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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

sigma50-14jpg
Review Date: Dec 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast accurate focus in low light. BOKEH.
Cons:
$150 MORE than Canon "equivalent"

If you're looking at this lens, you're obviously looking at it for the buttery bokeh. Why else would you purchase a 3rd party lens for MORE than a Canon or NIkon 50 1.4? I came from a 50 1.8, and while it performed great, I wanted that beautiful bokeh I've been seeing people post. My lens is delivery wonderful results. I couldn't be happier, unless of course it was priced the same as Canon. Sigma knows they've got a kick ass winner here and they're going to charge accordingly. Wake up Canon!

 
Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Dec 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SIX YEAR WARRANTY. Fast accurate focus. Nice colors
Cons:
Older copies might not work properly on a 5DMKII. Be careful buying used.

I bought this lens six years ago for my 10D. It worked very well through a 20D, a 30D, a 40D and then I mounted it on a 5DMKII. It became very unreliable. I found my sales receipt, sent it in, and two weeks later it came back working better than new! Five years nine months and FULLY covered. Why the heck won't Canon do that with their product?

Anyway, for the price you can't beat it. 28 might be a bit long for a crop body. I used to run into problems when shooting receptions on tight dance floors. However, a 10-22 paired with this lens makes a nice reception hall combo.


 
Canon Speedlite 580EX II

580exii
Review Date: Feb 11, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Fast recycle. PC synch port. Weather proofing.
Cons:
Locking shoe not as fool proof as manual screw down shoe. Exposure seems to be off a lot more than my 580 I flashes.

I have two 580 flashes, one of which needs to go in for service due to a messed up zoom mechanism. So I decided to purchase the 580II. I shot with it this past weekend and was very disappointed. Numerous times the flash switched from ETTL to TTL and was blowing out everything. I finally figured out the locking shoe mechanism was losing contact. Exposure also seemed to be very inconsistant. Far from being an improvement over the 580 I. I spent the night chimping every single shot. I think this shoe issue is going to become an issue for many more people. Time will tell.


 
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

l217_efs1755
Review Date: Jul 1, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:
update: IS broke after less than three months of use "error 01" and crazy shaking. Having TWO IS lenses in the shop at the same time, the other being the 70-200 2.8 IS, really sucks. It gives me very little confidence in the durability of Canon's IS system. Particullarly when Canon only has a one year warranty.

I purchased this lens after returning a Tamron 17-50 2.8 because of it's very loud focusing mechanism. I wish I would have kept both lenses for at least one party shoot to compare quality.

90 percent of the time this lens earns a "10". But when it comes to reception shots or night shots with DJ lights and/or street lamps and car lights, this lens becomes a gamble. Sometimes a flare adds artistic qualities to a photo, but when it's a big green dot accross Grandpa Joe's face durning the Daddy Daughter dance, it's a big pain in the rear. I'm learning to either shoot around (or chimp a lot) the deficiencies of this lens. But for close to a grand, I would think I wouldn't have to do that. Prior to this lens, I used the 17-85 IS at receptions. I had no flare issues. I guess it might be the nature of a fast lens.



 
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

l217_efs1755
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great handheld shots, excellent sharpness, color, contrast.
Cons:
FLARE!

I purchased this lens after returning a Tamron 17-50 2.8 because of it's very loud focusing mechanism. I wish I would have kept both lenses for at least one party shoot to compare quality.

90 percent of the time this lens earns a "10". But when it comes to reception shots or night shots with DJ lights and/or street lamps and car lights, this lens becomes a gamble. Sometimes a flare adds artistic qualities to a photo, but when it's a big green dot accross Grandpa Joe's face durning the Daddy Daughter dance, it's a big pain in the rear. I'm learning to either shoot around (or chimp a lot) the deficiencies of this lens. But for close to a grand, I would think I wouldn't have to do that. Prior to this lens, I used the 17-85 IS at receptions. I had no flare issues. I guess it might be the nature of a fast lens.


 
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

05_03_1_
Review Date: Mar 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great price, fast focus, bokeh...
Cons:
none

Up until 2 months ago, I owned this lens. Like an idiot, I packed it in my suitcase rather than carrying it on the plane and it went bye bye. I debated with myself whether to replace it with the same, or go with the king kong of 70-200s, the Canon 70-200 2.8is. I spent the extra $1k and guess what? I think in some respects, I liked the Sigma better. Yeah, the Canon lets me shoot at lower shutter speeds, but unless your subject is relatively still, it does you no good. If you're going to use this lens for sports where you need to get your shutter speed up, save yourself some dough and get the Sigma. You won't be sorry.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Aug 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: excellent range, IS works as advertised, sturdy build, great colors/contrast, OK Macro.
Cons:
No hood or case include, not 2.8, expensive.

I agonized over this lens for weeks before purchasing it with the 20D. Some of the reviews had me spooked but I just couldn't find an equivalent lens for the money. I also own a Tamron 28-75 2.8 but was fearing that 28 wouldn't be wide enough for table shots at a Bar Mitzvah I was to shoot. After using it for a week now I can say that I am happy with the purchase. The only real draw back for me is that it's not a 2.8 lens. I would not want to shoot a dark church/no flash wedding solely with this lens. However it worked wonderfully at the reception and dance I shot this past weekend. I used both the Tamron and the 17-85 with bounce flash and I believe the 17-85 focused faster.

Bottom line, if you want the convenience of zoom, IS, and don't have the money for fast L zoom glass, or just want a lens to travel with, then I think the 17-85 is a wise investment.
Tell


 
Sigma Electronic Flash EF 500 DG Super

EF_500_DG_Super_Flash
Review Date: Jul 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great price, lots of power and features.
Cons:
The Sigma cancels FP flash mode if the shutter speed drops to the camera’s X-sync speed or below. I've been nailed several times with this. Luckily I'm a major "chimper" and I only ended up with a few blown out shots. With the Canon flashes you have to instruct it to cancel FP mode. No external power input.



 
Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Jan 12, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: fast focus, cheap
Cons:
Soft

This lens is fine for just having fun. Forget about doing anything professional with it. The ratio of sharp to soft shots is just too unpredicatable.