theoak's reviews

  • Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X 100 AF PRO D

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cost, large manual focus ring
    Slow to focus, large hood

    I opted for this lens over the canon based on price.

    Overall I am happy with the lens. It suffers the same maladies as other macros - very slow to focus and a lot of hunting beyond macro focus lengths - the limit switch helps, but not as much as someone without macro lens experience might think . The only other complaint I have is that in bright light, colors seem more muted than they should be.

    The large focus ring is nice. When you are manually focusing on bugs/bees, you don't want to be looking for the ring. The lens hood is included, but no case.

    The lens is plastic, but the best-built plastic lens I have ever used.

    After using the lens for awhile, however, I have thought it might be a better investement to try out extension tubes with a zoom like the 70-200.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Widest zoom you can get on a 1.6x, great for getting the scenery
    Barrel distortion, max aperture could be lower

    This lens spends more time on my 20D than any other lens in my bag. I lends a great sense of place to any scene and is the widest zoom you can get on APS-sized sensor (digital rebel/20D/30D). I've shot everything from landscapes to concerts with it.

    Complaints:
    My constant need to shoot in low light makes me wish the maximum aperture was 2 or lower. Instead I just have to kick up the ISO or use a mono/tripod.

    At 10mm (16mm effective) there is quite a bit of barrel distortion on close subjects. Not a big deal for landscapes, but I also keep this lens on for family events, and the distortion rears its head frequently there.

    Praises:
    You can get a lot of shots you can't get with any other lens. It is the only way to get to 16mm effective on 1.6x cameras. Color reproduction is good. There is vignetting, but its a wide angle - it happens.

    The filter thread is shared with lots of other lenses (ie. 70-200) so you can double your filter investment (if you aren't using the cokin system). However, if you are using the cokin system then you can't go all the way out without getting vignetting from the filter holder.

    Focusing is pretty fast but it seems the lens can get confused with close subjects on the outside of the frame.

    I use this lens A LOT and highly recommend it for the 1.6x cameras - which it only works on (EF-S). If you are planning to move up to a full frame (1Ds, 5D) consider the 16-35 instead. It won't be a wide on a 1.6, but at least you won't be buying the same focal range twice.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006
  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Long zoom range, IS
    Maximum aperture not very wide

    I bought my 20D with this as the kit lens figuring that I would like the extended zoom range.

    But this lens is the proverbial duck - it can swim, walk, and fly, but can't do any of the three very well.

    In retrospect I with that I had bought the 20D body and an L series midrange zoom like the 17-40 or 24-70, or the EF-S 17-55/2.8.

    I haven't used this lens in months, it just sits on my desk collecting dust.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Bang for the buck AMAZING, wide maximum aperture
    Hunts quite a bit, very cheap construction, small manual focus ring

    When evaluating the lens, repeat to yourself "It's under $100."

    It can be soft, it can be slow to focus, build quality is a joke.

    It's under $100.

    On my 20D this is an 80mm effective, so it's more of a tele than a normal, but it focuses pretty close.

    At 1.8, you can get a lot of light and very narrow DOF, but not as narrow as some of the L series (24, 35, 50, 85 which are all less than 1.8)

    It's under $100.

    Filter thread is an odd size for anyone who also owns L series or "more serious" lenses. Not a problem if you are using cokin system, but if you are buying individual filters, it's a pain.

    It's under $100.

    If you use manual focus regularly, you might have tough time using the ring on this lens - it's small, and all the way at the front of the lens. Tough to grab if you have big meaty hands (like me).

    It's under $100.

    Overall, recommended. You CANNOT get more lens for your money ANYWHERE.

    It's under $100.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Long range, 2.8, tripod mount, big manual rings
    No IS.

    I love this lens, and use it a lot. All of Canon's 70-200s are great lenses.

    I do wish that I had put the cost of this lens towards the IS version instead of buying this one. This shouldn't reflect poorly on this lens, but I shoot in low light a lot and it would be nice to do so at smaller aperture with IS.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006