owashi's reviews

  • Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    very very cheap, not as bad as you may think IQ-wise
    noisy and slow AF, very poor over 250mm

    No need for a negative review as it's such a cheap lens. Just know its' limitations. When I got my new DSLR I ordered this lens from the store unaware there was a better APO version. I stuck with it though for a few months until I got a Canon 70-300 IS which is obviously much better but was 5 times the price.

    At around 200-230mm at F8 (or lower, light permitting) you can get some OK pictures. I got some reasonable bird photos and the macro function is surprisingly good for bugs and flowers. At lower mags it's not so bad for portraits.

    I don't think anyone who buys this lens is expecting it to do wonderful things considering the price level. It was my first telephoto lens and I enjoyed using it. I'd get the APO version though unless you were really strapped for cash. For the price of this version I couldn't complain.

    reviewed December 15th, 2007 (purchased for $120)
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Fast AF, great IQ, easy to take handheld shots
    not great in poor light, a touch heavy

    I have this lens on loan for a few months and am dreading giving it back.

    This is my first time using a L lens and my first 'serious' telephoto. I'm finding it takes great shots (by my own standards which may not be as high as others of course) and I'm using it for birds almost exclusively at 400mm. Even at shutter speeds of 1/80 I can get sharp images. I'm noticing much less time spent post processing my pictures too (especially color rendition and sharpness).

    The only time it struggles is in very poor light, it may be better on a tripod or monpod in these situations.

    I've never used a real top lens like the EF 300 F2.8 or EF 500 F4 but for a relative novice like me this lens is fantastic. For the more demanding experienced photographers it doubtless has its weak points but it is still good value at around $1500.

    reviewed December 15th, 2007
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good value, useable right up to 300mm, IS
    a bit 'plasticky'

    I'm surprised by the previous 2 reviews. Are they talking about the same lens?

    Vastly superior to the various other 70-300 consumer lenses in EF mounts. I use this as my 'walkabout' lens for bird photography. I take the 100-400 when I know I'm going to be taking a lots of pictures and I take this one when I'm not sure........it's so lightweight and small it can fit in my small camera bag easily.

    You can take perfectly acceptable pictures at 300mm at F8, the IS makes it possible to get sharp handheld pictures at this focal length even with shutter speeds under 1/50. The USM works well (though not as well as an L lens which I think has a different USM design).

    It's a great travel wildlife lens. Obviously you'll be cropping the images on your PC but I'm finding 50% crops make excellent prints. People worrying about the quality of 100% crops at 300mm should look for a much much more expensive lens than this.

    reviewed December 16th, 2007 (purchased for $580)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    price, capable of perfectly acceptable shots
    poor in low light, cheap construction

    I got the Japanese version, which is slightly different (it has USM but no IS).

    I mainly take pictures of birds so rarely use this lens. It basically turns my 400D into a fancy point and shoot. That's fine by me...........I'm not so bothered about wide angle landscapes, buildings or portraits and don't need specialist lenses for such applications.

    For those folk who shoot mainly at these standard focal lengths there are of course much much better options than the kit lens but for those of us who generally don't it's a useful addition to the camera bag.

    It clearly has its' limitations which are well known but I've taken a few nice shots with it. And you can't complain about the price that's for sure.

    reviewed December 16th, 2007