rrf's reviews

  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    F2.8 and good zoom range
    flash shadow at 24 mm; heavy

    Sigma seems to make several versions of this lens. Mine is labelled in various places: DG EX ASpherical. It is not labelled Macro anywhere and, although it looks the same, it may not be the same lens others have reviewed here.
    The lens covers a nice range for photographing kids indoors with a Canon 20D crop factor. The down side is that at short focal lengths, the lens is extended, which casts a shadow in the picture. The lens also occasionally hunts in low light focusing and is not quiet, but it is pretty fast, which is more important for getting pictures of kids.

    Later I got the Tamron 28-75 because it is lighter and a bit longer. the Tamron has similar focus characteristics. It stays on the camera more because it is lighter, but sometimes the difference between 28 and 24 matters (close quaters indoors or outdoor garden shows for instance) and Sigma handles that well.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    F2.8; light weight, good image quality, good zoom range
    Autofocus sometimes hunts and ring moves

    The lens covers a nice range for photographing kids indoors with a Canon 20D crop factor. The lens is light, compact and short at 28mm which means that shadowing is not a problem in flash photographs. (I also have a Sigma 24-70 F2.8, which has a serious shadow problem at short focal lengths.)

    The lens occasionally fails to focus and sometimes overshoots/hunts in low light focusing and is not quiet, but overall, it is an excellent lens. The light weight and good range means it stays on my camera almost all the time.

    In addition to being very useable and light weight (for an F2.8), it takes great pictures! I highly recommend this lens.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    F1.4, nice blurry backgrounds
    soft wide open which can be good for portraits

    On a Canon 20D, this is a great indoor, low light portrait lens. The background blur is very nice and you don't need much light to take pictures of a moving child without a flash. The blur helps remove some of the clutter that is omnipresent with a child at play.

    Although I do not use this lens often (my Tamron 28-75 spends much more time on the camera), I am always very pleased with the handling and very nice quality of the images from this lens.

    The blurry backgrounds at F1.4 can be very nice. Keep in mind that the focal depth at F1.4 is so narrow that if the eyes are in focus, the ears will be a bit blurred. It is critical to get the focus exactly on the point you want to have in focus. (The autofocus works well, so this is usually not difficult to do.) The effect of this wide open, short depth of focus portrait can be quite nice and is unavailable without this wide an aperature.

    Stopped down a bit, the lens is sharp and maintains nice out of focus background patterns (bokeh). I have found that pictures taken with this lens have a nice feel to them.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006