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Tokina 24-200mm AT-X 242 AF

Review Date: Sep 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Build quality; price; 24-200mm; fast and quiet AF
Has to be stopped (good from f8 on), and it is also very heavy.

I used this lens for a while with a Canon digital reflex.
It has a good quality-price ratio, it is build like a tank, has a fast and quiet Af which makes it good for street photography.
On the contrary, its major problem is that it needs to be stopped: photos are sharp enough from f8 on only (but are really ok from f11). This means that you have to use longer shutters and with such an heavy lens (more or less 700g) it can be a big problem, and at least it was for me. This lens many times requires a tripod, because I am not able to shot at 200mm at 1/30 or 1/20 handheld with such a heavy tank.
It's a pity because if it got sharp images at f4-f5.6, it would be really a great objective considering the price.
Finally, even if colours are not as beautiful as the Sigma105 f2.8 ones (or the Canon 17-40 f4), with simple PS works you can obtain good colours even from your Tokina 24-200.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Aug 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, also very silent, build quality is great but at the same time it is reasonably light and small, photos are always sharp, colours are ok
Too big lens hood, expensive filter

I am vey happy with this lens. I use it on my Canon 20d (1,6x crop), so it becomes more or less a 27-64mm, which means that it gives a me a good focal range: from wide angle lens to "normal" lens (50mm) and something more.
The thing I like most is the AF: fast as a thought.. I mean, you press the button and the subjedt is IMMEDIATELY focused. No lags. Street photographers know that this is a real treasure.
My evaluation is now enriched by the fact that yesterday I bought a Canon 28-70 L USM, which is fast too, but not as fast as the 17-40.
Moreover the 17-40 USM is so silent, nobody can hear it.
The results (photos) are also very good ones: 100% of the photos are well focused, always sharp, with good colours, even if they are not the superb colours I get from my prime lens Sigma 105mm. But after all, a 17-40 (for film) or a 27-64 (APS size digital sensor), is not a lens for protrait, so this does not worry me.
Other pros: it is reasonably small and also light (which is good for handheld work, being a f4 instead of a f2.8).
Cons: the biggest one concerns the lens hood, so big, seems a weird joke, and you never find room enough in your bags for it.
The filter I bought to protect the lens is a bit expensive, it costs more or less the 6-7% of the whole lens! But as we are talkingh about a 600$ lens, if someone decides such an investment, he probably can afford the filter too.
I suggest this lens to every Canon SLR owner.

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

Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Royal Sharpness, wondeful colours (like a painter), lovely impressionistic bokeh, perfect macro work, light to carry in your bag.
AF can be sometimes very slow and very noisy, and can search longtime, especially with poor light

Can someone fall in love with a lens which has surely some big cons?
Yes and not only for the price but most of all for the quality of image that you can obtain with this Sigma lens.
I use it on a Canon 20d and I own other two lenses (17-40 Canon L f4, Tokina 24-200), but the colours, the sharpness are even better than my L Lens (even of course the comparison should be made with the Canon EF 100mm f2, but I never used it) and obviously the gap with Tokina 24-200 is big like the ocean.
It is great for portraits, but I used it also for details shot during amateur reportages.
The image can be so extraordinary .. that they give you happiness and surprise at the same time (I print 8x12 and larger).
Even on a digital SLR Canon (1.6 factor) becomes a 168 mm, surely not a walkaround lens, it is my fav objective.
I used it also for macro work and it helped me to obtain my best photos.
The estending front element for me is not a problem.
Other people think that it has a great build quality and probably it has, but as I use two masterpiece of build quality like the Canon 17-40 L and the "tank" Tokina 24-200, I feel that the Sigma is more "plastic made" in comparison with other two, but nothing that really worries me!
On the contrary, it is a lighter lens, which - together with f2.8 - helps you in handheld shots.
I can only say "thanks Sigma for this product".