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  Reviews by: condyk  

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Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Review Date: Jan 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very small and light with excellent performance throughout. Very nice pocket sized walkaround with a 50mm on FF or on its own with a crop body. AF is good even though an older design.
A bit plastic but not so bad as the 50mm 1.8. Nothing else!

Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

Review Date: Aug 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great colour, contrast and sharpness with superior bokeh that really makes shots pop. Great build that feel hard wearing and everything works crisply as it should. I'm very pleased with this lens and even like the hood design ;-)

Impossible to fault. Very compact and sharp lens - pocket sized even!

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Dec 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact with excellent build quality. Image quality is excellent and one of the sharpest lenses I have ever owned, if not the sharpest.
I have never used a Macro that can AF as well as a conventional lens, esp. in low light, and most Macro is in MF anyway. Seems unfair to criticise on that basis, but it is a tad irritating when using for non macro shots. So, not quite perfect. No lens hood is also unforgivable but this is standard from Canon on their non-L lenses :-( Cheapskates in my opinion as a hood is essential for most lenses!

Very safe buy for a crop body DSLR. Good all rounder and not just a Macro.

Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AT-X 840 AF-II

Review Date: Aug 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Amazingly portable lens given the range. great build, decent tripod mount included, nice case, reasonably bright for a longer lens, good sharpness and contrast for most of the range, great price, ideal upgrade from the cheap zooms.
Looks old fashioned if anyone cares aboiut that stuff, tripod mount foot is small, tho' it does the job fine, AF hunts in low light, but this is a slowish lens, not USM/HSM but price reflects that.

There is a big gap between the cheap, usable options and the more serious mid range stuff like Canon 100-400mm IS L and 300mm IS L, or Sigma 50-500 and 100-300mm f4. I've owned them all and for now I just needed a lightweight longer lens to keep my hand in before my next safari in 2007.

I had no real expectations given the great value, so was very surprised to learn that the Tokina does a decent job. It's not L or EX class obviously, but it comes out sharper at 80mm than my 24-105mm IS L and holds up at f8.00 nearly all the way through to 400mm.

Seems to stay sharpest a tad backed up at around 380mm. Very nice results tripod mounted. Similar size to the 24-105mm IS L too, which was a real bonus. Will be very acceptable in Africa where the light is going to help, tho' 5.6 is pretty nice for a longer zoom. Definately a good upgrade if you can't stretch to the much more expensive stuff.

Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I can't fault this camera.
None ...

Great handling and wonderful balance of features make it the ideal serious camera for a enthusiastic shooter who wants to balance quality output with budget.

Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very nice to use with super smooth focus ring. Sharp with excellent colour and contrast.
Gives a typical Sigma colour cast but if you shoot RAW it takes but a second to 'correct'. Big and fairly heavy.

Delighted with this purchase so top marks.

Lowepro CompuTrekker AW

Review Date: Aug 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $160.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build quality, lots mof flexibility and room for the keen amateur or pro shooter. Looks likes lots of non camera bags which is safer. Everything works well. Plenty of spacers and easy ot move around. Tripod can be easily and securely attached. Weather proof cover. Comfortable to wear on a long hike and all the adjustments you're going to need. Plenty of storage for bits and pieces. I can carry my laptop and related stuff too as there is a special pocket in the back. Can be used as a flight carry on.
Lots of pockets, zips, straps but you get used to it and there are advantages too. I really am being picky here tho' ;-)

I've been through several bags and this one is perfect.

Tokina 20-35mm AT-X 235 AF PRO

Review Date: May 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: A substantial lens with great build quality. Focus and zoom really nice to use. Canon 17-40 L quality. Auto focus super fast. Amazingly dynamic, sharp images. Hood works very well.
Expensive new, but a good SH buy! It's wide but not super, super wide: I tend to use 25-30 range mainly anyway.

I bought my copy second hand and so luckily missed out on the 500 + new price paid in the UK :-) Very happy.

Has proven to be awesome value. I really like the pictures this lens takes straight from the camera. Lots of keepers and most require only very minor, if any, contrast tuning in Photoshop.

A good lens if you don't need super wide, i.e. like most people, and you want a lens that can actually stay on your 1.6 crop DSLR camera for most of the time.

Highly recomended, especially second hand. Built like it will last a lifetime.

Sigma 50-500mm f4-6.3 EX APO RF HSM

Review Date: May 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Potentially awesome sharpness potential with dynamic colour and contrast. Unbeatable price considering performance. Build. Finish of EX lenses excellent! Lens hood. Carry case. Fast AF. Good resale.
Quite heavy. Not great at hand held shots: needs a tripod or similar stable support. Needs good light to give its best.

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

Review Date: May 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $665.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Flexible and reasonably lightweight carry around. Build is good. IS makes a positive difference. Fast USM. Good resale value.
Images lack that x factor. Hood is separate option. USM was a tad noisy on mine, but this may not be typical.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: May 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $120.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size great for carrying in a coat pocket if you want another lens on your camera, amazing quality for price, excellent lightweight city carry around, rudimentary Macro.
Of course, it's plasticy, but get over it! Nothing else. I love this little lens.