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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Jan 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, weight, price, quality, optics. Handles great.
Cons:
None

This is just a great zoom. Live up to the quality expected from Canon L lenses. Sharpness and contrast are excellent.

I bought this rather than the f2.8 lens because of the size and weight difference. I sometimes do miss the extra stop the f2.8 would provide, but but for day hikes and travel this lens is nicer to carry. I'm patiently waiting for Canon to produce and IS version of this lens. Like many, I'm very tempted by the 70-200 f2.8 IS.

If you can live without the IS and the extra stop, this is the lens to get. The price for this lens seems ridiculously low given the quality. Even If I do eventually get the f2.8, I would keep this lens for when I needed the lighter weight.


 
Gitzo G1127 Mk2 Mountaineer Sport Carbon

G1127
Review Date: Jan 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, good size, legs can be set to different angles, sturdy for light to moderate loads. Amazing stability for the weight.
Cons:
Perhaps the cost, but I think it's a good value.

This is similar to the 1127G, but has a sliding rather than geared center column, so it's lighter and extends slightly taller.

Bottom line: this is a great tripod. It goes almost everywhere with me. Excellent for backpacking and travel. Works well, espcially considering that it's less than 3 pounds. Not ideal for very heavy lenses or large cameras - max load is rated at 11 pounds. I've found it to be stable in most conditions, but has some vibration if the center column is extended more than 1/2 way up. I typically use it all the way down or up 2-3 inches only.

Like most Gitzo tripods, the legs can be set for different locking angles all the way down to 90 degrees. The center post is also easily reversable (takes less than a minute), so you can get to as low an angle as needed - I've had my camera practically on the ground.
I considered the larger and heavier G1227 and the 4-section 1128. If you need more stability for heavy loads, the 1227 may be a better choice. If you need a smaller size when closed size, the 1128 may be better. This tripod meets 95% of my needs, is 30% lighter than the 1227, and more stable than the 1128. This was the right combo of weight and stability for most of my shooting.

This tripod does have some vibration in strong wind, which is the downfall of all CF tripods. If you need stability in strong wind, consdier an aluminum (better) or wooden (best) tripod. You can't have it all for under 3 pounds, so if you need the ultimate stability, get something bigger and heavier.

Permanently strapped to my Lowepro backpack, I never even think about whether or not to take this tripod with me. It's extremenly simple, well thought out, and versitile.