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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

ef70-300_45-56doisu
Review Date: May 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Ideal size, great zoom range, relatively lightweight, lacky of CA, funky green ring, IS, 58mm filter size
Cons:
Pricey, unsharp, bad zoom ring feel.

Great concept by Canon, but the copy that I got was unable to churn out sharp pictures, most of the shots are soft, very soft. The zoom ring feels very rough so not so ideal for sports. Maybe I should wait a while (like the 400 DO), let Canon improve the manufacturing process a bit and repurchase the lens again. If this lens can be just as sharp as the 70-200 F4L then I won't mind to pay the high price for such a useful lens.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: May 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: IS, useful one lens zoom range.
Cons:
Pricey, apparent CA, small aperture, flimsy zoom mechanism.

Tried the lens with a 20D, like the zoom range very much but optically much inferior to the 17-40F4 L, wish Canon can add some UD elements to it and improve the optically quality then this lens will be a winner. Current price too steep for the quality (optical and mechanical). Would rather go for the 17-40 F4 L with better optics and full frame coverage.

 
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

ef_180_35_1_
Review Date: May 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,230.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great optics, probably the best from Canon in my opinion. Not just tack sharp, the thing that I like the most about the performance is the "bokeh" of the pics. The out of focus area is so buttery smooth that I thought I shot the pictures with the Minolta STF 135 2.8(T4.5) which the out of focus rendition is unique.
Cons:
Expensive but worthwhile. Size a bit large and without the allweather seals, need a bit of MF help when AF from closest to around the infinity position

I've used most telephoto lenses in the Canon L stable and almost missed out on this one. The optics of this lens can challenge the best offerings from Contax and Leica, best bokeh performance that I've seen from a Canon lens. AF not as slow as some would say, fast enough for portraiture and most needs, but at over USD1200, quite pricey and quite a big lens to pack. Not just a macro but also a great telephoto lens.

 
Canon EOS 1Ds

21Ds
Review Date: May 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Full frame CMOS, Incredible resolution and much better S/N ratio than the D60 and 10D. Excellent body based on the 1D, with excellent AF, metering and weather proof capabilities, 10 frames buffer enough for most situations, battery consumption pretty low so 2 packs will take you very far.
Cons:
Price, instant review slower than Nikon D100, color tone far from neutral in default setting. Noise above ISO 200 not as good as 10D, CMOS highly dust prone, wish they have a dust shield like the Sigma SD9.

Yes this camera is more expensive than most but at the same time it is better than most. Excellent body based on the 1D/1V, with a matte finish much nicer than the 1V. Full frame is quite a revelation if you've been using a D60/30/10D, but ofcourse you pay the price for it. With this camera you really need to invest a lot of than that MSRP, the camera is very memory hungry, so you need 1G CF card and above, plus u might want to get a DVD-RW to store the raw images, after that you will find the file viewer utility is pretty bad at converting RAW images then you will need to invest in something like Breezebrowser or the awesome Capture One DSLR (another USD500 ouch!). Yes the tone curve is customisable but try doing that in real life and you'll find the interface unlike Canon's fashion is terrible. I guess if you want to extract the best you will need to get them incamera professional profiler thing to get the color really right. Plus the full size 11mega CMOS is very demanding and it shows on many L lenses, such as the 16-35 2.8L and the 24-70 2.8L. Yes the camera can output some excellent A3+ 13x19 prints with aplomb but afterall the output aren't always film like, it shows especially when shooting foliage. But in the studio, you just can't distinguish the output with film. Excellent 1st full size CMOS camera from Canon.