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  Reviews by: Gil H  

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

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $599.00

 
Pros: Great IS, light, cheaper than L lense, decent sharpness, great range
Cons:
Not as sharp as my 70-200 f/4, build quality not so great, and the lens pops out like an antenna when fully extended, can't manually correct focus while in AF mode.

I have made some comparisons with my 70-200 F/4 and I must say that clearly the L lens is sharper at full aperture, better contrast and clarity. the 70-300 has some purple shades where the 70-200 had white, and as I stoped the lens down to F/8 the picture got better, but still not as sharp as the L 70-200 f/4 lens.
Colors are not as vivid as the L lens, however it is still very good.

If you want a light zoom lens that is not too big to carry that covers 70-300 with image stabilization the 70-300 is a great compromise, but in NO WAY is it a substitute for a professional L lens. it is an amature lens made for travelling.
I think that this lens is worth having in my bag,
I think that it is time for Canon to replace the 70-200 L F/4 with an IS lens vesrion to compete with the 70-300 at $1000 or so.



 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jan 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, sharp, great range, amazing IS, with 20D 1.6x factor effective range is 480mm.
Cons:
Not L quality build, slower focus than my L 70-200 f/4

I did not want to get a non L lens as quality is very important to me, but I just can not carry with me a brick like the 70-200 IS f/2.8
Price was really not the issue, howver the IS and range and Weight, yes the WEIGHT were all a compelling reason to test this lens, so I went to the local store and tied one, and loved the sharpness and weight, so I bought it, I was able to take a picture of an air conditioner on the roof of a 3 story building and blow the picture up and read the label. the picture was taken hand held with IS. this is amazing.
I took a picture of an aereoplane in the sky that was like a little line on the picture, I blew the picture up and was able to fill the page with a plane picture, and all the windows and colors and labels were readable. this is an amazing sharp well working lens.
I did not yet test the quality of the colors, but I intend to do a big comparison with my 70-200 F/4 and I will report


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Nov 23, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,250.00

 
Pros: f2.8, high quality professional glass built like a tank
Cons:
Tanks weigh a LOT, no Image stabilizer, on a 20D with a 1.6x factor it is a 38mm on the wide, not enough range for an all around lens

I recently bought a 24-105 IS f4 L lens and I find it much more suitable for an all around lens.
the 24-70 is just too bulky and the range is just not enough for an all around lens. the lack of an Image Stabilizer makes a big difference, also when this lens is used with the 20D and when the lens is fully extended, the built in flash will illuminate the edge of the lens resulting in a flawed picture that has a dark semi-circle on the bottom, where the Flash beam hit the edge of the lens.
I found out that if you are not very careful regarding what you focus on pictures will lose sharpness, so one must point the focus sensor dead on the subject whe using f2.8, otherwise - no sharpness.
If properly used, and it is not an easy lens to use, stunning pictures are the result, and the colors are just amazing.

This is a pro lens that needs a pro to get professional results.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Nov 20, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,250.00

 
Pros: The Best all around Canon Lens specifications, Great Image stabilizer, L lens, great range 24-104, weighs a lot less and shorter than the bulky 24-70.
Cons:
Even though I have a post recall copy (past UT1000 as stated by Canon recall) I get significantly more flaring than my 24-70, disapointing pictures.

After spending the whole day shooting with this lens and comparing the results with my 24-70 Canon lens I can say the following.
1) It is a lot lighter than the 24-70, but still very heavy.
2) The added range is very welcome, but if it had a wider than 24 angle it would be great on the 20D, since the 1.6 factor makes it a 38.4 equivalent which is barely wide angle.
3) it focuses very fast and quietly
4) very strong solid construction
5) not fast as the 24-70 for indoor photography without use of a flash
6)out of the 300 pictures I took a very high % of them was slightly out of focus, I updated the camera firmware to 2.03, reset all the camera settings to factory default and still many pictures were not knife sharp, tried using f8 and higher to get a greater depth of field and still regular portraits were not sharp as I expected them to be when using my 24-70
7) Pictures came unusually grainy even though I usually used ISO 100, when I used a flash I used mostly my 580 Canon flash with fresh batteries
8) contrast on the pictures was unusually high

needless to say I am very disappointed, and if I could rerate this article I would give it a 7

I want to make one thing clear, the results were not terrible, but were unacceptable for an L lens that cost $1250

I want to love this lens, I fell in love withe the specifications, but I did not see the results. and my lens is a post recall lens
with control number higher than UT1000.

check
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fcategoryid=216&modelid=11924

I will call Canon and ask for possible explanation.

Perhaps someone here has a good explanation? am I doing something wrong?




 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Nov 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great Image Stabilizer, great range 24-105, much lighter and smaller than my bulky 24-70. this IS the all around lens we have all been waiting for
Cons:
F4, for the price tag they could have made it an f2.8 and replace the 24-70, or at the very least I wish it had 17-105 to

I ordered this lens about 2 weeks ago and I was told that it is recalled
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fcategoryid=216&modelid=11924

I was shocked to see the FedEx guy deliver it 2 days ago, so I imediately checked my control number that it was less than UT1000. I had UT1004.....
I also called Canon and they told me that U stands for the plant name, T stands for 2005, 10 means October, and 04 means something Canon will not tell me.

So far I shot about 100 pictures and the image stabilizer allowed me to have perfect still images at 1/8 which is amazing (at 105 focal length)
I have a 20D camera and I usually get amazing pictures withit, however I was very disappointed with the picture quality,especially with my 70-200 f4 lens, the pictures I took with the 24-105 seem very grainy at ISO 100 and with my other lenses I never had this problem, I will take some more pictures today and I will have a better test, most of the shots I took were indoor with a 580 flash.
I did test my copy for the advertised flare problem and did not see any flare, so I know that I have a good copy.
I hope that Canon did not put a different glass to fix the problem, and degrade the lens to a non L lens.
I am giving Canon the benefit of the doubt and I hope that when I take more outdoor pictures I will change my mind, on paper this is the perfect lens





 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light and fast. Gret for portraits
Cons:
not a zoom...

Worth avery cent, and its compact light size puts it in my bag wherever I go.
Great indoor lens, and I would recomend it if you can afford it, otherise at least buy the 50 1.8II


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, nice focal range.
Cons:
on a 20D with 1.6X factor, not enough wide angle, and ,very very heavy to hold. size and weight limit usage, I think twice before taking it for a long trip. Very epensive.

Great lens to have on the camera if you do not need to use it for long periods of time, too bulky for taeing on a trip.
Feels very solid, takes wonderful pictures, the weight factor is always aconsideration, but I find myself using it a lot.

I wish it was 17-85 with image stabilization weighing 500g
just like the EF-S lens, but quality of the picture comes first for me, so I bought it.

the 70mm with 1.6x factor of my 20D makes it a great wide angle to telephoto lens.

I bought a 17-40 as an all around lens that I can carry.

I mainly use my 24-70 indoors because it is a fast lens and indoor shooting opportunities are usually around my house where I am not stuck with a brick to carry


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $659.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lighter than my 24-70 brick, sharp , Great all lens to travel with, great pictures.
Cons:
40mm is not enough and I need to take another lens to compensate for it f4 is too dark for indoor use without a flash, but I use a flash so I dont care

After buying my 24-70 lens I found out that my hands hurt from the weight, and the 17-40 was the only alternative without sacrificing quality.
I love the quality of indoor flash photograpy, outdoors I need to carry another lens to complement the telophoto range.