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  Reviews by: njandl  

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Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX Macro 1:1 Lens

Review Date: Jan 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp, wonderful bokeh, well-constructed despite extending element. Metal lens hood. Cheap!
Slow AF, distance to subject at 1:1 is very close. Makes most other lenses seem soft in comparison.

My first macro, and a great one. Beautiful results, especially at macro distances, but also for standard shots. My only real complaint is the AF, but honestly, in good light, it's fine. And like many photographers, I prefer MF in macro situations most of the time. Hard to find a better bargain than this.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Dec 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, great color and contrast, extremely effective IS, good size, f/2.8
Build (who hasn't said this...) is sub-par for the price. Unbelievable that Canon doesn't include a lens hood. Inexusable, in fact.

Bought this lens to replace my 17-40L, as I had a wedding coming up and I wanted something with more range and better low-light versatility. Well, the wedding fell through, but I haven't been able to tear myself away from this lens. Superb IQ--really gorgeous in every way; visibly superior to my 17-40. And I love the IS, even if lens shake is less of an issue with a wide angle. Being able to shoot at 55mm indoors in low light is great.

Clearly, the build is not L-quality, which was my main hesitation in buying the lens. But in all honesty, I don't beat up my lenses, much less bring them into bad weather very often, so having a weather-sealed, all metal body is not essential. I do wish the focus ring was wider, and that both zoom and focus rings were damped. But they are smooth and function perfectly well.

The bottom line is that this is the finest standard lens for a Canon 1.6 crop body in terms of your end result. If you can afford it (and even if, like me, you can only sorta afford it Smile , then you should buy it.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, build, AF, color and contrast, size. Absolutely everything you could want in a 70-200 f/4 lens.
As many have said, white lens = attention. Would love IS...but then sales of the f/2.8 IS would go WAY down ;)

My first L, and a true revelation. Phenomenal sharpness and color when I first tried it using film; equally great results now on my 20D. Light, great build and balance, and f/4 has been much less of a limiter than I thought. You still get great bokeh, and low-light is not nearly as much of an issue with digital. Would be untouchable if it had IS, but that might take away its best-L-glass-for-the-money status. Regardless, this is a truly great lens.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb build, USM, weathersealing (not that it matters as much on my 20D...), quite sharp, very good standard range on a 1.6x crop.
Hood is pointless with 1.6 crop bodies, not quite as amazingly sharp as I hoped.

Has become my walk-around lens on my 20D. Truly professional build quality, very fast AF, excellent range (though 17-55 would be nicer...). Generally very sharp results, including at f/4, but not quite as good as my 70-200 f/4L. Still, there isn't much better of a wide-angle for 1.6x Canon bodies unless you need f/2.8 (which would be nice, but the 16-35 has such variable copies I hear) or you're willing to try out a Sigma or Tamron, both of which are potentially good contenders. Bottom line: get a 17-40L used; it will be more than worth your money.