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Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

ef15mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 18, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I bought this lens refurbished directly from Canon. What a wonderful lens. Compared to all the other L lenses, this lens is actually small. The lens cap is of a odd design, it would have been nice if it locked in place somehow, but it does the job.

The focus motor is on the louder side, but then again, the distance it has to travel is so minute that it really doesn't matter, it only "buzzes" for a fraction of a second until something is in focus again.

Build quality is good, nothing to brag about, but not like a cheap kit lens either. It should be fine unless you plan on abusing it.

Picture quality is really impressive. Even wide open, my copy is surprisingly sharp in the corners. Not, not as sharp as the center of course, but perfectly usable. Stopping down, and it's pretty amazing.

Wide open, you get some pretty strong red chromatic aberrations in the corners. I find them to be easily correctable with software though.

They do call it a fish eye, although I find it to be more of a hybrid between fish eye and ultra wide angle lens. The lines do curve strongly, but not ridiculously. I have played with correcting the lines, and nearly always find the original results more natural and pleasing to the eye than corrected ones with straight lines.

When I went to full frame, I really missed my Canon 10-22, but this lens makes up for that. I really enjoy this lens. If you can find a used or refurbished one, I recommend giving it a try. Compared to the prices of lenses Canon is selling now, this lens is a steal.


 
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

3_5-5
Review Date: Feb 24, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Perfect Walk Around Lens
Cons:
Vignetting

After reading many positive reviews, and not having a high quality walk around lens, I decided to get this lens.

I was not disappointed. The lens is fantastic. Every time I load pictures onto my computer and view them I am amazed at the image quality. Images are sharp even into the corners. Colors look good. The range from wide angle to mild telephoto is perfect. The lens feels good in my hand, it's just hefty enough to balance well, but not too big or heavy.

Vignetting is a bit strong under some conditions. The 7D does a decent job of correcting it with the peripheral illumination correction turned on.

I have had it for about a month, used it quite a bit, and have not experienced the lens creep yet.

I bought a lens hood for $5 from Ebay, fits perfectly...

All in all I highly recommend this lens. It could and should be a little cheaper, but I guess photography is becoming an expensive hobby.


 
Canon Speedlite 550EX TTL

CA550EXU_1_
Review Date: Mar 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lovely lighting. Great value.
Cons:
Not built as sturdy as the newer 5 series.

I bought this flash used for $110 on Craigslist. Awesome investment. I also have a 420EX and 580EXII flash. I use this as my strong beater flash to carry everywhere with me, and as a slave with the others.
When not using any diffusors or reflectors, I actually like the direct lighting of this flash when doing portraits better than the 580EXII and 420EX.

If you can find this used somewhere, I would highly recommend getting one!


 
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

EFS18-55_35-56IS
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $172.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quite sharp, best possible bang for the buck.
Cons:
Build quality.

When I first saw rumors about this lens, I really wasn't interested. I thought it would be the exact (underperforming) lens as the kit lens. I then started seeing some reports on the internet that this lens might be a lot better. I let a few months pass and then decided to give it a shot.

In the end, I have to say, I was very positively surprised. This lens is nothing like the kit lens. The image quality is fantastic, and I would go as far as some others here and say that it might be worth saving your money and get this instead of an L lens or an expensive Sigma or Tamron.

There are really no chromatic aberrations with this lens. It is sharp wide open, closing it down to about f8 improves quality slightly, but not that much. I really like that part, you can use this lens wide open and not worry about loss of quality. That, combined with the well working Image Stabilization makes for a good available light lens. Of course not as much as f2.8 IS, but hey...

The build quality is nothing to brag about. It's a plastic lens. There's no way around it. The barrell still wobbles a little bit, but not as much as the original kit lens. I've used the original kit lenses quite a bit with the Digital Rebel and Rebel XT, and they all held up, even to abuse, so I think this lens will be just fine. Sort of like when cameras went from metal to plastic, everyone was worried. I don't know anyone whose plastic lens has fallen apart yet though...

To sum it up, for the money, this lens is a steal. Heck, I even have thoughts of buying a second one, just in case Canon decides to degrade or discontinue this lens because it's competing with its $1,000 counterparts.

I made a little review between the regular and the IS kit lens on my own:

http://members.cox.net/michim/canon/Canon.htm