While Justin has been busy being a full-time professional photographer, he hasn’t had as much time to do reviews. That should change in the coming months as he gets his hand on more Sigma gear as well as the new Canon lenses. We don’t fault him, being a photographer full-time requires hard work and dedication.
Justin always wanted to try out the classic Canon EF 135mm f/2L, so we sent him one and he came back with the same impression most have of the lens; it’s awesome and relatively affordable.
Says Justin: “My time spent with the Canon 135 f/2 L was addictive, and I feel that I barely scratched the surface of the possibility of remarkable images I could create with such a lovely lens. Anyone looking for a fast and relatively inexpensive portrait lens that will make your images stand out should seriously consider the Canon 135 f/2 L.”
Kai from DigitalRev has completed his review of the Canon PowerShot G1 X II. This is Canon’s top end compact camera for photo enthusiasts.
The review is fairly positive, although a few quirks are pointed out. Some of the button placements are odd and the camera isn’t all that “compact”. The video performance leaves a lot to be desired and it’s not the most attractive camera.
However, the image quality is very good, the autofocus performs very well and it has all the features you could ever want in a serious PowerShot camera.
Justin has completed our review of the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 OS. As expected, the lens is a real winner when compered to the Canon equivalent and is priced exceptionally well. Sigma’s quality, warranty and pricing are going to ensure that they’re worth your consideration at certain focal lengths.
Says Justin “My opening line said it all: Sigma is absolutely killing it with these new lenses. They perform, look and are priced better than the Canon equivalents. …….. Their attention to industrial design and optics makes me think more of the even higher-end Zeiss lenses than it does a Canon, which is smart, because the cost difference between a Zeiss lens and Sigma is even greater, creating an even more compelling price gap in Sigma’s favour.”
“If you are a professional or serious amateur photographer and have the ability to choose the Canon’s radio wireless system for your uses, the decision to get one or more ST-E3-RT remote transmitters makes a lot of sense.”
Our reviewer, Justin, didn’t weigh in on the ST-E3-RT but did have high praise for Canon’s 600EX-RT system in our review. The bottom line is that Canon has a real winner with their RT system and all the components of it make for an incredible setup for anyone interested in off-camera flash.
DxO labs has tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS.
From their review:
“Without doubt this lens is a popular model and it’s not difficult to see why. It has pretty good image quality throughout the range.”
Their own title to the review really sums it up “Still a good all-round choice.” It’s not a glowing review, but this has been a strong staple lens for pro photographers for many years. While an updated lens is certainly on the horizon, there is a lot of value left in this quality lens considering the pricier first-party alternatives. Of course, there are some choice third party lenses on the market too.
DxO labs has tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 17-40 f/4L.
From their review:
“Due to its more glamorous sibling this modest lens is often overlooked though it’s well known for its high-performance by Canon users. As a small, light, highly portable zoom it would make a great choice for travel, landscapes and general-purpose photography.”
Our own review by Justin echo’d this feeling. Justin has owned and used this lens from his very first day shooting, and it’s a completely viable alternative to the Canon 16-35 f/2.8 L if you can spare the extra stops of light. You can read our review here, and check out DxO’s full review here their lens comparison tool is an excellent resource if you’re into sharpness charts.
Shocking news…. ….. The Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 is the best lens ever mounted to a Canon DSLR! DXOMark has completed their testing of the new king of the primes.
Says DXOMark “Without doubt Zeiss has achieved their goal of producing the finest fast standard prime available on the market today for full-frame DSLRs, but at a shade under $4000, image quality like that doesn’t come cheap.
There are a couple of other concessions to consider as well. The Zeiss lacks autofocus and being slightly larger and heavier than the firm’s Apo Sonnar T* 2,0/135 it’s not particularly discrete.
Despite that the Zeiss Otus T* 1,4/55 is a breathtaking example of what’s possible, and will likely go down in history as one of the classic fast standard designs of our time.”
Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Results on the EOS 5D Mark III
Says Ken There are three primary reasons to own this masterpiece:
Used at larger apertures, gives a unique look which cannot be duplicated any other way. There is no way in software or with other lenses to duplicate its precise combination of artistically pleasing falloff and its unique rendering of out-of-focus areas. If you want this effect, you need this lens.
For ultra-low light, f/1.0 is 1/2 to 2/3 stops faster than common f/1.2 lenses. In fact, this f/1.0 lens as about as much faster than an f/1.2 lens as an f/1.4 lens is faster than an f/1.8 lens.While the ultra-high ISOs of today’s DSLRs let us capture anything in any light hand-held with slow f/2.8 or f/4 lenses, we still can’t stop action at 1/125 in near darkness unless we have a lens this fast. High DSLR ISOs let us shoot indoor and night sports that are dimly lit, but if we’re shooting where there isn’t any supplemental lighting, we need the f/1.0 to stop action in the dark.
Subject Isolation: no other 50mm lens can isolate a subject from its surroundings as strongly as can this lens. If you can’t control your background when shooting outside your studio, this lens lets you make the background go away.
I personally don’t have the same affinity for this lens that Ken does. I have used it a couple of times and even considered buying it. The knock against buying it; is repairs may prove to be difficult. While I’m sure there are parts out there somewhere for the lens, they aren’t sold by Canon anymore and could require a lot of legwork to find.
I found the lens to be heavy and SLOW, slower than the EF 85 f/1.2L II! For me that made using the lens less enjoyable. I do agree it gives a look nothing else does, but is it unique enough to justify the $3000-$4000 price tag? That can only be decided by someone with the money who takes the plunge. Although, you can still rent this lens at LensRentals.com in the USA.
We review the PocketWizard PlusX Transceiver Justin has completed his review of the PocketWizard PlusX transceiver. If you’re looking for an inexpensive trigger for your Speedlites, these appear to be one of the best options on the market. They’re $99 USD and come with a full 2 year warranty from PocketWizard.
Says Justin “With all the unreliable, untried, and un-warrantied triggers on the market, having something reliable and affordable is important to pros and amateurs alike. Pocket Wizard offers two years of warranty coverage on your transceivers, and with a long and reliable background in the photographic community, you can count on them being there for at least that long.”