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  Reviews by: Theresa Z.  

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Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Feb 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good resolution, excellent contrast. Ability to step aperature down to f16 and maintain great details and contrast.
Zoom mechanism seems to have loosened significantly. Largish compared to some newer Tamron/Sigma which also have excellent quality.

I purchased this lens used about a month ago and have taken quite a few photos with it and could not be more pleased. It's sharp and contrasty across it's field of view on a 20D and seems to retain it's abilities at least down to f/16 which is great when doing landscape shots.
The zoom ring is a little loose but it's not so loose that the central group moves by itself, but it's close so I'll probably send it in at some point for replacement of the felt pads to add some new 'grip' to the zooming mechanism.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,139.00

Pros: Build quality, optical performance at 40mm and above.
Poor optical quality (for price) from 24 to approximately 35mm. Sharpness/Resolution was much worse than my 17-40mm at 24mm-35mm all the way through aperature range and never met the 17-40 optical quality until 40mm. Very large and heavy.

I realize that many people love this lens, but I seemed to have gotten a dud from B&H. I tested it's optical performance in a controlled environment as well as in normal use against both a 28-135 and 17-40L. Below around 35mm both of the other lenses were superior optically which was a big surprise to me. At 40mm and above it was at least equal and mostly superior to the others. And even though I didn't really need the focal length from 24-40mm (as I was only buying it to bridge a 17-40 and 70-200 set of lenses), I just couldn't see spending $1140 for a lens that only could be used from 40-70mm with superior results.
What everyone else says about build quality is right, very high but also very heavy and large. I have a whole bag full of Canon primes and zooms and this has been my worst experience yet. I had always wanted to buy this lens and finally decided now was the time and it's been a very dissapointing experience. On a whim I ordered a Tamron 28-75 and found it to have outstanding optical quality over the full range and only cost me $339.00..

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $339.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp and contrasty. Excellent optical performance. Light weight and very compact.
Not crazy about the focus ring turning during autofocus. Not crazy about the odd 67mm filter size either, but I'll get an adapter to move it up to 77mm so my filters and universal hoods fit it.

This lens is a real sleeper. I originally purchased a 24-70 L and returned it for quality reasons and bought this lens. I wanted a lens to bridge my 17-40 and 70-200 so the additional 4mm on the wide end didn't matter a whole lot to me. This lens beats the copy of the 24-70 canon lens hands down for sharpness and contrast at the wide end. My copy of the Canon was poor all the way to around 35mm. This thing is wonderful for the full range. And with a 6 year warranty I think I'm pretty safe with this buy.

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: This lens is super super sharp, great contrast. Easily hand holdable but I always use a tripod. Super fast focus and nice build quality.. Did I say sharp?
The built in shade seems a little looser than I'd like. Focusing ring a little looser than I'd like too. I prefer a little more resistance on both but they do feel very well made.

I can't believe what I've been missing. This takes unbelievably sharp shots, even with my sigma 1.4X, in fact I can't tell the difference in sharpness between with and without. Beautiful out of focus backgrounds when using a large aperature. I was struggling between this and the F5.6 400mm. I chose this one because of the one stop bigger aperature for focusing my D60 which I think is the issue so many folks have with the 28-135 at the long end. With the F4, I get consistently good focus. And with the 1.4X I get a super sharp 420mm. I definately wasn't expecting performance this good with the converter. Can't wait to do some experiments with a 2X.
My review is for an older, bought used, non-IS version. I don't know how it compares to the IS version but since most of my photography is with a tripod, IS was an unnecessary cost.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jun 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $745.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding picture quality, contrast, sharpness, build qualty and focus speed.
Cumbersome lens hood due to it's diameter, but i'm sure that goes with the territory.

My other wide angles are a 20mm f2.8 and 28mm f2.8 fixed focal length which I have also enjoyed using. While this isn't much of a change from the 20mm, I feel the flexibility of 17-40mm is a plus. I've tested it extensively at the 17mm focal length end and compared it to my 20mm f2.8. For my samples, the 17-40 is sharper wide open at 17mm and f4.0 versus the 20mm at f2.8. Stopped down they are both excellent. The 17mm has a little better contrast in my opinion but it's not a huge difference. I also like the fact it has some water resistance as I frequently find myself getting rained (hey, it's Vermont) or misted on while hiking around waterfalls.

For me it's a keeper and will probably get rid of my 20mm as it's not all that much smaller or more compact.

Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding sharpness and contrast.. Fast and quiet focusing. Great build quality, very durable finish and solid feel. Minimal loss of quality with Sigmas 1.4X and 2X (best) converters.
It's not white? :)

This is my best lens but not my most used due to it's weight and the focal lenght multiplier of my D60 (tends to be a little long for general shots).

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness and contrast. Great IS functionality.
Cheaply built (things seem to be loose).

This lens is a great value. Maybe I have a good one but I love the contrast and sharpness.

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp lens, good for up close shots of stationary objects. Reasonable contrast.
Too close for comfort on shots of non-stationary objects...

If I were to do it again, I'd buy a longer macro lens for more working distance.

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Inexpensive, and a good standard lens on a D60 with the multiplier. Good sharpness Good medium wide on a film camera.
Not the best contrast. Cheaply built, especially the manual focus dampening.

Excellent value for the money.

Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Nice wide view on film cameras or low focal length multiplier digitals. Ok sharpness
Not so great contrast. With focal multipliers on some digitals becomes kind of an intermediate wide.

My experience here isn't the best. I just don't think this lens has the punch I expect. I guess I'm a contrast junky and don't think this lens has much in that area. Could be that I don't have a great one too.

Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

Review Date: Apr 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent sharpness and contrast.
Not as well suited for my digital with it's 1.6 multiplier. This was one of my most used lenses before the D60, and now it rarely gets used.

Outstanding, but most suited, IMHO, to cameras without a large focal length multiplier.