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Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

l3a_copy
Review Date: Feb 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Sharp • Extremely low distortion, usually none at all! • Excellent color • Super wide angle • Moderately priced
Cons:
• Unable to mount front filters • Must be stopped down to at least f/8 for very best results

I purchased a Canon 16-35 Mark II some time back for shooting very tight spaces during interior work, but I found I wasn't using it as much as had anticipated (I generally use primes), so I sold it. Also, the very noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end was hindering its usability on occasion.

I later purchased Sigma's 12-24 for those same tight-space situations, crossing my fingers when I clicked the "Submit Purchase" button in the hope of receiving a first-rate copy of this lens.

Well, it appears I did.

The 12-24 is actually serving me better than the Canon 16-35 II did, and I use it much more often than I did the Canon. It's ever-so-lightly less sharp and less detailed than the Canon, but you'd really have to be pixel-peeping to see the difference. Once in print in magazines I would venture there's no discernible difference whatsoever in sharpness, contrast and color.

Color and contrast with the 12-24 are truly excellent ... top-notch, in fact. And the vanishingly low distortion puts this lens in a class by itself. You really have to use it to believe it. There's absolutely NO barrel distortion with this lens, even at 12mm!

I shoot 100% tripod-mounted with this lens and almost always stopped down to f/11 to f/13 max. At those settings, it's always tack sharp. Shooting larger apertures tends to introduce some loss of detail and sharpness. Images from the 12-24 also have an unexplainable "brightness" to them, and I don't mean it overexposes at a given setting compared other lenses. They simply look, well, brighter than the Canon and other wide angles I've used ... more alive, perhaps?

This lens is an exceptional value, provided you purchase it from a dealer who will let you exchange copies until you find one that matches the best descriptions and reviews of this lens. I lucked out and nailed one on the first try. Others have not not been so fortunate. There are many, many stories of photographers who went through 4, 5, 6 and 7 and 8 copies before finding one up to spec. On the other hand, you can always send your first copy to Sigma for adjusting, if need be. They're very good at it and very accommodating.

I paid $599 for mine. An amazing price for this level of optical quality.


 
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

ef28-300_35-56lisu
Review Date: Dec 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Optics • Range • Build • Versatility
Cons:

This lens is in a class by itself, a no-compromise zoom that provides no-compromise L-quality captures from wide ange to telephoto with few glitches in between.

There is simply no substitute for the Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS. The latest 10X zoom from Tamron with their version of IS is not at all comparable...not even remotely. All other 10X zooms, whether available as separate lenses or affixed to a point-and-shoot, pale by comparison.

While there might be some advantages to lenses like the 70-200 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/4L (IS and non-IS versions), particularly their wider apertures, these lenses are of no value whatsoever if the shot requires a 30mm, 45mm or 55mm focal length. And changing lenses, no matter how fast you are, is all it takes to "miss" a shot...that precious "moment in time." Some carry two cameras with different lenses attached to each. But no matter how you look at it, that's still slower than adjusting a single zoom in a fraction of a second.

The Canon 28-300 is heavy, to be sure, but not as heavy as carrying a 70-200 PLUS a 24-70 or 28-70. And once you've got the lens and camera in hand, you're bag is practically empty!...no major weight tugging on your shoulder. (ThinkTank, a new camera bag company, makes the perfect bag for the 28-300 plus camera ... a holster-style, their Model 30.)

As others here have noted, images from the 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS are tack sharp, rich in contrast and color and very, very natural looking. I agree with another reviewer who feels that this lens comes into its own a full-frame camera. I use mine on a 5D.

Highly recommended and worth every penny.


 
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

ts243_1_
Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Sharpness • Parallex correction • Ease of use
Cons:

I hope my post can offset some of the more negative reviews of this lens.

For any photographer who earns a living shooting architecture and interiors, this lens is an absolute bare minimum in that photographer's lens inventory. It's simply a lifesaver when it comes to obtaining sharp, contrasty, distortion-free shooting.

The time it saves on location (and in post-processing) in and of itself makes this lens worth its rather high price (for a manual, slower lens).

Prior to owning this lens, I had to fiddle endlessly with my tripod and ball head to get everything to line up perfectly. Most often, I found myself crouching down in the most awkward positions in order to get ceilings, walls, floors and furniture to line up parallel. With the 24mm TS-E, these alignments are obtained in no time at all. The shift capability is also a lifesaver when it comes to avoiding your own reflection or other unwanted reflection in opposite-wall mirrors or other shiny, reflective surfaces. Just a few degrees of shift solves this common problem. I have not used the tilt capability at all.

As far as image quality goes, my copy gives me tack sharp, colorful, realistic images every time ... so much so that I often use this lens hand-held as a straight 24mm prime.

Yes, it will vignette as you approach the extremes of its shift, but hardly at all til that point.

I can't imagine not having this lens. I use it on my 5D for every single interior shoot I go on. My only wish is that there were a wider version.


 
Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS

18-200OS
Review Date: Oct 30, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: • Build
Cons:
• IQ

If you can agree that the core reason for the existence (and use) of a 18-200mm lens is to take you instantly from one extreme focal length to another (as well as everything in between) with a reasonable degree of uniformity and predictability across its focal range...then this lens is pretty much a failure.

With the Sigma 18-200 OS lens, there are focal lengths between that 18 and 200 that are downright poor compared to just about any modern lens you could purchase today, including cheap kit lenses. Just take a look at the resolution charts at photozone.com and you'll see what I mean. In fact, in terms of resolution, they called this lens "something of a roller coaster ride." It is.

Using this lens on a 1.6 crop camera you can pretty much forget shooting at a standard 50mm equivalent or at 100mm equivalent, two of the most useful and most used focal lengths. At those focal lengths, center resolution is pretty bad at just about any aperture setting and terrible at the borders.

The thing is, most users of lenses like this don't "set" the lens to a particular focal length ahead of time. Like me, they look through the viewfinder and adjust the focal length to suit the scene, not really knowing what exactly what focal length they're shooting at but still expecting some kind of uniformity when they view the results. Well, with this lens, forget the uniformity. IQ-wise it's all over the place, with the worst results at the most commonly used lengths. What good is that?

If you want to know how a lens like this is SUPPOSED to perform, rent a Canon 28-300L IS for a week (a reference standard for extreme zooms). You'll be blown away with each and every shot, regardless of focal length. No, I'm not suggesting that a lens costing a few hundred dollars should perform like a lens costing over $2,000, but it should at least emulate it in some ways...similar to the way the Tamron 28-75 emulates the Canon 24-70 or the way Canon's 70-300 IS emulates Canon's 70-200 IS.

Yes, the OS works ok on Sigma's 18-200.

Big deal.


 
Tamron 24-135MM F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) Macro

24135mm_1_
Review Date: Aug 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Focal range • Color • Contrast • Sharpness • Compact
Cons:
• Barrel & pincushion distortion

I originally purchased this lens as a compact walkaround for my Canon D60 and thought the results were very good, particularly for a lens with a near-6X focal range.

I subsequently used it with my 5D during a recent vacation. I must say, I'm pretty impressed with this lens. It gave good to excellent results under any and all conditions, including shooting indoors without flash and under mixed lighting at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200. On the full frame 5D it's proven to be one of my most versatile lenses. It was quite good wide open and very, very good to excellent at f/5.6, 8 and 11.

Color fidelity is on a par with lenses costing much, much more and contrast is more than acceptable. Focus was quick and accurate. I haven't experienced any serious problems with CA or any other major artifacts. Images are quite clean and sharp, though not up to L standards. In comparison to Canon's own 28-135 IS, I think the Tamron is the better buy. The extra 4mm at the wide end comes in very handy, and I thought the Canon 28-135 images were pretty soft.

The only noticeable and objectionable trait of the Tamron 24-135 is barrel and pincushion distortions, the latter at the long end beginning at about 55-70mm. Some building and interior shots made these distortions pretty obvious. I might send it in to Tamron to see if its distortion characteristics meet spec.

Other than that, I can't complain. I purchased the lens strictly for vacations and "snapshots," and it really does the job on any of my Canon-mount cameras. During this last vacation it was on my 5D 99% of the time.


 
Canon EOS 1Ds

21Ds
Review Date: Aug 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Image Quality • Build
Cons:
• None

I will be brief: the Canon 1Ds Mark I is unique and holds a special in the world of DSLR design. I know of no other DSLR that produces files with the same level of detail, clarity and richness as the original 1Ds.

Of all the DSLRs I own and have owned in the past, the 1Ds is the closest to film in look, feeling and "depth" of images. Even the grain at higher ISOs is much more like film than the typical "noise" and blotchiness produced by the majority of digital cameras.

The current (2007) pricing of used 1Ds cameras makes it a strong competitor to the 5D. In my opinion — IQ-wise and at ISO 640 or below — the Canon 1Ds Mark I is a noticeably better camera than the 5D.


 
Canon EOS D60

D60
Review Date: Jun 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Image quality • Build • Color • Out-of-camera JPEGs • Resolution of fine detail
Cons:

After several years of working with files from quality cameras like the EOS 5D, 1Ds and Kodak SLR/c, it came as almost a shock to see just how very good-to-great the images are from the "old" Canon D60.

That's really all that needs to be said about this true classic. It's the bottom line: the D60 has, simply enough, great IQ. With a quality piece of glass up front, images are sharp, color-rich, contrasty and very, very faithful to reality...with no traces whatsoever of digital artifacts or that somewhat artificial "digital look" that affects so many cameras today, including my 5D.

This is, of course, the camera that paved the way for lower-cost DSLRs of high resolution. It's the camera that led to the Canon 10D and, subsequently, a host of subsequent Canon releases that have enabled millions of photographers to shoot hi-rez digital at moderate cost, with vanishingly low noise to boot. The D60 isn't as good in the noise department as newer Canon cameras, but it isn't bad...and it's a LOT better than its Nikon counterparts of its day as well as 99% of the current crop of point-and-shoots.

My take on the D60 is that Canon put their best thinking into it in order to guarantee its success. It HAD to succeed, and it did. Imagine what today's DSLR world would be like if it HADN'T!

In many, many ways, the D60 has image qualities found in Canon's 1Ds (the Mark 1), but with fewer pixels. If you don't intend to print larger than 11" X 17", you'll never see the difference.

D60's can be had for less than $300 these days. A real bargain....


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Jun 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Edge-to-edge sharpness • Low distortion • Color and contrast • Build
Cons:
• None

This new 16-35mm is everything everyone says it is.

I had rented the original 16-35 f/2.8L for a couple of weeks or so in order to have a reference point. Aside from what I'd considered quite minor and expected edge distortion and softness, I thought the rented lens was pretty terrific. It had far less barrel distortion than I had anticipated or was expecting. Edge softness, though, was pretty apparent as was edge "stretching." Still, I liked that lens a lot and couldn't help but wonder in what ways the Mark II version could be an improvement.

Well, it's definitely an improvement and worth every one of the few extra dollars over the Mark I.

FYI: the Mark II was recently tested and compared to two all-time favorite wide angles (Olympus 18mm & Leica 19mm primes). The new Canon came out ahead in every respect, but particularly in the areas of edge distortion & edge softness. The review can be found at http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/canon1635ii_a/c1635ii_a1.html


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Feb 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Very sharp • Very fast AF • Excellent build
Cons:

Simply superb, even when used with a 1.4 extender. An exceptional lens and an exceptional value.

 
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

ef20mmf_28usm_1_
Review Date: Jan 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Low distortion • Excellent color fidelity • Excellent contrast • Ecellent build • Fast AF • Large aperture • Good value
Cons:
• CA in harsh, contrasty situations

I've tried and worked with any number of super-wides in my search for the one that would satisfy my needs and that would work well with my EOS 5D. I avoided the Canon 20mm f/2.8 throughout my search due to the many negative comments and experiences I'd read about here and elsewhere.

I should have tried this lens first and saved myself a lot of time, money and grief.

I find it to be an excellent, overall, superwide prime. For starters, the distortion is the lowest of all the lenses I tried, which includes two copies of the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogen 20mm f/2.8...which I now consider a highly over-rated lens...and Canon's 17-40 f/4L. And when I say distortion, I don't just mean barrel and/or pin-cushion (this lens exhibits neither). I'm including the highly noticeable "stretching" at the edges that's so pervasive with wide lenses. The Zeiss lens was the worst with this particular type of distortion. The 17-40 was a distant second (not as bad as the Zeiss). The 20mm f/2.8 exhibits some of this "stretching" distortion as well, but it's hardly noticeable and is very dependent on the shooting perspective.

The 20mm f/2.8 is also sharper than the 17-40 (at least my copy is), and the color and contrast are much, much closer to the real thing compared to the 17-40.

I do not find vignetting to be a significant problem, and the blueish color cast reported by one reviewer is totally absent from my copy. There's no color cast whatsoever, in fact.

CA is definitely evident when faced with strong backlit situations. I didn't measure the width of the CA halos, but I would estimate they can be as wide as 2 pixels. This appears to be the only major problem with this lens, and it's a problem shared with many, many quality lenses of this focal length or wider. Spot-on exposure and other techniques can go a long way towards minimizing CA with this lens or any other.

All in all, I find this to be a very fine lens that's entirely appropriate to exacting landscape and architectural work...although some might prefer the even wider focal length of lenses like the Sigma 12-24 when faced with tight corners and smallish rooms. Foliage detail is among the best I've seen with my 5D, and natural room light is rendered quite stunningly. As I say, this lens is much more like the real thing than the 17-40, a lens I never did like all that much for any number of reasons.

I was tempted to give this lens an overall rating of 10, but the CA issue prevents that. It's a 10, in my opinion, in all other respects.


 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Dec 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Sharpness & Contrast • Edge-to-edge performance • Good build • Compact and light compared to other lenses in its class • Price
Cons:

This is simply a first-rate lens and even better than first-rate when you consider how much quality you get for the money. The build may not be 100% up to Canon L-class standards, but it's a very, very good build nonetheless. I am surprised, amazed and delighted at how well this lens performs on my Canon 5D. In fact, this is the first 3rd party lens that I've ever used with my full frame Canon cameras. I keep expecting to see unacceptable softness at the edges and noticeable distortion at the wide end, especially at full aperture. It's simply not there. I couldn't be happier.

 
Canon EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

ef28_200usm_1_
Review Date: Nov 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $289.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Zoom range • Price • Performance • Compact, lightweight design
Cons:
• Build

I'm not sure why this lens has gotten such a low, overall rating. While not the equal of other non-L lenses such as the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 or the 24-85, its zoom range and general capability as an all-in-one travel lens should really have this lens up there with others.

I bought mine specifically for vacation travel purposes to use with my 5D. I simply didn't want to travel with a lot of lenses....or even just two...and I needed both reach and wide angle because I shoot at the extremes quite often.

Well, I am pleasantly surprised at what the 28-200 can deliver. The other evening I shot an entire musical performance for some friends of mine. No flash. Available light only. I shot everything at ISO 3200 in both color and monochrome and utililized the lens' entire focal range. Technically, every shot was a keeper. Artistically, well., that's another story; maybe a third at best. The point is., the lens delivered sharpness, clarity, good edge-to-edge performance, good color, good contrast, and a very good sense of "being there," which eludes even some higher-priced lenses.

So, I've given the 28-200 an overall 9 simply because I don't know of another lens...Canon or otherwise...that offers such a wide focal range and edge-to-edge performance levels in a single package. Build is something else again....but it's not "crummy." It's just not up there with some others.

I obviously like this lens. I think it's great for general, all-purpose use. I don't know how you can beat it for the money.


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

ef70-300_45-56doisu
Review Date: Sep 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: • Compact • Sharp • Build quality • Good color
Cons:
• Price • Weight

The 70-300 DO IS is a much better lens than the majority of reviews would lead you to believe. I was quite surprised at the quality of the files when using this lens with my EOS 1D, 10D and Kodak SLR/c. (It works extremely well with the latter.) If the exposure is right, this lens gets the picture in the way I wanted and expected...always a good thing to be able to say about ANY lens.

I was also surprised at the size...width and length. It's a bigger and heavier lens than I thought it would be, particularly the width, although in length it's still more compact than any other 70-300 I know of. This is a great travel zoom tele. It fits in a small bag along with my 1D and old 28-70, giving me a pretty wide focal range in an easy-to-carry package. But it's not a "stealth" lens, as one reviewer put it. This lens extends to a long length (like most others in this focal range) and is pretty conspicuous, especially with the hood attached. Plus, the weight of the lens when attached to a 1-series Canon makes for a pretty heavy lens/camera combination. The lens may be compact, but it's no featherweight!

Sharpness of the lens is near-L quality, and color appears to be very faithful. The focus is quick and silent. IS works great and provides sharpness at 1/30 (and less!) that would be impossible otherwise. The IS mechanism of this lens appears to be much quieter and quicker than the non-DO version.

Price is high. Whether or not it's TOO high is another story. The lens provides quality, excellent build, excellent handling and features, and it fits in bag compartments where no other 70-300 zoom will fit. And yet, I still have reservations about the lens being an overall good value. I guess if I use it frequently and take it with me wherever I go, I will consider it well worth the money. In that respect, it's a significantly better value than the much less expensive lenses I own that tend to sit on my shelf.


 
Canon EOS 1D

1D
Review Date: Aug 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: • Image quality • Speed of operation • Dynamic range • Metering • Ease of use • Build quality
Cons:
• None

This review of the 1D is being written in terms of the here and now...that is, the fact that this camera can now be found for less than $1,000. I doubt I would rate it an overall "10" if I were posting two years ago or more, when the camera still sold in the several thousands.

But at less than $1k and as low as $800 (in ok cosmetic shape), I find this camera to be unmatched by any other DSLR I have used up to 6MP or even higher.

I purchased the 1D to fill a gap in my camera collection: namely speed. I have no high-frame-rate cameras and have many times lost out on quality shots because of this lack. One of my cameras, a Kodak SLR/c, is the slowest of the bunch and absolutely useless for sports, wildlife, cars, etc. Since fast shooting isn't something I do very often, I didn't want to invest in a 1D Mark II, used or otherwise. I found a used 1D in excellent condition, with low usage, and bought it. (Many thanks to others in this review forum for their positive postings. What you had to say was of tremedous help in making my decision to try this camera out.)

First, this is a 4.1MP camera in measurement only. It behaves much more like a quality 6-8MP DSLR camera in terms of IQ, print size capability, color, etc. The CCD sensor is quite a bit larger than the typical APS-C sensor. It's closer to full frame and affords a 1.3 crop factor.

The pixels are a huge 11.5 microns by 11.5 microns. This combination of large sensor and large pixel contributes to pictures of exceptional detail, depth and overall richness. There is nothing "old," technically, about the pics this camera produces. It can hold its own against nearly all other 5-8MP DSLRs being produced today and exceeds the quality of many of them, including noise levels. Pics at ISO 1600 are quite usable. I don't know of another 35mm-sized DLSR with pixels as large as those of the 1D.

Here is my overall assessment of this superb tool:

1) A remarkable camera by any measure...IQ, speed, ease of use, detail, color, build, etc., etc., etc.

2) IQ-wise and detail-wise, it is at least the equal of any higher resolution camera I have owned or used up to 6.3MP (Olympus C-5060, Canon 10D, Canon A95). But it is better in many important respects, namely dynamic range, out-of-camera sharpness, color fidelity, noise, overall tonality and resemblence to film. The low noise and appearance of the noise at ISO 1600 is an eye-opener. Pretty amazing. All of the files I shot at ISO 1600 are usable.

3) But...4MP is still 4MP, regardless of the size or quality of those pixels. I doubt I would print larger than 13" X 19" if I wanted to hold on to the camera's crispness. Still, that's quite a size for a 4MP camera (and an amazing accomplishment on Canon's part).

4) Compared to considerably higher resolution cameras (Kodak SLR/c, 1Ds Mark II), there is a significant loss of detail in small leaf foliage, fine lines, skin textures, facial features (when the face is small in the pic), etc. This is to be expected, of course. But if there were no way for me to do a direct comparison with cameras of 4 times the resolution, I might not notice or be bothered by these losses. My 10D, by comparison, shows the same losses, but the 1D's images are still better...richer...more dimensional.

5) The 1.3 crop is wonderful. The viewfinder is large and bright. The camera feels more like full-frame, but the 1.3 crop has many advantages, particularly with lenses that generally exhibit light fall-off at the extreme borders. This is my first 1.3 crop camera.

6) The feel of the camera is nearly identical to the 1Ds and my 1Ds Mark II...but in use, it's quieter and significantly faster. Overall, its operation feels "smoother." I don't know how to account for that. Smaller mirror?

This camera will only come down in price as time passes. If the weight doesn't bother you (it's a heavy 1-series camera!) and if prints no larger than 13" X 19" will suffice, I'd say look into one if you're looking for a DLSR of quality pro construction, tremendous capabilities and features, a timeless feel and appearance and an ease of use that belies its tank-like build and array of controls.

This camera, plus a 70-300 DO IS and 28-70 lens combination, fits into a really small case, making the perfect trio for travel. It will serve me much better and provide a lot more keepers than a Sony R-1 or other $1,000+ digicam.


 
Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Aug 24, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: • Very sharp • Very good color • Very good contrast • Fast AF • Well built • Light weight
Cons:

I've reviewed this lens before and gave it a 9. But that was before I owned a Kodak SLR/c, Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II and 1D. The Kodak, in particular, is totally unforgiving when it comes to lenses. A lens you might have thought to be good to excellent might not be so on the Kodak. Indeed, it may turn out to have some pretty serious flaws that other cameras do not pick up on.

Not so with the 28-105. This lens performs superbly on the Kodak. On both the Kodak and my 1D, the lens is even sharper than I thought.

The motivation for this 2nd review is another review here where the poster says this lens is sharper than the newer 24-105L. I agree. I owned the 24-105L for a time but sold it because I didn't think it was really a $1,200 lens. I got blasted in an online forum for stating that I thought my 28-105 was sharper than the 24-105L. Well, looks like some other people think so, too.

My 1D bag consists of only two lenses: the 28-105 Mark II and the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. Given the 1D's crop of only 1.3, I'm all set to go from wide to super tele.

The 28-105 is a great lens for the price...and a great lens, period.


 
Sigma 24-70mm f3.5-5.6 Aspherical HF

24_70HF_med_1_
Review Date: Jul 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: • Cheap • Good Range • Lightweight
Cons:
• Unsharp • Poor build • Susceptible to artifacts

Not bad for a cheap lens to use with a low-end camera or a low-resolution camera. But if image quality is important, don't even think twice about putting this lens in front of the likes of a Canon EOS 10D, 350D, 20D or better. It just doesn't cut it.

The pics it produces have all of the appearance of sharpness and good contrast when you first open the files full-screen size. But crop in or blow the image up a tad and you see where the shortcomings are, and they are not "pleasant" shortcomings such as correctable softness or fixable contrast. This lens seem to screw up all of the finer details and render them with permanent distortions such as blurring (smearing?), double outlines, ghosting and, of course, CA.

I didn't expect much for a $100 lens, but I did expect better than this. A used Canon 28-70 II f/3.5-4.5 is also less than $100, but it's 1,000 times the lens this one is. (Actually, the Canon 28-70 is very, very close in performance to the much more expensive L lenses; overall, an amazing lens).

What the Sigma 24-70 is good for is casual shooting...where image quality is low on the totem pole of priorities...and for taking along on vacations so that you don't have to worry too much about an expensive lens getting stolen or damaged. It's very light. Carrying it around all day is easier on your body than carrying a heavy lens, and it's focal range makes it good for casual walkabout stuff. It seems to focus fast, color is fairly accurate, and barrel/pincushion distortions are minimal.

Can't really recommend this lens for anything else. I put it on my Kodak SLR/c as an ultimate test. It failed miserably.


 

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