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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp and very well constructed. Focuses very quickly and very close. It has a very useful zoom range and is the "L" lens of choice for walking around. It spends more time on my 1Ds than any other lens.
Cons:
Big and heavy. The lens hood as so many have noted is very awkward.

A great all-around lens. Very sharp. Focuses quickly and silenty. I love this lens. As a stock photogrpaher I am able to get most shots I want with either this lens or my 70-200mm f/2.8L. Since getting this lens I rarely use my 17-40mm f/4L. I do wish that the 24-70mm wasn't so heavy but physics are physics and gravity is gravity. The only thing I'd really change is the lens hood.

 
Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

st-e2
Review Date: May 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $165.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, lightweight, easy to use.
Cons:
Signal "footprint" leaves a dead spot behind the camera. Flash ready indicator in the camera only refers to transmitter being ready and not the flash

I like being able to use my 550ex without any wires to the camera. That way I can use a softbox and not trip over the wires and I can move around freely while I hand hold the camera. The transmitter is very small and lightweight and very easy to use. The focusing aid beam is useful, too. It's a whole lot cheaper than solutions like Pocket Wizard.

One real problem with this wireless transmitter is that it has a signal "footprint" (the area where the signal is able to trigger a flash) that has a dead spot to the rear of the transmitter. This is discussed in the manual for the ST-E2 but I didn't really understand it until it caused me a problem on when I was working with a client. The flash wouldn't fire and I had no idea why. If the flash is placed too far behind the transmitter it won't fire. Canon's recommended solution is to either move the flash forward or use the off-shoe cord and face the transmitter backwards. A bit of a hassle, in my opinion.

Other than that I like the little device. And, I finally found a place to use all those 2CR5 batteries I bought on eBay for my EOS-3 that has been sitting in the closet since I got my D60 and 10D.


 
Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 EX Aspherical

17_35f2_8_4EX_1_
Review Date: May 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price, Light gather ability at 17mm
Cons:
Slow & noisy focus, big filter, only average sharpness

A nice lens for use on a DSLR but the focus is slow and very noisy. Sharpness is acceptable but no competion for a Canon 17-40mm. I don't know why Sigm doesn't build an "EX" lens that is really pro-quality instead of just taking an average lens a using crinckle paint on it.