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Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

image_copy
Review Date: Dec 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: solid build, reasonable price, effective autofocus, sharpness
Cons:
none

I tested this lens focusing on maple leaves swaying in the wind, including with outer, non-crosstype AF points on my D3. The lens found focus every time. It's not as fast as a sports zoom, but that cannot be expected. Sharpness, bokeh, contrast are all up there with the best.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Dec 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: speed, build
Cons:
freaking expensive

I paid a lot for this as I bought it locally, paid sales tax and list price, but every so often I do that to support my brick and mortar retailers, to whom I go in order to check out new products.
Anyway, the lens works just fine, as it should. There is a focus shift as amply described, it happens with other fast lenses, even ones from Leitz, and it really is no big deal. If you want to shoot macros, get a macro lens. This one is faster than the 1.4 or 1.8, focuses more precise than the 1.4, has USM, and produces very pleasing pics. I also have the 1.8, which is great for keeping in the car. They are similar at slower apertures, just like the 1.4 is.
Summary: The only reason NOT to get this one over the 1.4 is price Smile


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark III

1DmkIII
Review Date: Oct 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: solid, Liveview, quiet and fast, easy controls
Cons:
lack of easy 'reset' function, price, Histogram has no visible borders, conspicuous

Coming from a 20D I like the feel fo the Pro-body a lot more, reminds me of past experience with an F1N. Liveview is actually very useful in some situations: I was shooting a stage production (cabaret), rather than squinting for long periods through the finder I put the camera in liveview mode after focusing (note: only works if performer remains static) then I magnified in to 10x and had just the head of the actor in view. Relaxedly waiting for some drama in his/her expression, I would then click off. Similar to working with a camcorder, I should think.
Focus seems to work as long as I do it right, high ISO is fantastic compared to 20D, and I can actually read the menus on the LCD. Somebody more knowledgable than me pointed out that Nikons have an easy way to reset ISO, WB and similar stuff which is easily forgotten from the previous day's shooting. I agree completely. Also, that histograms are not properly bordered is not my revelation, but I strongly agree.
Price should be about $500 to $1000 lower, I think Canon is milking us.