mbuf's reviews

  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    IS, f4 all the way, very useful range

    After trying different lenses on my 300D I decided to get one very good lens for general shooting purpose and I get the Canon 24-105 f4 IS, which is a wonderful lens. It is all I dreamed about:
    - very useful range (for general photography, but also for landscape, portrait and macro - not 1:1, but still ok for flowers and other things)
    - IS (usually I did not get sharp pictures in low light due the camera movement, but this IS lens help a lot - of course it does not miracles, but it realy help)
    - f4 from 24 to 105; is not very open, but still ok
    - very sharp at all apertures.
    I did some "lab" tests and it prove ~1 inch front focus, but in real life never encounter problems.
    I keep this lens most of the time on my camera with an UV protection filter that I change with a polarizer when need. In order to keep the very good lens quality, the filters must be also top quality too.
    The price of the lens was high, it drops a little bit today, but the quality is not cheap at all.

    reviewed December 28th, 2006 (purchased for $1,300)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    good range,sharp if stoped down
    construction, front rotation

    This lens is not as bad as many users complain. If you know its limitations and characteristics it is quite usefull.
    The picture quality is ok if this lens is stopped down at f8, but is not stellar.
    The range is very good for general photography and some macro, so it is ideal for the beginers.
    The built quality is so-so. The front element "move" left-right, I am not talking about the normal in-out.
    A polarizer is a little dificult to use, since the front is rotating a little bit while zooming and a lot while focussing.
    For the price this lens could be a good starter. If you have some extra money, buy only the body and get a better lens.

    reviewed December 28th, 2006
  • Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro APO

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    good tele range, macro
    soft at long end

    This lens is the first tele lens I owned. Its range is very good, from 70 to 300, and the aperture is ok if you shoot in good light, otherwise a tripod is mandatory for non-blurry pictures.
    I used it for typical tele pictures, but also for shhoting moon, sun and eclipses, of course with a special filter mounted in the front of the lens.
    The macro capability is amaizing: even if it is not a true 1:1macro, it is only 1:2, but the closest distance is a little bit less than one metter, so it will not disturb the subject too much.
    At long end (200-300) it becomes soft, but the image is still not to bad.
    Since it extend while zooming or at macro, a very good tripod and head is needed, otherwise it fall down in the front.
    What I would like to have at this lens is the IS capability...

    reviewed December 28th, 2006 (purchased for $200)
  • Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    very good range, good quality picture
    some distorsions wide, some soft tele

    After few months I have replaced the kit lens with this one. The range is very good, the image quality is also good, with some exceptions:
    - near 18mm some distorsions are clear visible; I correct this with PTLens;
    - near 125 it is a little bit soft; aditional sharpening can be adjusted in RAW processing.
    However, with this lens you can take very nice pictures, including landscape, portrait and so on. Tha macro capability is not so god as my Sigma 70-300, but this is not dedicated for macro.
    The construction quality is much better that the kit one.
    What I miss is the IS; at 125mm you need a good light to take blur free pictures. Because of this issue I sell this lens for Canon 24-105.

    reviewed December 28th, 2006 (purchased for $250)
  • Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    image quality,built quality

    I had the chance to test this lens on my 300D camera. The construction was better that any previous lens and the image quality also was very good.
    The range recommend this lens as general lens, for landscapes, portraits. It also does some macro, very god for flowers and small objects, but it is not 1:1 life size.
    What I miss is the IS, so handheld could be a problem especially in low light, but on a tripod it is always excelent.

    reviewed December 28th, 2006
  • Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    very good range, image quality, low weight
    no IS

    After several months of using the 18-125, I have the chance of test also the 18-200 Sigma lens.
    These two are pretty the same constructin and size, despite the range difference.
    The image quality is quite the same, I did not notice a very clear difference, booth offer a good image quality, but this one a larger range and a better macro capability (still far from 1:1, but nice).
    The size and weight are very good for easy transportation and the range and performance to keep it almost all time on the camera.
    Of course the long zoom need a short time to avoid blurry pictures, so it is realy usefull for a good light or a tripod is necessary.

    reviewed December 28th, 2006