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  Reviews by: ivofreriks  

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Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO

Review Date: Jul 7, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: High resolution, even at f/2.8 Centre resolution and corner resolution are almost equal at all apertures Very low distortion Very low vignetting from f/4.0 Low chromatic aberration Good value for money
AF could have been faster and quieter

Tested this lens with the Nikon D800E: the sharpness of the Sigma 70mm macro at f/2.8 is immediately very high, both in the center and in the corners. The amount of vignetting on a full frame camera is low, the distortion is low and the chromatic aberration is kept well within bounds. The design of the autofocus is old and an upgrade towards quieter and faster would be a good idea for Sigma. The finish is of a high level and the asking price for the Sigma 70 mm Macro is relatively low, if you consider it's stellar optical qualities (with a Nikon D800E).

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Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S NIKKOR

Review Date: Jun 8, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Large aperture High resolution (tested @ Nikon D800E) Low distortion and chromatic aberration
Weight Price Longitudinal chromatic aberration

The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is in combination with the Nikon D800E a perfect lens, in terms of optical and mechanical properties. What is left to wish for?
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Apr 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: High resolution Large, constant aperture Well built Extra sealed against dust and moisture
Heavy and a high price No image stabilization Visible vignetting Visible distortion at 24 mm and 70 mm Lower resolution at 24 mm, aperture 2.8 to 5.6

The Canon 24-70 mm is built like a tank: large and heavy. In combination with the Canon 5D MK2 the Canon 24-70 mm yields a very high resolution. It's weaknesses are vignetting, distortion at 24 mm and 70 mm and chromatic aberration at 24 mm. They all can be corrected with software afterwards. Many amateur photographers probably will prefer the cheaper, lighter and more compact Canon 24-105 mm, which also offers a larger zoom range and built in image stabilization.

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Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR ED-IF AF-S DX S

Review Date: Mar 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Practical zoom range Low chromatic aberration Decent construction
Moderate optical performances in corners and at 85 mm in centre and corners Sensitive to backlight High recommended retail price

On paper, the Nikon AF-S DX 16-85 mm seems very interesting. The zoom range is 2 mm larger at the bottom, where every millimeter counts, than the zoom range of the Nikkor 18-105 mm and the Nikkor 18-55 mm. The 16-85 mm feels more solid than the other two and the purchase price is considerably higher. Optically, the 16-85 mm performs little or no better than the much cheaper Nikkor 18-105 mm. The price/quality ratio of the Nikon 16-85 mm therefore receives an inadequate.

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Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye

Review Date: Mar 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Extremely wide viewing angle Little flare when taking pictures in backlight Very fast AF Can be used with APS-C and full frame sensors Well built Compact Good value for price
Very high chromatic aberration Low corner sharpness Apertures below f/8.0 less usable because of chromatic aberration and low corner sharpness

The Tokina 10-17 mm Fisheye is suitable for both APS-C and full frame camera's. This lens is compact and focusses fast. Vignetting is remarkably low for a wide angle lens, as is the susceptability for glare. Distortion is large, but this is normal for a fisheye lens. Corner sharpness is, even at f/8.0, low. The main disadvantage of this lens is the very high chromatic aberration associated with high contrasts. If you know how to correct for this phenomeneoon in post-processing, you will enjoy making many pictues using this this lens. Tokina 10-17 mm Fisheye gives you good value for your money.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Mar 22, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very good picture quality: high resolution, high dynamic range and good signal to noise ratio Full HD video camera that dleivers you a shallow depth of field Bright viewfinder and a 920,000 pixels display Accurate and fast AF (especially the center point)
Viewfinder information of the Canon 5D MK2 is difficult to read in bright light The AF Canon 5D MK2 lis ess suitable for autofocus tracking Central AF sensor works faster and more reliable than the other AF sensors White balance @ tungsten can be improved

Even two years after its launch, the Canon 5D MK2 is still a very fine camera. Resolution, dynamic range, color reproduction and signal to noise ratio of this camera are all very good, even at today's standards. You'll achieve the best performance at ISO 50, though the quality differences with 100 ISO are minimal. For a full-frame camera, the Canon 5D MK2 has a compact and lightweight construction. The menu is userfriendly and the buttons are placed at the right positions.
Owners of an APS-C camera who consider to buy a full frame camera, definitely will get a higher image quality as return on their investment. But only if you also use very high quality lenses!

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Canon EOS 7D

Review Date: Mar 22, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Bright, large optical viewfinder with 100% viewfinder coverage A picture quality you would expect from a prosumer camera Additional sealing against dust and water Fast autofocus and with 8 frames per second fast image processing
No in-camera correction of distortion and chromatic aberration All 19 AF points located in the center Buffer is full after 15 RAW files

There are a lot of positive things to say about the Canon 7D. The camera and autofocus are fast. The picture quality is comparable to the Canon 5D MK2. The viewfinder and the screen are very pleasant to work with. We have not tested it, but the camera is also very suitable to make full HD videos with in terms of specifications.

Why would you choose a Canon 7D instead of a Canon 60D or a Canon 5D MK2? The Canon 7D is in many respects almost equivalent to the Canon 5D MK2, but offers more modern video capabilities, while the price is much lower. The crop factor of 1.6 and the rapid image processing makes the Canon 7D more suitable for sports and wildlife photographers than the Canon 5D MK2. The Canon 5D MK2 has nicer bokeh and a higher resolution in the RAW files.

The Canon 60D is cheaper than the Canon 7D and uses the same 18-megapixel sensor. The bright viewfinder and larger viewfinder magnification of the Canon 7D is a major advantage over the Canon 60D. But the Canon 7D also offers several features that are normally only found on professional cameras, such as the extra seal against dust and water, and the built-in wireless control of flash. And that is something the Canon 60D does not have.

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Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Mar 22, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Extreme wide angle zoom range Light Decent image quality Little distortion (with in-camera correction)
Distortion at 10 mm Resolution at the edges remains behind on the center

The Canon 10-22 mm is a light and relatively compact wide-angle zoom lens with decent performances. For a wide angle zoom lens, distortion, chromatic aberration and flare are well controlled. Who uses the standard lens profiles in Lightroom will not suffer from chromatic aberration and distortion in practice. Relatively speaking, the optical performances at 10 mm are a little less than at the other focal lengths. At 10 mm, you win resolution in the center by stopping down 1 or 2 stops. At the other focal lengths, you already reach the highest resolution at full aperture. At all focal lengths, the Canon 10-22 mm performs better in terms of resolution in the center than in the extreme corners.

In terms of viewing angle and image quality, the Canon 10-22 mm does not differ much from the more expensive Canon 16-35 mm lens MK2 lens. If you take the same photo at a focal length of 24 mm @ full-frame with a Canon 5D MK2 + Canon 16-35 MK2 combination and put it next to a photo taken with the Canon 7D + Canon 10-22 mm combination, it is hard to determine what images was taken by what camera. Unfortunately, the Canon 10-22 mm 3.5-4.5 is not as bright as the Canon 16-35 mm 2.8 MK2.

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Canon EOS 60D

Review Date: Mar 7, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Signal to noise ratio Color rendition at daylight Dynamic Range Fast and reliable autofocus (less with moving objects) Handy tilt swivel screen, low weight and easy to use menu
Less easy to use in comparison with the 50D No AF micro adjustment Color rendition at tungsten

The image quality of the Canon 60D will be more than sufficient for most amateur photographers. Color accuracy at daylight is good, even better than the color accuracy of the Canon 5D MK2. The auto white balance performance at tungsten light leaves (as for many other camera) room for improvement.

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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Mar 7, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good sharpness at 24 mm and 35 mm and in the center at 16 mm Fast AF Seals against dust and water
Moderate sharpness at 16 and 35 mm at f/2.8 and f/4.0 Chromatic aberration a bit too high

The Canon 16-35 mm II has a fast autofocus and the finish is of a high level. Optical wise, there is something to be desired, especially in the 16 mm position. The sharpness in corners is pretty low, the vignetting is clearly visible and the distortion is high. At 24 mm the resolution becomes higher. In addition, the vignetting and distortion become much lower. In some aspects the cheaper Tokina 16-28 mm performs better than the Canon 16-35 mm II.

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