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

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Sep 5, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP!!! Image stabilization. Weather sealed. SHARP!!!
Cons:
Heavy. Expensive (normally)

I originally had the 70-200 non-IS lens and loved it. About a year ago, Dell made a pricing mistake and I managed to get this lens at less than the non-IS version cost!! I kept both for a few months, comparing, but eventually let go of the non-IS version. I believe that the non-IS version may have been a touch sharper ... but with the IS, I was able to have very sharp pictures hand-held. This lens is still incredibly sharp ... I believe that it is sharper than my 28-70 @ 70 mm and that is saying something!! It is so good that the images are still spectacular when used with the 1.4x teleconverter. I also like this lens for macro with a 500D on the front. Beautiful bokeh and gives me about 24" of working distance. An excellent lens. Every Canon user should strive to get one in their bag.

 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

1D2
Review Date: Jun 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a tank. Extremely low noise on higher ISOs. Very fast. Great AF. Very good color rendition. You can bracket EVERYTHING!! Very fast. Lots of pixels. Battery lasts forever. Uses Canon Lens system. Did I say Very Fast !!??!!
Cons:
Costs big Bux$. You will hurt yourself if you drop it on your foot!

I've been playing around in photography for over 40 years ... digital for over 5. This is one of the best cameras I have ever used ... film or digital. There have been a great number of complaints from folks on different forums about color, softness, etc. In my experience these are all totally unfounded. The results I have been getting are truly impressive. Even when I error taking the shot, the file has enough latitude to be easly corrected in the computer without artifacts. It's very fast ...

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Aug 18, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: So sharp it is scary! Built like a Sherman tank. Tripod mount/lens shade included.
Cons:
Heavy as a Sherman tank

This was the 2nd "L" zoom I purchased. I had the 28-70 2.8 and was SUPER happy with it ... untill I used the 70-200. This lens is one of the sharpest in my arsenal. It is only slightly beat out by the 100 2.8 macro. I have had NO issues with the fact that it is not IS. Normally, I shoot from a tripod, but I took some GREAT white tailed deer shots with this lens handheld at 1/30 of a second!! (luck). Great lens and non-IS saves you money if you are like me and normally shoot off a tripod. There are a lot of these for sale, cheap, as people upgrade to the IS model. Great buy for folks who want one of Canon's best but cannot affort the price of an IS. I have seen one go on e-bay for $800!!

 
Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_28-70_28s_1_
Review Date: Aug 9, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image sharpness and contrast. Robust build. Fast autofocus.
Cons:
Being an "L" lens it costs big bux$$

This was my first Canon lens. I have shot possibly 85-90% of my pictures with this lens. It just seems like it is always the right lens to use for me. The quality of the pictures is great. Wonderful contrast, beautiful color and sharp. What more can one ask but to be able to get a lens like this for free!!

 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

product_83
Review Date: Aug 9, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $147.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price is right. Very sturdy. Excellent quality. Quick snap-lock leg extension
Cons:
Not too light

I love this tripod. I've the "B" or black model. It is very sturdy and is handsome in appearance. I, particuarly, like the leg locks. The allow the 'pod to be quickly set up and taken down. I've not had an occassion to have to tighten them and I've been using it for over a year quite a bit. Not as light as the carbon fiber 'pods, it is very heavy duty and the price is right!!

 
Canon EOS D60

D60
Review Date: Jun 5, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,135.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great color, lots of pixels to crop, excellent low noise characteristics. Smooth operation. Great battery life.
Cons:
AF, although it is easly worked around.

I've had the D60 since October of 2002. I knew it was going to be replace, soon, but I didn't want to wait untill all of the "bugs" were worked out of the new camera. The D60 took quite awhile for all the kinks to be cured and waiting untill the summer of '03 to get a good camera was not in the books.

Today, this is a GREAT value for anyone wanting to get into digital SLR's. The quality of the picture is awesome and the price is very good. Although I have experienced some hunting with the AF in very low light, it is not an issue for me. I shoot mostly outdoors and when indoors I usually have on an external flash with the AF assist so shots focus quickly. I see no reason to upgrade at this point. I would like to have the higher ISO of the 10D, even though I never use the high ISO's that I already have ... mostly shooting at 100 or 200.