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Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*

Review Date: Dec 23, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, pleasing bokeh, perfect size for the A7 cameras, great value for what it can deliver, solid built, beautiful colour rendering
Some might consider it expensive for a 50-ish FL with f1.8. The metal hood is a bit slippery.

I had this long for a while now. It's used predominantly as a standard FL portraiture. You can check out the vast amount of photos shot with this lens at my website (

In my years of owning various lenses, few blew me away that this Sony Zeiss 55/1,8 did. Very solidly built. The focusing ring has just the right amount of smoothness.

Colour rendering is wonderful. They just pop beautifully. Shot wide open at f1.8 results in satisfactory sharpness. There's this cool 3D like separation of subject and background with certain compositions.

I cycle through lenses depending on quality they deliver. For me it's not always about absolutes. It's about character and ability to deliver the image I have in my mind the moment I press the shutter button.

I have a feeling this lens will be a mainstay together with the 135L and the Sigma 35 Art.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

Review Date: Jun 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $869.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp! Fast AF. Quiet operation, Great build quality, Wonderful colours, Pleasing blur quality, cheaper than the 35L! 7-year Canadian Warranty!!!
Bit heavy and big for a 35mm

I've been hankering for high quality 35mm lens. The 35L has been on my sights for a while until Sigma announced this new ART line of lenses. I had the 50 1.4 Sigma and it was a wonderful lens. Never had AF issues, beautiful images. Has been my work horse lens in the last little while.

Upon reading all the glowing reviews of this new ART 35mm, I was intrigued. Tried a few samples and I felt it was the right 35mm lens for me. The build quality resembles Zeiss lens. Sleek and stylish behest of gimicky finishing. AF operation is great. HSM like the high end Sigma and USM found in L lenses. Focus ring has a good positive smooth feel to it. Unlike Canon lenses. Hood is well made too. Overall this lens felt very well made.

Paired with 5d3 and the results are staggeringly sharp images. Subjects locked on quickly and quietly. In fact it went on our wedding shoot hours I got delivery of it. Didn't skip a beat. It hit the road running. It balances the 5d3 well. Although I do kinda wish it was of similar size to my Siggy 50 1.4.

Overall, this is a stunning piece of glass. Well done Sigma. One great bonus is the Canadian 7 year no fuss warranty!

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Jun 15, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Relatively light weight, Fast AF, awesome bokeh, F2.0!, contrasty, sharp even wide open.
Hood is rather big, can be tight on a crop body,

Need a good portrait lens. I have both a crop and a FF. On the crop, I can have a good reach of 216mm @f2.0! It makes for a great indoor sports lens. Toss in a tele-converter will only slow it down to 2.8 which is still fast.
On the FF, this lens totally shines as a portrait lens. Pleasing super smooth bokeh. Sharp at wide open becoming razor sharp when stopped to f2.8. This is my go to outdoors portrait glass. The white L zoom current stays at home gathering dust.
Unlike the 85L, this has a fast AF motor. From near to infinity, it snaps to focus instantaneously.
Overall this is a seriously good lens. It is considered one of the if not the best 135mm lens in the industry.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Nov 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great Price for L-class lens, weather-proof, nice size... not bulky, beautiful colours, consistently sharp wide open (but not as sharp as my 70-200 F4L)
Weird hood. tele-end could be longer. 50mm would be great!

I waited a few months of usage before posting my comments. I have been a skeptic of this lens for a long time preferring the Tamron 17-50 2.8 as the better choice especially factoring the price.
However thanks to some great deals going on, I decided to purchase one and try it out after all I can always sell it. L-lens hold their value well.
I am pleasantly surprised that this lens produces beautiful colour renditions. I have a 10-22 for my home interior work. And i am never that impressed with its colours and contrast although a quick trip to LR usually perk things up. With the 17-40L, I don't have to do much with the original image. It is also sharp.
A good lens for the price.
However i am still torn about it being a walk-around lens for my 30d as I already have a 28-105mkII which has longer reach despite a narrower wide-end. So it's tough to decide which to bring out on outings. at 105mm I can get beautiful portrait shots with the 28-105 but the 40mm tele-end isn't optimal. So I am still reluctant to let go of my 28-105mkII. We'll see....

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Sep 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp! Fast AF, Price, Well Built, Balanced, Sharp! Beautiful Bokeh
A bit bulky, weird 67mm diameter difficult to find filters.

I flirted with this lens for a while never really took the plunge because I wasn't too convinced with it. Used it a few times from other people's copy.
But it's not until BH had a sale of $50 that I decided to pick one up. Afterall I can always resell it out since L-lenses do keep their value.
Used it at a picnic with family. That time I brought along two other lenses. When I started to review my shots at home, I couldn't help but noticed how sharp the pix this lens took. It was noticeably sharper than my other two lenses even at wide open. At once I knew this is a keeper lens. Perhaps the previous ones that I used weren't as great. <shrug> Sold my old 70-300APO Sigma and kept this though the F4L doesn't have the reach.

Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Apr 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: well balanced, has all the right features not present in 20d, 350d/400d, priced well, magnesium alloy, large lcd, ISO in viewfinder, 1/3stop for ISO, RGB histogram....
10MP would be perfect despite the difference is not much. Where's the IR sensor for remote triggering?

Like a lemming I've been waiting for the 40D this Feb. However to my disappointment Canon didn't announce it. However prices for the 30d keeps dropping. And in Canada we get the Spring Rebate of $150! So I sprang for one.

The 30d is a nice well balanced, well mannered camera. There's not much to fault it. It is an evolution of the 20d. It compliments my 350d nicely. Some of the things that I really like is the 1/3 stop ISO and the ability to see the ISO setting in the viewfinder. Now that I've sampled chimping on a 2.5" screen, going back to my 350d's 1.8" seems cramped. I prefered this over the 5D as I didn't feel the need for FF especially now that I have the excellent EFS 10-22 UWA lens.

Overall, the 30d is a wonderful addition to my photography gear.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Nov 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $674.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Ultra wide for a 1.6 Cropped Cam. Well built. FTM, Ring-USM, non-rotating front element, L-quality glass used
No hood?! Price, EF-S only.

I bought this lens because my work required an ultra wide angle. Was contemplating the lower priced Sigma 10-20. However it had serious barrel distortion which is important for what I shoot. Also this Canon is resistant to flare! Colour reproduction is top notch. Low CA vs. competition.
The ultra wide angle this lens offers is fantastic! I'm still bowled over at how wide 10mm is! It opens up a new way of taking dynamic pictures with impact. I guess by ponying up for this EFS lens, I have drawn the line that I will be sticking with a cropped cam for a while. Which is fine. No reason to go FF with this suckah!

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Jul 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built for the price, Ring-type USM = quiet and fast focus, Full-time manual focus, distance scale, good range, great pricing, good bokeh
a bit heavier than I am used to, no aspherical or LD glass, perfect if it is f2.8 constant.

I wasn't planning to buy this lens. However a used one came along my way. The price was very good and it was hardly ever used by the original owner.
Initially the 28mm short end seemed a bit too narrow for my liking. I've been using it for street photography and it proved to be a good match. The 105mm long end is excellent when i want to take portraits-style shots. Also it allows me to take pix of people from a distance where as my kit lens' 55mm wasn't long enough.
So far I am not missing the WA at all. But I haven't taken any landscape shots yet.
I like the build quality. Very nice for a consumer lens. The Ring USM is awesome! Very fast AF. Hasn't hunted even on low light situations. FTM is useful and so is the distance scale. I can easily resell this for the same price I bought if not more. LOL!

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Value priced, USM, long reach at low price, light-weight.
Not impressed with the colours.

I got this out of necessity to cover a boat race event. I was hoping for a sunny day as this is a slow lens. And as usual things didn't go the way I wanted. It was cloudy overcast. However I was able to use it the best I can. The lens is light so carrying it around was fine.
Not very sharp as others have said. But it's not soft either. Some of my shots were acceptably sharp. Fast shutter speed and stopped to f8. 300mm shots required some creative sharpening in post processing. I will be returning this lens for a refund to get something else.
Overall, while I feel there are better budget lens out there like the Sigma APO DG with the same focal range, this lens is fine for beginners.