rainerknappe's reviews

  • Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 AF Macro

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp and good colours, cheap
    construccion and handlings, unstable

    This lens is very difficult to review. There is a very big difference between the optics and buildings. Of course its a cheap lens, but as a "real macro-freak" normally I am used to better lenses. I have 6 top-macros from Sigma, Tamron and Canon and the Vivitar only as reserve. I bought it because one day I didn´t find any Pentax- mount, so simply I tried it out.
    Optical quality: Quiet nice - with the Pentax K 10 (on the Pentax ist DS it dosn´t work so fine!) In the direct sun it tends sometimes to strange colourchanges.
    Good news: Very strong sharpness and saturated coulors and a different bokeh than p.e. the Sigmas.
    Bad news: The construction is (pricewise) really cheap!
    Anyway - its a real surprise how nice it optically works but its not more than a good reserve-lens!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $190)
  • Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    fantastic sharp, very contrasty and good construccion and colours

    This lense is a real champ! No weakness and brilliant performence - extremly sharp and very good handlings - in this days may be the No.1 in macro, only the Canon MP-E 65 is even better but playing in a different category - the TIPA- price for the best semi-professional lens of 2007 says everything. The 1:1 and 1:2 magnification is outstandingly good. If you love macros, buy this one - a good alternative are the Tamron DI 90 and Sigma EX DG 50.
    1000% recommended!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended

    A very good entrance in the macro-world...
    I own the older and better version (in construccion - a lot of metal), the Sigma Ex 50mm 2.8.
    The price is very nice and as well its sharp and very contrasty, good colours and bokeh - no weakness at all... And the portraits - nice job... who needs a 50mm - prime?
    For macro-beginners the best lens - highly recommended!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $250)
  • Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, exact colours, nice bokeh, good price and quality
    AF - but no problem, because good macro-fotografers don´t use it!

    A very popular lens! No wonder at all... the price-quality is top.
    But in this class they are fighting very hard - Tamron DI 90, Canon 100, Tokina 100 - very strong class!
    I decided this one - I love the EX-finish at my Canon 20Da - the Canon 100 was a bit too heavy and expensive, the Tamron I am using with my Pentax K 10 and the Tokina were only to buy with Nikon-mount. So now I own the whole family - Sigma 50, 70, 105 and my "bulldog" 150!
    The best of them is the new 70mm - really outstanding picturequality, but the rest are very close - highly recommended!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $370)
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

    9 out of 10 points and recommended

    Very good ultrawide-lens. Very low distorsions, only a little cornershading, strong sharpness and lots of details (resolution), nice colours and an outstanding construccion mixed up with a brilliant price. I don´t have to say more? Okay, there are sometimes a lot of CA´s, but only at indirect light-situations - so knowing that, you have to handle this carefull....
    Together with the expensive Canon 10-22 and the Sigma EX DC 10-20 one of the best ultra-wide-lenses. What not everybody knows - at 18mm one of the sharpest lenses on the market!
    99% recommended!!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $480)
  • Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended

    Very strong lens! About the best in its class. The resolution is outstanding even in the corners. Nearly no CA´s, little distorsion, quick AF a bit funny-noisy, only light fall off at 17mm (until f 5,6), very good price, only a bit too much plastic in the construccion makes loosing points - the rest - a top lens!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $370)
  • Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp and practic
    light fall off and wavy (funny) distortions

    That´s not a bad lens at all on my Pentax. Surprisingly sharp (at least my example) but distortions and light fall off is quiet strong, but it´s a wonderfull practic lens (18-125) - offering very good colours on my Pentax D-SLR! The buildings are quiet so so - not too bad.
    The price is good too - at least a middle-class-lens!

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $250)
  • Pentax 18-35mm f/4-5.6 AL SMC P-FA J

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    quick AF and good resolution for 6-MP-SLR
    strong light fall off in extreme corners

    At the Pentax ist DS this lens works good, but not at the K 10. So the limit is 6 MP. The lens offers real 18mm but on the long end it´s getting dark (f 5,6). At 18mm it shows strong extreme corner shading and a bit distortion - all in all a quiete acceptable middle-class-lens and very light-wight.

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $130)
  • Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    bargain and very nice colours
    distortion at 18 and strong cornershading up to 30mm

    For the money an excellent deal. Good ergonomics, construccion and very nice colours. On the bad side you will find strong cornershading and distortion at 18mm. The sweatspot is at 35mm with quiet good resolution (at 18 and 55mm the lens is a bit soft). All in all a very good bargain and one of the best Kitlenses around

    reviewed May 15th, 2007 (purchased for $75)
  • Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    good optic quality
    on APS-C sensor a 10mm would be better

    This is a nice lens! Very good optics with high resolution and only very few CA´s. Distorcion could be stronger - I would prefer 10-12mm (8mm are too much - I don´t like the full circle). Good buildings, I gave 9 in construccion and 9 in picturequality. A real fun lens with a hell lot of DOF !!!

    reviewed May 16th, 2007
  • Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended

    My only bulldog-lens (I call the lens "the thick big Bertha!"). Strong optics, good handling - a lens, who is worth every Euro u Dollar. Sharpness is exellent, nice bokeh, no weekness at all - but handle this monster carefully..... the insurance-company will not pay frontcrashes!!!

    reviewed May 16th, 2007 (purchased for $550)
  • Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    good construccion
    bulky and not very good picture-quality

    I made a very long test with this Canon L 14. Not worth even 1000$. The only good fact is the solid construccion. The pricetag of 2000$ is a bad joke. Strong resolution-fall-off at the borders, only the center is quiet good. Colours are a bit washed out and flare is a real big problem. Distortion is only acceptable and you will see some cornershading. May be this lens is made for film, but on digital its realy nothing special. There are a lot of good L-lenses around, but the L 14 is not worth a deeper look! If you like extrem wideangels you can buy the very good prime Sigma EX DG 14 (550$) or the fantastic zoom Tokina 12-24 PRO AX (450$).

    reviewed May 17th, 2007
  • Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    incredible good lens
    may be a bit heavy

    This lens is a real adventure - 1:1 is good, 2:1 is great, 3:1 is incredible, 4:1 is sensacional and 5:1 blows out your mind!!
    A whole new world to discover!
    If you are a "real macro-freak" you have to, yes you really have to buy this fantastic lens!
    Great optics and great construccion - but you need a stabilization-system and a macro-flash.
    Of course its not a cheap lens but worth every penny!
    1000% recomended

    reviewed May 17th, 2007 (purchased for $850)
  • Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical IF Macro AF

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    good optic results between 18-200, good colours and resolution
    200-250 isn´t so good, price

    It´s a quiet good allrounder without strong weekness. Better than the 18-200-brother from Sigma. As well a bit better than the Tamron 18-200. Of course you will find some distortion and cornershading, but its really acceptable. The resolution is good between 18-200 and the colours are nice.
    From travelling-zooms it´s the best choice, but still a bit expensive!

    reviewed May 18th, 2007 (purchased for $440)
  • Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC

    1 out of 10 points and not recommended
    horrible strong distortion and cornershading

    Finally I bougt some years ago the cheaper and better 18-125. This one had horrible distortion and strongest cornershading. The resolution was acceptable between 18-120, AF slow and noisy and the pricetag was terrible with 400$. I don´t understand the popularity of this low middle-class-lens, not recommended!

    reviewed May 18th, 2007
  • Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro

    1 out of 10 points and not recommended
    through it in the basket

    terrible lens - I trough it away!

    reviewed May 18th, 2007 (purchased for $200)
  • Sigma 20-40mm f/2.8 EX DG Aspherical

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    good optics - beautiful lens
    CA´s and a bit heavy

    I like this lens, its a very good alternative to my brilliant Tamron 17-50 2.8 (which I use with the Canon 20 DA). The price was really nice specially offering a beautiful design and construccion. I use this lens at my Pentax K 10 and its a really perfect combination - sharp from f 4.5, only little distortion and a bit more cornershading at 20mm and specially beautiful colours - highly recommended!

    reviewed May 18th, 2007 (purchased for $410)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    very wide and good center-resolution
    heavy distortion and cornershading

    In the beginning I wasn´t so amazed with this lens. I bought the 10-20 with a Canon-mount. In comparation wit the Tokina PRO 12-24 it didn´t show the same results (more cornerdistorsion and strong vignetting). So I sold it! Later I bought it again (this time with the Pentax-K-mount). Together with the Pentax K 10 it shows brillant results (fantastic colour, good sharpness, very good contrast). If you can live with the strong cornershading (even more hefty with the K 10) and using this as a creative appearence, you will have the ultimative landscape lens!
    99% recommended!

    reviewed May 20th, 2007 (purchased for $490)
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, colours, blur & USM
    I am still missing the lenshood!

    One of the best Canon lenses! I own 6 macros - 4 Sigmas, 1 Tamron and this one. I made a lot of tests comparing it with the brother Sigma 105 - they are very close in optics, may be the Canon offers a little bit more saturated colours and a sweeter out-of-focus. Sharpness is brilliant as the Sigma and the USM is much quicker (but I nearly don´t use it, I like the MF traditionally). The Sigma is cheaper, nicer, not so heavy and has no cornershading at 2.8. Canon against Sigma - normally 5:4 - but the missing lenshood???, so 5:5.

    reviewed May 22nd, 2007 (purchased for $440)
  • Sigma 14mm f/2.8 EX Aspherical HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    slight corner-resolution-falloff and some shading

    This is a very good alternative to the Canon, Nikon 14mm 2.8. Very good centerresolution (a bit falloff in the corners between f2.8 and 5.6). I owned the Canon 14L and I was dissapointed about many aspects (finally I sold it). The Sigma is clearly better (CA´s, cornerresolution, flare and of course price!). I specially love the colourrendition (slightly warm) and solid construccion of this nice lens.
    99% recommended!

    reviewed June 6th, 2007 (purchased for $550)
  • Pentax 16-45mm f/4 ED AL SMC P-DA

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness from f4.5, price ok, quiet sturdy, 16mm and f4
    rare design, CAs, distorsion at 16mm, sharpness up to f4.5

    These days the old DA 16-45 f4 is getting strong competition - the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 with Pentaxmount, the new Pentax 16-50 f2.8 and Sigma EX DC 18-50 f2.8 macro - they are all quiet better in the optics and buildings.... the DA 16-45 is really NOT a bad lens (resolution from f4.5, small amount of Vignetting and distorsions from ca.18mm and a solid construccion) but the new offers are more modern and using better optics and they are not more expensive (only the new Pentax will cost you the double, but its wethersealed and will give you professional results).........

    reviewed February 4th, 2008 (purchased for $300)
  • Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness, light-weight, easy to use
    too much plastic

    A real brillant macro-lens. I am using the Pentax-K-mount (DSLR Pentax K 10) and the lens works really fine and giving fantastic results, even at f2.8. Strong sharpness, very good contrast, exellent bokeh.......
    The construction is very solid, but there is a little bit to much plastic in. Together with the Sigma EX DG 70mm f2.8 the best macro on the market. 1000% recommended!

    reviewed January 8th, 2008 (purchased for $390)
  • Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp-very sharp from f4-5, very good construccion, fast and silent
    not so sharp from f2.8-4.5

    Iam very satisfied with this new fisheye-lens. Excellent optic rendition (only wide open its a bit soft, but from f4,5 very sharp). Quick and silent AF and very solid construccion. I really dont understand the first valoration from deepreview (5) and not recommended! May be a decentering.....

    reviewed May 20th, 2008 (purchased for $600)
  • Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM SMC DA*

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, CA´s, building
    distorsion at 16mm, price

    I bought this lens for a friend who also works with the K 10. Personally Iam using the Tamron SP 17-50 f2.8, which is very good too and costs the half-price.... Its a sharp, welldesigned and constructed lens. Cornershading and distorsion are strong only at 16mm and nearly without CAs. Quick focussing but the price is a problem.....

    reviewed May 28th, 2008 (purchased for $720)