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  Reviews by: Stuart Bell  

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

Review Date: May 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Handling, balance, feel of zoom and focus rings, IS, sharpness, colour of images.
White body attracts attention.

Back in February, sold this lens to a few fortunate people for 635.94. As of May, they're selling it at 1000+. I could never have afforded that, but the results show why that is not a totally unreasonable price. It matches the excellent 200/2.8L which I sold to finance the purchase (except at f/2.8 of course!) and the IS makes it much more usable in UK weather.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Jan 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, AF system, 8 fps, 1.25 crop ratio, lovely images, small RAW files
Limited rear LCD, short battery life (but not THAT bad!), weight,

People have said it all before. Throw a really nasty job at it - say inside 5 a side soccer, fast action, poor light, and the AF system produces results that only the 1-series can give. You can't crop too much with a 4Mp sensor, and you wouldn't use it for landscapes, but just look at the prices these days. And you can use early unchippable Sigma primes.

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

Review Date: Apr 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range; price; optical quality.
Barrel distortion in the 17-24mm range; Tamron quality control.

My first copy was very sharp, but started giving 'Err99" on my 20D when set to 30-50mm, after about 3 weeks. Was replaced by the dealer, no problem. My second copy is sharp. The reported noisy focussing isn't a big deal, IMHO, as in real-life use (as opposed to 'testing') the focus is usually only adjusting over a short range, and the 'blip' of the focusssing motor is very short.

The lens is excellent for a crop body DSLR. I find it resistant to flare, and that it gives good colour and contrast. I have no problem with AF in low light, which may be due to the extra 'f/2.8' AF sensors on a 20D (and 30D and 400D etc). The zoom ring works in the reverse direction to Canon zooms, but that's no problem since my Canon lenses are all primes, so the adjustment is easy.