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  Reviews by: dwolfbearer  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast focus, constant f/4, size, build, price
sharpness, slow (f/4), hood, included pouch

Great lens in this range for this price. I simply do not find this range as useful for a 1.6 crop camera, as it is too long or slow for many sport and too short for most wildlife. My copy was not tack sharp in all cases, but I did make some wonderfuly sharp captures with the lens. If it had IS and was only $200 more and no bigger or was a bit sharper or longer, I would keep it in a heartbeat.

Canon really needs to make a 100-300 f/4 (with or without IS) with the quality and about the same price as this lens. It would be a big seller.

Traded up to a 200 2.8 and the sharpness, speed and size won me over to primes.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Range, L, quality, size, IS
Sharpness, quality control, aperture, focus speed

The quality control on these lenses seems to be not up to snuff. My copy was sharp in some cases and not as sharp in others, possibly due to front/back focus. Regardless, it did not compare at all to my 200 2.8 and was of similar quality as the 200 2.8 + 2x extender at 400mm. The IS works well and is very useful in this range, but that is no compensation for the slow speed of the lens and the lack of total sharpness. In addition, the canon hood sucks - it is a pain to put on and use at all. I do, however, enjoy the push-pull - it is useful for this range, as it allows for target acquisition. However, I simply did not find the focus speed to be adequate for shooting birds in flight, which was a large part of the reason for the purchase. Sold it and bought a 300 f/4IS instead and hope that works out better.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fast focus, IS, build quality, range
slow (f/4-5.6), CA, interior dust (due to zoom extension)

Great mid-range zoom for 20D or rebel. The slow aperature is the most noteable problem with this lens, as f/4-5.6 is REALLY slow when you are doing anything other than outdoor daytime shots. However, the IS makes up for this, in some cases more than makes up for it. I have shot sharp pictures in the dead of night at 1/2 of a second at 17mm handheld. There is some CA noticable in pictures taken with strong highlights, but that is expected with most, if not all, zooms. The focus is very fast and accurate, but sometimes the lens hunts when there is not enough light (more hunting than faster lenses). The lens is built well, better than most consumer zooms, but not as good as L lenses. The only problem with the build is that the lens sucks in some dust when it zoom. I have a decent amount of dust in the interior of my lens and at one point even had a full eyelash on an interior element - none of this has affected quality, but it is annoying. I also dislike the focusing ring (too narrow), but do not see how that could be greatly improved, given the design of the lens.
Overall, this is a great lens and has provided me with thousands of wonderful pictures. Highly reccomended.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Inexpensive, light-weight, fast
Not-so-sharp, cheapest build ever, loud

Decent lens if you are REALLY on a budget. I'd recommend upgrading the a 85 f/1.8 or 35 f/2 instead of this. In this range, I find my 17-85 to be of comparable quality, and my 70-200 f/4 was considerably better.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast Focus, razor sharp, still great with 2x extender, compact, black, fast
Canon hoods are a pain

This is the sharpest lens I have owned. I traded my 70-200 f/4 for it, because I was not satisfied with the zoom quality, and was blown away by the 200 2.8. The sharpness is amazing and the price is very low. Buying it here (FM buy/sell forum), used, you can use it for a few months and then sell it to someone else for the same price you paid for it! The resale value on this used lense is simply amazing. I 'upgraded' to a 100-400 and found the quality waning. I hope that somewhere along the line, this lens comes back into my lineup.