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  Reviews by: Antti29  

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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, fast and silent autofocus.
A bit soft wide open.

I had a wonderful opportunity to compare this lens to the f/4-5.6 version as I was accidentally sent that instead of the f/3.5-4.5 I'd ordered. Price aside, everything is much better in this one. It's almost a full stop faster, the build quality is better and there is a decent focus ring with a distance scale.

As to the zoom range, on a film camera it fills just about all photographic needs except the extremeties and makes an excellent walk-around lens. On a 1.6 field-of-view crop the effective 45mm is somewhat too long and a wide-angle lens is needed for the wider shots.

As I already mentioned, the build quality is very good. And for the price I paid I won't get a better lens with a comparable zoom range. The 24-70 f/2.8 L would be the next step up and that's out of my price range.

The lens sports a ring USM autofocus motor which is very fast and features a full-time manual focus.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $780.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, picture quality, fast and silent autofocus.
None that I can think of.

The EF 70-200mm f/4.0L is my first L lens, and certainly not the last. The picture quality it delivers is excellent throughout the aperture range (mind the smallest ones as I haven't really found much use for them).

The build quality is excellent as well. Internal zooming and focusing are both things that make the lens less prone to collecting dust inside. Speaking of focusing, the ring USM motor is both very quick and very silent. The optional focus limiter is a good idea and makes focusing even faster if you know you'll be shooting distant targets.

The weight of this lens is certainly not bothersome. Paired with my 300D it's quite easy to handhold for longer periods of time. The professional look it has has made some people mistake me for a professional photographer and I'm often asked which paper I'm shooting for.

If you look at the price tag, you might get mixed feelings. It is a bit pricey compared to the cheapest telephoto zooms. But on the other hand, there are even more expensive ones available, and I'm a living proof of a poor student who could afford a professional lens.

A sidenote to some of the other reviewers who complain about the f/4 being too slow: The f/2.8 version is out there, so why buy a f/4 if you find that a negative aspect?

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $160.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, fast and light.
Slow and noisy autofocus, not so sharp at large apertures.

I was lucky to come across the first version of the EF 50mm f/1.8 at an Internet action. Although I paid a higher price than that of a new mk II, I got a decent focus ring, a metal lens mount and a distance scale, which all are missing from the newer model.

In my tests I found the sharpness to be quite poor wide open and steadily increasing towards f/8. Corners were softer than the center. However, that's the only complaint I have in terms of picture quality. Both colours and contrast seem to be fine.

The slow and noisy autofocus motor is something that I don't like about this lens, as is the 5-blade diaphragm, which makes out-of-focus highlights pretty ugly.

For the money the EF 50mm f/1.8 is an excellent buy. If you find one, go buy it even if it meant paying a bit more than for the mk II.