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  Reviews by: browntimdc  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: Jan 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $125.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness and contrast from f5.6. Outstanding value.
Noisy autofocus.

Anyone who wants to properly learn the craft of photography must experience the "normal" lens. Comparing it to zooms is misguided. The 6 element "plasmat" design predates WWII. Every serious camera company has made this lens. It's soft wide open but that's a lesson in compromise. On a 1.6X crop digital camera it's a great portrait lens.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $610.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp. Light. Affordable. Great IS.
Front element rotates. IS noise.

Razor sharp and contrasty wide open 70-200mm. Slightly softer at 300mm. Very light weight relative to it's size. Build quality good considering price. IS can be heard in a quiet room, but not bad compared to shutter/mirror sound. I got a generic collapsible rubber hood that works fine.

Next best thing to a big white lens.

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Review Date: Jan 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $414.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good value. Decent build quality and feel. Light and compact.
Short manual focus ring travel.

For what it is (fast zoom of moderate range) and what it cost, this lens does not disappoint. Sharpness is acceptable at f2.8, very good throughout the frame by f8.

For wide angle landscapes focus is more consistent if you focus at 50mm, then pull back without refocusing. Use AF lock (custom function 4 set to 2 on the 20D). Focus consistency with this Sigma is no worse than my 50mm f1.8 Mk1.

The size and weight of the Sigma balances nicely with the Canon 20D, in my hands.