Photoshop actions

  Reviews by: thedigitalbean  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Visit Homepage Add thedigitalbean to your Buddy List
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Jul 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness across the frame, nearly absent CA, effective IS, AF, hood
Weight, price

An absolute knock-out for Canon. The lens is very sharp even wide open. I find it to be acceptably sharp even at the edges wide open, a remarkable feat for a zoom. CA is virtually absent and the bokeh is a very pleasing. The IS is quite effective and the AF (only tried on 1-series bodies) is very fast.

I also own the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II and I can without any reservation say that the Canon is as good if not better in every way that I've tried so far. This lens has a minor amount of breathing but nowhere near as bad as the Nikon.

In my opinion, this zoom negates the need for primes (to get optimal IQ) in its range except special purposes (like the 100 Macro if you need macro or the 135 f/2 if shooting at f/2 is essential).

Its too bad the price is high as it is but it looks like its starting to come down a little already.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Review Date: Apr 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, CA levels, smoothness of focus, super rotator design, build, colors and contrast

I've been using this lens mostly for landscapes for about 4 months now. Its is quite simply a spectacular optic. Even fully shifted, it is sharp in the corners with little CA. The colors are superb and all the build and controls exude quality.

After using it a few times, I can't complain about the price either. Its expensive but you get quality for the $$$.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

Review Date: Jun 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Impressive resolution & IQ, great AF, build, general speed
LCD resolution, buffer size

Lets get the negatives out of the way right away. IMO this camera is missing mainly two improvements that it should really should have had. First is the LCD, it should have had a 900k LCD, shame on you canon. Second is the buffer size, it should have been bigger. Memory is cheap, dirt cheap and a bigger buffer is not unreasonable to ask for in a $8k camera.

Now the good stuff. First its the files, oh my, what files. When paired with top class lenses, the images this camera produces is truly stunning. ISO 1600 is quite conservative noise wise, and I find I can get great downsampled results at ISO 3200 and beyond (by pushing in post).

I really like the autofocus system on this camera. Having a nicely distributed set cross type AF points is fantastic for low light shooting. I've found it to be the best AF I've ever used for low light photography. The area could of course be bigger.


Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp right into the corners, wonderful bokeh, lightning fast AF, punchy colors and great contrast, total lack of CA

This is probably Canon's finest piece of glass to date. Extremely sharp, I've found it to be very sharp even at the corners by f/2.8 on the 1Ds3, making it an excellent landscape lens. The lens also has almost no CA even wide open and even in the corners, truly impressive.

The bokeh has a wonderful quality to it and is as nice as the 85L (though has a different feel that the 85L bokeh). The AF is lightning fast and the IS is extremely effective.

Of course there's the price and the weight, but I guess you can't have it all.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $10,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, beautiful colors, fast AF, very effective IS, lack of CA
Vignetting at f/5.6, price

I've had this lens for 9 months now so I think I have a good idea of its characteristics. I had the 600 before and still have the 500.

The IQ is incredible and its a fine piece of glass. It does vignette at f/5.6. One other difference between this and the 500 and 600 is the lack of CA, even at the edges of the frame. The IS is also a lot of more effective. I've found that I can forego the Wimberley and shoot with a monopod or even short bursts handheld (something I couldn't really do with the 600).

Yes its expensive but the sting of the cost goes away after a few months Smile

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Review Date: Jun 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp even wide open, little no CA even wide open, focus is fast, bokeh seems improved over the Mk1 (and the 35L)
Price, vignetting from f/1.4 - f/2

Bought this lens almost as soon as it was available and I've been shooting with it for a few months now. I also own the 35L and have owned the mk1 before.

The lens is superb. Its extremely sharp, the colors are punchy and the CA is virtually absent. The only IQ downside is the vignetting from f/1.4 to f/2, it seems to vignette a little bit more than the Mk1. I find that this makes little different to my photos since the types of pictures I take with this lens end up needing that vignetting. The combination of sharpness, shallow depth of field for a wide angle, little CA, punch colors and vignetting give a unique rendering to the images produced by this lens and its a rendering I like a lot.

Canon EOS 40D

Review Date: Nov 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: - bigger viewfinder - 6.5 fps - low shutter lag / blackout time - quieter mirror release - live view (it really is useful) - menu system - fast, accurate AF - solid build - good value
- LCD resolution is poor - shooting mode dial

I have owned and shot with just about every Canon body from the last 5 years. I purchased this one as a backup/second body to my 1D3 for a safari trip.

Canon has really refined this camera over the 20D/30D. The fine touches like the bigger viewfinder, low shutter lag and blackout time make it a real pleasure to shoot with. I am also a fan of Canon's new menu system (with My Menu) and I find it quite intuitive.

I am also a fan of live view. I have so far found it to be extremely useful not only for Macro work but also when traveling when I am in a situation where I can't put my eye up to the viewfinder. The implementation of AF during live view on the 40D works quite well (I wish Canon offered a firmware upgrade to add this feature onto the 1D3). The mirror flips down, AFs and flips up again very quickly when trying to AF in live view.

I photographed several moving animals with this camera while on safari and the AF didn't miss a beat. I was however irritated with the shooting mode dial. Because of its placement I found that while putting the camera in and out of the backpack I was using the dial would inadvertantly get changed quite often. This is a real nitpick but I did encounter it a few trips during my trip.

Overall, I think the 40D is a fantastic camera. The 400D probably still gives the best bang for buck, but if you can swing the extra $$$ for the 40D, I say go for it.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $595.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, amazing bokeh, colors, sharpness, internal zoom
f/4 can be a little slow at times

Buy one, you won't regret it. Its incredibly sharp, the bokeh is just wonderful and its a blast to shoot with. Its also not as heavy as its f/2.8 brother.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent build, internal zoom, sharp, good color and contrast, light, close focussing
f/4 is a little on the slow side

Excellent value. I love the fact that I have to do very little processing with the pictures I get from this lens. It is on my 300D 90% of the time and is a joy to use.

I was also surprised by how well it can do close-ups due to its close focussing distance.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: - Very useful range, particularity for travel - Sharp from 24-85 - Image stabilizer very useful - Light, Good build and finish - Very fast and good focussing
- Distortion, barrel distortion at the low end, pincushioning at longer focal lengths - Slow - CA from 17-24

The image quality was pretty good. I noticed very little difference in color rendition between this and the 17-40L. Center sharpness is almost at 17-40 level.

There is however barrel and pincushioning distortion, and the CA from 17-24 is noticable.

That being said, given its versatile range, IS, good build and fast AF, I wouldn't wholly recommend this lens either for travel or if you are looking for one lens to suit all your needs.

I have a detailed comparison between the 17-85 IS and the 17-40L here: