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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Dec 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Finally a nice finish, well build, serious weight, bokehhhhhhhhhh, sharp wide open
lightcap a little loose, needs microadjustment

This is my second Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX HSM. The first one got sold because it was a hit or miss situation. When I made 20 shots with my Canon 30d only a few were sharp enough for print or use on a website. I got fed up with it. After purchasing a Canon 7d I couldn't resist the urge to give it another try with the Sigmalux 50mm. This time I got one with the new finish (lovely) and tried it with the 7d. Most shots were quite well but not razor sharp. I then made some changes with the MA tool the 7d has and tuned it to -5 because the lens had some backfocus issues. Thats something different from the frontfocus most buyers are complaning about. Im happy with the adjustments I made and can recommend this lens to anyone who has the MA in their camera. The only thing that bothers me is that this lens seems only to have focus issues with Canon gear and produces stunning sharp pictures with the Nikon gear!

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Oct 27, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, great color, fast
Heavy, L-Lens in the wrong coat

It's a stellar lens that has all the elements of L-glass but unfortunately Canon gave it the wrong coat. It's a bit heavy on my 7d but the results are very satisfying. The 17-55mm has the reputation to behave like a Dyson dustcollector but so far I'm still out of the woods

Canon EOS 7D

Review Date: Oct 27, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Fast, a million different setting are possible, great build, almost water resistant, great battery life, splendid colors, large sharp LCD, 100% viewfinder
AF system only usefull for brilliant minds like Stephen Hawkins, needs expensive lenses to use all potential, after every shot your LCD is dirty from your nose (really annoying)

I use this camera for quite some time (more than a year) but I'm still on a learning curve. As a former user of the 30d I thought I wouldn't have any difficulties mastering the 7d. I was wrong! I took me about 3 months taking pictures and visiting hundreds of websites to gather the needed information that would do it for me to get the right settings in all circumstances.

Sometimes I had the urge to wack it against a wall but I was able to keep my nerve. Making 10 shots I had maybe 2 keepers and the rest was way out of focus. The default setting of the AF-systeem are crap! You have to activate the 2 other settings as well before you can make sharp pictures most of the time. I also use the manual Carl Zeiss Planar T ZE 50mm F 1.4 and together with the 7d that also was room for headaches. Luckily my 17-55mm F 2.8 was able to compensate with some very nice pictures.

I know the 7d had all the potential to become a classic if Canon had delivered a AF-system users could understand in a day of use. According thousands of users it took them way longer to get used to the (to)advanced AF-system.

Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*

Review Date: Oct 27, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: This lens has a wonderful color rendition. It's heavy and made of first class materials. The finish is awesome and the focusring feels solid as a rock. From F 2.0 the lens is able to produce sharp pictures, if you are lucky
Soft at F 1.4 till F 2.0, expensive, lucky guy when you make a sharp photo

It's soft from F 1.4 to F 2.0. Very sharp from F 4.0 to F 6.3. If you make about 10 shots I think 2 of them are really sharp. The rest is out of focus or soft. You can solve this problem by using Live View and a tripod but hey; walking around with a camera and tripod at a party or making a stroll thrue the streets of Venice isn't the way I'd like to make my photos. I switched from Sigma 50mm F 1.4 to this 'real thing' but I doubt I made a very good move.

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Dec 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, great colors, light, 67mm filters are relatively cheap, although made of plastic it feels solid
Sometimes AF hunts

I bought it together with a Canon 30d and it's been my main lens. I use it for almost 2 years now and I'm very happy with it. Colors are great and sharpness is picobello. Want some examples?

Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Mar 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, solid build, great colors, custom tweaks
RAW-pictures need a lot of adjustments

I bought this camera 3 months ago. I had a Nikon D50 before the 30d so it was a massive step for me to sell all my Nikon stuff. However, I got a real good price for the D50, the Sigma 24-60mm and the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and with some trading I bought a 30d with a Tamron 17-50mm for a friendly amount of euros.

The difference with de Nikon D50 is huge. Although the 30d looks quite big the grip is a lot smaller than the one at de D50. Focusing and using the AF-system is more difficult than the D50 and takes a lot of time to get used to. After taking about 500 shots I still had my doubts about the sharpness of the camera and almost went back to the store to get another one. Step by step I learned to use the 9-point AF-system and by now I can rely on it without making faults all the time.

Making RAW-images I learned that these images need a lot of adjustments before the show their beauty. Again with de D50 it was a peace of cake to convert a RAW-image into a sharp and colourful JPG.

I think that you need the be experienced with digital DSLR's before you get yourself a Canon 30d. It may seem very simple to make great pictures with this camera, it took me a few months to make pictures that gave me the feeling I was doing a pretty good job.

Excuses for my poor English