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Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

Review Date: Feb 21, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness price contrast
slow AF in AI-servo

This lens takes great photos; super sharp and extremely nice micro-contrast; nearly as good as the Canon 24-70Lv2.

I tried to use this for indoor sports due to its speed. However it was a mistake. Tracking AF using AI-servo is not very good, so I would not recommend it to shoot any moving subjects.

For the price, I would take it over the 35L for static subjects.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 1, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: IS, range, build
everything else

If someone want 1 lens on a full-frame camera, this lens is most often the answer at FM. However, I couldn't give this recommendation.

At 24mm, there is too much distortion, and it appears to be not as "wide" as 24-70f/2.8.

It is also very soft after 70mm. Sharpness is not that great at the rest of the zoom range also.

If someone wants to buy a FF and put a slow f/4 on it; I'd recommend buying a crop camera and get a few fast primes or 17-55 f/2.8 or 15-85

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS

Review Date: Dec 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, f/2, sharpness, contrast, light weight, beautiful bokeh
strong vignetting

This is a great little lens. I settled with this over the 35L and sigma f/1.4 because of IS and the light weight. I am willing to tradeoff 1 stop at this aperture & FL (e.g. won't do it at f/2.8 or at 50mm) with IS.

The pictures are very sharp, color rendition is extremely good; comparable to my 24-70II. This is a L quality lens w/o the L build and sealing.

The bokeh is excellent with the 8-blade, better than the old (5-blade) and even the 35L IMO. The 35L has busy bokeh while the 35f/2 is smooth.

The main issue is vignetting, it is very noticeable. I usually overexpose about 2/3 stop in order to cut down the darkness around the corner and fix overall exposure in PP.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jun 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, fast AF, great for events & kids candids, weight reduction from v1
price, no IS, lock button useless

This is the best and most useful zoom I owned. Prime quality contrast, color and sharpness.

I use this lens for multiple assignments for my kids school events. It nails focus quickly and produces awesome pictures for all events. Super sharp, high micro-contrast and awesome color.

I wish the lock button can be used at all zoom length so I can lock the lens at 1 focal length but it only works at 24mm.

At this price, it should have IS. But the weight reduction from v1 makes it much easier to carry.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Review Date: Jun 20, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast and accurate AF, build, full frame, light weight, image quality, silent mode
price, black AF points, reliability

This is the best camera I ever owned. Takes fantastic pictures and nails the focus 95+% of the time for my usage.

The fact that it breaks with my 200f/2 and I have to send it back is a hassle.

My shutter died after 400 shots, have to send it back twice to get it fixed.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, unbelievable color, contrast and bokeh; excellent 280mm f/2.8 with 1.4x TC III

Sharpest lens I ever owned. The background blur and bokeh is unreal. If you want the best, this is the best.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: May 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast AF, bokeh, IS, sharpness

Super fast AF, the 4-stop IS works as advertized. The lens is very sharp, works great with 1.4x TC. Absolutely no complaint, worth the full price.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Dec 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, contrast, sharpness, IS, covers the general purpose focal length on a 1.6x body.
No lens hood included, focus ring too loose, slight vignetting at 17mm f/2.8. Should have been an L and built like it at this price. Dust.

This is the highest quality general purpose lens I have used on a 1.6x body.

At overlapping focal lengths, my 17-55mm f/2.8 is sharper than the 16-35mm f/2.8L, the 24-70 mm f/2.8L and the 24-105 f/4L lenses I used to own.

I can shoot at a shutter speed of focal-length/5 with IS on this lens. So at 17mm, I can get sharp pics at 1/3sec. For me IS is very important, it lets me (1) captures more ambient light in low light indoors, and (2) get more depth of field with slower f-stops without using a tripod.

At this price, I'm a little disappointed with the non-L built quality and no lens hood included. But once you see the photos, you will forget these quickly.

Dust is an issue, I noticed some, but they also seems to go away.