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  Reviews by: Nello Milanese  

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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open at 400mm and through out the whole range! great build quality, very compact at 100mm (can fit in a small Tamrac bag), amazing colours (no saturation needed most of the time), fast push-pull zoom (perfect for BIFs) etc etc
Cons:
IS system not as good as the 70-300mm IS (only about 2 stops...sometimes even less). You need to keep the ss at about 1/200s or more on a crop body at 400mm (640mm eq.) for consistent results.

Ordered 2 of them (1 for me 1 for my buddy) and both of them are pin sharp at 400mm. I should add that both copies ordered are 2008 products. Many of the "soft" copy reports are user errors and/or some QC issues w Canon. People expect too much from the IS, and each and everyone of us have different shutter speeds limits for handholding at 640mm eq. I can get good results at slightly less than 1/200s but my friend needs 1/320s or more!

 
Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

atx124afprodx
Review Date: Mar 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Awesome all-metal buid quality, good contrast / colour throughout the zoom range and aperture, good sharpness even at 12mm F4, non rotating front element, very very practical AF / MF switch ring. Includes a petal-shaped hood (optional on the Canon 10-22mm).
Cons:
A bit of CA easily removed w software (a problem more for pixel peepers than real photographers).

I walk into the shop and tested all 3 WA zoom : Sigma's, Canon's and Tokina. Although the IQ quality (given a good copy of Sigma) is pretty close when you pick the Tokina it feels like A LENS!. Canon's 10-22mm feels like a cheap chinese toy next to the Tokina. It's a lot cheaper than Canon's version and they throw in a petal-shaped hood! way to go Tokina. I fell in love instantly! Never looked back and i'm having a blast w this lens in the last year or so.
I like Tokina's Pro lenses build quality better than Canon's L.
Focus is not a problem since the DOF is huge anyway.
I have to say that the AF / MF push-pull ring is the best implementation so far. it's intuitive and you never have to take your eyes off the viewfinder, just push the focus ring back/forth for AF/MF.


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Mar 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very good IS (3 stops from my experience), good colour, contrast. Price.
Cons:
Focus hunts a bit at 300mm and low light, no full-time MF, a bit soft at 300mm.

I bought this about a year ago for wildlife,birs etc. You can't go wrong for the price and it's a wonderful lens for what its meant to do. IS works great (I get decent shapness at 1/40s or 1/75s at 300mm on a crop body). I'm using it now w a Tc and I have to say that if you really wanna go serious about wildlife / birding it's a bit short, even on a x1.6 crop body.
Better take the plunge for the 100-400mm IS. For occasional park shooters it's fine! IQ quite good, though a bit soft towards the long end.
All in all i've been very happy w this lens and it delivered what I expected, but it's time to move on for longer FL.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

ef100mmf_2usm_1_
Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bright lens, super-fast focusing, sharp even wide-open, full-time manual focusing.
Cons:
None

I've had it for a few months now and i must say it's the best I've spent so far. i don't use it a lot but when I do I get that dam** feeling and a smile! it's problably one of the fastest focusing lens in Canon's line-up. I wasn't expecting good sharpness wide open but boy was I wrong. this lens is SHARP even at F2..a few clicks down and it's a killer (maybe too sharp for portraits?). here's a shot that I sold to the dog's owner (he loved it) wide open:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1023/1460019926_484240bf03_o_d.jpg
I haven't seen the CA's that people talk about. Add a 50mm prime to this and you're all set. You really can't go wrong with primes. I'd never part from this lens. Love it. Highly reccomended.