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  Reviews by: molson  

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

Review Date: Dec 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice size and weight - makes a great travel lens
Slight falloff can be seen wide open at the wide setting; some levels ss of sharpness in the extreme corners at 24mm

A bit pricey for nless you buy it in a kit, but a very good all-around standard zoom lens.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

Review Date: Sep 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp! Great contrast and colour rendition. No vignetting, no CA, fast focusing, clever locking hood design.
Stretching the zoom range to 70mm might have been nice...

This has become my most-used lens. I sold my superb 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S after I bought this lens, something I never thought I would do. This lens is tack-sharp right to the corners of the frame.

It clearly outperforms the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 and EF 28-70mm f2.8 lenses that I owned previously - especially in the areas of vignetting and chromatic aberration. I suppose these problems can be corrected with software, but why not get it right the first time?

The equivalent focal length range of 25-80mm is great, but a few more millimeters on the long end would have been nice.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

Review Date: Mar 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb image quality in every respect - sharpness, contrast, color rendition, "bokeh", and no light falloff. Much improved tripod collar.
Expensive - but you get what you pay for!

I switched from the Canon system, and bought this lens (used from B&H) to replace my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS lens. The difference is noticeable, especially in terms of contrast, color, and bokeh - the Nikon is clearly superior. Not having to deal with Canon's exclusive BackFocus™ was a nice bonus!

Even though this is a relatively heavy lens, it is very solidly built, and it handles very nicely. It actually feels lighter than it is. The new tripod collar is a nice improvement over the old 80-200mm f2.8 AF-S lens, too.

This lens makes an acceptable substitute for a macro lens when combined with a Canon 77mm 500D close-up lens. The creamy smooth out-of-focus backgrounds with this combination really make your subject stand out.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Aug 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Brilliant optical performance, close focusing, lack of vignetting, resistance to flare

This lens is better in every respect than the EF 17-35mm f2.8L lens it replaces. Even on full-frame 35mm film, this lens performs brilliantly. It is remarkably sharp corner-to-cormer, with no chromatic aberration, little or no vignetting at any aperture, and flare is well controlled. There is noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end, but this disapears around the 20-24mm focal length.

Aside from the distortion, this lens performs better than most of Canon's wide-angle prime lenses (especially the awful EF 20mm f2.8). Somewhat expensive, but worth every penny if you like the wide perspective.

Finally, Canon users have a lens that (almost) matches Nikon's 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S.

Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

Review Date: Aug 1, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Decent build quality, USM
Too big, too heavy, too expensive (C$850!), poor optical performance.

This is one of the biggest disappointments in the Canon EF lens lineup. It suffers from major image degradation toward the edges of the frame at all apertures (although this may be less noticeable on digital cameras with a 1.6x crop factor). Center sharpness is good, but not great. Given the size and cost of this lens, I thought Canon could have produced better results.

If you need a wide angle, stick with Canon's zoom lenses; even the 20-35mm f3.5-4.5 is a better performer than this one.

I tried another sample of this lens, and found it worse than the first one I owned. Even stopped down to f/11 or f/16, this lens could not resolve even a moderate amount of detail outside the central portion of the frame - everything was just mush (and that's with a sturdy tripod and mirror lockup). I suspect this performance might be acceptable on a low-resolution digital camera with 1.6x cropped FOV, but this lens is simply horrible on a full-frame film camera. I traded this one in on the brilliant EF 17-40mm f4L.

Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF

Review Date: May 27, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Very sharp, excellent contrast and color rendition
noticeable vignetting at wide apertures; feeble tripod collar makes it totally unusable on cameras without mirror lockup at shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/2 second

My comments are directed at the AF-S version of this lens. Nikon should be embarrased by the tripod collar on this lens - it turns a great lens into an "okay" lens. If you're going to buy one, the first thing I would recommend is to order a replacement tripod collar from Kirk Enterprises. Putting this one glaring weakness aside, in terms of pure optical quality, this is one of the best lenses I have ever owned.