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  Reviews by: hewcanon  

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Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF

Review Date: Apr 25, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $700.00

Pros: Nikon brand and Range
Everything else (build, focusing, noise, IQ)

I bought this lens thinking I could use it for nature shots (birds, animals ..) and as a longer reach replacement for my very sharp, quick, silent, small and light 70-300mm VR.

I was wrong on all accounts .. I was warned by all the review websites that it is soft, slow and hesitant to focus, and very noisy and I thought that can't be all true .. after all Nikon had no similar lens in the same range for a long time while Canon always had the 100-400 IS L lens .. so I must try it out ..

Build wise it is okay apart from the lens extending to almost twice as long when zooming out with hood on .. the tripod collar makes any use of the aperture ring if you were ever going to use it obsolete .. the reversed hood makes the use of the zoom and focus rings impossible as they are both covered ..

Performance .. where do I start .. it is very noisy and clunky .. so it really rocks when focusing .. it is very slow to focus and I really mean very slow .. and when it does at last it is still hesitant and may try again for some odd reason .. I have used it on Nikon D600 and I use a similar D lens the 80-200mm f2.8 the non AF-S and it is not like that in any way ..

When it focuses it is spot on .. but after a lot of convincing and deliberating and debating it does focus .. yet the results inspite of the VR are never very sharp .. good sharp but not very good or excellent .. the 70-300mm VR is a better lens inspite of not being a professional quality les and selling for less than 300 used. The reach difference is not that huge between 300-400mm and if I really want a bird lens I would go for a 500mm+

Summary .. do not buy it .. there are better alternatives in the house including the twice as expensive new 80-400mm AF-S Nano VR .. I would either go for the AF-S VR MK-II or settle for the 70-300 AF-S VR until I save the money for MK-II.

Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS

Review Date: Feb 25, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Good build, wide zoom range, good colour saturation and good anti-shake mechanism
Inconsistent performance across the zoom range, being worst between 35-100mm, and not really 200mm except at infinity

After using the lens for several months I noticed several things that really irritated me and led to finally selling it off;

It is not really 200mm except at infinity, at nearer distances behaves as 130mm .. although Canon 70-200mm behaved differently .. checked with Sigma and they said the 200mm is calculated only at infinity

It is soft around the edges and that is consistently so at all focal lengths and becomes worse when distortions are obvious

Central sharpness is good and saturation good, but needs a lot of light and therefore resolution falls off very quickly in bad dull weather and low light and maybe focusing accuracy

Inspite of the big advantage of the zoom range I had to part with the lens because of all the inconsistencies that made good photos a matter of hit and miss and I deemed it was unreliable for my use.

Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS

Review Date: Oct 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good build, small at 18mm, and light. Excellent colours, saturation and focusing, although can hunt a biy with low contrast subjects in low light.. Sharpness is a tad below L-lenses .. but acceptable for the FL range. OS is effective and almost silent.
None so far

Was waiting for the Canon 18-200 IS till it was out, but had such bad reviews, and was not cheap. I use L-lenses and therefore wanted a practical all-round lens for everyday shooting.

This lens has not failed my expectations, it is not an L-lens, but it is one of the best non-L lenses I have ever used. Worth every penny and would recommend without any resservations.

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

Review Date: Sep 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: This lens is perfect in all departments. Extremely sharp . I owned the 200L and this one is better .. Very fast .. Air and water tight .. light weight .. IS is perfect .. What can I say .. Best lens Canon ever produced I would say

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

Review Date: May 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Decent build, fast and accurate AF, natural colours and contrast
f5.6 @ 300mm

Good value for money .. Decent build, fast and accurate AF, natural colours and contrast, definitely better than the 75-300mm III USM lens in about everything

The quality of build and shots are identical to the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM II, except for the higher f-stops. This makes it a superb lens in good weather and sunny days .. otherwise you would need to set a higher ISO to avoid the camera-shake .. and even on a tripod with a low ISO in dull weather the pictures are not superb .. This lens needs a lot of light to function, although I have to say that the fast acuurate focusing was not affected by grey dull weather, unlike it's cheaper siblings that tended to hunt a lot.

The USM FT-AF is another plus.

Please do not try to compare results to an f2.8 IS L-lens or to the 50mm f1.8 prime as you will be disappointed. The results are however very good under the ideal circumstances .. and I also produced some very sharp indoors pictures with a flash on a 20D.

Sigma 28-300 f3.5-6.3 Macro

Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Zoom range and price
evrything else

Wanted one lens with a good zoom range and for a good price to use on a Canon Rebel 300D. It produced some very average shots, and surprizingly I had to white-balance almost all the RAW images, pictures are always on the yellow tinted.

After upgrading to a 10D I moved to Canon lenses, and compared to the above average Canon lenses, like 28-105 F3.5 USM II which sells for about the same price, it becomes apparent how bad this lens really is.

Would not recommend it even for the cheap price ..

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good quality shots and cheap
Build is below average for Canon

I am not a regular widelife or sports shooter, but I needed a tele-zoom to complement my lenses. I was a bit disappointed by the build quality which is below average for canon, and the occasional hunting for focus. But, that aside, it produced some excellent images for the price. The pictures are sharp and focused provided you use a high shutter speed or a tripod .. i.e. if you practice good photographic basic techniques.

I compared the images to those shot using a Sigma 28-300mm lens, and the difference in quality by far exceeds the difference in price .. The Canon lens shots ooze with Canon lens quality.

For anyone who wants a good lens for occasional tele-photo images at a good price I would recommend this lens.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, sharp, cheap

Excellent for potraits on a 1.6 factor digital SLR. A must have for Canon owners. No other lens gives the same value for money. Not for landscape or scenery use though, get better results with the Canon 28-105mm and Tamron 19-35mm.

Go for it any Canon owner. Unmatched sharpness, shallow field for portraits, and excellent clear colours. Focusing not USM and therefore noisier and slower. But who cares at this price !!

Sigma 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 1 

Pros: Wide angle and price
Everything else

I bought this lens in search for a cheap wide angle for my 10D. I read some "Average" reviews, and because of my NOT-SO-BAD experience with a 28-300mm Sigma, I decided to give it a try.

Baseline is; the price truely reflects the quality of this lens .. very cheap.

I tried it under different shooting conditions and it just failed to deliver, and was retured within the week. The downfall of this lens is failure to accurately autofocus .. using manual focusing it produced good results .. so it had to go back !!

People may say it may be a quality control problem or that the lens may require calibration .. but who has the time and patience to try that .. you get a lens and it either delivers good sharp focused white-balanced shots or it doesn't, and this one did not.

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

Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A very good lens for everyday use
None to date

After reading the reviews I bought a Canon 28-135mm IS and took it for a day's shooting in a nearby park on a cloudy day to test the IS .. I was not impressed to say the least .. did more testing under different conditions and was still disappointed .. So I returned it in exchange for the 28-105mm 3.5-4.5 USM II and what a surprise .. This cheaper lens was excellent in everything .. Great build with distance markings, superfast accurate auto-focusing, very clear sharp image with excellent colours .. shame it was not more wide-angled ..

I recommend this lens without any hesitation for everyday use both indoors and outdoors .. may not be as sharp as the 50mm F1.8 for portraits, but excellent results throughout the zoom range .. especially around the F8.0 sweet-spot .. not so much at the aperture extremes

Excellent value for money and sharp results on my Canon 10D.

Tamron 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF

Review Date: Feb 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent colours and contrast
Hunts a bit for focus in dimmer light

This is an excellent lens. I bought it to complement my other Canon lenses 28-105mm, 50mm, 70-300mm, at the wider angle, for my Canon 10D. I couldn't justify the price for the Canon wide angles and I was not disappointed. I shot about 200 photos within 3 hours, of cityscape and lanscape with blue sky and sunshine, and was completely struck by the colours, sharpness and contrast of this lens. None of my other Canon's produced such colour. This must be Tamron's best hidden secret, as the 50mm f1.8 is Canon's.

Came with a free Hoya UV 77mm filter and petal hood, making the lens itself probably around 95 GBP + its accessories totaling 145 GBP for the whole kit. It is FANTASTIC.

On the negative side, it doesn't feel like a Canon build, it is no USM so focus is not as quick, and it hunts a bit for focus, especially in dimmer light. However as a landscape/cityscape lens you don't need the extra quick focusing. Indoors it needs good light for focusing and a pretty good flash to give good results.