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  Reviews by: Michael-M  

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Canon EOS 30D

Review Date: Nov 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: an excellent upgrade from my 20D (i wear glasses). metering is on the mark. mirrors the 5D user ergonomics. metering and exposures are perfect. images are sharp. ISO display in the VF is a big plus.
none this time.

i say this time as my first copy of this camera when it came out was not what i expected.............noise at ISO 400 was higher than my 20D, and images weren't as sharp either, but perhaps my first copy was'nt calibrated as well as my 20D.

this second copy (bought 7 months after the first) is proving to be the best of all. images are noise free and mirror the image noise of my 5D, which is very low.
images are also sharper with all my lenses than before too.
there was talk of afflicted bodies with certain serial numbers that had more image noise at higher ISO's and i now believe mine (1st copy) was one of them.

lesson learned?...........yes, i will never buy a fist production run of anything from Canon (Canon must have learned the "buyer test bed" technique from American car manuf.'s) as there always seem to be problems.
at least now i can enjoy the 30D as i did the 20D.

one other exception (not so fast Canon) is dust. this body truly had more dust in it than any other DSLR i've owned.....not a negative, but a request, Canon, please assemble in a clean room. you make enough dough from us to make a clean assembly room don't you?

Canon EOS 5D

Review Date: Feb 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: finally Canon did it right.........full frame, fast precise AF, LCD that doesn't look like a P&S screen, excellent build and layout.
yes, it's an addictive camera.

i tried to convince myself that i did not need this camera, and that the 20D is all i'll ever want to shoot with. even at first getting it i tried to not like it, tried to find something wrong with it, even ran a hot pixel test to discredit it..........not a chance. i can't find one single fault with it. as a matter of fact, i thought for sure that i would miss the 1.6X crop factor of using my 20D (which i will keep for telephoto shooting and snaps out and about) but the reallity of full frame hits you with an "awe, ooh, wow" in such a way that you become quite addicted to the images this camera produces.
there is so much fun packed features built into this camera that i feel ashamed for not giving my 20D more attention, but to those of you thinking about buying the 5D, you will not be dissapointed in any way.

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

Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very light and very sharp wide open. IS works perfect. hood size is perfect, built like an L should be, and AF is extremely fast.
still looking for some.

had one of the first copies delivered, but was (along with the 5D) sold to someone who just had to have it, so i never compared to current lens for anything but sharpness, which i'm glad to say is perfect. this lens even wide open is fantastic.
the 24-70f/2.8L is a must have, but this one is a definate must have for those considering the 5D. the term "general walkaround lens" is an understatement for this zoom. it is without a doubt sharp from wide to long, and stopping down does nothing but deepen the DOF.
those who own it or are buying it will appreciate the lighter weight of this lens compared to the 24-70.
i was expecting the zoom and focus ring, along with the barrel movement to be somewhat loose, but such is not the case.
it is tight in fact, but not so that you struggle with it, but you feel like you got what you paid for.
test shots with and without IS have proven to me that Canon's IS system is state of the art.
i've taken pictures with the lens at 105mm at 1/15th and the results are sharp.
in summary........."beautiful piece of glass!"

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Jan 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very well built, fast f/2.8, sharp optics for a zoom. useable from f/2.8 on up.

i have to give this lens a "10", but i have one niggle about it, but after seeing other samples from 2 other copies, i realize such is life with a wide angle.....oh the niggle, it's when using this lens at 16mm at f/2.8..........the edges are soft, but this is gone by f/ is a sample with no PP........
16mm, f/2.8

the fullsize is on that site too.

now what i really love about this lens is that i do a lot of indoor shooting and use a 20D which (and i now believe to be true) utilizes the precision AF with f/2.8 lenses. i usually use flash and this lens hits the target each and everytime, something i could not count on with the 17-40.
i have seen reviews saying this zoom is soft, maybe so because of calibration problems, but this copy is sharp as a prime throughout it's entire range.
maybe Canon QC has finally listened to us and tightened up the building of this zoom.
as far as the price is concerned, it puts a smile on my face when i see the results, and when you realize how little post processing needs to be done you realize how this lens literally pays for itself.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 24, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: absolutely PERFECT! zoom ring is way smooth. flawless AF on the 20D.

i've rated this lens in the past, gave it a 10 then, but would gladly give a 20 now. my first copy was what i consider sharp, but not wide open.
this copy i have recently purchased tells me that Canon must have tightened up on their QC for this lens. i can shoot any zoom setting at f/2.8 and get almost as sharp of a landscape scene as i can at f/8-13.
really nice to see what all the rave is about from some of the fellow members.
the bokeh is just plain awesome for such a zoom.......buttery sweet!

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

Review Date: Dec 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SUPER Sharp!!! beautiful build and AF performance! IS works perfect.
yes, i know want another 24-70f/2.8L

i'd gladly have paid more for this lens.
i've used my f/4 version for some time and as always, found it to be quite a challenge in low light levels.
after having such a poor time with my long gone 24-70, i believed that f/2.8 was just a useless aperture on these high end wrong i am. i am so anal when it comes to buying my glass that i have to test at least 2 copies of a lens before i'll buy. i decided to try this lens and was expecting results at f/2.8 to be similar to the 24-70 i once had. let me tell you, when i got home and began viewing the images from the two copies i tried, i was blown away at what i saw at all zoom settings wide open from the one i selected. this is the sharpest lens i have used yet..........made me believe in the 24-70 again, and have since tested 3 copies of that lens as far, 1 is equal to my 70-200.

buy this lens and forget about primes in this range.

Canon i9900 Photo

Review Date: Nov 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fantastic piece of equipment. really fast, great colors and super quiet. very easy to setup and use.

have been loving digital photography since giving up film a few years ago now, but have always been somewhat frustrated with the small printers that could print no larger than 8.5x11 and were a bit slow to say the least.
with the i9900, i have become totally obsessed lately and have even bought more new equipment in the 3 months of owning the 9900 than i have in the whole last 3+ years.
first 13x19 print of the wife with Zoey (our Chihuahua) just blew us both away and that it did this in less than 3 minutes was mind blowing.

Lowepro Mini Trekker AW

Review Date: Nov 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: perfect fit for my layout i've seen, very comfortable, and more compartments than one can use.

i have several LowePro bags, the Magnum AW for my main bag, the ProMag AW for occasional use, but neither are as versatile as this backpack. it's super light, can fit any lens combo i want for the day, has more pockets and space than what appears from the first glance........very well thought out design.

Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX

Review Date: Nov 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent fit to Canon macro lens, flexibility, ease of use, ETTL is flawless, makes Macro easier than ever, and says "precision" all over it.
none at all

the decision to get this light over the MR-14 was tough at first, then i tried both. the MT-24ex is a must have for anyone who wants to use flash for their Macro shots. this setup is so flexible it's unreal. almost every configuration is at your fingtips for almost any shot you want. it does not add much weight, and is so well built, you definately get your moneys worth.
right out of the box, the MT-24 says "precision baby", and Canon really thought this flash out for the Macro shooter.

Markins Q-Ball M10

Review Date: Oct 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent fit and finish(gray Anodized). positive locking, easy adjustments.

this ballhead is a dream to use. every movement is smooth as a babies butt.
i bought the anodized gray, and on top of the 055MF3, it looks awesome.
some say to get an aftermarket QR, but i find the Markins QR which has a safety pin built in to be an added sense of security.
i can't understand why others don't include the pin.........just imagine, you loosen the QR lock and not realizing the camera is at a slight angle, swoosh, there goes your hard earned bucks.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Oct 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent zoom range on my 20D (640mm is perfect), quick AF, very Sharp, IS works perfect, build quality is Excellent, color and contrast is awesome, comes with Case.

only had this beauty for a day, but my intent was to replace my 300f/2.8L as the prime was not flexible enough for me. i never shot below f.6.3 with the prime so i don't miss the speed.
the 100-400 at 300mm even wide open, is nearly as sharp as the prime (not as, but close), but stopped down to f/6.3, it's close.
some are put off by the push-pull, but i can honestly say that if you haven't REALLY tried it, don't knock it, and as for being a "vacumn cleaner"..........those who make this claim or have problems are probably moving the lens in and out like a POGO stick.
if you need to move it like that, then you really are going to have to back off on the coffee. seriously, this is a very sharp and smooth pice of glass.
i am very happy i sold the prime and bought this lens as it totally opens up the areas of shooting and the first images i looked at from scenes i shoot around the house for testing just totally blew me away. i was expecting soft images at 400mm and soso in between as described by user reviews here, but such is not the case.

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent

not much to say other than it's a nice lens

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

Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: easily the best zoom for price/performance in the non L class EOS lens lineup. build quality is excellent, IS is awesome to use.

i bought this with my new 20D as the dealer was willing to make me a deal to sell this as a kit............i did however test shoot with it against my 24-70.
at 17mm and wide open there is a slight amount of CA when viewing the images at 100%(pixel peeping). at a normal monitor sized view however it is an excellent image. stopped down 1-2 stops and CA is non exsistent.
shooting at any focal length with aperture set to f/5.6-f/8 and this lens will yield some of the sharpest pictures i've seen yet for a non L zoom.
indoors- shoot at f/5.6 and iso200-400 with the IS on and you will be amazed at just how fast this zoom allows focus(although more to do with the 20D) and blur free shots.
i had a 24-85 and 28-135 in the past and always hated the rediculous amount of lens wobble............with the 17-85, it's non existent. my 24-70 actually has more wobble (normal amount for this lens though).
there has been some bogus reviews for this lens and my guess is that these users are not understanding photography, but rather just want the lens that can deliver RaZoR sharp images with exact detail of a nat 100yds away......not gonna happen with a sensor size that this lens or any other EF lens is shot with. for that you need medium format cameras.
all in all, i am so delighted with the wieght and performance of this 17-85, 20D and 580EX, that i have sold my 24-70 and will never look back.