_Mike_D's reviews

  • Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 XR Aspherical IF Macro AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Inexpensive, surprisingly sharp, large zoom range, solid build
    135-200 not very sharp, lots of purple fringing above 135, must stop down 1 stop

    My previous wide angle lens (sigma 18-125) busted right before a trip to white sands NM. I was in a pinch so I bought this lens and hoped for the best.

    The lens turned out to be very good for the money, There were a couple of shots that I took at max aperture that didn't come out very nice, but as long as you stop it down 1 stop it produces great pictures. I didn't notice any vignetting at all throughout the zoom range.

    Build quality is very good, with no hit of zoom creep. Also the auto-focus worked perfectly with the Pentax camera I have.

    I won't pretend this is the best lens ever made, but I had to choose only one lens to go on a trip with, I wouldn't hesitate to take this one.

    All of the pictures on my site from 11/28 - 12/7 were produced with this lens.

    reviewed December 3rd, 2006 (purchased for $150)
  • Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Perfect focal lenght (for my taste), Sharp, Lightweight
    Purple Fringing in extreme highlights

    This is a great lens. I had previously owned a sigma 105, but the sigma was just a little too much on the tele side for my taste.

    The lens appears sharp across the entire frame and the images it produces are a pleasure to look at.

    My only complaint is the lens seems to generate more purple fringing around extreme highlights (sun reflections and such) than my other lenses. This is almost never a problem, but it can be annoying.

    Highly reccomended

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $425)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cheap, Sharp when stopped down
    Wish it would focus a /little/ closer, soft wide open

    Hard to beat for $90.

    The lens is very nice if you stop down to f/2.8 or so, and makes for a great portrait lens.

    My only complaint is that I always seem to want to get an inch or two closer to my subject than the lens will allow.

    Great cheap lens for night photography

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $90)
  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, vivid images, good build quality
    a little too tele for my taste

    I initially bought this lens for macro work, but because of the great image quality, I ended up using it for everything that I could.

    I never understood the "dual focus" mechanism, but it didn't get in the way too much.

    overall I would say this is about the best lens you can get for the money.

    My only complaint is that I found myself wishing it were a little more wide angle.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $350)
  • Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great zoom range, perfectly usable image quality at all focal lengths
    broke after 18 months of use

    This was my primary lens on my digital rebel. It was truly the 'little lens that could' I could snap this on my camera and go just about anywhere knowing that I wasn't likely to need any other lenses.

    That said, I was sad when the lens died after only 18 months of use. and since sigma only offers a 1 year warranty with their lenses, I could not get it repaired.

    Overall I still recommend the lens, it served me well for thousands of pictures and it didn't cost me too much money. Just don't expect it to last forever.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $250)
  • Pentax 16-45mm f/4 ED AL SMC P-DA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality, not too much barrel distortion,
    lens extends when zoomed OUT

    This is a must have lens for any Pentax users. It is a very sharp lens with an excellent wide angle zoom range. Flare is VERY well controlled as well, this lens easily has the best flare performance of any lens I have used.

    The only complaint I have is that the the front element extends outward when you zoom OUT. this is annoying when you are trying to get a wide angle close up of people because you literally need to shove the lens inches away from their face.

    Also, the lens has a great close focus ability. Here is an example of a close up shot that I took with this lens when I didn't have my macro with me:

    Overall I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for something better than the kit lens that comes with their camera.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Small, seemingly well built
    broke after 5 months, very soft wide open.

    This is the only canon lens that I regret buying. I bought it thinking it would be a good walk around ~50mm lens, but after a few shots I was surprised how soft and bland looking my shots were. After a while, I found that stopping down to f5.0 or so corrected many of the problems. But soon after that the apature ring got stuck in it smallest position.

    I probably just got a bad copy, but I still would not recommend this lens to anyone.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $150)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp, well built
    'only' 1:2

    This is a great lens from canon, Well built and sharp as a tack.

    The only thing to keep in mind with this lens is that it does not focus to true 1:1 macro, only 1:2. This may or may not be an issue, but most 50mm macros competing with this lens will go to 1:1.

    Overall I would easily recommend this lens though, its great if you are in need of a 50mm lens.

    reviewed January 1st, 2007 (purchased for $280)