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  Reviews by: L.J.G.  

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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Dec 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great colour, build quality

As the owner of a 24-105, a 24-70 a 50 & and 85 I was not even sure I wanted a 35 prime. Finding the 50 a bit too long somtimes (I got caught at my last wedding with the bridal waltz in a small corner) I decided to bite the bullet and get the 35L. It has very quickly become my most used lens, I love it. It is quick to focus, delivers sharp images with great colour and has terrific out of focus bokeh. Some say it is nervous but I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. I just love using it to the point where I hardly use the 50 at all any more. I will probably sell it and buy a 135 to make up my prime trilogy. It has not missed a shot yet unless it is my fault. I reckon one of these should be in every Canon shooters bag.

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM

Review Date: Dec 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Centre sharpness, great colour, compact size and weight comapered to the Canon version
Sometimes it will not focus at all (it has only done it twice)

I needed to buy a good 24-70 and nobody had any stock of the Canon mkI due to the impending release of the mkII. I waited for the mkII then the release date was put back. I looked at the Tamron but did not like the strong onion bokeh with highlights. That left the Sigma. Even though I was a bit apprehensive I figured with the warranty I would be OK anyway. It has turned out to be quite a little surprise packet. Blow up images to 100% and centre sharpness is as good as any of my L glass. It exhibits the slightly warm colours that all my other Sigma lenses show, which I like anyway. Bokeh is OK but has a very slight onion effect with highlights - nowhere near as strong as the Tamron though and is hardly noticeable. It is considerably smaller than the Canon and is also a bit lighter. The zoom ring is smooth to operate. The only downside is a couple of time it would not focus at all for some reason. It does not worry me as with the Canon 5DII I just manual focus until the focus point selected lights up and I get the beep for focus lock. If it keeps going I will send it back under warranty. I am certainly not sorry I went with the Sigma. For the cost it is well worth it.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 10, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,170.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp as a tack, great build quality, useful IS, focus speed that just knocks your socks off.
None so far

I agonised over buying this lens – more so than any lens I have ever brought. I really wanted the new F2.8 IS II, but did not want the larger size and weight as we travel quite a bit. The extra cost of the F2.8 wasn’t the biggest issue as I wanted (read needed) something smaller and lighter, so begrudgingly went with the F4 IS.

The first time I used it on my 5DII I just sat back and said WOW. I realised I had made the right decision. I have no doubt the new F2.8 II is good, but gee, this thing just cannot be that far behind. I now reach for it all the time. Even indoors I find myself putting the 50f1.4 away, getting this out and moving across the room away from the subjects to shoot. I use it on landscapes, birds, you name it. It has quickly become my favourite lens and between it and my 24-105 I hardly use anything else. Images are tack sharp, clear and the fine detail it gives just makes me shake my head and grin. I would recommend this lens to anybody.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 10, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,077.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great as a walkaround on a full frame, sharp, good build quality, fast focus
trombone zoom, I prefer zoom within the lens

I needed a general purpose walkaround on my 5DII that filled the gap my 15-85 did on my 50D and this one fits the bill nicely. It is a terrific general purpose lens on my 5DII. A far better walkaround on the 5D than my 15-85 ever was on my 50D. It is sharp, has a good build and focusses very quickly and accurately. I have to be very careful applying sharpening in post processing as images are already quite sharp straight out of the camera. Images taken with it look great in print. My only critisism is the trombone zoom, my 17-40 and 70-200 both zoom in lens and I do prefer this method. I would recommend this lens to anybody who was satisfied with an aperture of f4 and did not really need the extra of f2.8.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Review Date: Sep 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good colours, quick focus, good build quality, small light and unobrusive, great DOF
None that I have found yet

I was very apprehensive buying another Sigma lens after the hit and miss success with my first Sigma. But after trying this one I was sold on it. My copy has none of the focus or softness issues I have experienced and that is so often complained about. I brought it as a wider lens mainly for indoor use, rather than my 50mm f1.4 Canon (which is a bit too long indoors). Surprisingly it is as sharp as my Canon 50mm. It is such a surprise packet I have all but put my zooms away since getting it. It has put a bit of spark back into my photography and really is a fun lens to use.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: May 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $825.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, colour rendition and overall IQ, build quality, great focal range as a walkaround.
For the price it should come with a lens hood, lens creep.

I brought this lens to use as a walk out the door with only one lens in a shoulder bag when we are travelling, rather than walking out with a 7kg backpack full of lenses every time we left a hotel. It fits the bill almost perfectly, it did not however make my Canon 10-22 as redundant as I would have liked.

I still find myself walking out with the 10-22 as well as the 15-85, particularly in closer urban situations like NYC etc. For rural settings and more open urban though the 15-85 is pretty near as perfect as it gets. It does spend the most time on the front of my camera these days.

It is sharp, has a great build quality, great colour rendition and good autofocus. Overall IQ is very good, better than I expected. The only downside I have come across really is a bit of lens creep, mine has it but it is not really too much of a worry as I adjust focal length every time anyway. I would definitely recommend this lens to anybody with a crop sensor Canon.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: May 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharper at f1.4 than the nifty fifty is a f1.8, quick focus in good light, still small and light, better bokeh than the nifty fifty.
Slower autofocus in low light situations.

I purchased this lens after becoming disenchanted with the pentagonal shaped highlights of the cheaper nifty fifty f1.8. I considered the Sigma 50 f1.4 but went Canon instead and I was not disappointed. This lens is sharper than the nifty fifty wide open and is very sharp above f2. Silent fast AF in good light and nice bokeh. Build quality is quite good and it is still quite small and compact with little weight.