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Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

05_105mmEX_1_
Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optical quality, build
Cons:
push/pull nonsense, extending front element

The best thing about this lense is its performance when stopped down. For most macro work you are shooting at F22 or higher and the optical quality here is defintely tailored for all your bug and flower shot needs.

As a 100mm telephoto, this lense isn't worth putting on the camera. Ok, it's not entirely that bad, but buy it for macro use or shop elsewhere to meet your needs. At wider apertures the image quality isn't nearly as good as that which many other lenses will provide.

Autofocus is a bit noisy and not so quick. Lense hood is a nice include.

If you are into macro shots, this is is your lense. If you are looking for a do-it-all 100mm, keep looking.


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, optical quality.
Cons:
None.

Best wide angle option for a crop camera. Pictures are very sharp, colors are great. Stopped down to F22, I've shot landscapes with excellent detail from center to edge of the frame every time.

Barrel distortion on the wide end is the nightmare you would expect from such a wide piece of glass, especially if you are relatively close to your subject. That's not specific to this lense, but it can be irritating trying to correct for it in software. Choose your subject/lense combo wisely.

Only complaint about the lense is it is pricey for EF-S. You know, as do I, EF-S is eventually going to be an obsolete mount because everything will go full frame. EF-S lenses should, imo, not match the price points of their EF counterparts which have been in use for decades and will be in use for decades to come.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, build quality, optics.
Cons:
No tripod collar.

This is Canon's low priced attempt to hook you on L lenses and it will most likely work. Built like a tank, colors and contrast that are perfect, very fast autofocus. Nothing to complain about, you paid for L and you got it.

The problem with this lense is it doesn't come with everything you need to get the best use out of it. This is a long lense. No, it's not an 800mm, but it is long enough where it absolutely requires a tripod collar to achieve any degree of stability when mounted on your camera. The collar will run you another $160 new, so budget for purchasing it up front. I wasted time trying to convince myself I would only use the lense in bright daylight or that my handheld technique would be adequate, etc. Nonsense, you will need the collar and Canon is pretty lame for not including it to begin with.

Other than that, the lense itself is a winner.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, optical quality, sturdy build.
Cons:
None.

Excellent lense. Sharp as a tack, great colors, great contrast. People who post about focus issues at 1.8 or with the 50mm primes need to learn how to use them. On a crop camera this is a great portrait lense and the bokeh is very fine. Price is right, autfocus is quick and quiet. It's all been said before, this is just another thumbs up for a great piece of glass.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Sep 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, optical quality.
Cons:
None.

Great lense. Cheaply built but what's on the inside is very good stuff. Priced low enough that if I were to drop it and crack the housing I would simply go buy another the same day. This is a nice lense for shooting subjects that present a lot of fine detail. I have used it to shoot a number of architectural subjects. It also makes a nice lense for portaits once you get a feel for handling the very thin DOF. Assuming you get past the point of only having the nose in focus or one eye in and one eye out of focus, you'll love the bokeh behind your subject and wonder how Canon can release such a great little piece of equipment for so little money. On a recent vacation, with a bag full of glass, I found myself swapping between this and the 85mm 90% of the time.

 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Sep 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Colors, contrast, IS.
Cons:
Extending front.

I'm actually a big fan of prime lenses, though oddly enough this is my second L lense and is a zoom like the other I own. I bought this lense to fill the gap between my 10-22 and my 50mm and went with a zoom rather than the 35mm prime simply to add a nice walkaround lense to my bag. Till now, I've pretty much swapped the 50mm and 85mm to cover most everything I shoot.

Tried this side by side with the 24-70 F2.8. Much lighter, the IS is a nice feature, image quality is the same. If you want a portrait lense, you can supplement the 24-105 with a 50mm and 85mm prime (on a crop) and you are all set and will have the nice, creamy looking bokeh you are after.

No complaints at all about the lense. It is expensive but you get what you pay for.