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  Reviews by: Badmono  

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Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

ef600mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Mar 24, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp - Great IQ - Typical 'L' Prime infact.
Cons:
Slow focussing - IMO this lens is made obsolete by the Canon 400 F2.8 IS 'L' and 1.4x convertor

I have to say I don't own this lens though I could buy one for a very reasonable price. However I've used the lens quite a lot over an 18month period, and my initial thoughts were very positive. However the initial impressions have dulled over the period of usage to the point where I'd prefer to use my own 400 F2.8 IS fitted with a 1.4x convertor. My reasons are as follows:
1. IQ is similar on both setups.
2. Focussing is much faster with the 400 & 1.4x convertor, important for birding.
3. I personally prefer the weight balence of 400 &1.4x when used on a monopod, though both setups weigh approximately the same.
4. The 600 is longer and IMO more awkward to line up on a small bird quickly.
5. New the 600 costs more than the 400 & 1.4x:-(
6. The 400 and 1.4x is more usuable [F2.8 aperture and 400mm when you need it]
7. Most birders can only carry one BIG lens out on location taking the 400 & both convertors is a no brainer IMO because of the increased flexibilty.
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If you have only ever used the 600 F4 then you probably think its the dogz bollox, and for sure it takes awesome shots But you could do better, & IMO you need to try a 400 & 1.4x, and then I'm sure that like me You'll never use the 600 again!!
As I previously mentioned I refused to buy the 600 when offered it at a very reasonable price, coz I'd never use it enough.


 
Tamron 90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

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Review Date: Mar 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A great macro lens - good VFM
Cons:
None

I was offered this by a friend who was getting a Canon macro, I wasn't a big Macro fan but the price was right so I bought it - what the hell, you know that must have it, gut feeling.
Well what do you know, I regularly use this lens and love the results - ultra sharp with great colours, it's opened up a whole new and fascinating world of ugly creepy crawlies for me to explore and photograph - And I love it.
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I have to say If it wasn't for the price I'd never have bought a macro lens, but now I have one it's here to stay:-)))
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Try one - like me you may love it;-)


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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Mar 20, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: None
Cons:
A truly awful lens - soft - difficult to use the push/pull system - but worst of all the things an air pump - dusty dusty 'Dusty Bin' it ought to be called - did I mention the lack of IQ and the soft focus images - the worst Canon lens I've ever owned - though the 70-200F2.8 IS comes a close 2nd.

A complete waste of money:-
Soft
Awful Bokeh
Terrible zoom action, reminds me of some awful 1970's zooms I once owned.
A dust Pump
A disgrace to Canon's Famous 'L' lens series
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Just avoid the temptation to buy one - get a 400 F5.6 'L' and a 135 F2 'L' instead
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Only plus point I sold mine for a good price on ebay, check ebay out there's plenty of this lens for sale, so obviously other owners don't like 'em either.


 
Canon Extender EF 2x II

Extender_2x2_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great to double your lenses focal length Cheap - easy to use and carry
Cons:
Variable IQ you need to be choosy - It took me 3 attempts to find a good 'un to go with the 400 F2.8 IS

The most difficult and awkward piece of Canon's kit to obtain - get a good one and you won't see any image degradation whatsoever. However a bad one will give you IQ nightmares. I tried 3 different convertors before finding one that matched my money lens [400 f2.8 IS] this combo gives me an 800mm f 5.6 with fast accurate focussing:-)) a birders delight!!
And when stacked with a 1.4x convertor things get even better. however this combination needs a deeper lens hood to retain contrast. I made one up from 5mm Black under carpet foam which works a treat!! and is light and easy to carry in a bag.
Quite simply if you go birding then you need one - just take your time to find the right one for your main money lens and you'll never regret it:-))


 
Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

exef14_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Must have product if you use 'L' primes No noticeable Image degradation Fair price for doubling your lenses usefullness
Cons:
None

Works well with all my 'L' primes and extends their usefullness
Small and light - retains the weatherproofing.
No noticeable slowing of AF when used with 400 F2.8 IS - in fact the 400 F2.8 ought to come with this convertor as standard, when this combination makes Canon's 500 F4 and 600 F4 'L' primes obsolete IMO.


 
Sigma 500mm f4.5 EX Apo HSM

500f4_5EX_lg_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light weight - good IQ - good VFM - small and light for focal length
Cons:
Awkward F4.5 max aperture - AF not as good as Canon tele primes - lens hood not deep enough IMO

Bought used from a Charity shop - a steal at 150 quid!!
I took a chance on this lens having to make an immediate decision to buy [the price was very low and too good to miss] I didn't have my camera with me so was unable to test it. But hey the price was right and I reasoned I could sell it on on ebay if I didn't like it.
Well I do like it 'sort of' the awkward F4.5 max aperture prevents the use of a tele convertor and retain AF on most canon bodies:-((
It's a very light lens but no IS - when used on a beanbag the IQ and sharpness are excellent - I made up a longer hood and this has improved the contrast to very good levels - however I have a Canon 400 F2.8 IS and this lens blows the Sigma 500 into the bin either used Naked or with the Canon matched convertors.
This is an awkward lens to rate it's too big to take on Hols but not fast enough to allow the use of convertors:-(
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SO in reality the sigma is surplus to my requirements, I'm just not ready to sell it. Because on those few occasions when 500mm is the perfect focal length, then this lens is as good as it gets
Come on Sigma make it an F4, then Canon's overpriced 500 would have a bit too much competition at it's current price point.


 
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

ef400mmf_56_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice user friendly lens - compact - great IQ - fast focussing - light to carry on hol's
Cons:
White - otherwise none except that the BLACK sigma APO 400 F5.6 costs a fraction of the cost and equals the canon in every respect. I sold my Canon to get the sigma, and put the surplus towards an awesome canon 400 F2.8IS :-)) which deserves to be White!!

Great IQ - Very sharp wide open - easy to use - a typical 'L' prime lens.
Only sold it to buy a friends Sigma 400 APO which had proved it's equal for sharpness and IQ in some tests we did on both lenses.
I invested the surplus funds into my now favourite 'L' prime the awesome Canon 400 F2.8 IS
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The 400 F5.6 is a great Birding lens for hikers because of it's light weight. Just a pity that it's white


 
Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

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Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price - Size & weight - IQ - Sharpness
Cons:
They don't make it anymore:-((

A bargain telephoto lens. I bought mine used from a mate we'd previously tested it against my Canon 400 F5.6 'L' the results were indistinguishaBLE.
I bought it off my friend when he wanted to sell it. and immediately sold my Canon on ebay.
Fabulous sharpness - bokeh 0 and contrast.
Nothing else to say really
a real bargain if you can find one - buy it.


 
Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X 17 AF PRO

atx17afprot
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap - Sharp - Great contrast - Small - a fantastic walking lens on a FF or 1.6x Crop body
Cons:
None

I bought this lens used off a friend - I'd seen images he'd taken with it and when he mentioned he was selling it to buy a Canon 17-40 'L' zoom, I snapped it up.
I'm not a landscaper or an interior designer, I just use it to take wide snapshots whilst walking. for this purpose its the best I've owned
The colours are fantastic, as is the contrast and even wide open the lens is sharp enough even fitted on a FF body, there's some vignetting but IMO this suits such a wideangle lens.
It's the only wide angle/standard lens in my bag so this say's just how good it is.
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So go try/buy one - NOW!!


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Easy to sell on ebay after your discover how bad it really is:-( There's plenty for sale on ebay so other's obviously think the same as me!!!
Cons:
White - Huge - Softfocus images - expensive - I can't think of one good thing to say about it. A disgrace to Canons 'L' series lenses.

A real real real disappointment, all my mates really rated this lens, and I always envied them when I didn't own one myself. However when I eventually bought one I was shocked at the poor IQ, and serious lack of sharpness & crisp images, even when stopped down to F8, IMO it was unusable. My mates said I had to get used to the lens - well after a month or so of wasted effort, I gave up. I never took one sharp shot with this lens over this month of wasted effort, on either a FF or 1.6x crop body
My second worst Canon lens EVER. the worst?? read 100-400 'L' - AIRPUMP' zoom review, if I can ever be bothered to write it.
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After perusing the various Canon websites I took the plunge and bought a 135mm F2 'L' prime - WOWOWOWOW - a Wow at last, a real lens, producing awesome sharp images straight out of the box. Now it's my mates who are envious:-))
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So it wasn't my technique after all it was just the awful Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS 'hell' zoom. Possibly I had a bad 'un but for the price I paid the thing was a disgrace to Canon's 'L' lens series.
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The 70-200 hellzoom was immediately sold on ebay for a goodish price - I only lost 200UK pounds on the thing - A sharp sharp result at the end!!!


 
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

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Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp - lightweight for a 200 f2.8 - It's BLACK - Cheap for a lens of this quality Great with a 1.4x convertor - Real bargain - Just buy one you'll love it:-))
Cons:
Poor following from Canon users which is a shame - everyone uses a poxy 70-200 zoom instead:-((

A cracking buy - One of Canons best lenses, almost as sick as the 135 F2 'L' for image quality, images jump out the screen at you. For Birds and wildlife WOW the lens really does 'em justice, even with a convertor fitted the lens excells itself. Makes all the 70-200 zooms obsolete IMO. Just buy one with a 135 F2, and a 85 F1.8 and you have real flexibity. The 3 Black lenses cost about the same as the silly White Huge 70-200 IS but for IQ, Bokeh, and contrast make the zoom look distinctly 3rd rate. of course if you're a wedding photographer, you'll still want the zoom for it's standard soft focus. Though you could achieve the same effect with a filter smeared with vaseline fitted on the 200 F2.8:-))
Just buy one you won't regret it


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: CHeap - cheap -cheap - great IQ and bokeh - fast focussing when it works!!
Cons:
I've had problems with the AF drive motor [twice] so reliability ain't up to normal 'L' primes IMO No Lens hood provided - why, they only cost a couple of bucks on Ebay??

If I hadn't had the AF DRIVE PROBLEMS i'D RATE THIS LENS A 10 - HOWEVER the poor build means it only gets 5.
IQ is fabulous - and the lens is as sharp as an 'L' prime from F2.8.
Contrast is wonderful and AF is Very fast when it works, perhaps I was unlucky with my lens.
Compared to the F1.2 'L' 85mm the lens is a real bargain, and one every Canon user should have in the bag.


 
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef400mmf_28l_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super fast focus - Crisp Bokeh - Drop dead georgeous to look at - takes world class images.
Cons:
The Envy of other photographers who don't own one, I often wish it was an F2

IMO - the best lens Canon makes - everthing about this lens is killer - it makes the 500 & 600 F4's focussing seem slow in comparison, even when fitted with 1.4x convertor IQ and Sharpness are sublime.
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Not as difficult to use as most people make out. Easiest way is to use a monopod, though I often use it handheld with great results. 'IS' works well.
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Attracts a lot of attention from the know all 'experts' who after asking what it is, condemn it for being too heavy - HAHA they just show you how ignorant they are, These experts normally have a 100-400 or 70-200 zoom attached to their Cam, not much else to say about them really, the soft focus zoom says it all!!!!
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Women like it too, surprisingly one of the best intro's into your choice of female company available - must be the lens diameter:-)
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How would I improve it - only one way to improve the best simply make it into an F2 lens - the extra stop I could really use - come on Canon you can do it!!


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A sick lens - takes the sharpest photo's, with the best contrast & Bokeh imaginable - Everybody with a Canon body should own one, otherwise you really ain't getting the most from your camera. An absolute bargain - A must buy
Cons:
Don't buy one if you already own any of the 70-200 zooms - it'll make you spew when you see just how much better the shot's taken with 135 F2 'L' are in comparison to your zoom's pathetic 'Soft Focus' efforts

A sick lens - takes the sharpest photo's, with the best contrast & Bokeh imaginable - Everybody with a Canon body should own one, otherwise you really ain't getting the most from your camera.
UltraSharp at F2 - so why use any any other aperture, I dont;-)
An absolute bargain - A must buy
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Don't buy one if you already own any of the canon 70-200 zooms - coz it'll make you spew up when you see just how much better the shot's taken with 135 F2 'L' are in comparison to your zoom's pathetic 'Soft Focus' efforts only cost's half as much as the 70-200 f2.8 too!!!
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Of course if you're a sad wedding photographer you'll need to hang onto your zoom:-)))))))))