elho_cid's reviews

  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

    5 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Covenient by specification

    Not a particulary bad lens, but does not shine either. You can use it for years without noticing any problem until yu come upon some lens with real optical qualities. Which isn't difficult.
    Pictures taken with this zoom require quite a lot of postprocessing and sharpening to cmpensate for the dull image this lens renders.
    Stabilizer works well but it doesn't really make up for the lack of light.
    If you can get it cheap second hand than it could be good enough for snapshots in good light. But probably any other lens in it's price range is a better investment.

    reviewed November 16th, 2009 (purchased for $500)
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    USM AF, great image quality, build quality
    big and heavy compared to some competition

    This lens has unbeatable price/performance ratio. it is not only great macro lens, but its also very good on greater worging distances, doubling as a telephoto prime.
    On close-up distance the reliable AF is very handy when shooting moving objects, such as kitten or puppies.
    Tamron 90/2,8 is reported better, but I didn't like its out of focus rendering so much.
    On my Pentax setup the DFA100 is lighter and performs as good optically, but lacks the USM.
    Sigma 180 is sharp as well, but the CA is too high for my taste.
    So the EF100 is my favorite macro lens.

    reviewed November 17th, 2009 (purchased for $500)
  • Pentax 43mm f/1.9 Limited SMC P-FA

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    excelenent contrast and bokeh
    little bit of CA

    This lens is absolute gem.

    I have both FA50 and FA35 and I was eager to see what will the FA43 be like.
    It leaves the FA50 in dust and even has a bit edge of appeal against the FA35.
    I already tried quite a lot of lenses with both Pentax and Canon systems, but never experienced the wow effect of FA43 before. The contrast it puts into slightest details of the image is unbelievable.
    The CA is easier to correct than with other primes (such as FA50) and no problem at all.

    And above all the Fa43 is a pleasure to use, it is more than just a great lens. It is a great lens with built quality to survive decades and still look like a jewel.

    reviewed November 17th, 2009
  • Pentax 35mm f/2 AL SMC P-FA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    great optical performance

    I was initially a bit afraid ofthe focal length on digital, but this lens proved to be very useful companion for APS-C camera. I can rely on it's optical performance on any setting from f2 up to f22.
    Pictures are always well focused and sharp with no CA apparent and free of flare or ghosting. It is quite useful for close-up's as well, but there the hexagonal aperture may render unpleasant bokeh sometimes.
    In use it is very practical, you can reverse it for macro as it has the aperture ring and the lens shade is easy to use with lens cap or polarizer.
    I don't regret the money spent on this one.

    reviewed November 17th, 2009 (purchased for $450)
  • Pentax 24-90mm f/3.5-4.5 AL IF SMC P-FA

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    reliable, quick focusing, optically very good
    build quality could be better (zoom creeping)

    Very decent zoom lens, which doesn't really have to be stopped down to deliver good results.
    It focuses accurately and relatively quickly even with my K10D so I use it for report-style shooting.
    The lens shade is very practical, allowing for easy lens cap removal and use of filters.
    The zoom range and dependability makes it by far my favorite zoom lens, though I'm more a prime kind of guy.

    reviewed November 17th, 2009 (purchased for $300)
  • Pentax 14mm f/2.8 ED IF SMC P-DA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    closeup capability, build quality, very good CA performance
    bokeh sometimes, difficult to get the corners sharp

    A very unique lens. There is nothing similar and it is great in many ways.
    I've had my hands on many wide lenses (DA15, DA12-24, or Tokina 11-16 and Sig 10-20 on other mounts). I also own DA 10-17 fisheye for more extreme perspectives.
    But from all of them only DA14 allows me to get really close to the subject. Also the build quality is the best, very important measure for me.
    For shooting in nature good valance between CA correction and sharpness is important to get huge prints in decent quality. For this purpose the DA14 is also at the top among WA lenses for crop factor cameras. Sometimes I just have to focus manually to get the focus correctly even to the corner of the image.
    On the other hand lenses with rounder apertures (DA15 or Tokina 11-16) have their advantages in some shots. I'm very happy with flare resistance. I only witnessed better performance in this regard with the DA15.
    I hope Pentax would re-issue this lens with WR and rounded diaphragm blades. Then it would be just perfect.

    reviewed March 30th, 2010 (purchased for $550)
  • Pentax 50mm f/2.8 Macro SMC P-D FA

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    excellent image quality, small and light
    May not be too durable (plastic barrel)

    Very versatile lens, useful not just for macro, but also portraits, landscapes, etc.

    The sharpness and contrast is terrific even when combined with teleconverter, tube, or dioptric attachment lens. This gives so much more combinations and possibilities.

    I do not like the extending plastic barrel, but otherwise the design is good, making the lens very enjoyable to use.

    Highly recommended (if you treat your lenses well).

    reviewed July 30th, 2010 (purchased for $350)
  • Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX DG IF HSM APO Macro

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpnes and bokeh, fast AF
    not compatible with my SuperA or with AF1,7TC (communication problems), AF/MF switch

    I own a non-DG versionof this lens, Pentax mount.
    Pentax version is driven from the camera body, not a HSM. Still with camera like K-5 the AF is instant and accurate, usable for tracking of flying birds or sports.
    The optics is first class, no reservations. I beleve it is better buy than 200/2.8 - larger and half stop slower, but also macro and APO.

    reviewed March 6th, 2011 (purchased for $800)
  • Pentax 85mm f/1.4 IF SMC P-FA

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharpness and contrast
    bokeh fringing, no close focus

    I was a bitt worried by the FL, as I thought it might be too long on APS-C. But it is not a problem. I'm happy to choose this portrait lens as the DOF wide open is amazing and still I get great shapness. At f1,7 contrast kicks in and it is so sharp that even in the edge of the image I get moire artifacts with K10D.
    At f2,4 it essentially burries dead the poor little DA70 that I considered before.
    Build quality is also great and with K-5 I can autofocus precisely even f1.4. Also surprisingly fast to AF, I tried shooting seagulls flying around and with great success.
    Most recommended lens!

    reviewed March 6th, 2011 (purchased for $1,150)