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  Reviews by: Billhansen2003  

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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

Review Date: Jan 17, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp 1 stop down, Compact, light, amazing lens for the price
not the fastest focusing lens in low light, but adequate

This is an amazing lens, regardless of the price, but considering the price it's almost unbelievable. It's surprisingly sharp in the center, not bad in corners, light in weight. It's compact and unobtrusive - just beautiful.

Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM SAL18135

Review Date: Dec 22, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact for its focal lengths, not too heavy. Tack sharp in the center, good color and contrast. Focuses quite fast, for its apertures. Very handy focal range. Excellent value!
Somewhat soft in the corners and at 18mm. Does not replace a series of prime lenses, but that would be close to impossible.

I've had this lens for about 9 months now, using it with the LAEA2 adapter on my NEX 6. I also have the Sony 16-70 Zeiss lens, and the 18-135 comes very, very close to the "Z" lens in all aspects of image quality. The 16-70 Z is a great lens, but since a lot of my photography is of dogs at play, the additional range of the 18-135 has been wonderful. Very highly recommended

Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC HSM APO

Review Date: Feb 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Decently sharp up to about 70mm. Light, unobtrusive. It would be okay for non-critical work, if stopped down to 5.6 or lower.
Beyond 70mm, it front focuses badly enough at f 2.8 so it couldn't be used for any critical work. Sent it back to Sigma for repair, but it was no better after repair!

I had high hopes for this lens. I really wanted to like it. I knew from the beginning that I might have to send it back to Sigma for repair of front-focusing, and that was okay with me. However, I thought it was pretty cheap for Sigma to require me to pay shipping charges *both ways*for the repair.

When the lens was returned to me from the Sigma service center, still front-focusing, that was the end for me. The service center people were nice enough on the phone, and they were willing to pay shipping charges for a second look at the lens and attempt at repair. Unfortunately for them and for me, that second trip back to Sigma would have put the lens beyond the date at which I could return it to So it goes back today. I just couldn't risk the possibility that the lens would not be repaired on its second, or third, trip back to Sigma.

I'm really sad about this. If I'd gotten a good copy, or if the lens had been repaired the first time around, it would have been nearly perfect for my uses.

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

Review Date: Feb 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: length - Image quality (yes!) - reach - black color
price - diffraction in backlighting - relatively slow

After reading dozens of reviews, I hesitated for months before buying this lens. I rented a copy and used it for a week. I wasn't prepared for how good it actually is. It is a much, much better lens than many people claim. I bought a copy and I'm delighted with it.

If it's used properly, the DO lens produces excellent images. I was prepared to see very soft images, hazy images, images lacking in contrast. None of these has been true. Images are clean, sharp, with good color and contrast. The lens is as good as my 100-400L, probably sharper. It's not quite as sharp as my 70-200 f4L IS, but after processing, images are very very close. It is slow, which is a relative disadvantage for low light action shots. The lens hood should be used, and it requires a different sort of processing, but I haven't found any of those to be burdensome.