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  Reviews by: ontime  

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Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Jul 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,220.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Screen is huge, 3-5fps drive mode selection, iso selection (increments and VF view), spot metering, sturdy body, etc etc
Silly print button!

I, too, have upgraded from the 350d. What a huge difference. I hated the small size of the 350d, as I have pretty large hands. This thing is a great size for my hands.

It is a big upgrade from the cheapy feel of the 350d. I know the 350d takes good pictures, but now I have a camera that looks and feels like a high-quality camera.

The 3-5fps switch is very useful if you want to document an action over a shorter or longer period of time, fully utilizing the buffer's capabilities. And - I must say - the buffer is quite impressive.

I just hope Canon does not show up with a camera between the 30D and the 5D in its upcoming announcements. I probably would have gone straight to that, I just couldn't fork out the 3-4 grand for the cameras above the 30D.

Either way, this camera will be my primary camera until I upgrade, at which point I will use this as a backup, because it is a solid, well-built, well-designed picture taking machine.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: May 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: On the cheap side for high-quality, f/1.4 of course, color, contrast
AF speed so-so, very thin DOF @ large aperatures (duh), hood separate, etc etc

Everything's been said. Good lens.

To the reviewer below: I've spent every penny with B&H since I've gotten into the DSLR world (includes 5 lenses, 1 camera body + accessories over 4 separate orders) and it has been worth it. Quick delivery (shipping to Hawaii and Indiana), decent pricing (not the cheapest on the 'net but I'll pay for the service), and their website is easy to use and well-designed. UPS has also been amazing, through B&H easy to track my packages and all that.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $670.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build quality, color and contrast, autofocus speed, FT-M
softness at 17mm, hugangous lens hood, at least for use on crop camera

I really needed a replacement for the 18-55, and I suppose I found one. But at 650+ dollars I expected more. Wide open, focusing near infinity, and @ 17mm, I find this lens to be soft. Other than that it is very sharp, but what use if I can't use the widest angle? Shrug. I'll probably sell it for something else. For now it'll do. Until then, my landscape pictures will be sub-par.

Ok good things: compared to the piece of garbage 18-55, color and contrast are excellent, although during a recent hike I had some overexposure issues. Probably user error, but I'll test it s'more. I'd like to replace it with an L prime or 16-35 L equivalent but they're super expensive.

This lens is kinda large, but don't be a wuss and be like "it's too big wahh wahh for walk around." Hey, it's big but not that big, it's on the heavy side but not really. That probably makes no sense.


Lowepro Mini Trekker AW

Review Date: Feb 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Holds quite a bit, AW cover, side mounts, strap buckles for added security, good padding
Positioning of buckles, tripod straps

First of all, I like the price of this product. I would only call myself a serious amateur (and a beginning one), so cheap is good. For around 100 bucks, this thing holds:

Digital Rebel XT with BG-E3 attached
Canon 70-200mm f/4L in the soft case, lens hood inverted
Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, lens hood inverted
17-55mm kit lens
Lens cleaning kit
Filter boxes
Super blower
AV and USB cables
Battery charger

I still have quite a bit of room left. I feel like I could probably fit one more body and with some rearrangement another lens in the main compartment.

The build is solid. The inside pockets have covers on the zippers so when they're closed, there's no danger of scratching anything.

The only gripe I have is not a really well-founded one, as this is a MINI trekker, but I'll mention it anyways. I'm about 6'2-6'3 and I find that the strap buckles look kind of silly and seem to be in the wrong place for bigger people. They still do the job well, but I think it would do its job best on a smaller person. That's about it. Overall: great buy!

Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Review Date: Jan 30, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: --
Quality Control

This is just a warning. The reviewers that talked about quality control were correct. I tested a copy at my local Ritz and decided to buy it and try it instead (10 days to return), so I took a large load of pictures, all types of apertures, manual focus, autofocus, the works. The copy I had was terrible. My 17-55 EF-S Kit outperformed it by FAR. I called pretty much every camera shop on the island (O'ahu, Hawaii) and no one had it. I'm definitely not going to have one shipped at the risk of getting a piece of junk lens. So I gave up.

I believe the other reviewers, and I would still like to get a good copy of this lens. It just seems like they could have done a much better job of build consistency.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Jan 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Sharp, sturdy build, price
AF hunts in certain situations, lens hood sold separately (wtf), tripod ring expensive, where's the red ring?

Excellent, excellent lens. Highly recommended. Wow.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Dec 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Not too heavy (although a batgrip would help to balance in the XT's case), super-fast autofocus, very sharp pictures.
The lens hood. White color.

I'm going to write this review as a beginner to the DSLR world. The last camera I owned was a Panasonic Lumix DMZ FZ-20, took a little over 5k pictures with that, then decided to move up so I could play with the big boys. I got the Rebel XT, the kit lens (garbage), and the 70-200 F4L as my mid-ranged weaponry.

4000/5000+ of my pictures with my last camera were shooting surfing,bodyboarding, and bodysurfing, and the 500 more were shooting motorcycle stunts. I haven't done that yet with this lens, but I have taken nearly 1000 pictures of a couple soccer games, a basketball game, and general shots of my campus here at ND. I'd say I'm still learning, but many of my pictures have been so amazing with a sharpness I have not seen before. I have not had any issues with this lens, and focusing has been absurdly fast (which I'm not used to), sharp, and accurate. It is also very quiet. Pictures are sharp across a wide range of apertures. I would like to have a 2.8 in this range, but I paid for an f4 so I'm not going to complain about difficulty in low-light situations. It's not like I was tricked into the f4.

The build: I don't have much to compare against. But I will say that this lens seems very, very sturdy. The white color does scream "steal me" as someone else pointed out. I'm not sure about its susceptibility to the weather. I have taken this lens out while it was snowing, 45 mph winds, and negative temperatures, but I covered it up with a homemade cover consisting of a trash bag and a wristband. It (and the camera) functioned well in these negative temperatures. On a final note here, the lens hood sucks. It does not go on fast enough (even after putting it on many, many times it takes guess work) and it seems loose on the lens.

Honestly, the real test will be in two weeks when I return to Hawaii, where I will be rejoining the surf photography world.