dadgummit's reviews

  • Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Nice build, Decent aperture
    Soft at large Apertures,

    I purchased this lens because the Tokina 11-16 was out of stock everywhere and I thought if this lens can have good IQ, a slightly slower aperture but a larger zoom range it would be a winner.

    This lens will produce very soft images wide open. It is much better at f5.6 and pretty good at f8. On the other hand the HSM motor is great, focuses very fast and seems accurate.

    If I wanted a Ultra Wide Angle that only produces good results at f8 I would not have paid the almost $200 premium over the old Sigma.

    The construction of the lens is really nice, it has a good heft and feel to it. The zoom is nicely dampened and the HSM motor is great. The only small complaint is the Huge plastic ring on the front end that extends out past the body of the lens. When you put the camera down it rests on that plastic piece, I am afraid that it will break.

    Long story short, It is not a bad lens but it is no better than the much less expensive 10-20mm that Sigma also sells. IMHO either get the original 10-20 Sigma, Find a Tokina 11-16 or pay the price for the Canon 10-22.

    reviewed September 24th, 2009 (purchased for $650)
  • Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great zoom range, Fast + accurate focusing, Nice build
    Nothing really

    After reading all that I could find about Superzooms in general I was really hesitent to purchase this lens. Wow am I glad I did!

    The images at all focal lengths are pretty good. The focus is fast and spot on and it has good sharpness + contrast. In fact, it produces sharper images than the EF 28-135mm IS USM lens that came with the Canon 50d.

    After a couple of weeks of pretty heavy usage there is no lens creep at all. and it has produced many keepers.

    One trade-off you have to make for such a large zoom range is a small aperture which means less indoor performance. BUT if you have a good external flash (I use the canon 430II) it works great there too.

    The only one gripe I have with this lens is the focus ring will turn as it focuses and there is no full-time manual adjusting either.

    Bottom line, if you need a vacation zoom get this lens!!

    reviewed September 24th, 2009 (purchased for $529)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp wide open, Fast AF, Inexpensive
    The desire to try more expensive lenses before purchasing this.

    Just goes to show you…….

    I first tried the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 and found it waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soft wide open and hated the huge plastic ring extending out past the diameter of the lens so it went back. I then tried the Tokina 11-16 that everyone raves about. My first copy front focused and the second one was too soft at F2.8. The third copy was sharp but the AF motor was too slow to capture good shots of a running toddler so it was sold.

    I was going to give up but then decided to take one last shot and ordered the Sigma 10-20 F4 (the old version). All I have to say is WOW this is the lens I was waiting for!! It is sharp wide open, it is sharper stopped down, the HSM motor is lightning fast.

    I can honestly say that this lens gets sharper pictures at lower apertures than the newer “faster” sigma. The f3.5 sigma is no good until about f5.6 where the old version is good wide open at f4.

    If either of the first two lenses were this good I would have kept them but I am glad they were not because this lens cost about $250 less. I guess it goes to show that you do not always get more when you pay more.

    reviewed October 30th, 2009 (purchased for $400)
  • Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharp wide open, great curvature at 10mm close to a rectilinear lens at 17
    Slow/ loud AF (not an issue because there is not much focus range needed)

    For what it is (a fun lens) it is an excellent lens. It is sharp at all focal lengths and all apertures and gives an excellently curved field of view. I took this lens to Chichen Itza Mexico to photograph the Myan Ruins. Everyone and their mother who owns a camera takes tons of pictures there so I figured I would try some different perspectives. Thsi lens did not disapoint!!

    Also if you get into a situation where you do not want the exagerated perspective of a fisheye (Taking a picture of the wife) if you zoom in to 17mm the lens is pretty close to rectilinear especially in the center. This makes a good ultra wide walkaround lens for a place that has been photographed to death.

    reviewed August 5th, 2010 (purchased for $450)
  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD

    7 out of 10 points and not recommended
    F2.8 aperture, build quality
    Soft at F2.8, Slooooooooooow AF

    I purchased this UWA on the word of several glowing reviews. I just do not see it!!

    I purchased one copy that front focused close up and back focused far away pretty bad. I live 10 minutes from Tokina's American HQ so I drove it in. They re-chipped it and got it back to me 2 days later. It was ok but really soft until about f4. From f5.6 to about f8 it had absolutely fantastic sharpness BUT the reason I paid for this expensive lens with the tiny zoom range was for f2.8 so the lens went back to Tokina again. I brought my 50D body to show the differences which were very apparent even on the 3" screen of the camera.

    Tokina just replaced the lens with another copyand it was a little better yet but still VERY soft at f2.8. I finally sold it thinking why pay the steep premium for a lens that is not usable until f4 so I purchased the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 which is now my favorite lens I own. It is sharp at f4 just like the tokina but it has FAST auto focus and a bigger range. To make it better it is about $250 cheaper.

    Now I do know that Tokina lenses are compatable with my camera body (just read my glowing review of the 10-17mm fisheye) but this one could not get it right and I was not willing to waste my time with a 4th copy of the same.

    reviewed August 5th, 2010 (purchased for $650)
  • Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Good build, Sharp, Excellent VC, Excellent price

    I just received this lens for Christmas and I could not be happier. I am using it on a Canon 50D and have about 100 shots on it all snapshots in the back yard and inside the house. I took a shot of the angel at the top of the tree hand held at 300mm with only the light from the tree (no flash) and it came out very sharp with excellent detail. I then went outside and took some pictures of a humming bird on the power lines and once again was amazed at how sharp it was.

    The build quality is about the same as or a little better than the EFS 17-55 f2.8.

    For the price I honestly think you can do no better. useful focal range, 6-year warranty, sharp, comes with petal shaped hood.

    reviewed January 10th, 2011 (purchased for $400)