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  Reviews by: martinsmith  

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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Review Date: Sep 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 


Great flash, quick recycle times, plenty of power, great options and well built. Metal hotshoe.

I use this both on and off camera. It's a shame that you cannot trigger it with an optical slave on the hot shoe.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Just about everything.
I can't take it off the camera

I've already reviewed this lens, but it still impresses me. I cannot say enough good things about it. Well built and good IQ. I'm shooting portraits a lot with it. I do have the 50mm F1.8, but tend to leave this one on as it has the edge on the fifty in IQ.

The image tone does have the Sigma warmth about it.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, sharp images
People ranting about how good this lens is

I'm basing this review on the price of the lens

Much sharper than the kit lens, bit of CA wide open which is minor and is gone around F2.8, easily fixable in photoshop. Colour & contrast take a bit of tweaking in photoshop for best results, but I shoot mainly B+W portraits with this lens.

Build quality is as to be expected for the price.

I hear comments about noisy AF. I want it for taking pics not for listening to.

If you're on a tight budget and want something better than the kit lens buy it. If you're expecting `L' quality for this price then you may be disappointed and possibly rather foolish.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Oct 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good IQ, fast focus....and it's white :)
It makes your kit lens look silly

This was the first lens and my 1st L lens. Only having the 18-55 kit lens before, really showed up how bad that lens was.

AF is fast and almost silent. Images are sharp throughout the focal length and bokeh is impressive. I use mine for captive birds (flying displays and wildfowl) as well as occasional portraiture and landscapes.

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

Review Date: Oct 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, good AF, well built, zoom lock
None for the price.

This is my walkabout lens. It's as sharp as my 50mm F1.8ii with almost the IQ of my 70-200 F/4 L. I bought it as a replacement for the Canon kit lens and it really makes the kit lens look silly.

I use it mainly for landscapes, but also use it for candids and even portraits when my 50mm isn't wide enough.

The AF is not slow, but it isn't USM and does make a high pitched whine, though by no means unacceptable. It would be nice if the aperture was a fixed 2.8 but this would effect the price.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Jun 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, image quality, bokeh
Only that there aren't more versions with different focal lengths

I bought this lens shortly after my 70-200 L F/4, so I had high expectations from this lens. I wasn't disapointed.

The image quality is fantastic and very close to my L lens. My version is sharp even wide open. AF speed & noise which some have commented on are really not that bad. Yes it's built from plastic but as it's so light, this won't be an issue for me. If you throw the thing around it may break, but if you look after it I can't see this being an issue.