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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Sep 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp throughout the range, very effective IS, excellent build quality
Cons:
it took 3 tries to find a decent sample of this lens. CA is an issue at the edges

My first one of these was decentred, the second had focus calibration problems - third time very lucky.
This is an all too common story with Canon lenses - can be excellent if you get a good one. The point is that it is always worth trying another sample if you're initially disappointed.
I sent my second one back to CPS (UK) after 6 months of weird focus errors and they gave me a new one that is just perfect!
Where the ranges overlap, I find it at least as sharp as my 17-40 and almost as sharp as the 70-200 f4. Like these 2 sister lenses, it is perfectly useable at f4, improving slightly at f8.
Mine is a tad soft in one corner (FF) and displays quite serious chromatic aberation at the edges, but these are things i can live with...


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $530.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: size, weight, IS
Cons:
poor resolution

I've tried 2 of these - the first was badly decentred, the second was unacceptably soft at the edges on FF - even stopped down.
I expect this lens is primarily aimed at 20D users and other cropped-sensor cameras, for whom it is probably very useful. But on full frame? forget about it.
Rebuild it with a 77mm front element, a pretty red ring and double the price - that would be a serious piece of glass.