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Nikon D800

Review Date: Sep 9, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: impressive resolution, high flash sync shutter speed, overall ergonomics and control layout, mirror lock-up and exposure delay accessibility.

I have used the D800 for a year now and I am still amazed at the resolution and shadow detail compared to my former Canon 5Dmkii and even Nikon D700.
The new camera feels a bit slower than the D700 but I do not take sports or action photos so for my city and landscape subjects the D800 is the best camera I have owned.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Aug 21, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: resolution, color, dynamic range
ergonomics, MLU,

This camera paired with the 135mm f2L, 35mm f1.4 L and 50mm f1.4 USM is amazing and at the current close-out price the 5D mkii is a bargain.
I do not take action photos so speed is no drawback for my photographic needs.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: May 22, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $800.00

Pros: Fast focus, high contrast, brilliant colors, no distortion, great resolution.

Years ago I used this lens on my former 40D and was amazed how different my images were compared to my 17-40mm L. This year, while on vacation in Medellín, Colombia, I used another EF 135mm f2 mounted on a 5Dmkii and I was amazed. Colombia. Wildlife shots, landscape, portraits - a perfect lens on full frame DSLR.

Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S NIKKOR

Review Date: Apr 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness, nice contrast, adequate focus speed, relatively low distortion, very well built

The 35mm f1.4 AF-S G lens has replaced the 60mm f2.8 AF-S G as my walk around, normal lens, filling the focal length gap between my 14-24mm and 70-200mm Nikkors. Focus seems slightly slower than the other lenses in my arsenal but I do not take action photos. Being a bit expensive for my budget, a few of my other items had to be sold in order to purchase it.

Canon EOS 50D

Review Date: Feb 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: NIce LCD

As a former Canon XTi and 40D owner, this review of the 50D is based on a used camera body, now a bargain at less than 1/2 its original selling price, even less than what I sold Canon 40D for a few years ago. Last year I tried another used 50D (selling for $150 more) l and found the noise too be very visible @ ISO 400 outside on a cloudy day. Now with firmware version 1.0.7 and ALR3 I have taken handheld shots at ISO 1600, AV mode, AWB, autofocus, with good results. I might be inclined to like the controls of this camera because it is not too unfamiliar having used Canons for a few years. It is not quite as ergonomic as my Nikon but it is still a nice, lightweight, second body. I prefer the 50D build over the Rebel series, except for the location of the on/off button; important features are the 1/250 flash synch, MF lens adjustment, and a very useable LCD (something the 40D lacked). As far as 50D vs 40D image quality, they are close enough for my needs - the newer model's improved ease of use is a major plus.

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great color, very low distortion considering the FOV
Unable to use with filters

Years ago I liked my old Nikon 28 f3.5 AI , Canon FD 24mm, and more recently a Canon EF 17-40 L but this lens is something else...

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent color and resolution, fast auto focus
lens hood feels too tight

I love this lens for outdoor natural lighting photos with my 40D - very sharp, beautiful colors, and precise fast focus.

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Oct 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $388.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ultra sharp images, great colors, easy manual focus, size weight - good as general photography lens also.
Only significant drawback: can't be used on FX camera bodies.

I opted for the 60mm to fill the gap between my 17-40mm & 135mm which it did nicely; the 60mm was such a good lens that I sold my EF 100mm USM macro with no regrets. This EFS lens worked well on my former 40D, 50D cameras.

Nikon D40

Review Date: Jul 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent viewfinder, good kit lens performance, number of shots per battery, high flash sync speed, price.
Plastic lens mount but for the price, who cares?

This is the second digital camera that I bought for my wife; the first was a 5MP Koni-Minolta P&S. Years later after buying myself a DSLR, I found her P&S frustratingly slow and the lens at the wide setting not wide enough. Since she liked using the P&S optical viewfinder more than the LCD and was satisfied with the image quality, I imagined that she would find the more modern D40 to be a vast improvement. As I had thought, she is thrilled with the difference in speed, ease of use, and image quality and I am amazed at how well the 18-55 kit lens performs. At the current price, the D40 is less expensive than some advanced fixed mount digital cameras, has an excellent optical viewfinder and a kit lens with a wider angle than many P&S cameras.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

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

Pros: Fast precise focus, sharp, contrasty images

Gives me the reach for distance shots and close focus capability for portraits - fast focus, very sharp, nice color and contrast; the combo of 135L & 17-40 L lenses meets my modest photographic needs.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Sep 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent colors and good detail when used w/my Rebel XTI

It is impossible for me to compare this lens to my only other zoom lens, a used Nikkor 24-105D that I used with a Nikon N90 film camera. I didn't particularly like that lens for some reason; it was sharp w/some distortion but I sold it for exactly what it cost me. Mounted on the Rebel XTi the Canon 17-40L is my landscape/general photography lens and any distortion at the wide end does not concern me; for a reasonable price (compared to the 16-35 L), it is just what I needed to complement my Canon 100mm USM macro.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Sep 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice colors and very sharp when used w/Rebel XTi - I am amazed at the details revealed in handheld, available light, close-up shots of plants.
Makes my zoom lens photos look not so sharp...

Canon EOS Rebel (300D)

Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent color and detail at default settings, very quiet operation, feels very much like my former film SLR cameras.
None so far

As a former owner of an all mechanical pre-N Canon F1 and auto-focus Nikon N90, who had been w/o a camera for 3 years, the Rebel XTi is my first digital camera and has exceded all expectations. (My only previous experience with digital had been with my wife's P&S Koni-Minolta) So far I have only used Windows Picture and Fax Viewer to look at Fine jpg. images of handheld shots taken @ full auto/default settings, auto & manual focus, close-ups and distance, sunlight and indoor w/flash, with a Canon 100mm USM macro lens (lens choice was based on opinions posted on this website) Body was purchased at Best Buy and lens at a local, family owned camera store the day we left to vacation in Maine so there wasn't any time to begin the learning curve; having dispensed with the kit lens, a wide angle prime or zoom lens is needed for scenics.