I started taking photographs when I was 10-years-young! Since my hobby is flying (commercial pilot, airplane single and multi-engine land, instrument airplane and instructor ratings), I tend to enjoy taking pictures of airplanes for the most part...
I had a 35mm 1950s model Agfa camera with a fixed 35mm lens (I think). I acquired a Nikon EM from my dad with 35mm, 50mm and 100mm Nikon lenses and a motor drive. My mom's friends who came to our house for tea parties enjoyed looking at my photographs and always wanted copies of the various scenery photos that I had taken. I continued with Nikon cameras and bought a Nikon N6006 and added a Sigma 70-200mm zoom to my repertoire of lenses.
Then came the digital revolution and I bought a Fuji 5900Z to experiment with digital photography. Soon after that, my childhood best friend gave me a Sony DSC-F707 as a gift (He is also responsible for signing me up to SIG and rekindling my interest in this expensive hobby!).
My PhotoSIG postings started with this Sony. I have since sold it (with my friend's permission) to buy my current camera and lenses which comprise most of my postings to date.
I currently own a 5D Mark II. As a good photographer friend once rightfully said 'Good lenses make all the difference in photography.' Aside from the artistic abilities and the technical prowess of the photographer (I call these the intangibles), lenses make all the difference in quality of a photograph. Here are the lenses I own and what I think of them for the sake of those of you on the hunt for lenses:
1. Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L- This is one sharp lens and its quality is typical of 'L' class Canon lenses. I use it for portraits and any event requiring higher shutter speeds as it is extremely fast at f/2.0.
2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II - Great lens for the money. Somewhat flimsy, plastic construction but great optics. It is a fast, all-purpose lens that I love using. Instead of paying a fortune for the EF 50mm f/1.4 prime, I would say buy this one since there is little difference between these two lenses except for the price tag and USM focus vs. non-USM which I can live with.
3. Sigma EX 105mm f/2.8 Macro DG - Great high-quality construction and optics. Sharp lens with great contrast. Amazing 1:1 macro performance. I love this lens for portraits as well. One of the best values of any lens in the EF-mount world. AF is slow and noisy and two-step AF to Manual switching takes time but the lens performs like a champ. I simply love it.
4. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM - I resisted buying Canon's 'L' designated lenses thinking they were over-priced and not worth the hype. I could not have been more wrong; I have never seen better contrast, colors and clarity on any other zoom. I am sure this applies to all the 'L' series zoom lenses. The build-quality is superb as are the optics. USM is fast and totally silent and the IS works wonders. It is expensive and it is heavy but it is worth having if you own a Canon SLR.
5. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM - This is the kit lens used in Canon 5D bundles and if I could afford just one lens, this would be the one. With its versatile focal range, powerful IS and fast USM this lens is an all-round winner. It is sharp, has great contrast and color definition. Some barrel distortion at the low-end of the focal length but I even like this handicap as it opens the door for some great effects.
6. Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM - This lens is all glass; it is heavy, bright and the bokeh out of it is unbelievable. Great portrait and object detail lens. I love this one! You do need a strong arm to carry it around, though!
II love receiving critiques; thus far all the critiques I have received have helped me improve my skills. A TD critique does not discourage me much especialy if it points out my technical flaws. The way I write critiques and my rating system is as follows:
3TU - Artistically and technically perfect - I would like a copy to hang on my wall
2TU - Artistically and technically great - It could hang on my wall with minor adjustments
1TU - The photograph has great potential - needs technical work
TD - I usually do not give TD ratings; if the photograph does not appeal to me and I have nothing to say to improve it, I move on. Otherwise, If I have anything to say that might improve the photograph but can not find any redeeming artistic qualities about it, I will leave a comment with suggestions.
Finally, Thank you for stopping by to look at my intro and see you in SIG land!
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