Xtian's reviews

  • Canon EF 35mm f/2

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp, Light

    I finally switched over to a dSLR, and my 85mm f1.8 lens became WAY too narrow (~135mm?). I could have gotten a 50mm (closer to 85mm) but I decided to go wider as I could easily crop the image in photoshop to my liking.

    I take a lot of indoor shots (church events, etc) where the use of flash is inappropriate (don't want to draw attention to myself) so I needed a fast lens. This is a very sharp lens and very easy to carry around. Not THAT sharp fully open at 2.0 but when you stop it down a few stops it will get extremely sharp as the review notes.

    During our Christmas banquet I probably used around 40%/60% combination switching back and forth between 35mm/85mm.

    The focusing motor is loud but not disturbingly so. I won't be using it during a Sermon but... if you think about it the Mirror Slap of an SLR is probably louder. I rarely take pictures during a message because the SLR mirror slap is way too loud for me. If I have to, I use a Point and Shoot or go into the baby room and use a tele/tripod/polizer combo.

    Prints on my canon-dye sub (cp510) look amazing. The bokeh is not as good as my 85mm but better than a regular zoom that starts out at f3.5.

    This is becoming an excellent complement to my 85mm.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $220)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image Quality.
    too narrow now on a sub-frame body.

    I take a lot of indoor shots (church events, etc) where the use of flash is inappropriate (don't want to draw attention to myself) so I needed a fast lens for candids of the people. I was starting to feel this lens was not narrow enough on my Film camera, but now that I got a sub-fram dSLR it has become narrower. Not a bad thing but I need to recalculate my distances from my target as I had this lens for about 3 years if I remember.

    The sharpness is incredible and for the price you can't beat it. I mostly shoot it stopped down to 2.0 because at 1.8 it is slighly soft.

    One thing is that I do notice a little CA when wide open. Nothing to really be bothered about if you're going to be staying on the web or priting 4x6 but it will be noticeable if you get to the actual size.
    Focusing is excellent, fast, and quiet. What else from USM?

    This is definitely a keeper if you take a lot of candid shots of children/people/etc. Going from FF film to sub-frame digital made this a more telephoto than a portrait lens but... oh well.

    I use this 1.8 and a 35mm 2.0 for all of my indoor church shots now. They complement each other well and are fast.

    The colors are also amazing. The people always comment how the colors are beautiful and shots look amazing (they come from P&S and they don't know what a good bokeh does to an image). I can only say that I have a good lens as I don't do anything special.

    for excellent portrait shots, get a good tripod and the wired shutter release cable, not only prevents shake (with mirror lock up) but your hand won't be all in weird shape (and you'll look slightly cooler).

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great walkaround lens. good focal length range. IS
    not really that good in low light of course

    This is a great lens to have when you're just walking around... during daylight. Take candid shots, take city shots, take landscape. But as any other mid-end zoom, it is a general purpose lens that can't do any one thing well, but does everything decently. And I recently moved to a sub-frame digital from film so it has become a 40mm-215mm lens which is still useful in that regard, as I shoot mostly narrow than wide.

    I am more of a prime lens shooter (35mm 2.0, 85mm 1.8) because I need fast lenses for low-light indoor photography without being able to use a flash (church events such as a Christmas banquet). I definitely can't use this lens without a flash indoor even with the IS.

    But this lens was made to be taken everywhere and if there's only one lens I can take where I need a wide range, then this is the only thing I have.

    Sharpness is adequate. My comparison comes from my 85mm 1.8 which is currently the sharpest thing I've got.

    Colors are muted also compared to my 85mm 1.8.

    I maybe use this lens 10% of the time. Most of the time I just go for my prime lenses. I'd recommend you figure out where you do most of the shooting and get a prime lens that has better image quality and speed.

    But if you haven't figured out what you like to shoot, this would be a good lens to start then you'll know if you like to shoot wide/narrow, macro/close-up/far, action/portrait... once you get that figured out go get one or two good prime lenses =D

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $400)
  • Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    long focal length
    everything else LOL

    This was the first canon lens I bought waaaay back when I was in college... somewhere in the forgotten 90's. I was doing a lot of sports photography (soccer, football, baseball) and it was excellent for its purpose (newspaper publishing) but it really is showing it's age now.

    I rarely use this lens now. It isn't useful indoors at all, with the apperture being so slow and with no IS it is impossible in low-light. And I do most of my shooting now indoors.

    The one place this is decent would be outdoor wildlife. You might be able to get shots of birds and such that you just can't with anything under 300mm. But image quality is pretty sad. I'd recomment people get the EXCELLENT 70-200mm F4 L lens which doesn't cost THAT much more. With that lens you'll be able to use for candid shots outdoor and good in wildlife, and with the sharpness on the F4L, you can crop the images and probably will be better in quality than this 300mm.

    BUT, if you really need 300mm at any cost (any cost being CHEAP) this is the only option available.

    Another thing that comes with the camera is that at 300mm this thing is SO LONG that people will think you're cool even without a white lens. (well, the people being classified as people who don't know cameras) But we all know that SIZE doesn't matter... it's how well you use it... or... how good the glasses are lol.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $300)