mrmr's reviews

  • Canon EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Cheap, light, decent 28-50mm lens
    Appalling build quality, average 50-105mm performance

    (Used on a crop-frame digital..)
    I have to disagree. I find that although the build quality is truly appalling, the f4-f5.6 lens is noticeably sharper and cleaner at the 28mm end than the f3.5-f4.5 lens is. It has much better contrast retention than the earlier design in all circumstances, though the borders aren't quite so good.

    At the 105mm end, the older design has the edge, and of course the handling is much better on the older lens.

    I think I'd rather buy the 24-85 than either of the Canon 28-105s anyway, it's worth the extra cash.

    reviewed June 13th, 2007 (purchased for $100)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    wide wide wide.. great colour, bokeh, contrast and geometry
    not as sharp or as well built as it should be for the price, and strong field curvature at 10mm

    This is a great lens.. but I can't help but be disappointed compared to the 17-40L. It's the same price pretty much and serves the same purpose (within its market) but it's not as well built, it's not constant F4, it's not as sharp .. but it's all we have, so we make do for now.

    Field curvature at the wide end makes it difficult to work with. Bodies like the EOS350D isn't accurate enough with its focussing to decide that infinity really IS infinity, so you need to manual focus at 10mm if you want sharp landscapes (or use f16).

    Really handles light sources well. This lens just doesn't lose contrast no matter what you do (unless you use a cheap filter, which someone mentioned earlier - but that is always the filter's fault).

    Provides excellent bokeh, on the few occasions that you might see it on such a wide angle lens!

    Colour rendition is excellent, to my eyes. I think this comes out of the excellent flare resistance.

    Geometry is excellent, all the way through the zoom. Personally I would have swapped some distortion for a little extra sharpness, but it is nice to not have to bother correcting it because it's so minor. Better than some primes in fact.

    CA is reasonably low, but remains noticeable at 10mm.

    This is a no-brainer purchase, despite the cons. I simply love using the lens now that I know how to deal with the field curvature. (And it's worth noting that the 17-40L has that same problem too!)

    reviewed June 13th, 2007
  • Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Excellent all rounder, travel or "only" lens.
    Truly terrible bokeh - don't even think about portrait work.

    I love this lens .. and I hate it, in pretty equal measure...

    It gives me a sharp, clear, all round useful lens in almost all circumstances, with the ability to do pseudo macro work thrown in for free (the kind of shots you can get with a 20cm focus distance and 17mm focal length are pretty rare for an SLR lens).

    It doesn't flare much (though it's not as good as the Canon 17-40L for example), and it's usable wide open at all focal lengths (though arguably a little soft) - the point is it doesn't fall apart like many lenses do, or lose masses of contrast - even that f2.8 at 17mm is usable if you're not looking to produce great artworks or have fine detail in the corners of your image.

    It produces consistently sharp, contrasty images, and is well built - it feels solid and weighty. The focus is quick and quiet (as long as you don't want it to do full-sweep), and pretty accurate. But that's less of a problem on this lens - it appears to have a pretty flat field even at 17mm.

    The downsides, however, show up when you start to look more closely...

    CA is pretty rough at 17mm, particularly wide open, but hey shoot raw and that'll be fixed for you. It's not much worse than many other lenses at 17mm.

    Geometry distortion: average - lots of barrel at 17mm, but not too bad.

    But the big killer for many shots is bokeh .. it's bad.. If your background is evenly lit and has no highlights you'll likely get away with it, but out-of-focus specular highlights will be rendered as a noticeable bright outer ring with a point in the centre aswell.. Not pleasant. Don't even think of blades of grass, you'll be seeing double..

    For the money, it's a killer lens. For the money, it's an excellent upgrade from the kit lenses available (particularly as there's really no direct competition on a canon dslr). But you get what you pay for, so it has it's drawbacks.

    reviewed June 13th, 2007 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Everything but ..
    Build quality and focus motor.

    An excellent new lens from Canon, nice one guys.
    Ok being picky it has a bit of barrel distortion at 18mm, and it has a teensy bit reduced contrast compared to some other lenses in it's focal length range, but hey it's just a hundred quid!
    The IS is excellent too, quite effective, which just adds the icing to the cake.
    If you're looking for something in this range, and you don't need f2.8 or the extra length of the 17-85 or the sigma 17-70, look no further. This one is a no-brainer.

    reviewed January 4th, 2008 (purchased for $200)
  • Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    performance at long end
    poor contrast, bad flare, performance at wide end

    Says it all really. At 28mm this lens sucks. Don't even think about using it wide open... It's much better at the long end, but even there it suffers badly from flare and poor contrast. Get that hood and USE IT!

    Overall I'd say buy the 24-85 instead.

    reviewed January 4th, 2008 (purchased for $100)