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Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

ef200mmf_18l_1_
Review Date: Jun 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,075.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Awesome speed and Shallow DOF wide open
Cons:
None

This is the most prime telephoto Canon has ever made. The shallow depth of field makes it perfect for portraits. The speed of lens makes it ideal for indoor sporting events. I have shot this lens for surf, portraits, basketball, and wildlife. All with great results. Photodo rates this lens at 4.9! The highest rating a lens has ever achieved. It is impressive wide open when you would think a flash is necessary. With the 1.4x it becomes a 280mm f2.5, faster and sharper than the 300 2.8. You do not need IS with this lens. It is unfortunate Canon stopped making it, but I am glad I got mine.

 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

product_83
Review Date: May 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $135.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: durable easy to use, very versatile,
Cons:
weight

I like the recent improvement of being able to position the center post horizontally so I can do macro work. The positions you can shoot from are now almost limitless. It is a great tripod for the price.

 
Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

ef100_300f45_56_1_
Review Date: May 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quick focusing, light weight, full-time manual focus ability, affordability, reliability
Cons:
not sharp over about 180mm

This is the second lens I ever owned. I purchased it in 1993 and had it till last month. I sold it because I shoot mostly primes 85 f1.2, 200 f1.8 and 400 f2.8. This is a "gateway" lens. With lots of use I wanted something stronger because this didn't do it for me anymore. I really enjoyed the use I got out of it though. I liked it better than the 75-300 IS I borrowed. The ring USM was one of the high points because you could manually adjust the focus at any time. Great lens to learn on.