larsrc's reviews

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, bright, sharp
    Poor build, poor focus, sticky manual focus switch, not distance scale

    At the price, there's little reason to not have this lens, unless you can afford something like 50 f/1.4. It's perfect for portraits and low-light photography.

    I tried a number of copies before buying one, and on *all* of them the AF/MF switch had a tendency to get stuck when switching from MF to AF, before getting to AF. It can easily be jostled all the way, but if you're in a hurry you might not get it right.

    Its focus is not impressive on a 350D, at least at wide-open. Since I have mostly used it for low-light situations, I can say little about larger aperture and more light situations.

    reviewed November 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $110)
  • Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    Price, good range, reasonably sharp
    Not the best build, no hyperfocal scale, noisy AF, bad QA

    I got this lens for my 350D instead of the kit lens, and haven't regretted it (having no more money to spend on camera right now). It covers a very useful range (comparable to the ubiquitious 28-200 lenses on fullframe) and delivers well. Its focusing is on the noisy side, and accuracy changes from copy to copy -- but I got mine swapped without any hassle. It extends during zoom, but appears parfocal and neither extends nor rotates the front element during focus. With the (included) lens hood, I never bother to put the lens cap on anymore (in a mild climate). Highly recommended for a low-budget travel/walk-around lens.

    reviewed November 22nd, 2006
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, light, good IS, compact
    Cheap construction, extends a lot, rotating front element, extends during focus

    Optically, this lens is a lot of value for the money, both sharp and contrasty, and with really good IS - I can handhold it at 1/10s at 300mm with good results, and at 1/30 s the results are uniformly stable. The AF is quiet and reasonably fast, but not always accurate (on a 350D). The long extension makes it more compact when travelling, but can be a bother in use, especially since it extends just by changing focus distance. Build is cheap with some wobbling. This lens is obviously a compromise-everything-for-image-quality-and-IS design. Get it if you can't afford L glass yet or really need the extra 100mm over the 70-200 f/4 IS.

    This is decidedly a fun, shoot-from-the-hip lens that's on my camera a lot.

    reviewed February 15th, 2008 (purchased for $450)
  • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    1:1, light, solid, sharp, FTM
    AF hunts in low light, no macro delimiter

    Image quality is just superb, no doubt. Working distance is good for the length, focus is very quiet and smooth. It would be a perfect portrait lens (except maybe too sharp!) if it had a focus delimiter, as it is the AF hunts too much in low light.

    reviewed February 15th, 2008 (purchased for $500)