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Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_02_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: price / performance / build very good
Cons:
IQ lacks subtlety the look is a little heavy handed

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX
Comment
I got this to replace the 50 f1.8 mkII that I broke. I wanted a Cannon 50 macro but these where unobtainable for over 6 months in the UK so I got the Sigma instead. I use the lens as a light, fixed FL walk around. It has done that job very well.

The IQ is generally good to very good. However .. all my Canon lenses have a family look . a light delicacy of touch a subtle glow. In comparison this Sigma looks more immediately impressive high impact..... but unsubtle and ponderous or heavy handed.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: light / good handling, great IQ, good IS, works fine with 1.4 Extender II, fine build.
Cons:
none it really is that good!

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

70-200 f4 L IS
Comment
This is an exceptionally good lens. The light weight makes it easy to handle and the IS really makes me look a much better shooter than I am !

Used hand held for plants and gardens, with 1.4 Extender for flowers and landscapes. Also used wide open for low light grab portraits This lens somehow always flatters both me and my subjects.

IQ in absolute terms is very good indeed. For a zoom, IQ is spooky / miraculous! Only a very slight hardness in some out of focus areas stops me from forgetting it is a zoom and mistaking it for a prime.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: good walk around / single lens solution, fine build, good IQ for range. IS is a real benefit.
Cons:
bit heavy with front heavy balance, complex distortion at some FL's, some IQ inconsistency

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

24-105 L IS
Comment
Overall a very well judged set of compromises. The IS is a real aid to getting sharp pictures. For some this may be all the lens they will ever need. Over half my keepers are taken with this lens.

Used hand held for walk around, gardens, and most everything really Typically used at f8 to f16.

IQ is good overall and about all one can reasonably expect. A3 prints no problem A2 with a little extra pp work. Some CA - ease to correct. Occasional purple fringe has to be painted out !


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: good range, fine build, good weigh / balance, good IQ, reasonable price.
Cons:
some IQ inconsistency

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

17-40 L
Comment
Overall a really useful focal length range and a joy to handle and use.

Used hand held for gardens, and scenic Used on a tripod for landscape and night shots. Typically used at f8 to f16.

IQ generally very good. A3 prints no problem A2 with a little extra pp work. Some CA - ease to correct. At wider end occasionally - some complex distortion that I am unable to correct with CS or DXO.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: price / performance fantastic, cheep
Cons:
a little too cheap needs better build.

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

50 f1.8 mkII
Comment
I got this because I wanted a light, fixed FL walk around lens. The lens delivered IQ higher than all reasonable expectation. But . I stupidly put a lens hood on it. DO NOT make the same mistake. When the inevitable knock happened the hood exerted more leverage than the flimsy plastic construction could stand. I tore the front off the lens.

I bought cheep and I had to buy twice to replace. The replacement is a Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX


 
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

ef400mmf_56_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fantastic IQ when used properly, fine build, light weight / good handling, very good value
Cons:
none when used by those who understand and accept it for what it is.

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

400 f5.6 L
Comment
This is an old lens in design terms, but recent DSLR high ISO performance gains make it ever more applicable to today's photography. Mine has done more to improve my technique than all the other lenses put together. If I just point and shoot I get what I deserve fuzzy nothings. But if I put the ISO high enough to ensure a proper shutter speed, shoot properly, and give it just a sniff of sweet light ... bang knock-out images which are not possible with anything else at less than three times the price.

Used hand held for wildlife, BIF, landscapes.

IQ is fabulous if I do my bit. Heavy cropping to make up for lack of reach no problem.




 
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

ef_180_35_1_
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: the best IQ of all my lenses, bomb proof build.
Cons:
a bit heavy.

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

180 L Macro
Comment
It will take me years to explore all that this wonderful lens is capable of. It takes my photography places I never dreamed of.

Used on a tripod for indoor flower shots - stack focus. Used on a monopod for outdoor flower and plant shots also stack focus. The results exactly mirror the quality of my input the lens always delivers If I let it!

IQ is the best of all my lenses fabulous! A tip for anyone who feels that their copy may not be sharp just take some normal telephoto shots stuff where the limited DOF of macro will not get in the way.