PsiBurn's reviews

  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    budget f/2.8 lens, light weight, excellent color rendition, good macro capabilities
    focusing issues, build could use some work, some flare issues, at times frustrating on an APS-C camera

    This was the first ever good lens I brought (the previous being a Canon 35-80 first issue), and the first for my 30D. It's been a main stay for a while now.

    For a constant f/2.8 lens, it's price, weight and flexibility can not be beat. This lens travels between my 30D and my Rebel Ti (yes, film :-) ), and constantly yields great results that don't require excruciating amounts of post-processing.

    Yet as much as I love the pictures, there are just times when this lens frustrates the heck out of me.

    For one, focusing is quite slow; it may not seem like it at first, but once you've grown into the lens, the AF mechanism starts to show its limitations, esp. when you want to capture moments that only last for one time; I've had to go MF at times, and even then, that's not fun. It's also true that the motor "whines" when it tries to acquire a focus...

    I also would have liked it if the lens were made more sturdier, but then again, I've abused it like crazy :-).

    One more niggle, is that it's range on my 30D = 45-120, which is not so wide, but then again, it makes for excellent macro shots, which this lens is quite good at.

    All these complaints aside, I'd still say go for this lens if you want a good constant f/2.8 lens that won't break the bank and yield excellent results. Also, keep in mind it comes with a lens hood and a long warranty!

    reviewed November 14th, 2006
  • Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp images, excellent AF system and speed, IS, FTM
    missing fundamental accessories, vignetting, some flare issues (like in indoor lighting, as TomK pointed out), verrrryyyyy expensive (but worth it however)

    I didn't get any of the 30D kits (18-55 looked just like the 35-80 I had and the 17-85 had too many issues to ignore, despite its versatility) for this reason: the 17-55.

    First, the bad. Why doesn't Canon include a lens hood? And why is it so expensive as well? But at least it adds structure to the lens when it's put on.

    Another thing, and I think it's well documented, is vignetting. It's not as prevelant as I thought though: really at the wide end at wide open, but when it shows up, it shows up. I even noticed some minor shading in the viewfinder at 17mm.

    And finally, the price, which really isn't a huge negative. Yes, it is close to a $1000, but then again, for what you are getting, I think it is definitely worth paying for
    excellent optics
    sharp images (what unsharp mask :-)?)
    excellent focusing speeds (I miss less pictures now)
    the IS system (my hit rate in low light has shot up significantly; f/2.8 @ 1/8 sec handheld is becoming more common)
    full time MF
    an optic that will truly bring the best out of an APS-C sensor

    Got the money? Go for it.

    *edit (11/17/06)*
    Something else that is worth mentioning is the dust issue: I noticed on my copy, when i first opened it up, THERE WAS A SPECK OF DUST ON THE FRONT ELEMENT!!! I'm hoping this was an anomaly though, as I have shot nearly 1000 images and yet to see any dust build-up inside the lens. BTW, I immediately put a UV filter onto the lens when I [permanently] mounted it on my 30D. I think that capping the front with a filter will solve a good portion of the dust problem [and also save your lens in case it falls by accident].

    Nevertheless, I must agree with gadgetguy. Did a party handheld @ f/2.8 at 1/8-1/30 sec. Majority of the shots came out insanely sharp (I was tired that day...); very impressed with this lens. Well done Canon!

    *edit (11/28/06)*
    This lens is prone to being a flare machine...

    Also noticed some dust inside the lens, though it ain't much and it isn't in the center (certainly not as bad as my beloved Sony P150)...

    Nevertheless, the benefits still outweigh the negatives significantly; had a week of constant shooting, and the IS and f/2.8 along w/ RAW literally saved my butt; this lens is surprisingly quite well behaved wide-open.

    *edit (05/08/08)*
    I'm hesitant to recommend now, as the IS mechanism crapped out on me a month ago and is in for repair. Hmmmm, second IS lens to die on me...

    reviewed November 14th, 2006
  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    insanely versatile, covers a very useful focal length, portable
    not the best optically (knew that); ZOOM MECHANISM JAMMED (???)

    When this lens is ACTUALLY WORKING, it never leaves my 20D. Yeah, it has its problems, but I was fully aware of this when buying it; not as sharp, distortion and CA prone, et al.

    What I didn't expect was the lens to stop zooming and jam at 24mm; I only had 17-24 accessible... I can live w/ the double barrel extension thing, but not a loose screw internally that forced my lens to stop turning after further investigation.

    If it weren't for such gnawing build issues, externally AND internally, I would recommend this lens in a heartbeat. As of now, I must hesitate to recommend; come to think of it, all my problems have involved IS lens... Hmmm... I hope it's bad luck.

    Good, if it works. Otherwise, terrible construction quality.

    reviewed December 21st, 2007 (purchased for $460)
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp at f/2.8, great bokeh, fast AF, solid build
    heavy [but not as heavy as I thought it would be], attention drawer

    My first L, and I couldn't be any happier.

    This lens is built well, albeit without weather seals, but from what I can see, can take a good beating. That, and the images it produces, are some of the many reasons I got this over other competing 70-200 models.

    It's still taking me some time to handle the lens properly as it is quite heavy, but it is not as heavy as I thought it would be, if not, quite well balanced, esp. w/ a battery grip on a 20D/30D. That, and ppl's eyes are seriously drawn to this lens...

    Overall, I'm glad I got this lens. I thought about the f/2.8 IS and the f/4 IS, but after what happened to my 17-55 f/2.8 and the IS mechanism bugging out on me, I wanted to stay away from IS for a bit and was very glad Canon still made this model, even after over a decade.

    reviewed May 8th, 2008 (purchased for $1,190)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    great IQ, light, cheap, good in low light [when it isn't having fits]
    cheap build, terrible AF speed, prone to AF fits, 5 blades = bad bokeh

    This lens has taught me how to shoot properly. Granted, it feels cheap, it focuses poorly many times, the bokeh is whack at small apertures, there is no denying the fact that there is a reason why people swear by primes.

    If you've read my reviews, I'm an uber-zoom freak. I bought the 50 1.8 just for fun. Then, slowly, my zoom lenses started dying on me: first my 17-85, then my 17-55. I was pretty much left w/ the 50 and a Tamron 28-75 [until I got my Canon 70-200 f/2.8].

    Using the 50 extensively for the past 6 months now, I can confidently say that I truly LOVE this lens, despite its many annoying quirks. Like my Tamron, there's no escaping it's excellent IQ, it's atrocious AF speed, it's cheap build, and it's lovable factor that just seems to grow on you [for me at least].

    Perhaps an upgrade is in the order, but first, I must absorb the 70-200 hit I took :-).

    reviewed May 8th, 2008