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  Reviews by: markle  

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Jan 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: red ring for the looks , IS (but useless in my macro shoots)
red ring for the price: not as good as the 70-200 2.8IS mark I

get the 100 without the red ring, it takes the same pictures! quality not up to a 70-200 2.8IS (which is better, from 3.2 and up)
this lens makes sense only for the fashion of the red ring, and that's about it.
now all the 100 macro (all of them!) are sharp. The IS is not as good as the old 70-200 2.8 (again) for a much lighter lens by the way.

for macro I'd get the old 100 (or any 90-100 lens as a matter of fact) and a tripod . for better IS and better quality I'd use the money saved to get a 70-200 2.8IS (which is a zoom therefore more useful)

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: range , quality
big when extended, it gets the attention, aperture will force higher ISO

got a new lens (2008) and I can tell the difference with the one that I had 4 years ago. Canon did improve this lens. Better at 400mm , no lockups (due to a newer IS design I suppose) .

Like a previous poster said I too use a fanny pack to carry it

the push-pull is not a problem at all , if not for the fact that when extended this lens will attract the attention. It is kinda embarrassing (to be honest) like having a lens getting super excited or something... it's a joke (of course) but there is some truth in it Smile

the quality is good, very good. The bokeh at 5.6 is good enough but not superlative: still good enough.

the stabilization works but still you must watch the shutter speed and increase the ISO: you don't do that and keep 100ISO and 1/125 or even 1/250 and you get shakes, unless you shoot in a burst.

5.6 (or 4.5) are not enough in low light. Not much to add about that. I did try a monopod and I can get the shot but still it requires a lot of work and a lot of ISO (in low light I mean)

in the end this lens makes the 70-200 2.8 look like a "limited range" lens after 10 minutes you use the 100-400 Smile

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Nov 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: pictures
not sharp enough @1.4 (and 1.4 only)

this lens will really make a difference. In any picture. I'm not going to repeat what others said because we all know how good this lens can be.

I use it mainly on a 1Ds but on the 40D that I just bought gives amazing results as well : different but still great (given the different "view")

now this is the first lens that made me rethink about the crop factor: on a FF camera you tend to get closer adding the "wide effect" to the amazing contrast sharpness and colors. But on a 40D I tend to step back a little. It becomes a different lens on a 40D.

The details are really "touchable". The images are never "ordinary": the color impact is impressive, the scene becomes a 3D scene. Not "fiction" but close Smile

The Autofocus needs attention. This lens is not to be used as a zoom: you really need to point, lock, evaluate the scene, lock again if needed and shoot.

I like to think that this lens really wants photographers who know what they are doing ... (and that will put me out of the category immediately) LOL

careful at 1.4. but at 1.6 the lens is already up there.. within the best.

Sigma 20-40mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: May 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness at 2.8

I agree with the previous comment. The most important feature of this lens is with no doubt the sharpness wide open. I can shoot 2.8 with no fear, all the time.
It gets better stopped down but not that much better. The copy I have do perform at its best wide open. Hard to believe but that's how it is Smile
This lens didn't get the (deserved) attention but on a FF camera it can be spectacular. The price could've been a little better but it's a 2.8 zoom all the way after all.
The usual "sigma" warm(ish) cast but a good contrast, better than the 16-35 (mark I) but again with the Canon I couldn't really shoot at 2.8 like I do with this sigma.
Direct comparison with the 24-105 at 24mm F/4 puts the canon L on the second place (which is not bad considering that the fight just had two contenders)

The autofocus is not up to the canons, not only because of the speed but also because of the precision. On a 1Ds I see some hesitation (that I don't see with any other lens to be honest): so basically you need to pay attention at the focus before you shoot. Flare is the other thing you need to control.

Sharp enough at the corners but the 16-35 looks a little sharper (but again not at 2.8!)

shots in low light no flash wide open are now possible with this lens. That's what I needed.

higly recommended

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $569.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IS efficient and precise; image quality better than expected; AF slowish but precise even in low light; stunning DOF @ 70-90mm
AF not fast enough on tracking; pale colors and contrast to be adjusted on PP

It started as a fun lens to use instead of the 70-200 IS: it ended up being a serious alternative to it. Did a couple of test shots with it (a friend just got it) and I was immediately impressed. I bought one right after and it stays. The quality is close to the L but the images do show pale colors and the contrast must be adjusted manually. The AF is slow but extremely precise and it works even in low light. The DOF @ 70-90mm is very good, surprisingly good for basic portraiture. I find the sweet spot @ f/11 (despite many reported f/8 as the best aperture) but even @ 5.6 this lens is more than acceptable. Tested on a Full Frame (1Ds) I don't see evident lack of sharpness at the corners even wide open. The viewfinder will darken a little (if you're used to 2.8 lenses) but perfectly usable.

Tracking is NOT a 70-300IS thing, in servo the limitations of the slowish autofocus do become apparent. The percentage of keepers in a burst comes down to 60% tops, but still usable (while not comparable to the 70-200 of course).

The strong point of the lens is with no doubt the quality of the images and the fantastic third generation IS which really works (and the weight also makes things even better). The images do compare to the best L and even some prime.

It's not a 2.8 class lens but the IS makes it up in some way (still it won't freeze a subject movements in low light). Once we understand the limitations we can get stunning images from it.

Definitely a keeper