shroud72's reviews

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    inexpensive optics are worth twice the price, fast lens excels in low light, colors are better then kit lens, sharp
    cheap plastic feel, manual focus ring difficult to use because it is small, fragile lens

    This lens has been recommended by many people to a beginner photographer as the first lens after the kit lens.
    I´ve had this lens for over a year now and have had sort of a love / hate relationship with it.
    The cheap plastic feel and the almost impossible to turn manual focus ring are the main reasons for my dislike for this lens.
    It does make a great portrait lens and after some practice you will be taking much better portrait shots with this lens then with the kit lens.
    However where this lens really excels, and the reason why this small lens always has a place in my photography bag is because it is really incredible in low light night photography.
    I normally shoot this lens at f/2.0 as I find f/1.8 a bit soft but still somewhat acceptable when needed in a pinch. Shooting at f/2.0 in AV aperture mode with 800 ISO produces amazing night time results with my 450d/XSi.

    Here are some night shot samples

    This shot has been cropped by about 75% and still the results are acceptable

    Bokeh shot

    Nature Panoramic shot

    Portrait shots

    Shot through a restaurant window

    Handheld 4 shot panoramic at dusk

    Overall Opinion: Although the build quality leaves much to be desired, I have not experienced that many Autofocus problems, even in low light and have gotten photos that I would have otherwised missed.
    For a beginner photographer on a budget highly recommended performance for the price. Overall rating is image quality based on price.

    reviewed September 28th, 2011 (purchased for $99)
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great lens for the price, Great focal length as it picks off where the kit lens leaves off, Better quality then the kit lens, Lightweight with 4 stops IS, Colors are good for the price, Lens is sharp except around 250 but still very acceptable
    Cheap plastic feel, A bit soft at 250mm

    Don´t let the cheap price fool you, its a great lens if you follow the photography fundamentals and is capable of some amazing shots.
    Build quality is a step above the kit lens and the image quality is about 2 steps above.
    Its a great lightweight lens and I have used it as a Zoo lens and I find that it covers the range that I need when I go to the Zoo.
    This lens will probably always have a place in my bag even though I have more expensive lenses, the price, quality and weight make it very attractive for me.

    Some of my favorite shots taken with this lens:

    Straight out of the camera with no post processing for this first shot!

    Some other shots with normal amounts of post processing

    Overall a welcome addition if money is a concern but still capable of taking quality shots.

    reviewed September 28th, 2011 (purchased for $250)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp Lens, Nice Colors, Extreme Wide Angle of View, USM, Good Flare resistance

    I originally bought this lens for landscapes but when I first started to use it, I felt a bit disappointed. This has nothing to do with the lens but in my skill and understanding of this lens.
    The first thing to realize about an Ultra Wide Angle lens is that this lens is for foregrounds and not backgrounds. As the foregrounds are brought closer forward and enlarged while the backgrounds are pushed further back. However if you keep this in mind you will be well rewarded with some outstanding photos that you otherwise would not have been able to get.

    Landscape Photos:

    Low Light Handheld

    Low Light with tripod

    HDR Shots

    Interesting Shots that need Ultrawide Lens

    Expensive yes but fills a unique niche in your camera bag. If these types of shots inspire you and you can afford it then highly recommended.

    reviewed September 28th, 2011 (purchased for $650)
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Quality optics, amazing color and contrast, 4 stop hybrid IS, bokeh, lens barrel does not rotate during focusing
    a bit expensive over the non-IS Canon version but inexpensive for an L lens

    Wow, where do I start, this is truly a very magical piece of glass. I am always amazed at the quality of the images that I get from it when I use it.
    For the price of 1 lens you are able to get 3 purposes:

    1. Portraits
    2. Short Telephoto
    3. Macro

    Many people may argue that you should not take portraits with this lens as the results are too sharp, however I find that you can always soften an image in post processing if needed but I am always happy with the results and the bokeh that this lens produces with portraits.

    Short Telephoto
    100mm equal to 160mm on a crop sensor makes a nice distance to shoot short telephotos from. The added plus is the new hybrid 4 stop IS which works rather well. This lens is sharp at 2.8 but stop it down to 4.0 and its sharp as a razor blade.

    This lens makes handheld macro shots possible although it does take some practice with the shallow depth of field.

    Sample Shots:

    Macro Flowers

    Macro Bugs

    Short Telephoto

    reviewed September 28th, 2011 (purchased for $795)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    decent kit lens, IS works well, center sharp with decent corners
    build quality is cheap

    Not a bad kit lens or starting lens to have as it performs above average although it is not exceptional in any one thing.
    I recently reviewed by photo collection and saw that among my personal favorite photos this lens took a lot of them.
    A great starter lens capable of taking decent enough photos until you need a lens capable of lower light shots.

    Some of my favorite shots:
    Taken the first day of owning the camera, I was surprised by the image quality.

    Build quality is cheap, the little silver sticker above the focus ring has fallen off from use, but is pure cosmetic.

    reviewed September 29th, 2011