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  Reviews by: biglank1  

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Canon EOS 7D

Review Date: Jun 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, AF, Video feature, viewfinder

I keep it from 10 because it's a crop sensor. Still not sure why Canon decided to do this. Bought mine on ebay for about 1470. Loved it right out the box. This was an upgrade for me from the 50D. Though it looks similar to the 50D body style, it feels different in your hands. More sturdy. More rugged. The main reason I upgraded was because of the HD video feature (which shoots REALLY good video. you can check out my first run with it here:, the extra focusing points (19), and the new flash trigger option. I was a bit disappointed by the flash trigger option because I thought it could act SOLEY as a trigger and not fire the on-camera flash, but it seems this is impossible. You can knock down the OC flash power to make it ALMOST ineffective, but it will always fire in your final shot. Yes, it has more megapixels than the 50D but we all know that MPs doesn't mean better image quality. The 7D in my humble opinion isn't a big jump up in image quality from the 50D. It may be able to handle high ISO SLIGHTLY better but that's about it. So if you're upgrading to the 7D from the 50D or 40D thinking that your pictures will automatically come out sharper, with better skin tones, etc, then you might want to consider jumping up to the 5D. However, I'm not disappointed in the 7D because I didn't expect it shoot better pics. I just wanted the video feature really, which to some photographers may seem gimmicky, but I actually like it quit a bit.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Feb 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, Build Quality, Sharpness, Contrast
reverse zoom, manual focus clutch???, lens hood not uncluded, hard to find a 82mm filter/hood

Positive: I TRIED justifying the price of the Canon 24-70mm 2.8L. I REALLY was trying make myself believe it was worth an extra 800 bucks. But I just had to be honest with myself. I took several exposures at different settings with both lenses on my 50D. Wide open and stopped down apertures. 24mm focal length to 50mm focal and then 70mm focal length. Was the Canon lens better?? Yes. It was better. But just SLIGHTLY and only when I zoomed in at 100%. 75% or lower and even the trained eye couldn't notice the difference. The Canon L lens was just slightly sharper in certain areas, but color and contrast were both the exact same. Honestly, I'd probably pay an extra $100 or maybe $200 bucks for the difference I saw in the pictures for the Canon. If you've got money to blow for small differences or you can find a way to justify the extra 800 then go for it. People complain about the weight, but come on! Man up! Lol. I've heard complaints about the slow auto focus? Seriously?? This thing is quick!. No hunting, even in low light. I also compared this lens to my Canon 50mm 1.4 and the Sigma actually has slightly better color and contrast, surprisingly. I'm still going to hold on to my 50mm though. The lightweight should give me a break.

Negative: I don't like the fact that it didn't come with a lens hood. Come on, Sigma. Throw us a bone here. You made the filter 82mm and that is about as common as a lunar eclipse. Now I've got to go searching all over for lens hood and filters that fit this massive thing. But I guess with the 800 bucks I saved, I can't complain on spending an extra 20-30 bucks on a lens hood. And for the superficial and vain side, the Sigma counterpart doesn't "look as cool" as the Canon L. Sorry.

Overall, I'm impressed. Good job, Sigma.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Feb 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Color, contrast, price, light weight, bokeh
doesn't come with a lens hood. somewhat plasticky

For those of you who are considering upgrading from the 50mm f/1.8, DO IT! For the price, this lens is amazing, and at identical settings, it compares with the 24-70mm L series lens. I use this lens with a 50D. I had the 50mm 1.8 and compared the two, and the quality is definitely noticable. Color and contrast are much better. Image sharpness is much better as well. The bokeh (or the part of the picture that is out of focus) is beautiful and you will notice teh difference from the 1.8 counterpart. It makes your backgrounds a bit more creamy and appealing to the eye. The 1.8 creates these weird octagonal shapes if you zoom in to pixel peep. It looks a bit more choppy. But the 1.4 is smooth. However, I rarely ever open it up all the way to 1.4. It produces soft edges when I do. I'd say anywhere from 2.8 and up is pretty good. Anything lower than that is too soft for me. But long story short, if you're wondering wether or not the upgrade from the 1.8 is worth it, IT IS. That's if you're at least somewhat serious about photography and want to boost your image details. Otherwise, just stick with the 1.8.

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Nov 3, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Convenience of zoom range. Auto focus is surprisingly quiet
poor contrast, color representation, lens creep

So I was in my "young and dumb" stage of just starting out. I couldn't afford individual lenses that met the focal distances of this lens. So I did what most beginners do: buy the cheapest lens you can afford. I've always heard to spend good money on good lenses, because you'll quickly get tired of the cheap lenses and want to upgrade. I should have listened. It's merely a kit lens, just slightly better the dreaded 18-55mm that comes with the Rebel series. I would recommend it for people who aren't considering becoming serious about photography and just want it for decent pictures at family barbecues and vacations. If you are interested in becoming serious about photography, don't buy this lens with your 40 or 50d. I typically take pictures of people. I haven't tried it much on landscape, so I can't really speak on that. Get the body separate because it will be cheaper, and spend money on a lens that you won't quickly outgrow. I was satisfied with the lens for maybe the first month or two. Then I started comparing my pictures to real photographers, trying to figure what I was doing wrong, not realizing no matter how hard I tried, I would be greatly limited by the abilities of this lens. I'm honestly surprised that Canon would sell it for so high. Please save up your money and get something that will be worth it. The lens creeps out if you hold it down. Online, this lens looks like it would have a good quality build, but it's very plasticky.