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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Review Date: Sep 30, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Autofocus, built, ergonomics, FPS, metering.
Value compared to competition, Sensor, No autfocus linked spot metering, no popup flash with master function

this is the best camera canon has ever made. It has amazing autofocus, good built, great ergonomics, great viewfinder, excellent metering, etc. Compared to what canon has offered in the past, its also a great value, as this could be all means be the 1dsIV. However the camera does not exist in a vacuum, and the elephant in the jungle is Nikon with both its d600 and d800. This camera with the sensor of Nikon d800 or d600 would be the cats meow, and I would even say its price would be justified compared to competition. but as things are now, canon is falling further and further behind sony (and hence Nikon) in the sensor technology. there are currently 3 reasons to by this camera
1. You are well invested in to canon, and its two painful and costly to switch (my case)
2. you want to shoot fast moving objects, you are not focal length limited, and you want the best value. The autofocus on 5d3 and 1dx is the best out there. better than what Nikon or anyone else offers. High iso performance is very good (though the d600 appears to be a touch better in raw), and 6fps is very good. d600 would not match it in AF, neither would d800. D4 is a lot more money.
3. There are specific lenses on the canon lineup that you really like, such is mpe-65, 100-400L, 70-200 f4L IS, 17 TSE, or the big whites.
Otherwise, between d800 or d600, you can find better value and better images.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Review Date: Aug 1, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $200.00

Pros: Sharp, light, good focus speed, cheap, good mfd
color and contrast not L quality, but respectable for class. Built

Just an update. I received a second copy of this lens, Mark II as part of the kit. tried it out, and was really impressed by the results I was getting. I tried it on a t3i to do some hummingbird shots, and it performed very well, with fast focus, and sharp results. for the price, this lens is a 9.
Here is a large sample of a humming bird in flight at 250mm f8

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Review Date: Nov 7, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small and light, good sharpness throughout range. Good effective IS
so so contrast. somewhat slow and noisy autofocus, cheap built

I purchase this as part of the promotion with a canon 7D, with intent to sell it. I already owned the excellent 70-200 f4IS, 70-200 f2.8 IS II, and 100-400 IS. However, I took it out one day when we were going to the beach, and enjoyed shooting with it. It is very light and small. sharpness is good, though color and contrast not so great. autofocus is a little slow and noisy, but that is all expected. I decided to keep it for now, as a nice beach/hiking light lens. dont expect miracles (L sharpness or color and contrast) just very respectable.
Here is a surfing shot from the beach

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

Review Date: Apr 30, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good color and contrast. excellent range. good stopped down, improved vignetting and corner sharpness compared to 1. takes filters. good star burst stopped down
on the side end, corners at f11 are still not completely sharp. 82mm filter size.

I have shot many ultra wides on my 5D Mark II, often comparing them side by side. These include 16-35 I, 16-35 II, 17-40, Nikon 14-25, Samyang 14, and canon tse 24.
Compared to 17-40, it is slightly better micro contrast, a little less distortion on the wide end, and better corners on the wide end. compared the the nikon, which I also use with an adapter, the corners, exp on wide end are softer. they are close at f11, although nikon still has an advantage. also nikon has better microcontrast. On the down side, nikon is a lot more flare prone, which can really decrease contrast. also the nikon does not take filters. This lens sweet spot is 19-22, although its good the rest of the range also, and stopped down, give very good full frame performance, though always not spectacular. Its also my favorite indoors video lens, and a wonderful PJ lens. Over all, its a lot like the 5d2, very versatile, very good in many areas, but not spectacular.

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Nov 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Range Distortion generally well controlled. Center sharpness is good Good CA control
Corners, never completely sharp Slight decentering No possiblity for filters slightly flare prone

using this lens on a 5D, and 5DII. Returned my copy to sigma for some decentering. Came back better, but not perfect. The corners are never sharp, even at f11-f16, but the rest of frame is very good. I look at it as an effective 14mm lens, as I have to crop the corners out if I want great sharpness for large print. Contrast is good. CA is surprisingly good. A little prone to flare, especially b/c of protruding front element.
It also makes for a very fun indoor video lens.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Mar 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: bokeh, built, price, color, contrast
some autofocus issues. corner sharpness

Yes, I consider this lens a bargain, and I paid full retail price when it came out. the color and contrast and bokeh are not far from the 85 1.2. I like it better than my 35 1.4,
wide open, has good center sharpness and ok corner sharpness. not as sharp as 85 1.2, but still very good. stopped down its excellent as would be expected in center. handling is nice.

AF is not always confident. also it seems to require different MFA at MFD vs Infinity.

Still I like it a fair bit.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Mar 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent sharpness, great microcontrast, colors, very accurate focusing
purple fringing, a little slow, price.

I bought this used on FM, while the rebates were going on for a final cost of 1400. I already owned 85 1.8, and was not planning to hold on to the 1.2 for long.
The lens quickly became my favorite. for available light portraits, it truly a remarkable lens. I also shot with the 135L, and much prefer the focal length and larger aperture of this lens. PF is a problem but correctable in acr. sharpness is truly remarkable.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Feb 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: resolution, video, menu system, custom functions, microfocus adjustment
shutter lag, autofocus

No camera is without flaws. For my style of shooting, 5D2 has no significant flaws, and is a great value.
I do wish the other 8 autofocus points were cross type sensitive. I dont need more of them, just maybe more accurate peripheral ones.
The shutter lag remains to be worse than in house 40D and 50D as well as d700. I wish this was different, and it should be given the target market.

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

Review Date: May 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: weight, center sharpness through out range. close focusing distance, value
corner sharpness full frame between 28-50. Low light focusing, focusing speed.

I have had this lens for 3 years with extensive use. I have also recently purchased the canon 28-70 2.8L, and own the 24-105. On my 5D, the center sharpness is very similar, with Tamron at times exceeding canon. The corner sharpness of tamron is far behind canon, which is amazingly sharp in the corners wide open. somewhere between 5.6 and 8, the tamron becomes very sharp.
Focusing speed is good, not as quick as the canon. Color and contrast is slightly better on canon, as is distortion on the wide end and lateral chromatic aberration. All that said, tamron is an unbelievable value. On a cropped sensor it makes a killer portrait lens, and you dont have to worry much about the soft corners. It also has very close focusing distance, which is very nice to have.

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Nov 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, weight, handling
by now a little dated. Does not have some of the newer features like Live view. 3fps. not the 1 series auto focus

The 5D will remain a classic. At the current price point, there is nothing like it. The image quality is absolutely fantastic, and the camera is very usable at iso 1600. I was turned of by the weight and bulk of 1 series camera.
I have had no issues with this camera. This camera is best suited for landscape and portrait photography as well as travel photography. With the current canon lens lineup, the combination of 5D and 24-105 makes the best general walk around option. Very happy with this cam.

Sigma Electronic Flash EF 500 DG Super

Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price, features, functionality

Bought this used to work with my 430ex. It has worked perfectly for me with consistent exposure, and not problems for 4 months. Good recharge time. The build is certainly not as nice as the 580 or 430, but cheaper. Good value.
however, compatibility issue with newer bodies

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

Review Date: Nov 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,485.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, even wide open, through out the range. constant 2.8, IS, fast and accurate focusing. Optically fantastic. Great portrait range on the 5D
Heavy after shooting for 2 hours. Price I suppose.

Looking at some reviews, there may be sample variations. I am very happy with the image quality of mine, wide open, for portraits, through out the zoom range. It is slightly softer at 2.8, 200mm, but still plenty sharp for portrait use. Focusing is fast and confident, and built is fantastic. The F2.8 gives a shallower dof, with excellent bokeh, and allows for better focusing in low light compared to f4 variant. I tried both lenses (f4-is, and f2.8-IS) and after all was said and done, felt the 2.8 is worth the weight and extra cost.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Review Date: Jun 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: very sharp in center, even at 1.4. fast hsm focusing. Nice solid built. Good price.
softer in the corners especially considering its a prime.

bought this lens used on this forum. Was having focus problems (inconsistency) on my 350. Once I upgraded to 400, the focus is dead on 95% of the time. good center sharpness. nice built. good value. .

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Fantastic image quality, except 200-300 in portrait mode, when sometimes the focus appears to be off, or image blurry. Excellent value. IS is so fantastic on a long zoom lens
build leaves much to desire

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $303.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fantastically sharp, fast focusing
a little long on a 1.6 crop for portrait photography

its a gem. It is so much better than my 50 1.8, except the focal lenght of 50 works better for me on the 1.6 crop sensor.

Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fantastic image quailty from f 4 on.
Extends while focusing, slow and clumsy focusing.

maybe all macro lenses are slow focusing. thats my biggest beef with this lens. I dont think there is much difference in image quality between the various manufacturers (canon, sigma, tamron).


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