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  Reviews by: Santai  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding Image Quality, Image Stabilizer, Weight

I was looking for a zoom to complement my 17-40 f/4 and 24-70 f/2.8 lenses. Given the excellent reviews of the 70-200 f/4 IS I bought it and am still impressed with the image quality. Sharpness, color and contrast are truly outstanding. The build quality is perfect.

I guess that all four versions of the 70-200 are a safe bet when it comes to image quality (I know it for this one). Which version you pick depends on your individual requirement. I picked the f/4 with image stabilizer over the 2.8 versions for it’s lighter weight (I was surprised how light it feels, given it’s size) and price. The IS gives me enough confidence in lower light situations when I do not carry the tripod.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fantastic image quality, sharpness and contrast - once you got a good lens copy.

I was looking for a shorter zoom with IQ comparable to my 70-200 L f/4, which set the benchmark for image quality, sharpness and contrast for me. The 24-70 became my choice, taking the f/2.8 into consideration over the 24-105.

Being suspicious about the individual lens quality based on so many user reports in this and other forums, I did the “newspaper on the wall sharpness test” in the shop. Out of seven copies, five were useless, no center sharpness at all, the edges naturally being worse. So I picked one of the two remaining copies.

When looking at the real life pictures taken with the one I bought, I was less than impressed with the results. Missing the IQ and contrast I was looking for, I went straight to the Canon service center in Jakarta. They let me pick and try a new one and swapped it without any problem.

This one is fantastic, sharp and crisp pictures, nice contrast, true “L” quality. I love it!

My recommendation to fellow photographers is to buy the lens in a shop you trust and where you can be sure that they would replace your lens in case you got a bad copy (and such judgement can only be made by yourself). My recommendation to Canon: Do something about this issue, this is a “L” lens and an unnecessary quality assurance problem.