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  Reviews by: graemeak  

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Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO Macro DG EX HSM

Review Date: May 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build quality, fast aperture, great working distance, price, comes with hood, tripod collar (and Sigma make very good tripod collars, seems identical to my 70-200mm one except they swapped felt for a more shiny plastic), nice size and weight
Erm... trying to think... the AF? But who cares! When you use the focus limiter the focus is good for portraits etc. when you're doing macro you don't need AF

Just an excellent all around lens. Very sharp, very impressive - my 3rd Sigma lens and I intend to stick with Sigma! You save hundreds of 's and get 95% of what you get with Canon (sometimes more).

Stop considering which macro lens and just get this beast!

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC

Review Date: May 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide aperture throughout range, fast and accurate AF, compact, lightweight, 67mm filters are reasonable to buy, decent build quality, comes with case and hood, internal focusing.
Extends when zooming and fairly noisy AF

I bought this lens after selling my 17-40mm L series Canon lens. I wanted a faster lens and didn't mind downgrading in build quality a bit. I'm glad I did this as this lens is very very good for the money and I can see it being in my bag a lot!

Its focusing isn't as fast as the 17-40 but it is just as accurate. The lens is nice to hold and I recommend it to anyone with a 1.6x sensor as a general purpose lens! I saw no point in forking out 750+ for a Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 when this was 260. I don't need IS as I have steady hands and the subjects I photograph are usually the ones moving!

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Oct 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and accurate focussing, well damped/smooth focussing ring, free lens hood, free case, free tripod collar - good old Sigma! Black - it stands out less than a white lens. Price, very versatile lens.
Only one negative aspect... the zoom ring isn't as smooth as the focussing ring, and I feel the lens hood could be made better (stronger material) but it was free so who cares?

I paid 320, not $320.

Before buying this older version of the lens I tried out the newer macro version and I just didn't like it... I found it to have inaccurate focussing and I didn't care much for the design/build.

So I tried this one out and I'm glad I did =) definately worth what I paid!

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Aug 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price (in comparison with 16-35mm L it's a steal! And the quality isn't bad at all), sharp (even wide open), very fast and accurate focussing, decent zoom range, very good build quality!
None really, just that you need a filter to complete the weather sealing (this isn't really a negative)

Where do I begin?

I bought this lens to replace my old walkaround lens (28-105mm f3.5-4.5 II USM). That lens was quite sharp, but not wide enough for my 40D. Then I looked for a wide angle lens. The 18-55mm lenses just didn't attract me... too cheap and nasty, so I tried out a 16-35mm and this lens and after weighing the positives and negatives of each lens I came to the conclusion that the 17-40L was the lens for me.

It is indeed very sharp, from f4! I only stop it down to f9-11 for architectural/street/landscape photographs as my copy is very sharp from f4.

I recommend this lens for someone who doesn't want to bust the wallet and for anyone who wants a wide angle lens with L series build quality. This lens is very well built and the focussing is very fast and upto now it is also very accurate.

What else can I say? At its price it's a no brainer against the 16-35L for me. Yes the 16-35L is a good lens but for me it didn't go far enough at the telephoto end and the image quality didn't seem too superior (on the one I had used anyway).

Just buy it!

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: White, weight (compared to f2.8), build quality, IS, super sharp, low distortion, versatile and just generally an awesome lens! Oh and it works with 1.4x!
Not f2.8, but the weight difference justifies it for what I use it for the IS compensates enough.

When it comes to zooms, the 70-200mm L's are really great. Not only are they sharp, but they are very well built and super fast. There's no doubt about it, if you want superior quality and a lens that's gonna impress you a lot of the time - this is it.

If you're a gig photographer, go for the f2.8 IS, otherwise, go for this one! Its not too heavy and is fairly good to walk around with (although don't take it to the wrong neighbourhood or you might get mugged Wink)

For portraits its awesome! I'd say on a parr with my 50mm f1.4 and that's sharp! For flower photography, again its great, you can get a pretty shallow DOF at f4.

Basically - Buy it.

Sigma 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Review Date: May 30, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Fairly wide angle, very light, good minimum focussing distance.
Noisey AF, not very fast (f3.5-5.6), no IS, bad build, very soft photos wide open, bad lens hood.

A very good lens if you want a cheap starter lens. The build quality isn't very good, but its quite possible to take good photos with this lens, just make sure you don't do it at too wide open apertures. Recommended for anyone with a low end SLR (300D, 400D) and who doesn't want to spend much on a wide angle zoom.

Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II

Review Date: May 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Zoom (18-200mm is great for a 1.6x crop factor sensor), lets you have 1 lens for occasions where you can't or don't want to carry a lot of lenses, very light, price, did I mention its compact?
Noisy AF (but what do you expect for the price?), not a fast lens (f6.3? terrible!), not very sharp, no IS.

Even though its build quality isn't good, for the price its a good every day walk about lens. 18-200mm is just a great zoom range!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: May 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great bokeh, really wide aperture, great low light lens, USM, quite good build quality
The only negative I have is that the USM is the old type, it moves in and out while focussing, but its still fast.

Before buying this lens I had to justify the price difference between it and the f1.8 model. So I went to Jessops and tried them both on, and the f1.4 was much faster and quieter, had a better build, better focussing ring. A completely different lens, and a stop of extra light so I was impressed.

I then of course, came on here and found out if there were any common bugs etc. and none have really been reported, mine seems to be a good lens as its sharp at all apertures (especially from f2+). At f1.4 its very usable on non moving subjects, not really people, needs stopping down for that.

Its great in low light, the focussing is fast and you don't need to use slow shutter speeds, only raise the ISO a bit. I'm very impressed and glad I bought this one rather than the horribly built f1.8.

Recommended for anyone who wants to take photos in a dark place (without flash) or just as an addition to anyones collection, the shallow DOF is great for abstract photography. Love it!

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Mar 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Super fast AF, durable lens, good image quality, decent zoom range for every day use.
Not really a complaint, but the focussing ring isn't the best of quality, it works well, just doesn't feel extremely strong.

This lens is definately a good lens, even though its widest angle is 28mm, which isn't too good on a cropped 1.6x sensor. Its not too soft at f3.5 and the focussing speed is great. It does hunt a little bit in bad lighting conditions, but it usually finds what it wants to focus on fast enough.

Good lens, which I recommend for every day use.