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  Reviews by: nazdravanul  

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Nikon D3x

Review Date: Apr 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best DSLR out there, no doubt about it. Aside the pro build and features, IQ is superb, which is the main thing, for me.
Price. No sensor cleaning system, no video. No direct live view button. Costly software for tethered shooting (and proprietary raw conversion). Poor implementation of tethered shooting / live view (no working controls on camera, small/fixed window for live view with no control possibilities etc), software keeps crashing.

I didn't expect it to kick the living hell out of my beloved 5d2 Smile. ISO 400 on the d3x looks better / or at least the same as ISO 100 on the 5d2 . You really need to be able to put good glass in front of the new 20+ MP sensors in order to make them shine, and more, you need to properly PP the d3x files to get the most out of them.
My Zeiss glass looks better on the Nikon, and the d3x files give me a whole new horizon of PP possibilities. Where the 5d2 files would have started to disintegrate, the d3x files still give me plenty of room to work on.
The viewfinder is so much better than anything Canon has, and the standard focus screen is incredibly good / effective.
The worst problem ... is the cost problem, but we all know that Smile) .

Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb Zeiss incarnation, resolution, bokeh, drawing style are simply amazing.
Some CA in OOF areas.

There is just one other lens that I might prefer over the Zeiss : the Canon 200 2 IS. But the Zeiss is a lot cheaper, a lot lighter, and a lot more versatile. Probably it's not even an IQ issue, I just prefer the 200 FL over the 100 FL.
The only minus is represented by the CA in OOF areas, which are a bit annoying, but that's just being spoiled by perfection Smile .

Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredible lens and surprisingly versatile.
The famous mustache wave . Oh well ... :)

The legend is true ; everything you've heard or read about the sheer amazingness of this lens is totally true Smile .

Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just like the 50 MP, this is the best 35 ever.
Maybe some faint traces of CA here and there, but nothing really serious.

I hated the 35 FL but this particular lens makes me want to shoot there Smile . It is that good.

Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The most amazing 50 ever.
Soft extreme corners up to f8, but it's not really an issue. Excellent, consistent sharpness right up to those little, tiny extreme corners :). Kicks the living hell out of both the Canon 50 L (a good copy of that lens :) )and the Nikon 1.4 G lens.

Do not confuse this with the 50 1.4 Zeiss Planar which is not so good, in my opinion. Very different animal.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing colors/contrast, extraordinary look of OOF areas, excellent build, practicality.
A little soft from 1.2 to 1.8.

The focus shift (visible mostly at MFD between 2.8 and 4) is there but you have to learn to deal with it. A lot of other 50s and various other lenses have it. It's nothing extraordinary. It's a design trade off for that incredible look of the OOF areas. It is so much better than the 85 and even a little better than the 135 in that department, for my taste. Only the 200 2 IS creates more spectacular background blur , for me Smile.
It is a lot easier to handhold and focus in poor light than the 85 L. I prefer it's colors/contrast to the 35 L, and also I prefer it for close portraits in tight/crowded spaces.
I just wish it was sharper between 1.2 and 1.6 (1.8), even though I will not hesitate to shoot it there, if needed.
Too much ignorant bad hype about this lens.
Probably initial copies from Canon were more problematic, as I've tested 3 copies in 8 months before ending up with this one, which was significantly better than all others. I would be reluctant to buy it if I didn't have MF adjustment on my camera Smile. Well, after discovering this feature on my late 1d3 I will not buy another AF camera without it, as it makes all my AF lenses look so much better Smile.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, 4 stop IS, f2 with amazing resolution .
It made me sell my 300 2.8 IS (I wish I could have afforded to keep both :) ).

Everything said and written about this lens is true, and then some Smile . It makes all my other L primes (past or present ) (except the 300 2.8 is, of course Smile ) look mediocre (and I own/have owned all L primes/zooms from 14 2.8 mk2 to 300 2.8 IS Smile.
Comparing it to the 300 in terms of IQ, makes it impossible to draw a winner, even though I might have had a slight personal preference for the 300 reach/perspective/colors. But in terms of sheer practicality (f2, 4 stop IS, more compact, better layout) the 200 is a clear winner.
Maybe the 300 is a little bit better with the 2x extender, but only by a very small margin - I will use my 200 with the 2x, if necessary, without hesitation. With the 1.4x the 200 may have a little edge over the 300 with 1.4x, but the differences at this level are incredibly subtle.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing lens. No other words to describe it.
I wish it had the new 4 stop IS like my 200 2 IS does :).

I couldn't justify both the 200 2 IS and this amazing lens (simply from a purely economic POV, if I could afford it, I would have definitely kept both Smile ).

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: May 2, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: I already rated this camera as being superb. Both mine are :). I never thought I would give up my 1d mk3 ....
Some, but not critical for me.

I just wanted to point out the possible troll review from Jan Bart. Registered 2nd of May, 0 posts, and he throws in some crappy senseless, unexplained "discovery" regarding the least questionable aspect of the 5d2 : IQ. AF, shutter lag, viewfinder blackout, all the usual suspects would have been a lot easier to digest.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Mar 6, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: This is an update of my previous review : I was initially planning on keeping my 1d3 along the 5d2. The superior IQ, ergonomics (for me), vastly superior cropping possibilities for my primes only shooting style, and few better features (LCD, Quick AF during lLiveVIew, etc) made me ditch my beloved 1d3 for a second 5d2.
The 5d2 remains a dust magnet. It is my dirtiest DLSR to date. I hate especially the viewfinder dust/dirt that is very hard to clean (it sticks on the pentaprism ).

see above

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Feb 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, overall sharpness, resolution, distortion control, weight, size
Price, some CA

This lens is amazing, for anything from landscapes to tight spaces and unusual perspectives.
No Canon zoom can compete with it in terms of color, resolution, sharpness and distortion control (I owned/ used extensively all recent Canon UWA zooms from EF-S 10-22 to EF 16-35 mk2).
It cured my Nikon 14-24 lust as distortion is a lot better corrected, color is better and the images it produces still have an overall wow factor that, for me, the Nikon is still missing. The Nikon is probably slightly sharper in the edges, but the prime is no slouch either Smile. And it is so much more portable than the zoom as it is both lighter and smaller. But of course, you will need a 24 1.4 mk2 prime to complete your wide angle package as, even though surprisingly versatile, the 14 prime can be way too wide, many times.
Anyway, I love this lens . And I don't even regret the high price I had to pay for it Smile.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Jan 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ ; IQ ; did I mention IQ ? Superb 21 mp detail, superb 3200 ISO, FF.
None for the money.

Coming from a 1d3 I expected 2 major areas of disappointment : AF and ergonomics. AF is definitely slower than 1 series, with all the weaknesses that everyone is obsessing about, but it's perfectly useable. You'll probably miss more shots because you're a bad photographer than because of inappropriate AF. Remember, this in neither a sport nor a BIF body, it never was, nobody promoted it as such, nobody designed it as such. There are other tools for those applications.
Ergonomics - 2 nice surprises : my 85 1.2 mk2 and 200 2.8 mk2 balance in my big hands a lot better with this body than with my 1d3, which results in definitely lower shutter speeds for hand holding the 2 lenses. Nice, little, unexpected bonus Smile.
I'm in love with IQ. It's amazing, in this day and age, to be able to get this photographic tool, for this amount of money.
I'm going to keep also my 1d3, just in case you were wondering Smile. The two make a very sweet and powerful combination.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Nov 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Someone should delete both my post and that of the previous reviewer who, by mistake probably, added a review for the 400 4 DO lens, in the 200 2 is lens section.
See above.

See above.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Review Date: Sep 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ ; build quality ; superb high ISO noise abilities ; amazing color
1d series is heavy and cumbersome for a newcomer to the pack. But the IQ makes it all worthwhile. No Quick AF in LiveView Mode.

All I can say is WOW. It's amazing what this camera can do. First of all it will seriously kick 5D - 40D butt. And I mean seriously. 2 main things in terms of pure IQ : 1. the 14 bit RAWs from the 40D and this camera are simply not the same thing, even if they shouldn't be so far apart, they simply aren't in the same league 2. even though the 5d is an amazing camera, in terms of pure color rendition it doesn't stand a chance, and in terms of ISO performance, the 1d is definitely 1 1/2 stop better.
If you're a jpeg shooter, you cannot afford to miss on this camera : the 2 slot recording abilities means a smoother, quicker, more effective workflow, with constant raw backup. And the jpegs themselves, are incredible. If you're a clean, technical shooter, 85% of your photos are superb, out of the camera (with personal or camera Picture Styles, it doesn't really matter (:).
Mine is a 56xxx series, and it doesn't have (for the moment (: ) any static focus shifts, other AF issues or lens compatibility problems (my 35 1.4 L is not in yet, but with the 16-35 2.8 mk2 L, 85 1.2 mk2 L, 135 2.0 L , and 70-200 4 IS L it shows no problems whatsoever). Ok, I'm not much of an action shooter so I don't think I'll put the AF in AI Servo mode through the paces anytime soon.
But that's not why I bought the camera. The IQ is simply amazing, multizone metering coupled with spot on AF point is excellent, and ISO safety shift is what Auto ISO should be on the other EOS cameras with this feature.
I'm so sorry for the early (and not so early) adopters of this camera, it's not at all ok what happened to them . I wish they could all enjoy this camera as much as I do.