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  Reviews by: timpdx  

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Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Sep 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast AF, state of art IS, and of course, Awesome IQ and the best focal length that I have EVER worked with.
some vignetting at certain FL

First, this is the focal length I have been waiting for. I could have bought a 17-55 IS years ago but 17 on a crop body does nothing for me, yawn. But 15 is finally getting there. This is simply the best FL I have ever worked with and the sharpness is right there with my 24-105 (and I get the longer range). My copy is sharp wide open, which is great, because I only wish this lens were a stop faster. But no real complaints on this guy.

Oh, yeah, I just took an around the world trip and this is the *only* lens that I took. No regrets with this and the 7D. Good enough for paid work on a huge mother-of-all-trips. AF nailed stuff out of speeding cars, focused in dark rooms, IS worked (with care) down to 1/20 sec, and some 1/5 sec shots came out fine.

Owned this since it came out on a 40D and 7D.

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: I am simply in awe. Been shooting semi pro for over a decade and never seen glass this good.
Its darn expensive

Sharp, even wide open. Highly resistant to flare (except from near perpendicular light, hood protects from that)

There is no distortion. CA? I don't see it. Corners? Excellent. Build? L quality through and through. As a semi pro, this lens is going to get serious use. Lack of distortion and high resistance to flare means when I am shooting anything architectural, the 24-105 stays in the bag. For travel & stock, this gem will pay dividends in evening and night shots. There will also be narrow DOF applications which sharp 1.4 will help. Its nice and rectilinear, so I can sell my 50 Macro, because this is a great repro. lens for my purposes.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: A super-wide zoom at F2.8! Sharp.
Wish it were built for FF, but can be used on 5D at 16mm. But as a F 2.8 prime on FF, well, it works pretty darn well.

Thought about selling this many times, as I already have a 5D and nice copy of Sigma 12-24, but can't bring myself to sell it. F 2.8 is the reason, the Sigma simply isn't great until F8. So it is a niche lens on my 40D backup cam, and it stays in my bag. Distortion is low, focus on the 40D is very responsive. There really is nothing at this f-stop that can match it. I find it better than the 17-40 F4L that I had once. So it goes, limited use, but when I need it, its priceless.

Canon EF 35mm f/2

Review Date: Jul 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $259.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Light, inexpensive, sharp by F4, focuses fast for non-USM
Should be sharper than the 18-55 IS kit lens, but it is not. Bad CA, pink fringing. Non-USM.

I am surprised that the humble 18-55 IS just simply blows this away, even wide open vs. wide open. Of course wide open on this is F2. But I simply find wide open on this not really acceptable for a prime. I should be seeing better, but I am not, the 35mm F2 only gets really sharp and the CA goes away by F4. Well, the kit can do F4 and is still better. Back to Canoga this goes.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Review Date: Jun 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $160.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price to performance ratio is as good as it gets. Lens even took a hard fall, its sometimes amazing how well plastic will hold up.
Distortion is high, light CA.

There really is no comparison in terms of price to performance ratio. I have had mine for a year now and still have it mounted on my 2nd body (40D) all the time. Its really quite amazing that this lens can deliver at its price point. IS is quiet and effective, although it seems to miss a few rare times, as does my much more expensive 24-105. But the miss rate is low 2%. Its a very light lens, which is also great.

My lens also took a hard fall while I was hiking around, large amounts of dust/dirt was in the mechanisms. I wiped off what I could and it seemed to grind for a couple of weeks after the incident. But to this day 9 months later, it still performs like a champ.

I am taking off a couple of points on the rating for the distortion. It is high and I like to shoot architecture, even on my "lightweight kit" with the 40D. No question, the distortion is the highest on any lens I have owned. It is correctable.

Just a real incredible value for the dollar. I keep toying with getting a 17-55, but that lens is 7-8 times the price and the 18-55 IS is right up there on the price to performance curve, it is hard to justify spending that kind of money.

Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Simple, Bang for Buck. Does what it need to do at a very nice price point.
A bit slow on AF, not really that much slower given this is so wide on a 5D.

This lens is rated here on FM about right were it should be, IMO. 8.5-9.0. When I consider I got it used for under $300 than I put this closer to the 9 end. I have a decent copy, a teeny bit soft in the corners, but that is pixel peeping on a 5D-a demanding camera. It is not a nice as the 16-35L, which I have had the opportunity to try a few times, but then again, the L, even used, is 3-4 times the price I paid. It is nice a and light, and that is appreciated for I travel alot. When I can afford the L, I will probably spring for it, the 16-35L has less barrel distortion. But for now, this is staying in my bag.

Canon EF 20-35mm f/2.8L

Review Date: Jan 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great glass for price, plenty sharp wide open (not quite 16-35,but close). Nice build quality.
Non USM focus, takes a tad longer than my other L's.

Great lens for the going price on the used market, I have a nice sharp copy, very decent wide open, even better (like the 16-35 quality) by F4. Focus is good, although not USM, but still very accurate. Bought this for low light events and this is a great zoom range for that use, plenty of keepers at F2.8 and ISO 800 on a 20D. Its a keeper for me.

Tamron 28-300MM F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD VC AF

Review Date: Dec 30, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Good "all in one" range, decently sharp in good light, zoom lock. Nice at the 28 end.
Why buy a 300mm if it is going to be soft at the long end? CA is heavy when I used it to shoot surfers on reflective water. Focus speed is ok, not great.

This is "Cheap Reach" and that is all that needs to be said. At the 28 end this was quite sharp, compared will with my Canon 28-135 IS, maybe even better, but turned to mush at 300. I would not go above 200 with this lens, so, what is the point, get the Sigma 70-200 for a lower price and enjoy a sharp lens.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Dec 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Can't be touched for the price, considering what you get, it is worth it. A "little" taste of the L glass at around US$75.
Construction is so-so, not bad, really.

What else can I say? This should really be your first purchase after getting a DSLR, even those on a budget. I actually like the light weight, when travelling it is easy to keep a zoom on the camera body and stick one of these 50mm wonders in a pocket for low light churches or whatever. Focuses reasonably fast, bokeh is ok, lens protrudes just a tad. No reason not to get one, unless you have the 1.4.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Dec 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding lens, use wide open in low light theatre, dance and concert photography on a 20D and the sharpness and color are wonderful

Its worth the money.