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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

ts243_1_
Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build quality, focus ring is very smooth. Ability to change shift to pano wide, or stitch side by side portrait is amazing. Very versatile lens, indespensible for architecture. No noticeable distortion, very sharp as well.
Cons:
Mild CA, but can be fixed in CS2. Not a 20 or 21mm, even 24 on FF can be limiting, but probably is the standard WA for FF.

For the price, it's not terribly expensive for the amount of work you can do with it, and that you can't do perspective correction with ANY other Canon lens (on the WA side).

I bought this originally for architecture stuff, knowing how much I'd need the shift. Boy is it amazing. I read and read about this lens, the techniques, but nothing helps you more than having it. I was worried about the learning curve, but once you understand how it works, it's amazing. Others swear by CS2 for perspective control, but I've found that it isn't nearly as superior as doing it in camera. Not only is the quality higher, but you don't lose resolution by doing it.

The lens is quite sharp, and probably just as sharp as most other lenses I've tried. I only use this lens from the f11-22 range, and inside that range it's phenomenal. The CA is the only thing that I don't like about the lens, but when the work is done, you can't see it in printed material. If it gets that bad, you can always fix that in PS.

For anyone serious about doing interiors for homes or designers, this lens is a must. I don't know how I'd get perspective control on a crop body as this isn't nearly wide enough on a crop. It's at my limit of wide angle on FF, which I think is a perfect FL. I look forward to getting the 45 TSE as well in the future. I have not compared it to the Olympus 24, but someday maybe I'll have both to do the comparison.


 
Canon EOS 5D

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Review Date: Jul 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, Image quality is the best out there. Full-frame really changes the way you shoot. L lenses not needed but really impact your IQ to something better. 12.8mp is really really nice, faster AF than the 20D and much much more accurate. I have a lot more keepers with this lens. The gip as well is very nice and highly recommended for this camera. NO complaints. Bright large viewfinder, multiple folders, large LCD screen.
Cons:
Direct print button is useless, only 1/200s max with flash. Wish it had more CFs but they are good. No firewire (not that I would use it) and no GPS support. This is a landscape camera and no GPS. Nothing that I gripe about, just something it doesn't have.

Compared to the 20D, this is the biggest step possibly (unless you can afford the 1DsII).

The reasons I chose this camera over the 1Dm2 are many, and I'm very glad I did.

-Full frame adds another dimension to my pictures and the image quality just blows me away on this camera. I read many many reviews before I purchased it and everyone said that there is just something about it's images that just make it look more pleasing (even a hands down on the 1DsII). That was a big kicker for me.
-AF is much faster and more accurate. I can tell the difference and it focuses really fast in low-light. Playback time is really fast (although you should use fast CF cards as slower ones tend to be a lot slower).
-Build quality is excellent and when paired with the grip, it's just a great combo. Feels like a rock (not a heavy brick though like the 1 series). Buy a hand strap and it's a wonderful camera to hold.
-12.8mp really helps when you crop a lot. When you do full-frame portraits the detail resolved (with 135L and 85L primes) is just amazing. Way better (atleast to me) than the 20D.
-I didnt need the weather sealing and extra build of the 1 series, but I'm still impressed with the 5D's build.
-The UI was very similar if not identical to the 20D which I liked a lot. Custom image parameters are easier to use, the Picture Styles are really neat to use (but a lot to learn about each one). They are much larger files, but the quality is worth it. Custom functions are great.
-Oh yes, the extra large viewfinder is a MAJOR bonus over the 20D. Every time I pick up a 20D/30D it just feels like a toy now. The 2.5" LCD is a big plus as well, and is a high quality screen.
-The direct print button is pretty much pointless, wish they had made it a custom button (like mirror lock-up).
-The shutter is a much more quiet than the 20D and significantly different than the 1 series. Helps out in concert halls and performances, no one can hear it.
-Exposure is always great. Spot metering has really added a lot to my shooting style now that I have it. The 5D's dynamic range is exceptional and retains a lot of data in the shadows.
-ISO performance is unmatched out of ANY camera out there, at the moment. ISO 1600 is hardly visible in some instances, don't really use 3200 that much, but the ISO 50 is also great when you want to open up the aperture all the way outside.

By far a professional camera that delivers. I have had no problems or complaints with this camera. It is everything it has made to be. I won't be switching for a long time. Thank you Canon for a great product.


 
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

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Review Date: Feb 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $440.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build is awesome, HSM is fast and accurate, sharp lens! Good contrast and tone quality, awesome image quality, next to my primes! Color, zoom ring is very smooth, focus is very smooth, finish is a good quality.
Cons:
Slower aperture (but I have come to know that even at very slow shutter speeds at 10mm isn't very hard to get a good shot), none else

After just few days I have come to really love this lens. One of the things I WAS looking for was a semi-fisheye lens for creativity. This lens controls the distortion well, but at 10mm you get some distortion (what do you expect at 10mm?)

The build quality is 2nd to none. Zoom ring, focus ring are silky smooth like my L, and HSM is amazingly fast and accurate. Almost makes me want to get another HSM lens.

Image quality is very nice for this lens, contrast is very good. Fstopjojo's test on this lens was very well, and I thought that it was a bit superior to the Canon equivalent 10-22, and better on sharpness too.

This lens is amazing and will be keeping it. I would prefer up to 10-30 but, this is the best you can get for your money.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast lens, build quality is excellent. Feels very good on a 20D, USM is fast and silent, can hunt a little (probably operator error). Super sharp images.
Cons:
Minimum focusing distance is rather long, 2+ feet doesn't help a lot when you are close, but at 85mm you shouldn't be awfully close to your subject anyway.

This is a fast lens! I already own the 70-200 f4L and boy is that lens a beauty. I heard a lot about the 85mm 1.8 and figured it would be nice to own, but already have that focal length covered. WOW, this lens is NICE!

USM is fast and silent, very similar to my L. AF is fast and accurate. No QC issues that I have seen. Front element does not move, bonus! This lens has awesome bokeh, very smooth and creamy, best that I have seen and used too. Don't hesitate to buy, it rocks.


 
Canon EOS 20D

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Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build, feel, ISO quality is awesome! AF is fast, larger viewfinder (than 350D), shutter. EVERYTHING
Cons:
Small LCD rather, weird location for power (not needed much if you shoot a lot). None other

After selling my 350D for this, I regret not doing it sooner (like the previous post). There are many features that I came to love after testing one, mainly was the build is a lot stronger and a lot more hefty. Feels great in your hand. The larger viewfinder is WAY easier to see in, gives a much more crisper view and easier to autofocus, AF points are a lot brighter. The image quality is AWESOME, even on .jpg. I always shoot RAW, but the .jpg wasn't bad. Custom functions were a plus, although most aren't used a whole lot. ISO boost is a help, but couldn't imagine needing to use anything more than 1600 already. This is a great camera, and if you have a 300D or a 350D, upgrade, you will love it. It feels better in your hands. The only thing I thought weird was the power switch placement, kinda out of the way (the 350D was right at your fingertip). Super camera!