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  Reviews by: leuphrates  

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

Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Unlike other zooms, it is reasonably sharp at all apertures on all focal lengths.
I would love to carry it heavier if it could have a bit more length. (70-300 maybe?)

That's why it is my only zoom lens!

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It is a reason to love photography!
Don't let your expectations downgrade this gem!

First I was dissapointed when I was comparing the two photos from 135 at f2.8 and 70-200IS at f2.8 at 135 mm. Enlarged, there was very little difference. 135 seemed to be a tiny bit better. I was expecting a huge difference. It is not! But that little difference makes the photo a live window to reality. And after some shootings in the local opera house, the difference became more obvius, since 135 is still better than 70-200IS at f2. And the bokeh is much more pleasing at that aperture. At f4 the lenses perform nearly identical. At f5.6 they are identical wrt image quality IMO.

Afterall am I happy with my purchase? I am. I love this lens. Since I got it, it is my main lens on 1DM2. I try to shoot everything with it.

Tame your expectations, and get one immediately. To shoot with this lens is a love affair.

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Review Date: Dec 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: A Marvel.

I frequently use it. And found another way to correct the apperance in PS. Apply 100% spherize effect and crop the middle. That's all. Your image becomes smaller but still very well corrected. (Better than DXO!)

Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF

Review Date: Dec 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $370.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp. Distortion free on 1.3 crop and corners are sharp too.
1.8 is soft but still better than many zooms at f2.8.

This is a great 20mm lens. I wish it will perform on FF as it did on my 1DM2. I made a comparison between 24-70 f2.8L, 17-40f4L, 24mmf3.5LTSE and 35mmf1.4L. 35f1.4 is on par after f4, (Wider than f4 35 is clearly winning!) Other lenses are beaten by this lens wrt image quality.

My first Sigma and I am very happy with it. I was so worried before I had it due to the reviews here. The mechanics are not that terrible IMO. And it focuses as accuretly (Not as fast maybe!) as my L lenses. Focus is slow but you hardly need fast focus at this focal length.

This lens is a must have considering the price-performance.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: Good Quality Closed down.
Wide side is soft, at f2.8 not usable. It has a problem with color rendering.

Well, much cheaper and smaller lenses have similar or better image quality at f8 or f5.6. At f2.8 this lens is a looser. Wide side is so soft, simply not usable. Not a practical zoom range IMO considering the alternatives. "Big and heavy" is never a problem for me as long as a lens does its job. (I use 70-200IS+1.4Ext+1DM2 and never complain, for example!) But this lens is so limited and its hugeness and weight start bothering me. So why?

Get a 35f1.4L and zoom manually by walking.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Review Date: Dec 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: You feel the force!
You still need to be a jedi to wield it!

1D Mark2 has a small sensor for it! You need ff. You need a digital slr full-frame. On film I loose 50% of shots either by under-over exposing or not being able to compose correctly. It is DIFFICULT TO USE. But if you can, you rule.

I used it wide open for night photos with 30 secs of exposures and more, tilted and shifted. I think it is a great performer. Yes, at f8 it is much sharper, but which wide isn't? At f3.5 it is still a good performer. I made a lot of casual low-light snapshots with pleasing quality. (I also have 35f1.4 and I know what low-light quality is!)

Tilt&shift makes you see the world differently and understand what perspective does to your photos. And how it enhances the feeling of a photo. I usually walk with this lens and observe the changing perspective around me. (I used it on XL1 via the adaptor to record this as video, but you loose the sight since it crops even more than the entry-level DSLR's.)

Not only for architecture and landscape only but for all types of photography, this lens is a king with its unique abilities on the wide side. But this does not ensure you will like it. Not everyone of us is a jedi in the galaxies. (I am for example, not yet.)

Being a manual focus lens add to the charming charisma of this marvellous instrument. It is not user-friendly, it is not cheap, it is not light, but it definitely deserves a 5/5. Even for the feeling of owning it.

It is a delicate weapon of a more civilised time...

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Oct 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything (Faster, Sharper, Lighter)
Nothing (24-70 is second grade compared to this lens!)

How? 24-70L is not even close to this lens! I borrowed a 24-70 from a friend and used it for a week. Either his lens was faulty or people here don't understand what sharpness is!!! At 1.4 35 is sharper than 24-70 at f2.8 till f4. At f2 35 is sharper than anything 24-70 could give. Much lighter. It is a light lens considering it as a super prime. It is not as fast as my noisy nikkors still, but fastest of my canon ef lenses. (I have 70-200 2.8 IS, 15mmfish, 24TSE)

Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Review Date: Oct 18, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and feature-full.
Overpriced right-now, comparing with D2X and 20D.

The dream-machine! But 8.2M pixels is not 1-class anymore, I think. 13x19 printouts are not satisfactory. Anybody interested? I am selling mine for 1DsM2...