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  Reviews by: Sea Dragon Rex  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: May 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, IS works fantastic, AF is fast and accurate, f/2.8.

I've used my the 70-200 2.8L non-IS for the past 5 years on my crop sensored Canons and have had loved the images I've captured with it. At times I considered getting the IS version of the lens but just couldn't justify the extra $$ to get IS (the IQ difference between the two is minimal with the edge going to the non-IS imho).

When this lens came out and after reading the reviews (professional and non) I decided to make the leap. I sold my old lens and picked this one up. The AF is very fast and accurate (I can't tell a difference from my 135L) and the IS is amazing (it seems like it is much better than my 70-300 IS and I am able to get sharp images at 200mm, 1/60 that I couldn't do without a monopod on my old 2.8L).

The images I've taken are very sharp and the lens has a warm cast to them. I've only had the lens for three weeks and I'm looking forward to using the lens on my trip to Scandanavia next month.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Jul 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $845.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, excellent build quality, beautiful bokeh

This lens has fantastic IQ. The focal point is razor sharp wide open and bokeh is amazing. The focus is fast, silent and accurate. This lens isn't the cheapest but it is well worth the extra money.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Aug 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful color and contrast with sharp images even wide open. Fast, silent focus. Weather sealing and build quality.
82mm filter and price but that is expected

I've had this lens for about six months and have been very happy with it. I also have the 24-70 2.8L and more and more I've been going to this lens because of the extra width and the beautiful image quality.

The image quality is slightly nicer than that of the 17-40L so you need to decide if the extra stop and the slight improvement in IQ is worth the extra money. For me it was because the extra stop has allowed me to get shots what would have required flash with my 17-40L.

Finally, I based on the reviews of this lens I don't think I would purchase a lens from Europe as it appears that most of the negative and lower reviews are from there.

Canon EOS 40D

Review Date: Oct 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, very nice image quality, easily understandable layout, easy function change, 6 fps, bright viewfinder, fast and accurate AF, 3" viewing screen readable in sunlight.

I bought this camera to replace my XT and was considering this versus the 5d but found the 5D will too slow (3fps is not fast enough).

The functions were very intuitive coming from the XT. The viewfinder is much brighter and easy to see. The information in the viewfinder is also quite helpful. The view screen seems huge compared to the XT (though resolution could be nicer but it has no impact on IQ). The drive is amazing compared to the XT (I can't imagine what the 1DS III must be like).

Focus with my 2.8 zooms is fast and accurate and so far, the AI servo seems to work better than my XT. The camera is huge compared to the XT but feel right. It has a solid feel and feel well balance with the bigger lenses.

The IQ seems quite nice (and we'll see how the IQ compares to the XT when I make some big prints). Overall, I'm quite happy with the performance of the camera.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Oct 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $523.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Photo quality, IS, lightweight and price.
No FTM, rotating front element.

I purchased one of the earlier versions of this lens and sent it back for the service notice (the barrel was loose and would go always go to 300mm when tilted downward). Since the service, the lens has been great. The build quality is okay (obviously not an L). The images are sharp for. The focus is fairly fast and accurate (used on XT and 40D). The IS works great.

The biggest complaint I have about the lens is the rotating front element. This make use of a polarizer difficult. FTM would also be nice but for the price, it's hard to beat.

Canon EOS Rebel XT (350D)

Review Date: Oct 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good IQ, price for value, ease of use, lightweight and compact.
LCD menu hard to read in sunlight unless you scroll down on the menu; no spot metering; easy to inadvertently change drive mode.

I've had this camera of 2 years and have taken about 8000 shots with it. I have used this camera for several trip including Mexico, Canada, the Southwest and Hawaii. The image quality is very nice even when shooting in JPEG mode. I've been quite happy with the detail of prints up to 12x18.

For shooting sports, I've found 3 fps is not fast enough but the AI Servo seems to work fine (just not enough fps).

In other situations, the Center weighted metering just doesn't compensate enough for backlighting and other such situations. Spot metering would be nice to have but for the price, you can't have everything.

Contrary to what others have reported, I've found that the ergonomics seem fine to me. The grip seemed a little small when I first got the camera but it feels fine now and I haven't had any issues using the camera over long periods of time. I appreciate the size of the camera when travelling (we'll see how things go with my new 40D).

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $535.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, fast silent focus, VG IQ wide open and excellent stopped down, great price for an L zoom.
A little to easy to switch the AF/MF button.

I sold my 17-85 to fund this lens. The build quality is exceptional. The only complaint I have is that I've noticed that the AF/MF button seems to be very easy to switch (there have been instance where I pulled my camera out to take a shot and the lens has been switched to MF).

The focus is fast and silent and the images are sharp. There is some pincushion distortion at the wide end but it doesn't seem to be as bad as the 17-85. Also, the colors seem to be a little warmer with the 17-40L than the 17-85.

I will be doing some comparison shots with a 24L in the near future and may end up upgrading to the 16-35L because I want the extra speed but I am very happy with the 17-40L.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Dec 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Light weight, range, fast AF, ring USM, IS
Distortion at the the end of the range, EF-S and can only be used with a limited number of other bodies.

I purchased this lens for my Rebel XT because I wanted a lens that I wouldn't be afraid of hiking into the backwoods.

I noticed that there is distortion at the ends of the focal length but photos I've taken with this lens are very sharp. Interestingly, it was because of the photos I got with this lens that I sent my 24-70 back to Canon. When I first received my lenses, I noticed that this lens was much sharper than my 24-70. So, I shipped 24-70 back to Canon.

After receiving the 24-70 back, the picture quality of the 24-70 is definitely better than that of the 17-85. Both lenses are very sharp but the the color seems richer with the 24-70 (I'd expect that considering the price difference).

Comparing it to my friend's equivalent Tamron 28-75 2.8, the focus is faster, quieter and the images are slightly sharper. Of course, this lens costs more than his.

The 17-85 is much lighter than my 24-70 and for a walkaround lens that it works great. Focus is as fast as my two L lenses and the IS is great (I'm sure in the future I will upgrade my 70-200 2.8L to the IS model). The image quality isn't quite up to the L's but neither is the price.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,019.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build and amazing picture quality. Fast AF and beautiful Bokeh. This is what separates the L's from the rest.
Maybe could be cheaper but it's definitely worth the money.

I've used this lens for both indoor and outdoor shots with my Rebel XT. Photos of my son's and daughter's soccer games are wonderfully sharp (would have been nice to have a longer lens for some of the shots but this is what I had; recently ordered the 70-300 IS USM). I've also took numerous shots of my children while visiting a local fish hatchery. I was able to take shots that had excellent depth (able to get picture of them feeding the fish) and others that focused on their faces with beautiful bokeh.

Some complain about the weight of the lens but it doesn't feel that heavy to me (I'm used to shooting an old Canon 35mm SLR with FD lenses). At this time I couldn't afford the IS lens so that may be something I'll look into the future but I'm stoked about this lens and can't wait to use it more on future outings.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,004.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beautifully sharp picture after calibration and very fast focus. Well built.
Had to ship the lens back to Canon right after purchased for "calibration" because the pictures were very soft. After paying so much for this lens, it should have been shooting out the box like it did after "calibration." Would have rated "10" if not for having to ship it back.

I purchased this lens along with the 70-200 2.8L and the 17-85 IS USM to go with my Rebel XT. Right out of the box, I noticed that this lens had considerably softer pictures than either of the other two lenses. After playing with the lens for a week, I decided to send the lens back to Canon to have it checked out.

When I received the lens back, WOW! This is what I paid for. My friend purchased the equivalent Tamron for 1/3 the price but after handling both lenses, I think it's worth the cost difference. Others may comment about the lens feeling heavy but it feel very good to me (I'm used to shooting an old Canon 35mm SLR with FD mounts).

I took about 100 shots this weekend (most indoor w/out flash) and am very happy with the results.

I would have rated this lens a 10 in overall rating if it were not for the fact that I had to send it back for calibration.