titi_elsass's reviews

  • Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp lens for macro and portrait. Good colors rendition.
    AF a bit slow (but accurate)

    Used on full frame Canon 5D.

    I've exchanged my Canon 100mm macro against this one (the 70mm focal in studio was more useful for me, the 100mm was too short, or too long) and I've no regrets. This lens is a gem! Very sharp at 2.8 at medium distance (so for portraits outside it's a winner) and very good in macro, too.

    Yes, the AF is not a high-speed one but I found it very accurate on my Canon 5D. The lens is well constructed, only the "AF-MF" button seems a bit hard to activate.

    reviewed December 23rd, 2009 (purchased for $400)
  • Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* 1.4/85

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharpness from f2, colors, bokeh

    My opinion is based on the lens I prefer on my Canon 5D: Carl Zeiss Contax Planar T* 1.4/85 (adapted with contax-eos af confirm ring). Mine is the old brother of the ZE (or ZF) lens which is sold actually on EOS/Nikon mount. The optically formulas seems to be the same (and closest focus distance...) so I think I'm allowed to give my opinion here.

    Image : excellent at every aperture value. Usable at f1.4 (but be careful of the very small depth of field), this lens really shines at f2.0 for portraits : images seems incredible with a "3d effect"). I compared its sharpness with a Canon 100mm macro : the Zeiss 85mm is the winner.

    Construction : perfect and lightweight (about 600g, not the 300g specified in technical data here).

    For me a good alternative to Canon L 85mm (more than 1500 Euros here, 1kg) for manual focus users.
    I recommend it particulary on full frame sensor.

    reviewed December 23rd, 2009 (purchased for $400)
  • Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    f/1.4 usable, great bokeh, very high Image Quality, price
    manual focus

    I've got this nice Samyang 35mm since one year (used on Canon 5D Mark I).

    Overall, the image quality is stellar. Maybe some lacks of contrast at wide apertures, but the sharpness is great from f/2. At f/1.4 the sharpness is correct on the full image (not only on center like many optics), so it's really great performances.

    Moreover, the close-up performance is fantastic. And the bokeh very creamy. Samyang has made a very good job here.

    The only minus is the lack of Autofocus. But the focus ring is very well damped.

    Highly recommended on full frame cameras!

    reviewed November 9th, 2012 (purchased for $400)
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical IF SP AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Sharpness, Light, Useful range
    nothing really - the autofocus is "old-school" but efficient

    This a review of my second Tamron 28-75mm. I use it on 5D MarkII. I've an old "made in Japan" sample. Due to the choices on 24-70mm, this lens is no more considered as really an alternative... Well it should!

    If the focal range beginning at 28mm doesn't bothered you, you can take a deep look at this lens.

    There could be sample variations (as many zoom, even with Canon L) but my 28-75mm:
    - Is very sharp across the range, even @f2.8/75mm. I'm not a "corners pixel-peeper" but I can say you for portraits this lens is sometimes too sharp!
    - Focuses accuratly (I've tuned the Micro Adjustment of my 5DII to -4, and the focus is spot on with every focal length)
    - I like the colors, with a nice contrast
    - Out-of-focus blurs render nicely (the bokeh @f2.8 is for me very good - with only 7th blades when stopped dows it could more harsh but if you want bokeh, use it @f2.8 or @f3.2)
    - Costs me few bucks (200€ in 2nd hand - mint condition). The best 24-70mm for Canon costs 2000€, the stabilized Tamron 24-70mm 850€, and are really heavier/bulkier.
    - Very good performance at minimum focus distances for near-macro shots.
    - Is correctly built and light, unobtrusive.
    - For the transport & durability, the lock at 28mm is a nice plus.

    The minus are the audible Autofocus, the zoom ring not really smooth, the not-so-good flare & ghost when light is pointed to the lens. Use the lens hood to limit this effect.

    To summarize, it's a very good performer, and it's sufficient light to put it often in your camera bag. My favorite lens is the 24mm TS-E II, and this Tamron 28-75mm compliments well it during trips/holidays.

    reviewed October 9th, 2014 (purchased for $200)
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Well builted & shape, enough sharp at f/1.4, colors, contrast, bokeh
    Autofocus non consistent

    Having bought this lens one year ago, I'm still impressed by the image quality. It's the non-ART version but with "silk" finish. It's really a good mix of sharpness and nice bokeh (out-of-focus areas, very smooth). My copy delivers enough sharp images at f/1.4, and at f/1.8 very sharp ones.

    I really like the build quality (even the hood is nice) and the shape of the lens: short but wide.

    The downside of this lens is the Autofocus: it's enough silent, fast but not really consistent. You should consider this lens like a manual lens with an autofocus in bonus, but you can't rely on it. You need to focus by live-view (Magic Lantern helps a lot!) or through the viewfinder coupled with a precise matte glass like Ee-S or Eg-s on 5D series.

    reviewed June 24th, 2014 (purchased for $300)
  • Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very sharp at all aperture, price, build quality, ultra-ultra wide!
    Distorsion but easily correctable with lightroom, only 6 blades

    Used on 5D classic and 5D Mark II.

    An unexpensive & very specialized tool giving great results!

    The first main important thing: if you don't use software distorsion correction, it's a odd idea to buy it. Distorsion is huge and complex on full frame, but with some lens correction software (lightroom profile for example), it's very easy to correct.

    Apart from this point, the image quality is very, very impressive. I found it to be as sharp or sharper than my precious Canon 24mm TS-E II ! I really like the "look" of images taken at f/2.8 (with important vignetting). Very low chromatic aberrations.

    The build quality is very good and better than the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 I had some months.

    The only thing which could be better is the blades number. There is only 6 diaphgram blades. 7 would be great for sun or night city shots!

    reviewed July 11th, 2014 (purchased for $250)
  • Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Usable at f/1.4, fantastic bokeh
    minimum focus distance is a bit long (1m)

    This is actually my favourite lens for portraits, on Canon 5D MarkII.

    The sharpness is surprisingly good at f/1.4, and razor sharp at f/2.8. Without noticeable chromatic aberrations.

    I had in the past the Zeiss-Contax 85mm f/1.4, which is better built, but suffers from its too simple optic formula and was too soft at f/1.4. This Samyang is clearly better at wide apertures!

    Moreover, the bokeh is really fantastic which is a great plus for portraits!

    The lens is well built, only the lens hood is a bit cheap and no pratical to put, so I've tuned it : a metal lens hood (standard 72mm - not too long) + a lens hat. With that metal hood, it's a very sturdy/well finished pack.

    If you don't mind using manual focus (live-view manual focus help a lot - or precision glass for viewfinder), this lens is very good option at a bargain price.

    reviewed January 3rd, 2014 (purchased for $250)