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  Reviews by: mrvile7734  

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Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

atx124afprodx
Review Date: Jun 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, constant F/4, decent AF, good colors/contrast, built like a rock, great focal range for crop bodies
Cons:
12mm still not as wide as 10mm, CA may be a problem in harsh lighting conditions

Had this lens for a while, it was an excellent UWA. It is a very unique lens being the only one available for Canon with a fixed aperture. It's a sharp lens, autofocuses pretty fast (although not surprising for an UWA), very few distortions, and has great colors and contrast. The one big thing I noticed was the build...it's even more solid than the Sigma 10-20 and obviously much more substantial than the Canon 10-22, I wouldn't hesitate to use it as a weapon if I had to.

On the other hand, the CA can be a problem if you have very stark contrast edges in your photos. It can be fixed using Photoshop if you're shooting RAW, but can still be a pain. Also, 10mm is sooo much wider than 12mm, so in the end I switched to the Sigma 10-20 for those extra 2mm.

I do miss the Tokina a lot though, it was a great lens and probably better than the Sigma in every aspect except focal length.


 
Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Sigma_150_macro
Review Date: Jun 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp!! Sharpest lens I've ever used, even at f/2.8. Easy to handhold, great working distance, and macro AF is more refined than any other kind of lens.
Cons:
Focusing is slow but it's a macro lens...and it's ok since the AF is so precise.

I sold my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX (which was an excellent lens) because I wasn't getting enough use out of it. I in turn purchased this lens, a flash unit, and a macro bracket, because I was more interested in nature macro photography than anything I could shoot with my 100-300.

Wow.

What a great purchase. First thing I noticed is how sharp the lens is. I did some tests on a dollar bill and even at f/2.8, this lens is tack sharp. It's rediculous, I've never seen a sharper lens before. It also feels great in my hands - built like a tank but still light enough to easily handhold. I can easily handhold this lens plus the bracket and flash unit for a long time. The working distance this lens gives me is really nice - enough room between me and the subject without having to worry about lens shake and still being able to track the subject without a problem. I shoot bugs and flowers; the lens is a little long for flowers but perfect for insects.

Onto the focus...everyone should know that a macro lens has a very refined focusing ring and it moves quite slowly. This affects the AF and it takes some time for the AF to move throughout the focusing range to get where it needs to, so don't expect this lens to focus as fast as a normal lens - even with HSM (which does keep the focusing dead silent). If the subject is almost in focus, the AF will instantly snap to perfect focus, but if the subject is completely out of focus, the AF will take some time. However, the good thing about this is that the AF is so precise. It can focus on the eyes of a fly, the body, the wings, or whatever I want it to. I thought I would always be manual focusing with macro, but the AF is so exact that I don't need to.

I love shooting macro, and this lens is definately a keeper. For anyone that's looking to shoot insects: I highly recommend this lens, even over the Canon 180L that costs twice as much. Spend the money elsewhere! This lens is perfect!

So far I've had only great experiences with Sigma gear. Sigma, keep up the good work.


 
Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

100-300if_1_
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $760.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: painfullly sharp @ f/5.6, fast and dead on focusing, price price price
Cons:
a bit soft @ 300mm wide open, focus hunts in low light or on a low contrast subject, weight

I bought this lens in the middle of December...bad decision, and with the weather I had to wait almost a month before I was able to go out and really test this thing. Shooting a few things around the yard doesn't really bring out the best in this lens.

But as soon as I took it out for its first field run, I couldn't believe what I got for the money. The pictures were slightly soft at f/4 (but only noticeable at 100% and if you're really pixel picking), but at f/5.6 it becomes tack sharp. I shot all my shots that day with AI-Servo, and the focusing was very fast and very accurate, and the focusing ring doesn't move, which really helps hand holding.

The focus, however, will hunt in low light or if you're focusing on a blank subject or at something complicated like branches (but what lens doesn't?). Also, the lens was much larger than it appeared in the pictures I saw of it online, which isn't a problem, but keep it in mind when you buy it.

Of course, even my praise doesn't do the lens justice. Here are some of the pics I took on my first run:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseslip.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseblown.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/goosetimid.jpg

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/gooseflywater.jpg

And here's one from the backyard:

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/Mrvile/DSLR%20Photos/treesquirril.jpg

Highly recommended, you can't get better for this price.