dugong5pm's reviews

  • Sony E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL1855

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    good finish, small & lightweight
    so-so performance

    a decent kit lens. has a beautiful finish & comes with a hood.
    a so-so performer, but it's ok as a kit lens. sits mostly in the drybox though.. almost never used it :-P

    reviewed November 11th, 2013 (purchased for $100)
  • Tamron 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    light, good IQ, price
    none for the price

    I have owned this lens since 2005 (it was new back then). This is a great lens for the price. For me, it's been a landscaper's dream lens. It goes wide, very decent performance, without having the backpain (it's light).

    It gives very decent performance. you'll get rather soft corners wide open, but it's great at f/8 - f/11 (that's what you need for landscape). AF speed is on the slow side, but it's never been a problem if you're shooting stills. Build quality is OK, it has taken the beatings and survived for about 7 years now, and still kicking!
    I love this lens. I always bring this when travelling. It's a keeper.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $550)
  • Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF AF

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    versatile, price
    slow AF, lens creep, f/6.3, soft tele-end

    good for basic and walkaround lens. Used outdoor in daylight, this lens performs well. It gives decent sharpness & color renderings.

    Use in lowlights/indoor.. this lens will hunt for focus like crazy. It won't be pretty usable in lowlights due its slow aperture (f/6.3) and lack of VC. I prefer using the lenskit combo (18-55 & 55-200 with VR/IS) than this lens.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $360)
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    very light telezoom, VR, sharp! cheap
    build quality

    nikon's small telezoom wonder! it's very light, yet very comfortable to handle. It has big zoom ring & very easy to handle. AF is fast & VR works well. For this kind of lens, VR may come really handy at most situations.

    Images produced are surprisingly sharp!!! This tiny plastic lens have super optic design.
    The only downside is the plastic-build quality. It made of all plastic, even the lens mount. Sometimes you feel that it may break anytime.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $189)
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    built like a tank, IQ, ergonomics
    none

    this is the "budget" pro-telezoom. one of the best indeed. The first thing that crossed your mind will be the build quality of the lens. The lens is a solid metal, that looks like a real pro lens. The design is so simple and very comfortable to use.

    Image quality, as expected from a pro lens, is great. It's sharp wide open, and even do better if you stoppedi it down a bit. Bokeh produced are nice & smooth.

    This lens is a must have if you shoot actions and on a budget.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $899)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, VR, ergonomics, price, nice hood
    none

    totally worth the money. I paid it for $375 used (mint), and it's really served me well. Performance is great. It delivers sharp images corner-to-corner even wide open. VR is really helpful in most situations. Build quality is nice. it feels sturdy and equipped with a nice flower shaped hood.

    I prefer to bring this lens if I needed a telezoom when travelling or hiking.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $375)
  • Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    cheap
    slow AF, build quality, unusable in lowlights

    a decent performer in IQ department. Use it properly, and it will deliver sharp results. It has a sweet spot somewhere between f/8-f/11, therefore you'll be needing.. a lot of light. I think the lens is best suited to be used outdoors, in broad daylight.

    You get what you pay for. For the price, you'll get the all plastic lens, and yes, including the lens mount. Thankfully it comes with a free lens hood. It's a basic telezoom after all. For the similar price, I prefer the Tamron 70-300 Macro. It has better built quality, and does macro too.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $145)
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX AF-S Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, light, build quality, IQ, fast 50mm (equiv)
    none for the price

    do you shoot on normal lens? do you use Nikon DX? if yes, then this is your lens. no brainer.

    Nikon released this lens as their tribute to comemmorate Henri Cartier Bresson (the 50 cron guy). This is the best "normal" lens for DX sensor. In fact, for me, this is Nikon's best DX-sensor lens ever! so highly recommended for DX users.

    reviewed October 14th, 2012 (purchased for $199)
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, nice build, (relatively) light, price
    72mm filter, harsh bokeh

    a budget alternative for the pricey 24-70. great for film or fullframe users. It produces sharp images. Build quality is ok, and relatively light (compared to the "real" 24-70). It uses non-standard 72mm filters (I prefer the pro-77 size, but hey they cut the weight out of it). Images are sharp, but it has a "harsh" bokeh character. Not a problem if you're shooting landscapes, but for portraits, Sigma does better in terms of bokeh quality.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $375)
  • Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X 100 AF PRO D

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, build quality, IQ, sharp
    none

    a great macro lens. better than my nikkor 105/2.8 in terms of build quality. it produces sharp & beautiful images. Bokeh are wonderfull & buttery smooth. Tone reproduction are great. For the price, it's a must have. no brainer!

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $360)
  • Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 AF

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    surprisingly sharp, Macro mode, lightweight
    slow & noisy focus

    I bought it for $129 used. Nothing can go wrong for the price. This lens is surprisingly sharp, and it does well in Macro (1:2) too. Handling is good, feels comfort and easy to grip. It also has that solid feel in your hand (doesn't feel cheap). It comes with a nice hood.

    The minus side is the focusing mechanism. It has slow focusing (esp. in Macro mode). I prefer using manual override for macro. Sometimes it hunts too much when used in lowlight situation.
    Overall, it's a great telezoom for travelling. It's lightweight, sharp & does Macro too. Nice!

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $129)
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, nice build, lightweight, price
    harsh bokeh

    a budget alternative for a f/2.8 zoom. It delivers sharp images. Highly usable at f/2.8 and improves when stopped down. This is the lens for most users who want more from their zoom kit lens.
    The only downside is the harsh bokeh it produces. The bokeh is still quite distracting, even wide open.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sleek, very light, SHARP! nice build quality. beautiful!
    none

    this is not the lens for everyone. Some might want faster lens or even the L-brand. For me, this one is a PERFECT lens for street. Optically superb & sleek design. Nobody's gonna be intimidated with this tiny lens. a perfect lens for fullframe sensors.

    Price is highly acceptable. If you're shooting people on streets, this one is a no brainer. must have!

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $199)
  • Sony E 16mm f/2.8 SEL16F28

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    tiny! loads of FUN!
    none

    This is not the lens if you're shooting MTF charts. I don't shoot test charts. This is the most used lens (along with the Sigma 30/2.8DN) with my NEX system.

    This lens gives me much FUN with it. It almost can be used for everything. events, people, street, landscape, etc. It focuses fast, though the focus hunts sometimes. Colors are good & sharpness are highly acceptable (though it's no tack sharp), but it's ok for daily use, even when used wide open.

    Sony should make more of this kind of lenses. It makes my NEX (jacket) pocketable.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012
  • Sony 135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SAL-135F18Z

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    everything but the price!
    price!

    a stellar performance. fastest 135mm lens available. built like a (beautiful) tank. Sharp wide open. a must have if you own a sony system.

    Has a stellar price, but it's a zeiss.. and totally worth it!

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $1,200)
  • Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    razor sharp, lightweight, tiny!
    pricey, hard to find

    one of Pentax's jewel (along with the other "Limited"). superb performance & also stylish. Use it with the tiny K-x/K-r, and you're ready for streets. Colors are great & amazing sharpness. a must have lens for pentax users.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $450)
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    usable (wide open), smooth bokeh, fast AF, cheap!
    lens creep, finishing paint, takes 82mm filter

    for the price.. it really does worth your money. IQ is nice.. not as good as Canon's or Nikon's 24-70 but it's really ok considering the 1/3 price. Mechanics & build quality are also nice. It feels solid in your hand. AF is somewhat quite fast & silent, that's a good thing.

    Now the bad thing are.. it's big & heavy.. so big that it won't take your usual 77mm filter. Front glass is quite heavy, the lens creeps down when facing downward. For me, the worst of all is..the Sigma's finishing paint! it easily worn off in no time.duh.. thank God they have fixed this issue on their newer version.

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $400)
  • Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    compact sized, pretty sharp wide open, built like a tank
    limited usability

    for a 180mm lens, it's in a compact-side, though it's quite heavy, thanks to its full-metal-body (looks like its gonna survive a nuke blast). IQ is nice, acceptable & pretty (not so) sharp wide open. It creates beautiful bokeh & good for headshots. Use it outdoor, and it delivers terrific images, indoors/night..? yeah, that's why they invented the VR (or you can use tripod).

    I don't work headshots that much, so for me it has a limited use. I prefer the 70-300VR for its flexibility & usability (it focuses faster, zooms & has VR).. for the similar price range (used).

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $375)
  • Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AIS Nikkor

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    very compact! metal body, nostalgic feeling
    old & outdated, so-so performer

    this is my lens.. if I'm taking my Nikon F3 for that nostalgic street hunts. it's wide, small, fast & sturdy. the mechanics are perfect. I still own this lens and it runs smoothly until now.

    Optics are good (especially for its era), but no better than any modern lens. Use a modern (digital) body? a lenskit would outperforms this lens in terms of image quality.
    I keep it for that nostalgic moments. If you're a collector, then it's a must have.

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $125)
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AIS Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast f/1.4, build quality, compact, takes 52mm filter
    outdated

    a photojournalist's standard.. like in 30 years ago. Nowadays, many has overrated this lens as its "legendary" performance.

    Yes, this lens has a great design. Small, light, sturdy, fast & delivers good performance too. It had created world's greatest press photos many years ago. Today, I prefer the 35/1.8G (DX) for usability. Images are a little bit soft wide open and it has a visible CA.

    I got this lens along with my F3HP, which was a great pair for almost anything. I wouldn't use it with my digital bodies.

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $250)
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    super sharp! good working range
    slow AF

    a very good performer.. especially for the (used) price. I still prefer this lens the newer one. IQ is exceptional. Super sharp. Good for portraits & people too, though AF may sometimes feel too slow.

    Simply my favorite macro lens. a very usable focal length for work & flawless optic design.

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $245)
  • Nikon 135mm f/2D AF DC Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality, build quality
    slow AF, old design

    one of Nikon's jewel. Work in portraits? this is your lens then. the "DC" means it has the magic for bokeh control.. and the bokeh is as delicious as promised. The lens also has that sturdy nikon-classics build.

    Nikon should really update this lens. this lens is perfect from IQ department, but it would be really nice if Nikon update its focusing system & lens design.

    I love this lens, but in the end I gave it up to Canon's 135/2L for the usability (faster AF, better design, slightly lighter & cheaper).

    reviewed October 11th, 2012 (purchased for $950)
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    f/2, fast-accurate-silent focus, (relatively) small & light, super sharp!!
    IS version could be nice

    I wish every lens was this good!!

    I just love the lightning fast & accurate focus of this lens. It focuses within a blink of an eye, instantly. Focus are dead on with my Fullframe or APS system. It's an ideal portrait lens. Bokeh is buttery smooth, best you can get from a 135mm.

    I prefer this lens than the 70-200/2.8. This lens is simply lighter, cheaper & faster (f/2.0 vs f/2.8). If canon puts an IS on this lens, it would be perfect!

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $899)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast f/1.4, fast AF, USM, build quality
    soft wide open

    not the sharpest 50mm lens. Some says that the plastic 50/1.8 is even sharper than this one. I don't shoot test charts, but this lens is just fine with me. I get the fast-accurate AF, and it's still produce usable images wide open. Build quality is somewhat nice. It feels solid in my hand while it's made out of plactics mostly. It's not a leica, but you really got what you pay for. totally worth it.

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast f1.8, IQ, price
    rather soft wide open

    this is a lens intended to be used on FullFrame (35mm) system. Use it on Full Frame cameras, and it shines. I use it mostly for street photographs with my 5D. It never let me down. It's like a 24mm f/1.4 on a budget (for a fraction of price and weight).

    I wouldn't use it for my APS system. Tried once, and it sucks (so so results). You won't buy one of these for an APS system.

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $425)
  • Canon EF 35mm f/2

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    small & light, pretty sharp, cheap
    build quality

    a must have "budget" lens for Fullframe or even APS users. Use it on Fullframes and it will kicks ass. Put in on an APS system, and voila..a fast normal lens. The lens performs great, an expected results from canon primes.

    The lens build quality is something like a plastic toy material. It hasn't been equipped with USM, so the focus barrel moves as you focus the lens. The good thing is that the mount's made from metal. For the price I guess there's nothing to be complained about.

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $199)
  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    30mm, fast f/1.4, build quality
    IQ, soft

    There are few manufacturers that provide us with 30mm (45mm equiv in FF). It's one of my favorite. This lens comes with a nice build quality. It feels rock solid, a little bit better than other budget normal primes. You also get a f/1.4 for the price. seems pretty unbelievable.

    When it gets to the real use, the f/1.4 won't be much usable, since it produces soft images (even in the center). This lens starts to give better results when stopped down by 2 stops, bringing you into a f/2.8 lens. Hey, why am I buying a f/1.4 if I should use it on f/2.8?? You'll get better value by buying other 35/1.8 or 35/2 if the f/1.4 is only a gimmick.

    For me, this lens is simply not a keeper. I bought it, shoot with it, and sold it right away.
    Don't compare it to the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN which is almost perfect (for me). This 30/1.4 and the 30/2.8 are two different worlds. (the 30/2.8 is a small wonder for mirrorless system).

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $450)
  • Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, tone, metal mount, nice pouch included
    slow AF, f/2.8

    at its first launch.. I underestimated this lens.. I thought this lens wouldn't be much used since it's limited by the "slow" f/2.8
    I've got this lens for a bargain, $189 including an UV filter (multicoated).. I just thought nothing can go wrong for the price.. and I was quite astonished!!

    First thing that'll blow you is the sharpness.. it's nothing but sharp images wide open and even sharper if you stopped down a bit (f/4 - f/5.6 has amazing sharpness). On My NEX, IQ simply stands out. I don't shoot walls or test pages, I shoot people mostly and the results are gorgeous. Set the color to "portrait" (in my NEX), and voila.. I never switch it back to another setting

    Another good thing from Sigma is the lens also comes with a nice pouch (yes, it is nice indeed). That's something you won't expect from a lens at this price. Build quality is also on the positive side. It's mostly plastic, with a metal mount, but it feels like a good quality plastics rather than a toy. It feels solid in your hand and weighs just right for my NEX, makes it a perfect couple (at least for me).

    Now, the downside is.. it focuses slower than your Sony lenses. Works ok if you don't shoot actions/sports. I also wish it has a f/2 but hey for the price, I may be wishing too much.

    I'm happy with this tiny beauty. The lens now glued to my NEX body most of the time. The focal range (45mm equiv) is just right for almost everything I need. It replaces my Samyang 35/1.4 (manual focus). It's sharp, small & light.. all that I need in photography :)

    reviewed October 9th, 2012 (purchased for $189)
  • Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    surprisingly sharp, lightweight, ergonomics
    cheap build, takes 58mm filter

    I bought this lens as a kit lens on my F65D. It shines in its era. It delivers sharp images all over the frame. It also has nice contrast & tone characteristic. Shoot in slides & B/W,you'll see that it could deliver such a really beautiful & contrasty images.

    It has that cheap build quality. almost like a toy compared to the other "pro" lenses, but surprisingly it could take the beatings for almost 12 years now.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $60)
  • Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF Nikkor

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    build quality, versatile range, IQ, macro mode
    none

    a very balanced lens. I got it as a "kit" on my F90x. It is a strong performer and does almost anything you'll ever needed in photography. An ideal walkaround-performance lens in its era. I used it much for portraits back then. It produces a nice looking bokeh.

    One nice additional is the "semi" macro capability. It has close focusing ability (manual mode) to boost up your creativity. Not a real macro lens, but it's so fun to use.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $150)
  • Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II SMC DA

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp & contrast, build quality
    none

    best lenskit, in the range of 18-55, compared to the other model. It has better image quality & build. period.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $100)
  • Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAL-1870

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    good range for a lenskit, cheap
    cheap build, soft wide open

    I got this lens along with my A200 body. I was happy for the price, I thought it would make a great value for that range (18-70). In real use, this lens produces soft images, quite unusable (for me) until I stepped down to f/8. Then it would require lots of light.
    I prefer the "shorter" 18-55 than this one, just because the IQ issue. This lens is a no-no!

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $75)
  • Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, image quality, build quality
    bad finishing (body) paint

    Stellar performance for a fisheye lens. The lens is bright & fast. It's really fun to use. Simply set it in f/5.6 - f/8 and voila, all sharp images across the frame.

    I mostly use this lens for film (on my F75 or F90x). It brings great color saturation, sharpness & contrast across the images. It also comes in a small & light package. Like I've said earlier, it's a fun lens to use. If you see it, buy it. no regret!

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $360)
  • Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 AT-X 287 AF PRO SV

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    feels like a pro lens, sharp
    none for the price

    I found it for $350 used. I think it was quite a bargain. This lens doesn't feel cheap at all. In fact, it's mostly made out of metal parts. IQ is good, very acceptable images wide open. I've got mine for the Sony alpha version, AF is ok, though might seems a lil bit noisy. I bought this lens to replace my 18-70 lenskit, and it's totally worth it.

    reviewed October 13th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, nice Nikon "classic" build, small & light
    sometimes overrated

    It's a good 35mm lens for Film/FX users. I have used it since I was shooting films with my F90x. For 35mm films or FX sensors, it's ok. It produces decent images in term of quality. You won't expect a 35 summicron quality from this lens. Use it properly, it will provide you with good images.

    One thing that keep bugging me is sometimes this lens got a lil bit overrated. Use any DX camera? The AF-s 35/1.8DX is world's better lens than this, for the similar price.

    reviewed October 14th, 2012 (purchased for $220)
  • Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Wide (on fullframe), SHARP! small & light, takes standard 52mm filters
    none

    It's a shame that Nikon doesn't make lenses like this anymore. It's a landscapers' & photojournalists' dream lens. small, tough, fast & delivers top performance. I used to lug this lens to my FM2/FM3 for hiking/trekking. It's a really wonderful combo. It produces SHARP images, even sharper than the AF-version (shame on you Nikon).

    I would highly recommend this lens especially for FX/fullframe users. It's easy. For the price (used) today, nothing can go wrong with this lens.

    reviewed October 14th, 2012 (purchased for $125)
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast, usable f/1.2, build quality, takes standard 52mm filters
    none

    Nikon'n faster alternative than the usual 50/1.4. It was a luxury back then. I've got this lens along with my Nikon FA. It was like having some piece of japanese luxury. The first thing you'll be noticing is the build quality. It feels solid & sturdy in your hand. The lens is fully loaded with some fine glasses and mostly metal parts. It's good.

    Performance is good. You'll get a very usable images wide open, even sometimes you'll get that dreamy look over your images. Well, it's not a Noctillux. The good thing from the old lens designs are that they're using the standardized 52mm filter thread, including this fast 50/1.2.

    I would highly recommend this lens for film/analog users or digital bodies with live-view enabled features. For non-live view cameras, focusing can be a serious problem wide open. DoF is hair-thin. You might want to consider installing a split screen on the viewfinder.

    reviewed October 14th, 2012 (purchased for $225)
  • Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS SEL50F18

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    fast, sharp, has OSS, light, nicely build
    none

    I wish all lenses were this good. It has so much values in a fairly low price. It has good performance, light, nicely build, and it has OSS too! this OSS can be really handy in most situations, considering this is more like a short telephoto lens (75mm equivalent). I think nothing to be complained about this lens. I use this along with the 16/2.8 and Sigma 30/2.8 (as a normal lens), and they never let me down.

    reviewed October 20th, 2012 (purchased for $300)
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, focal range, IS, light
    none

    This is the best walkaround/travel lens for fullframe users. I prefer this than the more expensive 24-105L. Yes, the L-series will give you (slightly) better results, but for more money and weight (duh).

    I love this lens because of the portability. It's lightweight while provides a very good and usable working range (from wide to medium telephoto). It almost can do anything from landscapes to good portraits. the IS also comes in handy for the longer focal lengths. I bought this lens for $250 used (mint). For that price, it's totally a bang for the buck!

    reviewed October 20th, 2012 (purchased for $250)
  • Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    IQ, weight, price
    plasticky build, lack of IS

    This is a basic telezoom EF-s (APS sensor) lens. For a basic lens, this lens is GOOD! They can be found easily for a cheap price. Use it properly, and they will deliver great results.

    For basic users that want a very decent lens, this is it. Use it along with the 18-55 IS kit, then you're about ready for anything. Too bad that this lens hasn't been equipped with IS. IS can be really handy especially for tele-ranges like this. If you have the budget, I'd suggest buying the IS version for a slight price difference.

    reviewed October 20th, 2012 (purchased for $150)
  • Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp! build quality, focal range, AF
    a lil bit too expensive

    This is the best walkaround/travel zoom lens for Canon APS users (for fullframe I give it to 28-135IS). It delivers sharp images with good color rendition too. It does landscapes to portraits, very versatile focal range for almost anything. I think the price is a bit too expensive, but it pays up considering it will be the one that sticks to your camera most of the time.

    reviewed October 20th, 2012 (purchased for $600)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, USM, build, price
    none

    the best ultrawide zoom for Canon APS cameras. period.

    reviewed October 20th, 2012 (purchased for $650)
  • Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    optically superb, price, smooth focusing, high grade plastics, f/1.4
    size & weight

    my favorite Rokinon/Samyang lens. it delivers top-notch image quality. For a 35mm lens, it has the "mojo". Images are sharp wide open, nice bokeh & color rendition.
    This is a real manual lens. Focus could be a problem since it has the f/1.4. Using live focus (e.g. NEX's focus peaking) would really help.

    downside? I wish they could make it (much) smaller. :)

    reviewed November 24th, 2012 (purchased for $475)
  • Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, superb optics, lightweight, CHEAP!!!
    none for the price

    a very recommended portrait lens, especially for the price.

    This lens simply delivers high quality results when used properly. I have owned the Nikkor AF-D 85/1.4 and the zeiss 85/1.4 and believe it or not, this Rokinon/Samyang can compete with those lenses. The only main difference is on the tone they produce.

    Sharpness is okay, even wide open. It's tack sharp when you nailed the focus (it's a 85/1.4, it has an ultra-thin DoF). Bokeh is creamy and always fantastic. It easily creates stunning portrait photos right away.
    This lens has good ergonomics. It has wide & smooth focusing ring. Compared to other modern 85/1.4, this lens is feather-weight. Thanks to the mostly plastic shell. Construction feels good, and it also comes with a plastic hood to protect the front element.

    Final words, this is the lens for portraits. For the price, it can't go wrong. you'll get 85/1.4 performance for the price of 85/1.8.. sweet!

    reviewed December 25th, 2012 (purchased for $350)
  • Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Di LD IF Macro 1:1 SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    IQ, sharp, price, excellent macro
    none for the price

    an excellent alternative for the legendary Nikkor 200/4 Micro. It simply does the same, for a fraction of the price.

    IQ is superb. sharp even wide open. well performer for portraits too.
    build quality is nice. sturdy tripod collar, equipped with long plastic hood.

    One of the downside is the AF, well it's AF like a tamron lens. not really convenience for actions, but it's a macro lens, not really designed for sports anyway.

    For the price, I think nothing more to complain about. if you find one, get one.. especially if Macro is your thing.

    reviewed July 19th, 2014 (purchased for $600)
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II VC LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    IQ, build, VC, sharp, cheap
    noisy VC, heavy, stiff zoom

    This is a really NICE zoom lens for APS-c user
    I use it on my canon body, and it delivers great images. This one is a great option to own-manufacturers 17-55/2.8 (which costs you more)

    no complaints in IQ area. it's sharp, has nice & smooth bokeh look, and also good tonality.
    It has a solid build (made of good-grade plastics), and heavy. It's a different animal compared to its thinner sibling (non-VC).
    One of the biggest complaint maybe from the clicking noise of the VC motor. I find it's kinda annoying if I shoot in quiet environment.. but it's just me.

    for the price (I got mine for $350 used, mint).. it's a GREAT lens.

    reviewed June 3rd, 2013 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    IQ, sharp, lightweight, cheap!
    build quality

    one of the must-have lens for starters..

    IQ is superb. it's super sharp, has a nice bokeh look, and comes in a compact-lightweight form. from price/performance perspective, it has no match. You can make professional-look images in less than $100.

    The only complaint about this lens is the build quality. it's made of almost all-plastics and it feels like it's gonna break if you bang it once. heck, for the price, I'll get another copy when it breaks :D

    reviewed June 3rd, 2013 (purchased for $60)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    IQ, build quality, USM, price
    none

    I always love how 85mm looks for portraits. This one is my favorite 85 for canon system. I prefer this lens to the heavy & sluggish big brother (f/1.2)-though the 85/1.2 is an exceptional lens.

    It's fast enough for almost everything. It has the goodness of an 85 lens. Build quality is nice, and it has USM too. It focuses fast and accurate, even in dim lights.

    It would be nicer if it's get an IS motor. heck, for the price, this is the perfect 85mm lens (at least for me)

    reviewed June 3rd, 2013 (purchased for $320)
  • Pentax 16-45mm f/4 ED AL SMC P-DA

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    IQ, sharp, build quality
    focal range, price

    a good lens, in terms of quality of images produced, though it's not on a "wow" side.
    It's a good "upgrade" option from the kit lens (18-55), but it's a bit overpriced in my opinion. It has quite an unusual focal range.

    I prefer the already great lens kit (18-55). It's smaller, has a more normal range, and of course..the price :)

    reviewed June 4th, 2013 (purchased for $360)
  • Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM SMC DA*

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    light, compact, silent, fast AF, fast f/2.8, weather sealed
    build quality.. could be sturdier

    I have used this lens with my K-x, K10 & K20. This lens has a DA* (star) title, which supposed to be a performer.
    AF is fast & accurate, even on the K-x body. It focuses instantly & silently. Image quality is good, though not of the best telezoom I've ever tested.

    Pentax always have that design advantage compered to other, and this lens is one of them. This is a wonderfull lens by design. Small, light, has all the features (with pentax bodies, it has a "shake reduction" too.. wow)

    reviewed June 4th, 2013 (purchased for $825)
  • Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X 280 AF PRO

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    built like a tank, f/2.8, price
    none

    among other 3rd party manufacturer, this lens is the one that would likely survived a nuclear blast.. it's built like a tank - very solid (and yes, heavy!)
    it feels like pro lens, for a tiny fraction of a pro lens (I got mine for $275 used, sony alpha-mount).

    In IQ department, this lens has a "decent" performance. Produces sharp images (from f/4 and up), nice bokeh & tones.. but it's not the one that's got the "wow" factor.
    for the price, it's a no brainer.. espcially if you want to get something more than the lens kit.

    reviewed June 5th, 2013 (purchased for $275)