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  Reviews by: Don Farra  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Sep 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $108.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp low light lens, with fast and accurate focusing. Low cost makes it a great value. Low distrotion and flare resistant. Does not draw attention, which allows for great candids. Doesn't say steal-me in seven diferent languages.
Somewhat noisy focusing when the lens hits the rails, min-max distances, you will hear a clunk noise. Plastic contruction to the extreme, outside of the electrical contacts I don't think there is any metal in the lens.

This is a lightwieght, small, low cost lens that in the right hands can produce some outstanding images. Great for candid portraits, travel, interior images and camping. Put it on a good tripod, lock up the mirror and use a cable release and sit back and be surprised on just how well this lens can capture all the details. Do not underestimate the creative enabling power of a 50mm lens 1.8 lens. Hand holding will allow the phototgrapher to capture available light images with a shallow depth of field to isolate your subject, something other EF-IS lenses cannot reproduce.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor

Review Date: Sep 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $114.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Represents excellent value, great general purpose portrait lens. Stopped down it becomes a sharp, well behaved lens, that can produce some high quality images. Resists flare when shooting into the sun during sunset.
Some edge CA noticed when shooting wide open, which is correctable. Aperature and focusing ring a little stiff until they are broken in.

As a rule, I don't care much for 50mm lenses, but the effective focal length on my S5 is 75mm. When combined with F/1.8 the lens make this a great portrait lens. The depth of field is slightly greater compared to a full frame counterpart, but more than enough softness wide open to create pleasing available light portraits and candids images. The front element is recessed so there is little need for a lens hood (IMHO). There is no need to buy the 1.4 cousin, unless you make your living with it. This lens is must for any camera bag.

Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5G AFS DX

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $285.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: great IQ
unacceptable lens wobble

This was my first AF Nikon lens and it was the first lens I had to return for a refund. While the image quality was very good and the handling was excellent, the lens wobble was just to much to bear. Given the price, weather sealing, and other top notch pro quality attributes I found the lens wobble unacceptable and a major disappointment. I did a web serch and found the lens wobble was not the exception but closer to the rule for this lens so trading it in for another copy was not an option. By contrast the Tamron 18-250 lens that replaced it is mechanically superior product, but at nearly twice the cost.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight and super sharp lens, don't underestimate this lens, it can create wonderful images.

Great for up close portraits of children and a general all purpose normal lens. I used to think 50mm lenses were useless and to be avoided, but changed my mind and started using this 50mm around the house for window portraiture and was surprised at the great results. Fairly sharp images even at wide open, stop down one stop and you can create some nice children portraits by themselves or with their mom. Here again considering the price it represents a great value.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp images, clear, clean and free of distortion. Fast focusing that is dead on.

Compared to my 85 1.2 L lens this lens is a speed demon and for images shot beyond 3 feet and above f/4.0 they appear nearly the same to me. This lens can track my 3 year old daughter running around and playing, indoor or outdoors, while the 85 1.2 L cannot. Great value when you consider the price.

Canon EF 35mm f/2

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: good image quality, small and lightweight, draws little attention from subjects and pubic at large

Images are clean and sharp, focusing is fast and accurate, lens is very lightweight and is used as my normal lens. Great value considering IQ and price.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice images!
Heavy and large.

First Canon zoom L lens and was shocked by the images it produces. The image quality is equal to or in some case bette than the prime lens counterparts. Perfect for weddings where high IQ, flexiablity, fast focusing low light performance (wide open) is required. It's a keeper.

Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) AF

Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, wide zoom ratio, no lens wobble, and priced within reach. No focusing hunting observed.
Lens hood used with S5 built in flash at wide angle setting results in half moon shadow. Lacks VR.

Perfect for candids. Small size, doesn't draw attention to the photographer, like a professional 70-200 2.8 lens. Well rounded performance and all lens distortions are correctable, resulting in some nice images. Wide zoom range, small and lightweight make this lens ideal for hiking, travel and hand held (daylight) photography.