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  Reviews by: jazzy17  

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Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

20_f1_8_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Unique in terms of focal length and aperture. I haven't found a lens with this combo. Versatile (so far used for landscapes, street, documentary and macro)
Cons:
Focus motor noise, f1.8 not so usuable for larger print sizes, Sigma yellow colour cast

Was in desperate need of low light lens that I could use for some commissioned documentary shoot. Shoot near enough 1000 frames with this lens on my Canon 20D and I am very happy.

It is sharper than my EF-S 10-22. f1.8 is not so usable at larger print sizes but still usable to a degree (with a lot of care as DOF is so narrow).

Lens gives nice 32mm field of view on my 20D. Wide enough for tight spaces and some landscapes I have tried. Brilliant in say, a cathedral.

I did not find the double clutch AF/MF system a problem at all.

Focus motor is very noisy (even compared to the EF 35 f2 I used to have). Noisier than a wasp in a matchbox, more like a Queen bumble bee flying round your head. Noise is not really a major issue for me but a quieter motor still would be preferred.

Has the Sigma yellow colour cast but something I can live with and work around. Colour and contrast not as great compared to my EFS 10-22 but not far off. Again, can manage with it.

I have given this lens a relatively high score as it is excellent value for money brand new or used.


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Aug 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, light
Cons:
Maybe price and the unknown regarding EF-S future.

Had this lens for 7 months or so now and it has been a treat to use both outdoors and for indoor creativity. I can't knock this lens much at all apart from the fact that it took 2 months for the hood to be available from Canon (oh, and the hodd only really works for flare control and not good for protecting the lens).

I like the fact parts/barrels do not move when zooming/focussing - no dusting getting inside this one easily. The lens works perfectly with my 20D just as the needed.


 
Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Jul 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price compared to Canon equivalents, L-like image quality, small, very light, constant f2.8, long warranty.
Cons:
Zoom ring turns the wrong way :-) lol . Tamron Quality Control. Future compatability with other Canon bodies concerns me but not too much at this price :-)

I had to send my copy to be calibrated (it had softness and focus issues) but it came back in perfect working order for my Canon 20D. At f2.8 it was near enough 100% sharp. Focussing at all focus points and apertures is spot on. Colours are fantastic.

Focussing is not as fast as Canon USM but its a case of milliseconds. Zoom ring turns the opposite way to all my other zooms which was strange at first.

Only once had a problem with low light focus hunting (it was near enough pitch black apart from a spot light though).

At 1/3 of the price of the Canon 24-70L this lens is truly a bargain. In my mind, it was worth the postage costs to get it recalibrated (same copy sent back twice). Only my primes beat this lens for sharpness, colour, contrast. I have shot with this lens with and without filters (for lens protection only) - all images have been great.

Proud that my last set of shots with this lens outshone those of photographers shooting with the Canon 24-70L + 1 series bodies at a music festival. Pictures were printed at A3 paper size and still looked great. Client's printers interpolated them and printed them at A1 poster size to great effect.

I am only slightly concerned that this lens may not be compatible with other Canon bodies as is i.e. it will probably have to go back to dealer for recalibration - might not be able to simply switch lens to another body. But hey its a third party lens and again at this price, it is not too much of an issue.

Highly recommended lens but make sure you check you suppliers return policy and make contact with an authorised warranty repair place BEFORE buying. Had this lens for a while now and sold my equivalent Canon lens as they were collecting dusts thanks to this beauty of a lens.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Jul 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, price for L glass, picture quality.
Cons:
You will only want 'L' after this lens. None in 6 months.

I had this lens for 6 months and only sold it as I found myself needing faster glass. I used this lenses outdoors for animal pics and open air music festivals.

This lens is great value for money. If you do not need any tele faster than f4 then this is the lens to get - pro or amateur. Great general purpose tele. Compared to other low light tele zooms I have used, this lens is light as a feather. eg. compared to f2.8 EF 70-200 IS or Sigma 70-200 EX. You can walk around all day with this on your camera around your neck and not feel it.

The picture quality is stunning - I looked at my pictures and could not believe that I didn't pay several $$$ for such quality.

Any cons of this lens were minor - the white lens makes you stick out when you are trying to be inconspicous (primes rock there). I agree that the lens being f4 is not a negative thing since Canon never said it was anything else. The hood might seem plain and ugly to people but it does a great job. Tripod collar is not included but as the lens is so light you will find you probably won't need it...ever. Great value for money. Buy this lens with the right expectations and you will not be disappointed.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good build, price compared to 85L, focus speed, size, bokeh.
Cons:
Not a single thing :-)

I test both the 85 f1.8 and the 85L on my 20D and the 85 f1.8 won as far as I am concerned.

I mainly use this lens for low light music and dance gigs, never really missed the wider aperture on the L. The f1.8 wins over the L in terms of speed to focus, value for money. In fact, I found that the 85L was only better in terms of out of the camera, contrast and colours. Not worth the extra $$ in my opinion.

I would class myself as an photographer who only had amateur ambitions but now moonlight and make some money from photography (semi-pro?). I would strongly urge anyone who is not a serious pro to consider this lens instead of the 85L. The f1.8 is a fantastic lens usable at all apertures, great focus speed, bokeh and easy to use.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/2

ef35mmf2_1_
Review Date: Jun 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, cheap
Cons:
None for the price but maybe build quality.

Bought this one second hand. The EF35 f2 along with my EF50 f1.4 have become my indoor portrait lenses of choice on my 20D. The EF 35 is a great little lens for those tight shots indoors. Do not be put off by reports of buzzy motors. First time, it is strange but you hardly ever notice again. I use the lens for street photography too. Picture quality has been great. Even when shooting high ISO with my 20D at very low ligh music gigs. Have felt I needed the 35L and extra stop but for the price of the EF 35 f2, Im not complaining too much at all :-)

Only reason I did not give this lens a 10 rating is because of the build quality and I've used the 35L which totally rocks and would beat most lenses hands down.


 
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

ef24mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, cheap, relatively fast and easy to use.
Cons:
None for the price.

Bought this one second hand (nearly new) with a hood.

Unless you need a quality picture straight out of the camera with minimal post processing and don't rely on photography as your only income, I don't see the need for the 24L. For sure, this lens does not give the same quality of picture but that is what software is for. The pictures straight from the camera (20D in my case) have been more than satisfactory and only required minimal standard adjustments. I use this lens for documentary style shooting and even a family portrait shot in tight spaces. I have been really happy with the results. Even brand new this lens is worth the money at about 1/3 of the L lens price.


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Jun 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid, substantial build. Discreet size and colour. Picture contrast, colour, sharpness is stunning. Compatability with Canon extenders.
Cons:
None.

Had this lens for 2 days. I was expecting something special but not this fantastic. I thought it would not fair as well as my other smaller focal range primes with from f1.4 in low light at high ISO but I was VERY wrong. The pictures ooze quality indoors, low light or outdoors. Bokeh is good. Focussing is good even with the Canon 1.4x tc with no major degradation of picture quality.

This lens has made me re-consider buying the Canon 70-200 IS in the future - my monopod and tripod will be my IS! I'm holding onto this lens and not letting go. It will be on my 20D this weekend for a commissioned shoot at a 2 day music festival for those candids.

Everything else that is great has already been said.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent image quality, affordable at new lens price
Cons:
build quality (focus ring has some 'give')

Well worth upgrading from the f1.8 version for improved build quality. The biggest improvement comes in picture quality... this lens is amazing and does indeed deserve a red strip on it.

I have used this lens for available light portraits and low light concert/gig photography and it has proven to be a fantastic lens. For indoor portraits things may get tight on physical space in smaller location especially if you are using a crop sensor camera.

If you have no other prime in your kit make sure this the one you do have. If I pay any other compliments I will just be repeating what others have already have said... read them and believe them.



 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Apr 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Brilliant walkaround lens with good range minimises lens changes (good for macro, landscape, portraits). Made for the 1.6 crop cameras. Works well with ETTL. Relatively light. IS.
Cons:
Price and only EF-S. Some CA and distortion when blowing pictures in print to larger than A4 size.

Yes the picture quality isn't perfect but hey have you heard how many people have had trouble with the similar focal range L lenses?! And they cost at least double the price of this lens.

I have used this lens for indoor low light (has to be with a flash - unfortunately) and for outdoor, available light work. I cannot complain about this lens too much at all. It has served me well over the last few months. A wider aperture would have been nice for indoor and better bokeh but hey we can't have everything in a zoom. Outdoor this lens can do portraits, macro, landscape (but not as good as specific wide lens), candids with great success. I have had my outdoor candids from a parade used by a local newspaper and projected on display in the town centre by the local authorities.

The price is a tad expensive but I feel that you are paying for the handy IS that helps a little with the shortcomings of not having a great aperture range.

This is definately not a pro lens. If you are an amateur getting into Digital SLR or heading towards semi-pro, this is a great EF-S all rounder. As for "not being able to use it on the pro Canon cameras in future" argument - do you really see yourself using an non L lens (regardless of it being EF or EF-S) on such an expensive full frame slr anyway?

Conclusion: good all rounder that would save an amateur the price of two separate 17-35/40 and 24/28 - 70 lenses and the lens changes between shots.