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Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

Review Date: Dec 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: High ISO performance More MP (over mk III) means better cropability Auto focus performance is astounding Easy-to-learn upgrade from 1D mk III
Price, but hey, you get what you pay for

Upgraded my 1D mk III and bought this, and from day one, it's made me realise that this is the camera that I wanted the mk III to be. I shoot hockey and it's lightening fast, acquires focus lock in the blink of an eye, and tracks the subject for as long as you want. On my mk III, I'd shoot a series of 10 shots, and (maybe) 2 or 3 would be randomly out of focus. With the mk IV, all 10 are tack sharp. (And yes, my mk III had the sub mirror fix)

ISO performance is way better than the mk III, too. I comfortably shoot 2500 with no PP noise reduction in an arena where I'd begrudgingly go to 1600 on the mk III.

One other observation is the learning curve from the mk III is pretty much non-existent. I was anticipating all sorts of trial and error shoots until I was comfortable with the settings, but it's been pretty much perfect from day one for me.

At the moment (and until the 1DX hits the streets), it's the ultimate Canon sports camera.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Aug 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast to focus, quiet, lightweight, relatively small when on a 1 series body.
Nothing I've found yet

Very good build quality, and pretty light on my 1D mk III. Razor sharp images, even wide open.

I bought this with the intention of using it 99% of the time to shoot hockey, along with the 200 f/1.8 on my other 1 series, but it's actually pretty much a permanent fixture on the camera away from the rink, too. Beautiful portrait lens. Lovely creamy backgrounds. Lightening fast focusing. I got it for a good price (for the UK!), so what's not to like?

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

Review Date: Jul 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning image quality wide open. Gorgeous colour rendition. Very fast to focus. No post processing needed, other than resizing.
Not a thing. It's heavy - use a monopod. It's expensive - but worth every penny when you see the results.

Managed to finally pick one of these up - they're becoming more and more rare. I'd read all of these amazing reviews, but nothing prepared me for the results straight out of the camera. Stunning image quality that still makes me smile when I load the next batch onto the Mac and view at 100%.

I predominantly shoot hockey, and it's the perfect lens. I thought my 300 f/2.8 was sharp, but this is in another league. For low light, indoor sports, it can't be beaten.

If you can find one and can get the cash together, grab it with both hands - you won't regret it. And despite Canon saying that they no longer support this lens (due to a lead byproduct in the manufacturing process apparently), there are still a number of Canon shops who will repair it. Anyway, it's built like a tank - it'll probably out last me!