Some Technology Grades From Thomas Hawk

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my favorite lenses are for the photographs that I shoot. I thought I’d put together a quick recap report on my lenses as well as on some of the other technologies that I’ve tried over the past few years or so in time for the upcoming holiday season. I’ve tried to keep each technology item to a single letter grade and then a couple of quick comments. Feel free to ask more specific questions in the comments.

Adobe Photoshop CS3: A+, The new Adobe Photoshop / Bridge combo may be the single best technological upgrade I made all year.

Canon 135 f/2.0 L Series Lens: A+, My favorite lens from Canon. Beautiful depth of field and bokeh at a reasonable sub $1,000 price.

Canon 5D Digital SLR: A, Best value for a full frame sensor digital SLR from one of the best manufacturers. Only complaint is that the larger sensor attracts more dust requiring more sensor cleaning.

Apple MacBook Pro: A, best computer I’ve ever owned. Great customer service from Apple.

Microsoft XBox 360 A, Great gaming platform, also works great as a DVD player.

Canon EF 100 Macro Lens: A, Great value for a macro that also works well as a portrait lens.

Canon 14mm f/2.8 L Series Lens: A, Fantastic results from this ultra wide angel lens.

Netflix: A, Very impressed with the speed and turn around of the service. Also impressed with the quality of the “watch it now” streaming video service which is included in the membership.

Verizon Wireless EVDO service: A- Reliable and consistent and speeds feel like they are getting faster. Still a tad expensive.

Apple iPhone: A-, great phone/iPod combo — best phone I’ve ever had. The Edge internet access sucks big time.

Canon 24mm, f/1.4 L Series Lens: B+, Strong L Series wide angle offering from Canon, lens is pricey but well built and worth it.

Drobo Storage Robot: B+, A strong multi disc array approach to digital media storage. Sometimes the units can react quirky. Transfer speeds are slower that standard hard drives but this trade off is worth having replicated primary storage.

Microsoft Media Center PC: C, admittedly I’m still running an early version (Windows XP) on an early box (HP 873N) but I can’t stand the 10 sec – 3 minute freeze ups and delays that that I believe are the result of accessing my large digital library over a network or the horrible performance on the DVD player.

Canon 50mm f/1.2 L Series Lens: D, A great 50mm but not for the price and poor autofocus in low lighting situations.