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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

70-300mm
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, weight, IS, sharpness, weather sealing
Cons:
Size, weight, IS, sharpness, weather sealing Lock button not lockable anywhere else than 70mm, outer focus

We are very satisfied with this lens, coming from the 70-200 we weren't sure if the lens was going to be as good in term of image quality.

+ Really nice build quality.
+ We were concerned at the beginning because the zoom/focus rings are in the opposite way that they are usually (typically on the 70-200s) but finally it works pretty well.
+ Image quality, at our own surprise, is comparable to the 70-200.
+ Weather sealed, we already took some showers, and the lens is fine.
+ No need to use the locker, it doesn't move around and zoom by itself.
+ Size, it can fit in a bag in the same position than a 17-40, heading up, this is really cool and saves some room.
+ IS, we shot ibex at dawn at 1/25 of a second, no problem.

- We would have like to be able to lock the lens at 300mm.
- Outer focus, the more you zoom, the bigger is the lens...but it's the price to pay for having this size.
- Maybe a bit pricy.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
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The Finding Nature Team.


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

ef500mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing image quality, Really useful IS, Good with teleconverters, Shallow Depth of field
Cons:
Price, weight.

Buying a 500mm is always a commitment, weather you are a professional or not. You really got to need the extra 100mm for deciding to go for the 500mm instead of a considerably cheaper 100-400. However, once you get it, you realized why prime telephotos are so unique.
1) Image quality: You will be amazed by the difference between a 500mm and a 100-400 or even a 400f/4 + extender.
2) Depth of field: f/4 at 500mm produces a very shallow depth of field, it enables you to reveal your subject on a complete blurry background.
3) IS: we have been able to use it handheld in quite a few situations where something happened and we weren't quite ready (tripod) and it worked flawlessly.
4) Weight: The reason why we went for the 500mm instead of the 600mm is clearly weight. The 500mm is (at least for me) clearly manageable for a hike on our shoulders (or backpack) but the 600mm is not. Even if the difference between those two lenses is not that huge, it DOES makes a difference.
5) Weather sealing: rain ? who cares ? just focus on the subject, the lens is taking care of the rest.
6) Good with TC: we are using it 80% of the time with a X1.4 II and it works very well. We do loose a bit of sharpness (despite what some people are saying), it is noticeable but the result is still really clean.

We use this lens with a GITZO 3540 tripod, a Markins M20 ballhead and a Wimberley Sidekick, only for wildlife phography.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finding-Nature/206803999379616

The Finding Nature Team.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: A bargain, sharp image, build quality, large and nice focusing ring
Cons:
maybe a bit heavy

If you want to jump into macro photography making compromise in image quality, this lens is the perfect choice, here is why:
- Very good image quality, L rated.
- Nice build quality.
- A joy to use the very large focusing ring.
- Pretty good for portrait too.

A couple of things:
- Don't think about doing macro photography without flash! we are using a 580EX II + pocketwizard.
- Prefer close-up lens (like the Canon 250D) than extension tubes, because they are much more easier to use (no need to get the lens out of the body) and you don't loose any light.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finding-Nature/206803999379616

The FInding Nature Team.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Unique image look, image quality
Cons:
Old build quality, a bit heavy

This lens gives a unique look, it is the best possible lens for environmental portraiture or aesthetic photojournalistic imagery.

The lens is a bit heavy and its construction in metal makes it look like it could use a lifting from Canon.

Even at f/1.4, the image quality is great, the zone in sharpness is sharp even at 100% crop, we don't need to close it down to get good result.

Having a fixed focal is something to be used to but, like every constraint in the world, it is encouraging creativity.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finding-Nature/206803999379616

Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Sep 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, range, weather sealing, price, 77mm diameter
Cons:
no IS, a bit soft and the edges

Along with the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS L, this lens is always in our backpacks when we are in the field, here is why:

- Lightweight, you basically don't feel it in your backpack.
- Weather sealed when used with a filter.
- Very fast autofocus.
- No purple fringing like I used to have with my Canon EF-S 10-22mm.
- Distortion is moderate.
- Has 77mm filter diameter, with is the case for a lot of Canon lenses.

Its biggest competitor is the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 II (or I) but we don't need f/2.8 with this kind of travel around lens. If we want a nice bokeh at a short focal, we will generally use my 35mm f/1.4.

If you want to see real situation samples, check :
http://www.finding-nature.com
And join us on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finding-Nature/206803999379616

Emmanuel.