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Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef17_35_1_
Review Date: Sep 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price of this lens used is quite reasonable. Much cheaper than the 16-35 and twice as fast as the 17-40.
Cons:
A little soft; barrel distortion is pretty bad at 17mm.

I bought mine used to replace a 20-35 USM. Sharpness is about the same, not bad but not great. I use it mostly for weddings, and it's good enough for that. I paid about $700, which is not much more than a used 17-40, and the extra stop in speed is well worth the slight softness for me.

 
Epson Stylus Photo 2200

StylusPhoto2200
Review Date: Apr 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful archival prints on fine art paper. Dependable and trouble free.
Cons:
Probably not the best printer for glossy prints. A little slow, especially at 2800 dpi.

I bought mine nearly three years ago when it was first introduced. I use it commercially (professional photographer), sometimes letting it spit prints out well into the night. I use mostly Velvet Fine Art paper for b&w and color. My customers love the prints, as do I.

In addition to printing photos and the occasional letter, etc., I make limited edition art reproductions on this machine. I paid for the initial investment the first month I owned it, just counting profits from art repros. I also print all of my own brocures on this printer using Epson's double-sided heavy-weight paper, and sometimes similar brochures and/or information sheets for customers who demand small runs (up to 100) of the highest print quality possible.

In the three years I've had it I've only experienced one head clog, and that was fixed in a couple minutes with a simple head cleaning. I use Epson's inks exclusively and would not recommend anything else.

For the price, the 2200 can't be beat for my uses.


 
Canon EOS D60

D60
Review Date: Feb 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid performer, excellent image quality with good glass, used prices are LOW!
Cons:
AF is slow and not great in low light, slow to start up. E-ttl is tough to work with in some situations, especially weddings with white gowns and black tuxes.

This was my first serious digital. I used it a few days after I got it for a wedding, along with a medium format Contax. My hope when buying it was that it could replace my 35mm for wedding candids, but I was so impressed with the quality that I sold my Contax 645 and switched to 99% digital.

I only used it for a few months before switching to a 1D for its better focusing. I'd also hoped for better e-ttl performance but discovered that the 1D wasn't much, if any, better. (Finally, the 1DII has improved that aspect.)

The D60 would still make a great camera for serious amateurs or as a backup for most pros. For the current used prices it's hard to beat.



 
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

ef20_35mm_1_
Review Date: Oct 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, light-weight, sharp. Overall a very nice little ultrawide zoom.
Cons:
Not very wide on a 1.6x crop digital.

I've been using this lens for several years, first on film bodies and now on 1D & 1DII. It's been a solid performer, but with the 1.3x crop factor of the 1D it often leaves me wanting something wider. The f3.5-4.5 aperture is a little slow, but not very restrictive for me. If $300-$400 is your budget for a wide lens and 20-35 is wide enough, I don't think you can find better. As consumer-priced wide zooms go, this one is excellent.

 
Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

ef100_300f45_56_1_
Review Date: Jul 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good price, light weight, very sharp for the price.
Cons:
My zoom would flop to the extended position if I carried it with the lens pointing down.

I owned mine thoughout most of the 90s and sold a ton of pictures made with it for magazines, etc., as did the guy who owned it before me. I've always felt it was an under-rated lens, although maybe I just had a very good copy.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Jul 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Improved version of the 70-200 f2.8L, and what an improvement!
Cons:
Haven't found any yet.

I've had the non-IS version of this lens since it was introduced. It's been a great lens, but I thought it was time I try Canon's IS technology. Geeeewhilakers! I can't believe how well image stabilization works on this lens!

I probably haven't used this lens long enough to write any kind of review, but I haven't been this excited about a lens in a long time. Now I'm kicking myself for not getting it sooner! The difference is amazing!


 
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

ef_50_25c_1_
Review Date: May 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Oh so very sharp!
Cons:
Feels a bit flimsy; 1:2 magnification; 50mm doesn't leave much working distance.

My late wife won this lens in a Canon photo contest, otherwise I'd probably never bought a 50mm macro. I think it's the sharpest lens I've ever owned, and that includes some of the best Carl Zeiss T* and Canon L-series primes made. For the money ($250 - $300) you won't find a sharper lens. Color and contrast also seem very good.