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  Reviews by: Nicholas S  

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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Dec 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: addictingly sharp, white (yes i put white in pros), beautiful IS, push/pull zoom is not an issue to me.
Cons:
heavy! omg! but pretty sure i will get used to it soon enough.

I tested this lens firstly on 400mm and wide open. It's amazingly sharp, when stopped down to f/8, the center sharpness is almost no improvement, but slight improvement on corner sharpness (doesn't mean that corner at f/5.6 is ugly). The sharpness is not a question, it is sharp at almost all focal length wide open. I haven't test everything extensively, but I reckon it is very sharp on my copy. I am impressed with the image quality. Focal length range is nice, somehow I want more 50-80mm extra, even I know I can reach it with my feet. I am being lazy. I only mount this lens on my camera when I really know what to photograph.

I was surprised with the weight of this lens - I didn't know that this lens is that heavy! Not a bad thing...but a heavyweight combined with push/pull zoom somehow challenged me.

There is a switch for a focus limiter - I do not know exactly what is this for, probably because the focus range is too long, but somehow I found it really annoying. I was aiming group of birds, they are moving, I can just shoot them but at that time I gotta change the switch first as they get closer to me. Not a big deal though.

It is white, as everyone knows. I did some test shoot on Saturday in the uni - because I don't want many people watching me photographing with big lenses. However, I still found some people looking at me, watching me from afar, maybe something to do with the lens Wink


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Sep 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Constant aperture, sharp wide open on full-frame (film) bodies, excellent and great build quality, just a right physical size, weather sealed.
Cons:
Focal length is too short, mediocre image quality (read below..), strange hood.

This is my story of this product. I owned this lens for about a year already.

I use this lens on a 1.6x crop body, and somehow (or maybe it's just me) I'm not satisfied with the image quality it produces. Yes it has great color and contrast, but I think it's not that much difference than my 18-55 kit lens. I don't even notice that this lens is much sharper wide open than the kit lens. When stopped down, yes it is very sharp but only on buildings and geometrical subjects no matter how far you are from the subject. When capturing trees and leaves (both on distant) it is almost no difference than the kit lens.. I really disappointed in this area.

But when I mount it on my EOS 3, it's a different story... Very sharp wide open (unlike my 50 f/1.8 II!!), great ultra wide angle, total weather sealed in this combination. However you must note that vignetting will occur when you use normal thickness of polarizer; or a normal UV + slim polarizer. Sometimes this problem is really inconvenient for me, especially during travel when I have not much time.

Occasionally I use this lens combined with external flash unit when used indoor - that's a very good combination in my opinion - especially mounted on a 1.6x crop body - even I think 40mm it's too short, but still a reasonable range.

Another important point - the zoom and focus is really nice, well-built. And the AF/MF switch is really nice. The USM motor is very silent, fast and accurate.

Recommended if you agree with all of my points =)