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

Review Date: Sep 7, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good build. I have owned mine for over 5 years, and even with constant use, it's still looking like new. Sharp lens. Extremely sharp from f8 to f11. Wider apertures is still sharp, but I like to add some sharpening with Photoshop. But then, I did that even with my Canon 16-35 L II lens.
Distortion at the very wide end when using full frame (I have 5D Mark II and 1DS Mark II), but it's fantastic on cropped cameras. Filters will add to vignette when using full frame.

Highly recommended. I sold my Canon 16-35 L II lens because I ended up using this so often. Works really well at weddings, when the wedding party first enters the reception room, one at a time. I just lower the camera down to my waist, and start taking photos. It captures everything. Sometimes, I will tilt it up a bit, especially at the first dance for bride and groom, when their faces are up close or kissing, and I capture photos of them from waist up (or higher), with the ceiling lights, and the faces of guests as they hold their phones up to take videos of the happy couple. It's just amazing what you can do with this lens.

Nikon D7000

Review Date: Jun 12, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Low noise even in high ISO. Light. Beautiful, vivid images. Great auto-white-balance. Fast and responsive.

Handles really well in the hand, and even my wife likes it (she usually hates my cameras, since she prefers smaller, lighter ones). It just works so well. Colors are beautiful. When used with flash and auto white-balance, the photos come out nice, vivid, and proper colors. I shot with a Canon 1D Mark III as my main camera, and this little gem gave me photos that were much better. AWB on the Canon cameras just seem to be off. If you can get your hands on one or two, buy it.

Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera

Review Date: Aug 22, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I'm simply amazed. I hated my 85 1.8 lens just because I couldn't seem to get sharp images opened wide.... until I used this camera. The cross-type focus sensors actually work!!!! The images come out sharp, with colors that don't make me cringe (doesn't look "digital"). I'm buying another one.

When you consider that I bought an $8000 dollar camera in 2005, and now a $1000 camera does such a better job in 2015, we've come a long, long, long way with digital cameras!!!! I'm just awed and amazed at how I can focus in dark venues or churches, and I won't have to "worry" about being told I can't use flash even in the darkest church I've ever worked in! I have to get another one!

Nikon D5000

Review Date: Jul 27, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: small size factor is great for traveling. I took it to my vacation to Disneyworld (I'm from San Diego), and it served its purpose. Good low-light qualities.
Focus points can't be locked down, so you're constantly having to take 3 seconds to check if the focus point is where you want it, or you get many many out-of-focus shots. No matter what you do, you will "accidently" move the focus points to a different one from where you want, just because of where the buttons are located (behind the camera, to the right, where your right hand will hold the camera. Huge mistake on Nikon's part not to include a lock for this.

Price is great if you get it used. I consider these to be "throw-away" cameras that you can take on vacation, to the beach, paint-ball games, or anyplace that cameras could easily get ruined. Be prepared to have many shots that are out of focus just because of where the buttons are located for changing the focus point location. You can't lock that down. I like how the D2H and Fuji S2 come with a lock for it, but Nikon's newer cameras don't. Many times I've wanted to throw away the camera in frustration, but then remember that the price is right for a 2nd hand, throw-away camera.

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Apr 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome lens for weddings and full frame camera. Sharp. I had this lens, sold it and bought a Canon 24-70 2.8L, sold the Canon, and bought this lens again. I had so many focus problems with the Canon lens. This is my walk-around lens, and this lens gets used extensively on weddings (especially on full frame cameras).
Hunts focus sometimes, but then, so does my Canon "L" lenses. When it gets that dark (like reception rooms), I just focus manually.

Comparable to Canon "L" lenses. I know! I've owned most of them (16-35L, 35 1.4L, 50 1.2L, 85 1.2L, 135 f2L, 70-200 2.8L IS, ETC.). This is a gem of a lens, and for 1/3 the price you would pay for a Canon L lens. Buy it, and enjoy!

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Mar 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The best wide-angle lens for cameras that now shoot videos. I love using this lens on my 5DII. You can't beat it for the price. Photos are sharp, with good contrast.

I'm one of those guys who swore "I'm a photographer, not a videographer....". Then I found the right combo - a 5D Mark II and this lens. Now when I make a video of the images, I include short clipses of videos taken with the 5D II, and there's just no going back. Videos are here to stay.

Nikon D1X

Review Date: Feb 4, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Bought for $400. It worked really well, and I really liked the images.
The shutter shattered/exploded in just 3 months of use.

I really liked the camera, but after getting two of them, and both have had their shutter die on me within 3 to 4 months, I don't recommend this camera to anyone anymore. It's an older camera, and if anyone sells it with the cliche remark about "low shutter" count, they're lying. It's been used, or they wouldn't have spent 5k on it (originally).

Get the newer bodies, for about the same price right now, and better ISO performance.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Nov 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, accurate focus. I use this for weddings, inside dark churches, because it focuses faster and more acurately than the Canon 8 - 10 megapixel pro-sumer cameras.

If you know how to expose properly, and use Photoshop, you'll be able to blow the images up to size 20x30 - easily! See some wedding photos taken with this, which I've been able to enlarge to 16x20 or 20x30 without any problems here:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Jun 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,760.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The bokeh is unbeatable. ...and the images are crisp and clean, even at 1.2 aperture.
expensive, but I can understand why!

I used this lens on my 1D camera, and it blew me away. Samples here, mostly taken at 1.4 and 1.2 aperture.

I kept using it, even after the sun had set. I now realize how beatiful natural light photography can be when doing portraitures.

I only wish I'd bought this sooner. I recommend it be used on a professional camera like 1D() series. Their focus speed is amazing. Tried it on a Rebel XTi, and a lot of the shots were blurry.

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

Review Date: May 31, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $375.00

Pros: sharp lens, fast, and perfect zoom range for digital cameras.

I loved this lens so much on my 10D that i bought another one for my 40D. It's what I use most often, even though I have a 24-70 2.8L lens. The 24-70 just doesn't give me a wide enough lens in tight spots, like inside a brides room when she's getting ready. Then, when I was able to purchase a used Nikon digital camera at a good price, I bought the Nikon version of the 17-50 for it. I had the 16-35 2.8L lens, but I sold it, and got most of my money back. I'm happy with the 17-50 lens, and none of my customers know that I use it instead of the extravagantly expensive L lenses. This lens and the Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens are my most often used lens.

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

Review Date: Jul 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide Angle, fast aperture, works even on 10D or D60/D30 (Unlike Canon's EF-S lenses), and sharp! Price is perfect.

This is the lens that gets used no matter what event I'm doing. And I own the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS, Canon 24-70 2.8L, Canon 200 2.8L, etc. Almost all my lenses are L lenses, and then I bought this one. It's fantastic. I didn't want to spend money on the Canon 17-40L, and I'm glad I didn't.
So now I've even bought the Tamron 70-200 2.8 lens, and I have no regrets!!!!!

Nikon D50

Review Date: Nov 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price
Too much red in skin color - not a good camera for portrait work

I used it to photograph 32 families over a weekend. The skin-tones came out too red. No matter what I did, they came out too red. If the photo was underexposed, or overexposed, the skin tone came too red.

I think this is a good-priced camera for a beginner, but I just don't see any professional using it for professional work. Not like the Canon cameras, where professionals use even the Rebel digital cameras with great results.

I purchased the D40, and we'll see if they've fixed the issue with the D40. Otherwise, I'm selling it, too.

Canon EOS D60

Review Date: Jun 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The photos from this camera are every bit as good as my 20D
slow start-up

I own the 10D, 20D, and the 1DS MII, also. But this camera is my "walk-around" camera. I use it with my 75-300 lens, and since this lens is slow, I set the ISO on the D60 at 800 or 1000 outdoors, and can get good prints of images I take. When there's time to re-compose, I reset the ISO to a lower value, if I want to create an image, and not just a snapshot. For the price they're going now, I'd buy this over any point and shoot camera.
My 20D body has scratched easier than the body on this one. The flash on my 20D body has started to act up, too. Not the one on my D60. This thing is built solid! Anyone getting paid to do photos should consider this if they want a second body for back-up.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Apr 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp 2.8 lens (isn't that why we buy it?). Great as an all around lens, especially on a 1.6 factor camera. With this lens on a 1Ds MII, and a 70-200 2.8 L IS on my 20D, I don't ever have to change lenses.
When using Full frame camera, 70mm just isn't enough sometimes, and I hate to be switching lenses in the middle of an event, so I have 2 cameras on me.

Poor price, since Tamron does something comparable for under $400. This lens is beautiful for head and shoulder shots on a 1.6 crop camera. I was able to buy a used 28-75mm lens (Tamron) 4 days after buying this lens, and it beats the Tamron, no contest. But if I was able to buy the Tamron prior to spending money on this lens, I wouldn't be writing this review. The Tamron isn't as sharp at 2.8, and the focus isn't as dependable, but you can get some real winning photos with the Tamron lens if you're not going to blow the prints up larger than 11x14. I'm speaking of shots taken at the 2.8 aperture of course (why else would we spend the money if it wasn't for the 2.8?)?

Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: Apr 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: cheap compared to Canon 24-70 L. Sharp at 4.0 and smaller apertures. Lightweight compared to other 2.8 lenses with this range.
Auto-focus has hard time, even when it's not really that dark. Manual focus is difficult to handle, and not very smooth, it seems to "jerk" so that you can't smoothly focus, and have to go back and forth until you "hit" the focus.

I actually searched a long time at Craigslist for such a lens as this. I purchased the Canon 24-70 2.8, and within 4 days, the Tamron lens was listed. I purchased the Tamron also, since I have 3 camera bodies.
Sorry to say, but at 2.8 this lens is really soft, to the point of being "out of focus", and I can't seem to sharpen it enough to be able to print at larger than 11x14, even if originally taken at RAW format.
The lens is sharp at 4.0 or smaller aperture, and if you're not ever going to print larger than 8x10 (or sometimes you're lucky enough to get a good print at 11x14) for those shots taken at 2.8, then this lens is for you. It's so much cheaper than the Canon version, that it has to be recommended. You should use this outside in broad daylight if you want to get it's full potential. Used inside a mildly dark church (weddings?) and you're going to run into difficulties with focus and softness, and lack of contrast. The colors just seem to get muted out. It wouldn't be so bad if the manual focus were smoother. They're not, though. They just don't seem to smoothly focus, so you have to rotate the barrel back and forth a couple of times until it "jumps" into focus.
I still recommend it, though. It's my "walkaround" lens because of the 2.8, but I wouldn't trust it for professionally paid work.

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

Review Date: Apr 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light. Inexpensive. Beautiful images once you've learned to use it.
You can't overide AF, without switching to manual focus on the camera.

Because I've had this lens since 2003, and used it as my all-around lens, most of the best images I've ever created came from this lens. I think those who give it a bad review just haven't learned to work with the lens before giving up on it. As with ANY lens, you need to know its strong points, and its limitations (and all lenses have a strong point, and a limitation), and if you work within them, you will have awesome images.
see some of the recent images taken here:

If you don't have a zoom in this range, or if you can't afford the Canon 70-200 2.8 L IS, then you'll want this.


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