photosynth's reviews

  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality, 1:1 magnification, f2.8.
    Slow focus.

    Great macro lens that reaches 1:1 magnification. Good bokeh. Excellent image quality both for closeups and for more distant subjects. Even when not shooting macro, I keep using it as a telephoto for landscape (because it's brighter and has more contrast than my other zoom) and portraits.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006 (purchased for $500)
  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image quality.
    Heavy. 40mm too short to use as walkaround lens for 1.6x sensor camera.

    Lens with excellent contrast and sharpness, especially at the wide end.
    I use it on a digital with 1.6x crop sensor and sharpness remains excellent despite the smaller sensor.
    Minor point, but the lens hood provided with this lens is ineffective for the 1.6x sensor (at the wide end, it's a '27mm equivalent') and gets in the way when using the camera's built-in flash.

    reviewed November 20th, 2006 (purchased for $680)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, sharpness at f5.6-f8, 1.8 max aperture
    poor bokeh, cheap construction

    This lens is a great value because of its low cost and excellent sharpness at f8. Great for portraits on a 1.6x body, or for still life.
    The main downside for me is that when used open to get background separation or because of low light, bokeh is very poor.. don't know how to describe it... it has a chunky appearance rather than being smooth.
    At f1.8, depth of field is also less than the autofocus precision of 1.6x Canon bodies, and maybe my lens is slightly front-focusing... the result is that about 50% of the shots at f1.8 are from slightly to more substantially out of focus (especially in low light situations, and almost always with focus in front of the subject for my copy). AF is ok at f4 or up.
    Despite these issues and the cheap construction, I think this lens is great if you plan to use it at f5.6-f8, hence my recommendation. Very sharp.

    reviewed June 10th, 2007 (purchased for $75)