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  Reviews by: jcmedeiros  

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

Review Date: Sep 24, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp sharp sharp Price, build quality
No weather seal

I bought this lens after seeing many positive reviews on forums. I owned mostly Canon lenses and mostly L series. When I have bought other brands they fell short of my expectations. This 50 definitely breaks that trend. It is quite simply fantastic. Sharpness, quiet accurate focusing, terrific build quality and jaw dropping IQ. My first outing with this lens had me convinced. The images were really stellar.

Other than a lack of weather seal there is little to complain about. Sigma has hit a home run with the 50 Art.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM

Review Date: May 8, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $998.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: edge-to-edge sharpness, IQ, IS

I have owned the 17-40 f/4L and the 16-35 f/2.8L II and this lens completely destroys both of them in overall image quality, especially in the corners. Canon has absolutely nailed it with this lens. Wide open it is excellent and stopped down it becomes incredibly sharp even at 16mm. CA is minuscule and a huge improvement over my previous WA zooms. Anyone who shoots landscape should definitely give this lens a try. With rebates this is a great value lens in the high priced L lineup.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Feb 16, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Other wordly IQ, light weight, phenomenal IS, lightning fast focus, better control layout
it is very pricey

Setting aside the daunting price, this is nearly a perfect lens. I owned the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS for ten years before deciding to upgrade to the 300 II. It is slightly lighter but the difference is very noticeable when slinging it around all day. I made a similar "weight based" decision and upgraded to the 400 IS II a few years back. The weigh difference there was like night and day. Still, the difference in handing is much appreciated.

The build quality is phenomenal. Having used the 400 II for several years I really do love the layout, especially location of the MF/AF and focus range switches. The hard anodized lens hood mount ring has also proven to be much more durable.

Once I received the lens, I dialed in the AF microadjustment for my 1Dx's and took it out to shoot some DII softball. The lens functioned flawlessly. The focusing speed seemed slightly faster. I know that is splitting hairs because the 300 I was rocket fast.

Once I got home and started pixel peeping the quality of the images were just incredible. I had never benn disappointed with the 300 I but man, some of these images are just stunning. The detail is definitely there and it is razor sharp wide open.

Overall I would recommend this lens if you can afford it. Over the service life of the lens it will be worth it based on reduced fatigue alone. Also, the used market is really full of these lenses now so the upgrade can be made slightly less painful.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Dec 3, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness weight

After paying the heavy toll to acquire the 24-70 II I am not in any way disappointed. The sharpness edge to edge is simply excellent through out the range. The focusing speed is also lightning fast and deadly accurate on the 1D mk IV and 1Dx. It actually approaches the 70-200 II, which is the finest zoom I've ever used. It is actually very usable for sports like basketball and volleyball. You certainly couldn't say this about the previous version. The images are also a bit more contrasty, which I really like.

I just love the lighter weight. Some people have complained that is seems more "plasticy" and "not as solid" but the weight savings has to come from somewhere. The new design's 24-105 style hood, which is very compact and moves with the front element, is also appreciated. The previous version's lens hood was a flimsy joke and prone to wear out or just break after a few years.

The cost is steep but I love this lens.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: May 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $11,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 3.4 lbs lighter that previous version razor sharp edge to edge IQ is simply outstanding lens collar rotation is (finally) smooth as silk
ludicrous cost

It is hard to find any fault with this lens. I owned an excellent copy of the previous version for just over six year and was never disappointed with the results it provided. When I saw the specifications for the IS II two things jumped out at me:

1) MTF charts indicated a nice improvement in edge to edge sharpness
2) it is 3.34 lbs lighter

Acquiring the new 400 IS II would seem to be a no-brainer - until I saw the estimated price was $10500 which was raised to $11500 before the first units even hit the stores. That is obviously a ton of money for anyone to shell out. After considerable hand-wringing, I decided to sell my 600 f/4L IS and 400 f/2.8L IS to raise the funds to purchase this lens - I hoped I wasn't making a huge mistake.

When the 400 II IS arrived I was immediately blown away by how light it was. I routinely hand hold the 500 f/4L and this lens is actually slightly lighter. I knew I could hand hold it but somehow picking it up for the first time was still a shock.

In recent weeks I have had a few opportunities to test it out and the results are absolutely stunning. I had used the 400/600 IS for so long I had gotten used to their immense mass and inertia. The reduction in fatigue when using this lens is a revelation. I've also tried the lens with the 1.4x I teleconverter and am quite happy with the performance and results. I do expect to purchase the 1.4x III soon since I hear the focusing speed is even better.

You can see some sample taken with my 400 IS II here:

To summarize my thoughts, I am very happy and very impressed with this lens. I have no regrets in selling two fine great white L's to finance the move.

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Review Date: Dec 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $510.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fun to shoot
Front lens cap restraint design

I carry lens with me wherever I go because it is so much fun to shoot and never fails to produces the most remarkable images. I've not owned any other fisheye lenses so I can't compare it quality wise with anything. All I know is the images this lens produces consistently puts a smile on my face. I own a lot of lenses so it is quite unique in that regard.

My only negative comment is the front lens cap which is restrained only by friction (felt lined cap). I always have the feeling this cap is going to fall off leaving the front element exposed. Other than this little nit, I am very pleased with the construction of this lens.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Sep 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, great color and contrast

I've owned numerous EF zoom lenses and this one is easily the best. My EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS was a phenomenal lens and I was skeptical when I heard the preliminary glowing reports on its successor. Well, everything everyone has been raving about is true. This lens rivals primes throughout its focal range. Add to this the improved IS, fast as lightning focusing and a much appreciated new hood lock design and you have the new benchmark standard for telephoto zooms.

Meet the new boss: the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Feb 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, image stabilization, brokeh, focusing speed

I acquired a nearly new 600 F/4L IS last Fall to shoot motorsports. I've owned the 400 f/2.8L IS for a couple years but really needed some extra reach. I'd used the 400 with extenders but wasn't really happy with it. I considered the 500 f/4L IS, an excellent lens which a good friend of mine owns. I've used it a couple of times but decided it was just too close to the 400 to justify it.

Once you adjust to the size and mass of the 400, the 600 is not any really much different. In fact, it seems to be a bit easier to handle. This is probably because of it's extra length and higher mass moment of inertia. Anyhow, it's size it not big deal to me.

My first outing with the 600 was at a WERA sanctioned event at Barber Motorsports Park last Fall. The results were just incredible. Shooting from very long distances was a breeze. I was able to rethink how I shot the track, creating new and unique angles that were just not possible with my 400.

Recently I've used it to cover baseball. Once again, the extra reach enables me to easily shoot the outfielders and create outrageously tight crops on the infielders. Shooting the infield and batters from the outfield is also quite amazing.

If you can afford this lens, I highly recommend it. A lot of the birders have their sites set on the 800, so you probably can find a deal if you're patient.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: price-focus speed-contrast
el cheapo hood

The EF 85 f/1.8 may be the best value in the Canon line up. I used it this Fall to shoot volleyball and I am very impressed. It consistently produces sharp contrasty images. Wide open it has a nice smooth brokeh. I've used the 85 f/1.2L and the 1.8 hold up quite favorably against it, especially considering the price difference.The focus speed is also quite good, way better than the high inertia 1.2/L.

At its price point, the 85 1.8 is very tough to beat.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light compared with 24-70L, IS, very nice range which matches 550EX TTL perfectly, reasonable price for an L
not a 2.8

This lens was of great interest to me having read so many positive reviews comparing it to the renowned EF 24-70 f/2.8L. I own a 24-70 and it is a very fine lens. It is also very heavy, has no IS and obviously doesn't have the same reach as the 24-105.

I recently bought a used 24-105L from an FM member and I am just thrilled with its performance. It is very sharp/contrasty and the colors are on par with the 24-70. Since I typically use a flash in close portrait shots, I don't really see the f/4 as being a great handicap. I think the IS more than makes up for its relative lack of peed.

You'd always like to have the fastest lens available but the versatility of this lens combined with IS make it tough to beat. I think my 24-70 will be spending a whole lot more time in the bag.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: May 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, lightning fast focus, smooth brokeh
Heavy as a sledgehammer

This was my dream lens and now that I've finally got it, I'm totally astonished at the images I'm capturing. For Baseball, Soccer or Motorsports this lens is a good as it gets. I've taken over 12000 images with it since I got it last Fall. I bring other lenses to every event I shoot but I always end up using the 400 2.8 all day long.

The only adjustment is the immense size and weight. It is massive and heavy. I use a Bogen 681B with and ARCA mount. This makes it manageable.

If you can afford it, you will love it.

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, sharp, out of this world brokeh,
Expensive but it's a sellers market on these babies.

This lens is everything I've heard and more. It's a world of difference at 1.8 vs 2.8. High shutter speeds in poor lighting conditions are now attainable. One word of cautions: if you try one and you'll want one.

I replaced the factory lens foot with the RRS item and it's a great addition. The lens hood fits over it when storing.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, sharp, great color

This lens in the kid brother of the fabled EF 135 f/2L. It's light and razor sharp with great colors. I don't know what there is to complain about with this lens. You can't go wrong buying this one.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness even wide open creamy smooth brokeh IS and focus speed
If you get to try one you'll want to buy one.

This lens is everything you've heard and more. I never thought I'd find a long telephoto lens sharper than my 300 f/4L non IS but this is it. The results are just amazing: lightning fast focus and razor sharp images even wide open.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Sep 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,470.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatile and sharp

If you can only afford one zoom telephoto, this is the one to get. I use it all the time shooting sports with/without the EF 1.4x extender and get fantastic results. I've shot down at 1/30th second hand held with the image stabilizer enabled with great success. This is the gold standard in L series zoom telephoto lenses.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Aug 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, razor sharp and very fast.

There's not much to say other than this is one fine lens. The Only my 300mm f/4.0L can compare to the razor sharp images produced by this jewel. With the aperture wide open the brokeh is phenomenal.


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