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Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Nov 6, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Stunning image quality, solid, fast, good battery life, full frame.
Dust, LCD screen is not good enough

I thought I'd post a follow up review. I've had my 5D for close on 2 years now and it's been superb. It's been 100% reliable, it's produced amazing images and it's able to produce rich and vibrant pictures, even at high ISO's.

The only negative aspects are the dust that seems to get in on every second lens change but no biggie, the screen just isn't good enough to give a real idea of the exposure in some situations. Yes, the histogram is used for judging exposure but in many situations I find that the highlights are blown when the histogram looks good so a better and bigger LCD would be nice.

The thing that I have found is that with cheap lenses you are cramping the camera's ability. When used with great lenses such as the 85L mkII or the 35L it's able to produce awesome images. I strongly suggest that if you have this camera that you sell all your average lenses and have even just one good lens and build up a good collection.

Since buying the 5D I must have shot coming on 100,000 exposures, all without fault. I've had countless magazine front covers and note that the power users who rate the 5D with low marks saying it's small, flimsy etc just are being silly.

If a new version (when a new version) comes out with a bigger screen, dust removal, more pixels, wider spaced focus points etc I will buy that but at the prices that you can buy the 5D for now it's an absolute bargain. Marks out of 10? 11. Smile

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Aug 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Gorgeous image quality, sharp right from f/1.2, excellent build.
None, worth every penny.

Holy smoke this thing is awesome!

I can't imagine life without it. I saved for a long time to get this and have the 35L and 50 f/1.4 so was hoping for a lot but never did I imagine it would be so much better than I ever expected.

In no time at all I was getting amazing 3D images and this complements my 5D superbly giving resolution that I had never seen before. Yes, it is expensive, very expensive. I had used the 85 f/1.8 and was not that happy with its image quality, this smokes it completely. As much as I love my 24-70L it's pretty redundant now that I have the 35L, 50 f/1.4 and 85L as this combo gives so much creative possibilities and IQ.

If you're on the fence and not sure about spending so much on this lens all I can say is that you should give it a try but don't try it until you can afford it as you'll be working out all maner of ways to raise the cash.

I've rated this as a 10 out of 10 but this is the one lens I wish I could give 11.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent colour and contrast giving superb images. Fast to focus, sharp, actually very sharp and crisp even wide open at f/1.4 which is good, that's why I bought it!
Maybe I have an odd one but I get super accurate focus on my 5D except when I use it in the servo focus mode. I nearly took it back because of this.

This is a lens that I have wanted for years and finally got one due to a Canon promotion that saved a lot. I was so looking forward to it but after my first day's shooting I loaded up the images to revel in the OOF brilliance and was devestated to find that I had only a 10% keeper rate. I use a 50mm f/1.4 so understand the issues with wide apperture so knew that something must be wrong somewhere.

After a bit of experimentation I discovered that when used on my 5D in servo focus (as on the first day) it is hit or miss, not just wide open but even at f/5.6 etc. My 24-70L is bang on in servo. When used in one shot mode wide open it's perfect, 90% keepers - and what keepers they are too!

Aside from my focus issues this lens produces rich and well balanced tones. It is very sharp, has excellent contrast and is the lens that I tend to keep in the small bag for taking everywhere. I've hardly used my 50mm lens since getting this.

I've waited some time to review this lens here and have taken well over 1,000 pictures with it, and based on the results, have given this lens a 10/10 as it is so good and in my opinion is good value for the money.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Crisp, sharp and accurate. Very good colours. A great partner to a FF sensor.
Quite heavy makes my 5D feel like I need to get the battery grip.

I bought mine just a week after buying a 16-35L and feel spoiled for choice as both complement each other very well.

On my first family outing with the 24-70L I snapped away trying the lens out at a range of apertures and got home expecting that just a few would be any good. All bar a few were keepers and that was a surprise. I've since used this on a good number of shoots and feel very confident in using it in low light wide open. Wide open it's quite sharp but at around f/4 on my copy I felt it was running close to my 100mm f/2.8 macro.

I had been drawn to the 24-105L IS but as welcome the IS would have been I needed to be able to suck in more light and have a pretty distortion free wide angle for the times that my 16-35L was at home and when flare could be a problem this seems more controlled that the 16-35L but naturally it's not anywhere as wide.

My 50mm f.1.4 is a very good copy and so was expecting that this lens would not match it but I suspect that except for the very low light situations I'll not be using that so much. The 24-70L seems much faster to focus and it's bang on, silent and an excellent performer.

The big worry from reading forums was the apparent QC issues so was almost expecting to have to take it back to get another copy. I need not have worried. Yes, mine may not be as good as some others, I've not been able to compare yet, but using the 100mm macro as a datum it's looking excellent to me.

A big thumbs up from me!

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent colour, very sharp, fast and accurate focusing, good solid build. Superb images.
It's not cheap.

I'd been using a Sigma 15-30 for ultra wide images on my 5D and it was driving me mad when used at wider apertures, not bad but compared with say the 50 f/1.4 it was really poor. This gem has opened up a new world in terms of quality giving lots of 3D pop that I was looking for. I really like its crisp and smooth images, it seems to really pull in the light in my ding recording studio situations and first shoot with it made a magazine cover.

I bought mine knowing that the new version is due out soon but to be honest, I wonder how much better things can get - if the new version was an F/2 or something that would have stopped me but images on my first few demanding photo shoots demonstrated excellent sharpness from wide open, better than I would have expected.

If I can find a single niggle it would be that flare needs to be watched out for. I still will be getting the 35L but for the majority of wide angle pictures I think that this is a gem.

Just to add, I had tried out the 17-40L f/4 and my copy compared to that is a fair bit better and much more flexible.

A serious thumbs up from me!

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, pretty sharp and good contrast. Very affordable.
Shame it's only f/2.8. It's not the strongest of lenses but at this price who cares?

I bought mine off eBay for about 120 so roughly $200.

This is an interesting lens, it is very cheap and it gives consistantly good images. I made a very silly mistake on a shoot the other day, I was working in very low light and fumbled around in a dark corner and put the wrong lens on, the 28-106 f/3.5-4.5, and only because there were so many distractions and at 28 the FL isn't that far off I didn't realise for a minute until I couldn't figure why the image was so soft. Doh, realised my mistake (I still don't know how I didn't realise with it's size!) and put on the 24mm, ah, that's better, nice and sharp! It was like opening a dirty window.

In low light I can shoot wide open and know I will have a tad of work in PS to improve the images but from around f/4 it's very good. For the money I think it deserves a 10 for value. The build is a bit flimsy so gave it a 7 for that though it will probably work fine for years.

I compared sharpness and overall quality with my 50mm f/1.4 and it's not quite as god but it is good. I also compared with my Sigma 15-30 at the 15mm end (I have a very good copy) and it's not as sharp but has better colour.

If you're looking for a good general wide lens for full frame I think that this is an excellent lens, on 1.6 crop it's probably not wide enough.

I use this on my 5D and it gives great results. I don't think that I've used it above f/5.6 so maybe people who shoot at higher apertures will be even more pleased.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Feb 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent punchy images, good contrast, versatile and superbly sharp.
Lens hood is extra but well worth getting.

Yes, I can confirm after extensive real world use on my 5D, this is an excellent lens. It is super sharp and produces punchy and well saturated detailed images.

I could write loads but there's no point, it's just a great lens and although it's not cheap it's well worth getting.

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Jan 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fabulous performer in pretty much every respect. Superb low light performance, superb dynamic range, excellent viewfinder, fast AF, the list goes on.
Possibly the price but I think it's great value overall.

My critical shooting conditions, mostly shoots in dim recording studios, demand good low light ability and the 5D has proved to be way better than anything else I've been able to try. OK, I am coming from a 10D and I am sure that 20D users will be used to some of the advances available here but now with full frame my lenses are right, for example my 50mm f/1.4 is now just wonderful giving the intended wider field of view and superb low light combination and my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 is also superb.

I am so in love with the 5D. It produces such beautiful images.

Pretty much every positive reason for getting one of these has been listed below but for me the highlights include: Excellent low light performance, it's full frame, flexible range of ISO settings, great viewfinder, great LCD screen (though possible a fraction flattering?), it produces so many 'keepers' - the images are superb.

Any cons? None for me.

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast focus, great build, tripod mount included, superb bokeh, great contrast and colours.
It's a bit heavy.

I'd wanted one of these for ages and am so pleased that I eventually got one. I was a bit surprised at the weight and size compared with the Canon F4 70-200 and started to have doubts about having made the right choice at first but after taking it out and about a few times I know that it will not be up for sale. I got the Sima used for about the price I could have got a new f4 Canon.

My copy gives superb results even at f/2.8, it focuses fast and find that image quality blows away my Canon 50mm f/1.4. I'd say that if you compared the difference with say the Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 and the 50 f/1.4, the Sigma is as good again. Maybe I have been lucky but this Sigma is stunning. I compared it with a Canon f4 70-200L and couldn't really find any fault with the Sigma, it seems to have a smoother image.

Downsides? The Canon f4 lets you focus closer and the Canon is smaller and lighter.

The 2.8 is great in lowish light work and is a great lens, well worth the money and a great addition to the camera bag!

Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Sep 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent optics, good contrast and colour, solid build quality and it's sharp.
Absolutely none for the money.

I bought mine off eBay for roughly 200 (about $340) and was more than impressed at the quality of this lens on my D30. It's produced amazing results and have noticed that it needs very little contrast adjustment, possibly a little extra yellow (as mentioned by others) but very easily adjusted in Photoshop. I was originally looking for a Tokina 17mm f/2.8 prime but here in the UK finding them is very difficult so I took a gamble and bought this. I am so pleased that I did!

Some people have mentioned that the 15mm end is better than the 30mm end but on my copy the 30mm end has produced excellent results. This lens is superb value for money, performance is not as good as say the 50mm f/1.4 but for those wide shots it's very, very good. On 1.6 factor cameras this is great wide angle lens.

Hand held on my camera the lens is well balanced. The only down side is that I need to buy a bigger camera bag although it comes with a nice padded bag.

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Sep 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: It can produce excellent results.
But only some of the time.

This lens gets me hot and cold. Some days I am impressed at it's performance then others barely have a single shot to keep. I've been using it for several months and have yet to figure why this is.

I find it's (when compared to the 50mm f/1.4 which may not be fair) lacking in colour saturation and detail but it's able to amaze me some times.

For the moment it will be staying in my bag as it can be very useful.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Sep 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb colour, excellent in every way.
None at all.

I use this on my trusty old D30. I do a lot of photography in dimly lit recording studios for website and magazine use and this lens is superb in these conditions. It's the best lens that I've used so far and is well worth the money. If I could have just one lens this is it.


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