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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Jun 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The ability to get a quick Macro shot without having to set up a tripod.
Lens hood design is a bit too long.

Read Stargazer78 comment a few posts below. I echo his sentiments exactly about this lens.

I would like to add that it cannot be overemphasized the practicality of this lens to not have to put it on a tripod in a situation where you need to do photograph quickly. It simply yields stunning results in a handheld situation.

And that is what this lens is designed for. If you are looking for a portrait lens does it work? Yes of course it does, but you can get some other lenses cheaper for this case. But again, the lens is designed to yield sharp photos with excellent color rendition and contrast for handheld macro work.

It is worth every penny of it's price for what it is designed to do.

I sold my older non IS version and have kept this.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Jun 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Increased Sharpness, improved contrast rendition, improved color rendition, improvement in speed for autofocus

I have used the version I of this lens for the last 7 years. With both of the Canon teleconvertors.

Then, I bought this one, the version II, reluctantly at first because of the price.

Having used it a few times now, I cannot believe I even questioned buying this in the first place.

The improvement in autofocus, contrast rendition, color rendition, autofocus speeds justify it.

And it really becomes apparent when you mate this lens with the 1.4 teleconverter and the 2.0. One word to describe the result: WOW.

Canon, you pulled this one through with jaw dropping amazement. And this was after I read reviews on how well it performs! I was still amazed. I would say more, but I would be repeating what all the other reviewers before me have pointed out.

10/10 Canon. Thanks for a truly remarkable and versatile lens in this zoom range.

Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Review Date: Jun 14, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Great lock mechanism, nice battery door, silent, weather sealing
No automatic setting, flash only works through ETTL, overexposes fair/white skin tones by 1 - 2 stops if mixed with black

I owned the 550 when I had digital cameras, and found the exposure and color to be way off with digital photography.

Then I bought the 580 EX and was extremly impressed with the exposure, the ease of use, and the color reproduction. I was only disappointed in the fact it did not have independent automatic (auto thyristor) settings on the flash and of course that battery door most people loved to not like very much.

I then bought the 580 EXII in anticipation of the corrections mentioned. The build quality was the best I have seen yet on a Canon flash, in fact of many different vendors flashes that I have used in the last 20 years in photography . Unfortunately, that is where it stopped.

When I went to photograph subjects (in particular people) using the Canon 30D, I was extremely disappointed in how the flash overexposed white/fair skinned people, and to boot the color was off. My blacks were exposed as a dark navy blue in fill light outdoors. I was not impressed to say the least. After paying that amount of money, I expected the quality to be at least as good as the the 580 EX, with independent automatic flash control.

Normally, I would have returned the unit for another one to test as it is possible that I could have received a faulty flash. But, alas, I did not. Why?

For $100 less, I can buy the Metz 58 AF-1 Digital Flash, and I get; 1) all the features of the Canon 580EXII 2) a little more juice, 3) TTL, ETTL, ETTLII, 4) automatic flash control, 5) a built in secondary flash unit, and 6) I can download software upgrades to the flash through a built-in USB port from the internet.

The downside aspect of this flash is that it is a little more menu driven then the Canon 580 EXII, so it will take a little more getting used to. However, I must admit, given all the additional major features of the Metz unit, the menu driven aspect will quickly disappear once I get used to it.

Bearing the possibility it was a faulty unit (or perhaps better suited for the newer Digic III Canon Cameras, which still should have been perfectly backwards compatible), I was completely disappointed. I was even more disappointed in Canon on this particular flash once I saw the six additional features of what Metz had to offer with a 25% savings in price. These were the reasons I did not give the Canon 580 EXII a second chance.

My advice, buy some excellent used 580 EX, or give the Metz 58 AF-1 Digital a shot. Once I receive it, I may submit a post. I will do it under the Canon one if there is no Metz section available.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast focus, F4

I have been waiting for a lens like this for some time. I tested out a Tamron 28-70 F2.8 and Canon 24-70 F2.8. The tamron was great for size, but did not have enough wide angle and long distance coverage. It was sharp, but the Canon was a little sharper. The Canon was a heavy big lens for walk around, and not as sharp as I would have liked at 24.

Then came the 24-105. Best of all four worlds - size, sharpness, zoom range, and IS. I love the sharpness of this lens. Even the first one which I had to return because of stabilization problems, was tack sharp throughtout the range, and yes even at F4. My current 24-105L lens, along with my 17-40 F4L and 70-200 IS F2.8L make an outstanding trio for all kinds of work with tack sharp results.

I don't even think about sharpness at any range or fstop when using the 24-105 lens. It is nice to just shoot at any point and know the images will be tack sharp with excellent color reproduction.

Yes, the lens is a little on the pricey side. All lenses with type of glass are. I must say though, like the other 2 I own, this lens is insperational when photographing. I highly recommend it.