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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Aug 22, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: SHARP SHARP SHARP All the way throughout the zoom range. Amazing wide open! Solidly built, amazing IQ, superfast AF and quiet. IS works superbly well.

A few months on from my first use of this lens I thought I'd provide a short update.

This lens is a fantastic lens worth every penny of the 1000 I paid for it. It's sharp and fast and works well for almost every type of photography you care to throw at it. The IS is truely awesome allowing super sharp hand held shots at crazy shutter speeds like 1/15th sec and even lower (even at 200mm)!!

It does become a little heavy after a whole day shooting a wedding or sports event but really it's not too bad and I'm a pretty scrawny chap really!

The user below may have either a bad lens or is totally unrealistic about the usefullness of this lens. Perhaps he should send it back for checking as his review flys in the face of almost every other review posted! Sure the 300mm and 400mm f2.8 lenses may be sharper and faster but they are not in the same league as this lens and to me are not comparable.

If you want a fast super sharp zoom that is tremendously adaptable and has that all important IS, this lens is the lens to buy.

The 70-200 f2.8L non-IS may be also very marginally sharper but it's certainly not as useful a lens.

Almost every sports shooter owns one of these lenses and you don't hear many bad reports.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, IS, Weight, Build Quality, Range

Much of my review is said below. The lens is sharp (even wide open) and has a very useful range (even on a 20D).

The IS really is superb opening up some very creative opportunities.

It's the standard lens on my 20D and only the 70-200 f2.8L IS can prize it off for any legth of time.

I love it :-)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP SHARP SHARP from even wide open - Not as heavy as I thought and superbly built - SHARP - IS - SHARP
Costs a whack but as said before you get what you pay for

It's all been said before but I just wanted to add my praise of such a wonderful lens. I have the f4L too and this lens is WAY better! Sure it's bigger and heavier but I expected that and it's nowhere near as heavy as I thought it would be. I walked around Melbourne Zoo (while on holiday) for a whole day with this lens and found it a pleasure to handle.

It is so sharp (even at f2.8) it cuts my eyes looking at the prints! The IS is wonderful and can create some interesting creative effects when used. The capabilities of IS is worth the money alone I have 2 lenses with IS and would now struggle to do without it! Sharp shots at 1/15th (and even lower sometimes) is amazing for a 200mm lens.

Did I say this lens is sharp?

As I said above the lens is certainly big - and is bigger than any of my other lenses - but it's still easily handholdable pretty much all day (and I'm a pretty scrawny chap). A lot seem to suggest the size/weight as a downside! Well I feel that it's a plus as you know you have a quality bit of gear in your hand and you can have the confidence to know you will get great results.

With all that said, I actually had to return my first one as the zoom ring was VERY VERY stiff to turn. Had no problems from my retailer (Kerso on ebay) who took the lens back - no questions asked - and replaced with a brand new one.

This lens is superb and now I'm happy I get super sharp shots. I compared a shot (at f2.8) to my Tamron 28-75. there is no competition. I will now an Lcaholic and will only buy L glass.

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

Review Date: Aug 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp. Constant f2.8. Small & light for such a fast lens (compared to Sigma 24-70 f2.8) and it's nicely balanced on a 20D. AF is fine and build is ok. Price amazing too.
Zoom works the opposite way from a canon ('m just being picky)

I've only had this lens a couple of days and I have found it to be exactly as described by the majority of users. Very sharp and nice contrast. I also have the Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 and I also find this to be a great lens too.

At f2.8 the depth of field is very narrow and I wonder if this is why people seem to find front focus issues. I tried it out and at first I thought I found the same but with careful focus it's perfect.

Size is amazing for such a fast lens. Compared to my Sigma 24-70 it's tiny. Build quality is not amazing but is fine for my needs. This will be on my camera a lot. :-)

Well done Tamron for making quality affordable lenses.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Jul 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Sharp Sharp. Beatiful images
AF can be slow and hunts a bit in low light.

I've always wanted to take close up images of insects, flowers and the like and I knew that after a short while using a DSLR a macro lens was the way to go. Having a 20D I thought about the Canon 60mm macro but decided on this lens becuase I could get slightly further away from my subject and still retain 1:1 magnification.

This lens really is fantastic. It's sharp as a tack and really should be classed as an L. I paid UK 259 for this lens which I still think is a bargain.

Depth of field is VERY narrrow when close to the subject with the lens wide open and a tripod really is recommended. AF can be slow at times but generally it's very good.

I fancy some ext. tubes to get even closer but I'll leave it for a while before doing that.

This is my favourite lens. I love it.

Tamron 17-35mm f2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical

Review Date: Jul 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good fast apperture at the wide end (17mm-20mm). Very sharp at all appertures. Nice looking colours and contrast. More than half the price of the 17-40L
None for the money. I like this lens a lot.

I've not owed an SLR for long. I decided a few months ago to take up photography and I have really enjoyed myself. My first lens was an excellent 18-125mm Sigma. Great lens but just too slow and I wanted some nice fast glass for taking shots in tricky lighting situations.

I liked this lens because the reviews are in the main very positive and it was half the price of the slower 17-40L.

Quality of results (from my so far limited use of this lens) has been excellent! Better than I thought.

I thought my Sigma lens was sharp until I saw my images from this. Colour and contrast are excellent. i took a few shots in bright sunlight and no fringing or flare only nice warm inviting images.

So far delighted with my purchase and I hope the 28-75 lives up to the same. (awaiting delivery)!

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Apr 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Pretty easy to use, controls all easy to get used to (I just need to learn what Im doing!), Superfast startup and image preview, excellent battery life, good solid professional feel, very fast 5fps, size is very comfortable (350D too small even for my small hands), excellent ISO range and low noise, great 8.2 MP pictures, rear dial and joystick pretty easy to use (once you get used to them), fairly good pop-up flash, speed for read/write to CF (with Ultra II I can shoot over 30 frames before buffer slows things down), Raw+Jpeg is a great bonus, good number of standard shooting modes (creative/Basic zones) 1st time user can pick up immediately.
LCD screen not great in strong sunlight and 2 would be better, although this is camera may be lighter than other DSLRs, if you have not used a digital SLR before (my previous camera was a Canon S45) this camera (with a smallish lens) is still pretty heavy!, no spot metering, no iso in viewfinder, for me most pictures need PS tweaks (may be lens or my lack of experience).

I have used a small digicam for a couple of years (Canon S45) which got me very interested in photography. I started to read a number of websites (especially the FM reviews and forums) to learn as much as I could and knew that soon I'd have to upgrade to a DSLR. I almost purchased the 350D when it came out but I decided in the end to buy the 20D (helped by the fact I made a 300 saving on Ebay!).

I'm glad I did. I've had the camera only a few days but already have taken some fantastic portraits and landscape shots along with my Sigma 18-125mm lens which I purchased instead of going for the 18-55 kit lens. (I also await delivery of a 50mm f1.8)

Startup is superquick, AF is very fast and the AF control is simple to use with the small joystick. The speed of the burst mode is outstanding! The camera is very easy to use in basic zone mode and a total beginner could pick up the camera and use almost immediately. The creative mode requires a little more knowledge and a bit practice is required. You do especially need to make sure that you check your ISO setting constantly (I left mine on 1600 for the first 2 hours of shooting in bright daylight! Not a lot of noise problems though which is pretty good - Just my inexperience showing I think.

The camera itself feels very comfortable in the hand (if a little heavy). The 350D is way too small. The buttons on the 20D are all fairly easy to use onc you know what each does and although the joystick can intially be tricky, a little practice makes perfect. The menu is also easy to navigate and the speed at which the camera allows you to review photos is amazing.

I've actually also been impressed with the camera's flash (having been used to only the small one on the S45). Once I get used to using the camera I think I will purchase a 420EX or a Sigma 500 DG Super.

I'm learning as I go along with this camera and I'm not sure what type of photography I want to focus on yet - portrait, macro, landscape - I like photographing anything and the 20D so far has been a fantastic camera to use.

Another massive plus is the battery life. I was continually charging batteries for my S45. Now it's two or three days of shooting before I have to charge a battery!

The CF door to me is not too bad. I know a few people have remarked on this but it would take a bit of a knock to accidentally open this. What I don't like is the rubber video out cover. Seems a little cheap but not a real concern.

So far I'm delighted I purchased this camera and I look forward to many happy years using it. I want to enjoy my photography and I look forward to all your help!!!