amelo14's reviews

  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Unique Versatile Focal Range, Image Stabilization, USM, Low Weight, Low light possibilities
    No hood, requires corrective post-processing, only EF-S.

    I got this lens as part of a deal which included it and the Rebel XT. If you can buy it as part of this kind of package, then it is a really GREAT deal. This lens is extremely convenient, specially for travel and those situations (quite common) in which you just can’t take too many lenses with you. Its versatility means it will be the only lens many will need. Some criticize its image quality and its distortions. The distortions can be fixed in very affordable programs such as PTLENS, and the image quality, specially above 35mm is extremely good. It is a great lens to have as a low-light alternative for situations such as those in museums where no tripod/flash is allowed. Besides, if you check out resolution figures which compare the famous “85 1.8” at 1.8 and this lens at 85 f/5.6 (+ 3 stops with IS which would be more or less equivalent to 1.8), you will see that the figures are almost identical (see, This lens also allows for nice bokeh.

    All in all, a convenient lens for those who are ready to sacrifice some image quality for the chance to take photos which otherwise might never be taken.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $610)
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Extremely sharp image quality, bargain price, weight, Tamron warranty.
    no IS, no USM, no “L” build, some copies seem to front-focus.

    This lens is simply a joy to use. Tamron has managed to continue the amazing quality of its famous 28-75, making it now available for the 1.6x sensors. Even at 2.8 it is quite sharp throughout the whole range. Being 2.8, it competes well with IS alternatives which cost almost twice and cannot really be used for stopping action. The build quality is not the greatest, but it is not bad either. Low-light can be a bit tricky for the AF system, but once again it is really above-average. Its weight and size allow you to take other lenses with you, which increases your chance of making different types of images.

    Bottom line, an excellent lens at a bargain price which will save you the money required to get others lenses which will allow you to explore other photographic possibilities. For the price of one 17-55 IS USM, you can get this lens, the excellent Canon 85 1.8, and finally, either a 35 2.0, or a 50 1.8 MK1. This will surely open up you creative possibilities.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $400)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Bargain price, sharp image quality, bokeh possibilities, extremely light-weight.
    Build, build, build (!); AF sometimes hunts in low-light.

    I bought the 50 1.8 MKII because I wanted to learn about low-light lenses. It was continuously recommended for its price tag and the quality of its image. This lens does not disappoint in either category. Not only does it open possibilities to learn about DOF and the creation of rich Bokeh images, but also -----when stopped down to 5.6---- produces extremely sharp images from corner to corner. It is ideal for portraits as well as low-light situations, specially given that it compares favorably with much more expensive alternatives.

    The only serious fault is the plastic build which makes you wonder whether it will survive even the shortest of falls. This is the reason I sold my MKII (plastic version) and was lucky enough to find a used MKI (metal mount) in mint condition which cost me a bit more, but guarantees years of creative fun. If you can get hold of a well-kept MKI (mine is actually 18 years old, but in amazing condition), then you should go for that one. If you can’t get hold of one, the MKII is still the greatest Canon value around. You will not regret it.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $100)
  • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Superb Image quality, 1:1 macro, multifunctional (macro and portraits), WEIGHT, build, bokeh.
    Only EF-S, does not take KENKO Extension tubes directly.

    One of the things I like the most about this lens is its portability. If you are a nature photographer, this lens will allow you not to miss macro shots in the field if you are taking with you heavier gear. It fits anywhere! And besides being amazingly sharp as a macro lens even at 2.8, on a 1.6x sensor it has the perfect focal length for portraits. Its pleasant bokeh is a plus as well in this respect.

    Those who are into insect macro might look more at the 100 2.8 Macro given its longer working distance, but in turn the 100 focal length is not ideal for portraiture on a 1.6 x sensor. On the downside (if there is any here!) sometimes the lens hunts in low light as it does not have a focus limiter, but I believe this is not a serious flaw. It is a pity it does not take the Kenko extension tubes directly, but it WILL if you buy the Canon 12 II Extension Tube and THEN add the Kenko tubes. You can also find some Pro-optic tubes which DO work with EF-S lenses, but the physical quality is not the greatest. This might not be a huge issue since Extension Tubes do not affect the IQ of any lens.

    In sum, simply an AMAZING lens.

    reviewed December 31st, 2006 (purchased for $500)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cost, build, image quality, opens up a new world.
    Slightly slower than Canon counterpart, some variation in copies, Sigma caps!

    Once you see through an ultra wide angle lens you perceive things anew. The advantage of this Sigma lies in its lower cost and very good overall performance. Stopped down it allows for corner to corner sharpness. Even though it has some distortion at 10mm it is small and easily fixed. The build guarantees it will last for many years, providing a unique perspective on things.

    For a very good guide on how to use an ultra wide angle lens see:

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $550)
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Stunning Image Quality, Beautiful lightweight design, fast USM, L-Build, WOW factor, low COST.
    Really NONE; but one could mention aperture, expensive tripod ring and no IS.

    I only own 1 L-lens, the 70-200 f4. The first time I handheld it I could not believe how lightweight it was. And when I looked into the viewfinder, really, I could not believe the beautiful image created. In short, if you only have funds for one L lens, then this is a serious candidate. Overall you get much more than you pay for and perhaps you just have to learn to seek those opportunities when this lens shines, that is, bright days and outdoors.

    If you are worried about the expensive canon tripod ring, there is another, less expensive option by ROXSEN, mentioned at:

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $630)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cost, sharpness, weight, quality of bokeh and colors, fast AF.
    CA at 1.8! Nothing else.

    It is no wonder this lens is highly respected by the Canon community. Although it does not have any special glass, it is amazingly sharp and produces a very beautiful bokeh. What is simply amazing, is its price. This prime is also lightweight and therefore can be easily added to your bag without having your back (and wallet!) suffer the consequences.

    The DOF at 1.8 is quite narrow, but in general the focusing is excellent. The CA at 1.8 is troubling, but easily fixed by software. By f4 the lens already peaks and the quality of the colors produced is surprising. This lens is cheaper than the comparable 100 f2 and can be used with either Full Frame or 1.6x sensors. There is just no downside here.

    You can check many images taken with this lens here:

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $380)