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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Jun 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, Weight, Speed, Sharpness, Colour, Versatility!
Cons:
None that I can think of. AF isn't as fast as my 70-200 f/4

After selling my 70-200 f/4L because it was too short, I was looking for a telephoto around 300-400mm to use for general wildlife, sports etc. I pondered the Bigma, Canon 100-400 and various other super zooms. All of these had positive and negative aspects until I was recommended this lens on FM Forums. I preferred primes generally (28 2.8 and 50 1.8) but I was slightly dubious to spend 800 on a 300mm prime. I was then attracted to the non IS version, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Finally, I found the IS version in a UK dealer for 590, so I went for it. And to cut a long story short - it's mind blowing.

It certainly wont be my last L prime. The AF is fast, consistent and deadly accurate. The IS (although the 1st generation) works fine for me. I 90% handhold this lens and my keeper rate is HIGH. The colour wipes the floor over any 3rd party zooms I've ever used, and my god this thing is sharp. It's just an amazing lens.

One thing I haven't really seen mentioned about this lens is the MFD. At 5 feet it can do semi macro work, and at the same time capture larger birds, wildlife, anything! I think the non IS version has a slightly longer MFD, and obviously no IS, so if like me you aren't sure about primes, but want something around 300mm for a good price, I'd get the non IS, but, if like me you're lucky and get find this version for under 650 then get it before someone else does. It's well worth every penny.


 
Canon EOS 1D

1D
Review Date: Jun 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Handling, Durability, Speed. Everything really.
Cons:
Two finger menu takes some getting used to. LCD not that great.

This is my first review on FM, and solely because I felt the need to share how great I believe the 1D is.

Coming from a 20D, the large grip, the ergonomic controls and eye wrenching autofocus are worth the money alone. Although slightly heavy to begin with, I quickly became accustomed to it. As I mentioned, the two finger menu system isn't as good as the 20D, but I don't go through the menus that much so it doesn't really bother me.

One thing I was really really surprised about was the noise levels. I wouldn't use 3200 for most things, but I found that at around 1000, the noise was more like film grain, unlike the jelly like noise of the 20D.

There really is too much great stuff to write about the 1D, but the deciding factor for me was just thinking (and further realising) that the 500 1D mkI has pretty much the core system or the newer 1D models, for a fraction of the price. So for anything from wildlife, concerts, portraits etc. I really do recommended the 1D.