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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Jan 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: light weight/compact, wider widest aperture for brighter indoor view, USM focusing, good FL range, little distortion, edge-to-center balanced IQ, good contrast/colors, 58mm filter, very decent F4.5 lens
Cons:
don't look a gift horse in the mouth

First off: I got it off Craigslist with busted filter-caused hairline scratch on front element, filter ring that won't come off, moderate amount of dust inside, and no rear cap...hence the cheap price.

I once had the 24-85 on a 10D...loved it but it had distortion issues, and wasn't wide enough, so replaced it with the 18-55 IS....

But the kit isn't really bright enough viewing in indoor use...it's okay but not once I put the MF screen in the 40D...that is not recommended with a widest aperture >2.8, so you can imagine looking through the EF-S screen @ 5.6!

This lens overcomes that objection/conflict/issue...
The barrel/pincussion distortion of the 24-85 is gone with this lens.

My use for this is group candids at events (not professionally-paid gigs, just parties and such)...barrel distortion at wider FLs distorts those people at edges, so this lens's lack of such distortion is a real plus....so is USM for such uses.
The lack of distortion means that for scenics, the soft edges won't be distorted, i.e. curved towards the center...soft edges can be dealt with, but distorted swirling grass and trees? No....

The evenly distributed IQ means that once stopped down the improved IQ is noticable from edge to edge...another plus when shooting groups...easier to improve in PP when the end head is close to sharpness as the guy in the center....
I said it's a very decent 4.5 lens because I generally wouldn't advise using the widest aperture on any consumer zoom lens...shooting wide open is for "L" quality glass.

...so, if one's minimally acceptable IQ standard is one F-stop down from wide open, then thinking of this lens as widest at 4.5 means one should not use it wider than 7.1 (unless one WANTED a soft image, such as portrait)....

At F7.1 the edges become virtually as sharp as the center, and at F8-11 both center and edge imporve to very good.
The 58mm filter ring means shared PL filter with the 18-55 kit...(the wider, 62mm filter of the 24-85 is another inconvenience and expense)

So, in the end I think that the best way to think of this lens is a very good 28-105/F4.5 that is very useable at F7.1, and very acceptable at F8-11, which ought to be the goal of any consumer/hobbiest-priced lens...A good general purpose "walkabout" lens, especially useful for parties and events when using a flash @ F7.1-F8

Full Frame images followed by 100% crops...
105/F7.1 USM:200/.2/0
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/8333/7071img3226ffu22.jpg

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4121/7071img3226lc.jpg

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/918/7071img3226cc.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1718/7071img3226rc.jpg

28mm/F7.1 USM: 200/.2/0
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8951/2871img3223ffu22.jpg

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/4018/2871img3223lcu22.jpg

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/6743/2871img3223ccu22.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2730/2871img3223rcu22d.jpg


 
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

EFS18-55_35-56IS
Review Date: May 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Bang for buck, only wide angle lens for cropcam for under $300 ($400?). IS works. Sharp edge2edge @ 5.6. Quiet operation. Light weight.
Cons:
Light weight suggests a feeling of poor build...

The only wide angle option for Canoncropcams @ under $300 ($400?) is now a real option...moreso than the non-IS version...The IS doesn't lag so seems less noticeable than on some other lenses I've looked thru. While the focusing ring on mine doesn't wobble as it has on others, the small dark aperture and the narrow ring itself make MF less effective than AF...just have to make sure in dark situations that the focus spot has some definitive lines/contrast. I could complain about the small widest apertures which make it hard to see through in dark settings, but it's not fair to criticize it for it's not.
Its small light weight makes my XT a real nice compact cam, but on the 30D its light weight gives a feeling of lightweight quality, but that impression, that feeeeeeling is perhaps more psychological... in my mind more than in the lens...
Better to remember that Canon gave me a wide angle in my budget that gets the shot without disappointing me too much...(if I want the best IQ I'll just use my primes)...
Recommended for what it is, a convenient all-purpose lens with a wide angle with more than decent IQ

Sample images here:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/645062/#lastmessage


 
Canon EF 35mm f/2

ef35mmf2_1_
Review Date: Jun 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: See review
Cons:
None for the price.

* The 56mm coverage is my preferred "normal" lens (similiar to my 58mm on my 35mm film SLR)
* I got the 35/2 to pair up with my 50/1.8MK1 (which also has the mid-barrel focusing ring.)
* Yes, the focusing motor DOES sound like a dot matrix printer, but it does have MF for SILENT focusing, and with it's deep DoF, that is just fine.
* ~ to 56 and 80mm respectively on 35mm form-factor, this combo is the best low light combo for the $$$...
* It completely covers sensors on EVERY EOS made...
* The wide aperture makes for easier VIEWING in low light situations, a revelation to those who've only shot zooms.
* The light weight and small size on an ###X model would make for a great walkaround camera.
* The 52mm filter size makes for a cheap filter.
* The light fall off at wide open aperture will not be a problem when actually using it in low light...in daylight you'll be stopping down so vignetting will not be a problem.


 
Canon EOS D30

D30
Review Date: Jan 19, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $90.00

 
Pros: easy learning curve...silky smooth tones and sharp res unbelievable for 3+mpxls
Cons:
the viewing screen is too clear, making it hard to manually focus.

Okay, to start out I have to say that the D30/nifty50 sold me me, a Nikon user since the days of F, on Canon and Dslr in general...

...One day back in October, this little old lady at a local thrift shop brought this camera out from behind the counter and asked if I was interested...she didn't know if it worked...I was interested by nearly totally ignorant about it...

It had no CF card, but it came with the batt, charger, and a.c. adapter...I clicked off a shot (apparently it was set to shoot without a CF) and told her that since my cam at home had the same memory card I'd buy it on spec at the very least...how much I asked...$100 she says but for me she'll give a 10% discount...

Well....it bought me...took it home, slipped in my 512mg CF from the A95, and it worked perfectly with, and if you can believe the counter, less than 2,300 shots.

I took some great JPEGs, didn't know RAW from rare, yet, and was sold...A week later I got a 24-85 and a couple months later a 10D...and until I upgrade to a 5d I'll keep the D30 around as perfect backup...

The D30 is a classic! The story is too...got to keep them both around...maybe I'll get around to writing about the 10D...but that'd be just a story about a camera...not like this gem.

Here's a shot from that first day...1/4 crop of a 16x20 enlargement!

http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/5494/liz4xemov7.jpg


 
Canon EOS D30

D30
Review Date: Jan 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: VERY easy to learn...easier than the A95 I have. Fine resolution, easily outputs 11x14s and 16x20s when well exposed.
Cons:
I prefer MF but the screen is almost TOO clear for the image to POP in and out of focus...all the other issues are the nature of the beast...i.e. it is what it is...

Okay, to start out I have to say that this camera with the nifty50 bought me...
...this little old lady brought it out from behind the counter at a thrift shop and asked if I was interested...she didn't know if it worked...it had no CF, but it came with the batt, charger, and a.c. adapter...I clicked off a shot (apparently it was set to shoot without a CF) and told her that since cam at home had the same memory card I'd buy it on spec at the very least...
Well....I slipped in my 512mg CF from the A95, and it worked perfectly with, if you can believe the counter, less than 2,300 shots.
I took some great shots, not even in RAW, and was sold!
A week later I got a 24-85 and a couple months later a 10D...and until I upgrade to a 5d I'll keep the D30 around as perfect backup...
The D30 is a classic! The story is too...got to keep them both around...
Here's a shot from that first day...a 1/4 crop of a 16x20 enlargement!
http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/5494/liz4xemov7.jpg