to corrner sharp on my 1.6 crop, minimal distortion, dramatic design, professional appearance. Did I forget to mention an exciting field of view?
Nothing major. Thus usual quibbles would be flare (at this focal length they all flare), no front filter. But nevertheless, wow!

I bought this with trepidation, given some worrisome posts on several forums. In fact, I bought it at a retailer and paid the retail upcharge so I could get on-site exchange if it there was aproblem. But I needn't have worried. The first thing I shot was a flat plane brick wall, then came inside and ran two 17x22 prints (one with USM and one without). I was totally blown away. Every brick in the wall was as sharp as any other. And aggressive USM made very little difference in the print since it was already so sharp; casual observers couldn't see the difference in the two prints.

In sum, this lens is awesome.

The dramatic style, ergonomic bulk, and solid build will impress observers (even if your photography doesn't, ha! ha!). The USM focus is quiet and fast. And though I have no illusions about edge resolution at full frame, I fully expect this lens to perform well at 1.3 which is where I'll probably end up. Which is more than I can say for the Canon 10-22 EFS, which is shackled to the 1.6 crop for over $100 more.

The rear filter thing doesn't bother me - I will rig regular filters and a custom lens hood onto the extended adapter ring since the 1.6 crop is well within its tolerance. And the 'slow' 4.5 maximum aperture is OK since I will use this f/11 - f/16 99% of the time.

My only gripe is that the price of this lens ought to have come down to less than $600 by now. (Only was there, at $549!) Both Nikon and Canon have brand name glass at or near this focal range, as does Tokina and soon Tamron. All APS-C, sure, but also with faster apertures.

Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Review Date: Nov 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice build and balance, professional demeanor, decidedly professional results
Occasionally prone to flare, and I'd like to see a separate lens hood for 1.6x cameras

I went to my pro shop intending to buy one of two other lenses, the Canon 17-40L or one of the Sigmas. When I noticed this one, I decided to run it through my in-store tests (can't do this on the web, folks!) - and this came up the winner. At f4, this lens was as good as or better than the 17-40 in all my optical tests, losing meaningless points on inconsequentials such as AF speed vs Canon's own L.

And in real life, this lens has allowed me to produce (and sell) some very nice photographs, it focuses very close - and produces excellent bokeh, too.

Chromatic characteristics are slightly warm and rich (which I prefer to the cyan cast of the Canons) and edge definition is superb.

The balance, heft and mechanical action on this lens are very nicely tuned, and I appreciate of the way glass and metal components (including the mounting face) have been integrated with the exquisitely milled composites.

An extraordinary value. (Pair it up with the Tamron 28-75 XR Di for a truly dynamic duo!)