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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

ef28-300_35-56lisu
Review Date: Mar 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, zoom range, fast, quiet, 77mm standard
Cons:
minor niggles, price, weight

Ok it's heavy and it costs a fortune, but what an amazing lens! There's nothing in any other manufacturers line up to match this, it even does close focus!

The ultrasonic focus is quick & quiet, and on the 5D MkII it's a really nice range (a bit long on crop frame), it's the lens I put on when I'm not sure just what I'll need or when it's just too dirty outside to change lenses. My copy is nice and sharp, the only real issue being a slight trembling as the IS settles down. I quite like the push pull zoom as it's really quick to frame and a 'dial in' zoom would either be too slow or impossibly fast with this kind of zoom range.

Contrary to the beliefs of some, it's not a 'do it all' package, the f/5.6 speed isn't fast enough for everything, although if you're careful it will work with a teleconverter, and close up lenses do give some additional 'macro' potential.

The Canon 77mm filter thread means that you can standardise expensive filters.

I find it's better to use this lens with a monopod than trying to hand hold it.


 
Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX

MT24EX_1_
Review Date: Mar 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very versatile lighting makes macro easy
Cons:
inflexible mounting, old design, strains extending lenses

This is a lovely solution to lighting for close up and macro but it's an opportunity missed by Canon.

The flash heads are detachable from the ring mount, which appears to only fit 58mm Canon lenses orther lenses are supported with adaptor rings in 52, 58 & 72mm but the popular 77mm L lens standard is not supported. This is a pity because the flash is an expensive piece of equipment, and all that would be needed is a second ring mount in that size.

I do a lot of close up work and like to use a zoom such as the 24 - 70mm f/2.8 L being able to use this flash with it would be great but I can't Sad Equally with a guide of 24 it should be possible to use this as a portrait flash, it's really frustrating to think that this is only being held back by Canon not making a suitable ring mount! I am aware that there are third party mounts being offered, but these are expensive.

It's a lot of money if you're going to be limited to Macro lenses, but if you shoot a lot or you have an MP-e 65mm then it's more or less essential.