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  Reviews by: kendallkoning  

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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Nov 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great contrast, sharp wide open, wide aperture, smooth bokeh, good full frame performance.
Autofocus quality control.

This really is a wonderful piece of glass. Yes, it's razor sharp, but even more important, it has great contrast even wide open. (It's a little like doing a local contrast enhancement in Photoshop but optically, obviously.) The wide aperture helps to throw the background out of focus, and the out of focus areas (bokeh) are very smooth. I prefer it greatly to my old Canon 50/1.4. It's a wonderful lens for people, particularly candids and environmental portraits. A disproportionate number of shots from this lens make their way onto my favorites list.

There have been a lot of people reporting focus problems, though, more people and more consistently than what would otherwise be expected as background noise. I returned my first copy, due to some of the worst focus performance I'd ever seen, but the second copy has been rock solid. Just buy it from a merchant with a reasonable return policy. Be reasonable too though, the DOF is thin at 1.4, and AF isn't perfect.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Jul 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Contrasty, Great Bokeh, Good subject isolation, wonderful focal length for portraits.

This is just a superb lens. After owning it for around 6 months, I was considering selling it to fund the purchase of some new gear. Then I went through my library picking out my ~25 favorite / best shots of people and 80% turned out to have been taken with this lens. It's not a lens I use all the time, but when it does find it's way out of the bag the results can be spectacular.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: May 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS can make otherwise impossible shots happen, Good Range, Reasonably sharp already at F/4, Build, Focus Speed
Strong Vignette at 24mm, $200 too expensive.

Used mainly for landscapes, museums, and occations where light conditions are varied or unknown. It's what's on the camera unless there's a specific reason for another lens.

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: May 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small and Light, Sharp, Constant F/2.8, Low CA
Build, Slow Focus, Corners very soft at F/2.8

This lens is a little soft wide open, but then again even the more expensive F/2.8 zooms are too. It is as sharp as my 24-105 IS at F/4, and noticeably sharper at F/5.6. Despite its wide aperture, I generally use this lens when there is sufficient light, preferring a 50/1.4 or the 24-105/4 IS for low light subjects. (moving and not moving, respectively)

Outdoors during daylight, I prefer this lens to the 24-105 IS both because it's easier to hike around with, and it outresolves the 5D sensor already at F/5.6 (e.g., fine detail on test charts produces strong moire)

This is a wonderful normal zoom that simply cannot be beat for the price, and in other ways (size,weight) is unmatched by any other F/2.8 zoom at any price.

Overall- 10
Build- 7
Price- 10

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excelent normal zoom on 1.6 AND wide angle on full frame. Optical quality, build.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp for a zoom. 16mm eq. FOV on EF-S.
Cost, Build.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: IS, good focal length range on 1.6x crop
Very soft, poor contrast, strong CA,

Disappointed with this lens compared to the 28-135 IS I owned previously. Moving to the 17-85 was not an upgrade. It may be a good low-cost single-lens solution for many people, but once you've used some of the better L zooms (17-40, 70-200) or just about any decent prime (50/1.4, 60/2.8) you'll be disappointed in the optical quality.

On the other hand, if you need a normal zoom with IS on a 1.6x crop camera, this is pretty much your only option. Sad

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, SHARP, SHARP. No distortion, no CA, optically superb and better
EF-S mount. Had to sell it when I upgraded to the 5D.

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Dec 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Full frame, large viewfinder, quieter shutter than 20D, smaller size than 1D(s), large LCD.
No built-in flash, expensive, would have liked 1-series AF for the price.

A great upgrade for me from the 20D, though going full frame did require some adjustment to my lens lineup to maintain the same FOV. The advantages of a larger frame size are wonderful for my style of photography. Getting a shallower DOF without superfast longer glass like the 85/1.2 or 135/2.0 is great for portraits, and my existing lenses are sharper on the 5D because fewer lines/mm of MTF at the sensor are required for the same number of lines per frame height. Vignetting in the corners is not that important to me and can easily be fixed in (batch) post-processing.