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  Reviews by: CanadianJames  

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

Review Date: Feb 24, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Focal length, IS
Build quality, Soft, Soft, Soft ... so freakin' SOFT

I have had this lens for over two years now. I have taken thousands of shots with it in 11 countries. I remember doing all the research before I bought it and was skeptical after reading the reviews. I am sad to say that my skepticisms was warranted. Needless to say, I have taken this FM website to heart for every purchase since.

Honestly, don't buy this lens. The focal length is what sold me, but the 85mm end is useless if you care at all about your pictures being sharp. The IS is good to have (I guess), but frankly, I can get MUCH sharper images from my 70-200 4.0L without IS.

At the end of the day, I have taken some descent shots with this lens. For a while, I used it as my primary walkaround. However, I got tired of how 'on and off' the quality can be. After too many disappointments, I have replaced it with the Tamron 17-50 and picked up a very impressive 24-70 2.8L to cover the focal length.

What has really turned me off this lens is the build quality. I take care of my equipment, but this thing is falling apart at the seems. After a few months of use, I found that it was filling up with dust. After a year, it moved and shook as if the focus ring, zoom ring and body were three pieces of cheap plastic put together by a child. What really pisses me off is how it extends to it's longest point if it is hanging off my shoulder.

Perhaps it may be better for a studio photographer who leaves their equipment sitting on tripods all the time. I am a nature photographer and have taken this lens from my home in the Canadian Rockies to the beaches of Bermuda, to the Savannah of Kenya and Tanzania, to the top of Kilimanjaro, to the badlands of Ethiopia and beyond. As I said: I take care of it, but expect it to hold up to my lifestyle ... which it simply does not.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jan 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, SHARP!!!! Build quality is excellent. I LOVE this lens.
Makes me want to blow the bank account on more L glass

This lens was a last minute purchase for me just before I left on a 1 month trip to Africa. Frankly, I don't know what I would have done without it. My first impression was that it was an 'ok' lens. The build quality was excellent, and it was very well reviewed. (I learned to listen to the reviews on this website when I wasted my money on the EFS 17-85 IS.)

When I got it out into the savanna, I was a little bit disappointed with the focal length. I immediately started wishing I had bought the 70-300. Nevertheless, the focal length grew on me and I just had to creep the truck a little bit closer to the animals to get the shot that I wanted.

It wasn't until the first evening when I was tucked away in my tent and uploaded the days shots onto my Macbook. I WAS BLOWN AWAY by the quality of the shots I had taken. VERY IMPRESSED!!! This is going to easily replace my busted EF 70-200 and I shall never look back!

This is the first L series lens I have added to my collection and after what I've seen, I WANT MORE. The two lenses I used the most on my trip was this one and the EFS 17-85 IS (don't buy it). There is absolutely no comparison with quality.