Lives in United States FL, United States
Joined on Oct 26, 2007

gatorowl's current gear

Canon EOS 80D
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D)
Nikon D500
Shot a Halloween "zombie run" with 24-70 L II next to my D500 with 200-500mm. The 80D held its own. Fast, responsive, and accurate AF. Hard to beat Canon ergonomics. It felt every bit as fast as the D500. DR was the only letdown. It's still not where I want it and definitely not on par with the Nikons. PREVIOUS:Couldn't resist the $350 rebate and $1199 price. I also needed a body to couple with my 100-400 L II. So far, so good. Looking for a sunny day to shoot it against my D500!
Just got it (late May 2016), so no comments yet, but so far it seems to blow away the disappointing 7D MII that I dumped.
Nikon D7200
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
I love this camera for wildlife shooting. It is the closest to an ISO-invariant camera I have used. I basically leave it at ISO-100 and adjust shutter speed and aperture. If it isn't too dark, I'm usually able to successfully raise exposure in post.
Absolutely superb. But the non-L macro is so good, is this lens worth the premium?
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
Lovely lens. Matches the 24-70L II at 24, but shouldn't a prime better the zoom? IS doesn't make much of a difference at this focal length, but the compact size is a real advantage.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR
OMG! Is there sample variation? Others have criticized this lens, but my copy is amazing. I pre-ordered when it was first announced (so first batch), and it has not disappointed. IQ is sharp wide open even at 500mm. It blew away my Tamron 150-600mm (a lens that is just okay pass 400m), and was marginally better than the Sigma Sport (a lens I returned). AF may be slower than the Sport, but I haven't been held back by it.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G
Definitely a kit lens. Very much okay but not the choice when IQ is paramount. I'd sell it if there was a decent market for it.
This lens has never excited me. It's perfectly competent but it has never wowed me. Perhaps the great Canon telephoto lenses I have used raised my expectations too high. Regardless, it is a keeper and is good enough to be part of my two-lens Nikon travel kit
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art
Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
This lens and my Nikon 85mm 1.4G are simply my most awe-inspiring lenses for IQ

gatorowl's previous gear

Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 300D (EOS Digital Rebel / EOS Kiss Digital)
Nikon D90
For me, the D90 provided the best IQ in a crop-sensor camera. Excellent DR, beautiful color and contrast, and useable IQ nearly to ISO 3200. However, ergonomically, not as good as the 7D.
Canon EOS 7D
Nikon D5100
Nikon D800E
Mismatch for my shooting style. Good AF accuracy, speed, and flexibility. Ergonomically excellent but has low DR and high noise at low ISO. Plus it quickly loses color and contrast even at moderately high ISO. I'd use it at ISO1600, but I wasn't happy with the loss of color and contrast even at this moderate ISO. I ended up using D90 when IQ mattered.
Ergonomically the 5D3 is better and faster. The body is slow and ponderous and has an annoying habit of "pausing" in continuous mode. I often have to wait 30 secs or more for the camera to be ready for the next shot. But when I want the very best IQ, I always reach for this camera.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM
I really like this camera, but for my type of shooting, I get better results with Nikon. However, I'm keeping my main Canon lenses. If the 5D MIV (or V) close the gap enough, I'll be back.
Beautiful IQ but almost never used. Wish it had IS
Great lens in its day, but there are too many better alternatives. World-class center sharpness paired with mediocre corners. I much prefer the incredible Nikon 18-35G or Tokina 16-28. If I shot more landscape with my Canon kit, I'd consider the Canon 16-35 f/4 L.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Physically, too long. Never used after acquiring 70-300L.
An amazing wide angle. Unmatched in its day, but there is a lot of competition now. I sold it because it was too big to carry. However, I almost immediately regretted selling it. Now, I am very happy with my Tamron 15-30, which except for the 1mm of additional width and bulk, matches or exceeds the 14-24. Lol, now I carry a lens that is even larger than the 14-24 and don't care..
An absolutely amazing lens. However, when I realized that the last time I used it was almost two years ago, it had to go. Not needing f/2.8, the 70-300L more than meets my needs for this zoom range.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM
Surprisingly good IQ for such a flimsily built lens. Edge-to-edge sharpness is amazingly good throughout its range. However, I moved on with the Tamron. IQ at least as good, faster lens, better CA and distortion control, with VR thrown in for good measure. I made good memories with this lens, but someone else is enjoying it now.
The lens made me realize that I'm not a normal-range zoom guy. I never got a "wow" shot out of this lens. It's perfectly competent but weighs too much to cart around when it doesn't produce images that elevate my heart rate.