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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 100-400, IS, Light, Build Quality, Sharp!
Cons:
Slow AF

This is my 3rd copy of this lens. My previous two were very good, but I read reviews saying some were as sharp as their 400 5.6 primes. Third time is the charm. I finally have one that is TACK sharp at 400 5.6 (I can compare to my 300 2.8 IS). The zoom range is awesome and is great for wildlife. If you need one telephoto lens to do the job, this is it. I wish the AF could be a little faster, but there is a lot of glass to move. I use my 300 2.8 for speed.

My previous two copies were still very sharp up through 350mm, but had to be stopped down 2/3rds to gain optimal sharpness. Highly recommend!

Karl


 
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo

mp_e65_28_1_
Review Date: Dec 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $775.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beyond lifesize (5x), Sharp, Well-Built, Great Contrast
Cons:
Cannot use beyond 1:1

I bought this lens about 4 months ago and have been amazed at what it can do. It is very sharp wide open (don't shoot a lot wide open) and gets better stopped down. The build quality is exceptional and the full-time manual focus is fun. I like having to move the lens for focus rather than zooming. You do have to remember to focus on small things because this lens is not capable of anything beyond macro. That is my major adjustment. No large bugs or flowers for this lens.......but from 1x-5x, the images are unreal!

This lens should definitely be used with a flash beyond 3x life-size. I use the twin-lite flash from Canon with puffers on the flash units.

Check out the close shots of the bugs with this lens.
http://www.karlvon.com/bugs.html

If you want to get close, this is the only way to go! You will not regret it!


 
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

1dsmarkii
Review Date: Dec 27, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: $2,400.00

 
Pros: AF, Metering, Build, IQ, Shutter Response, ISO
Cons:
LCD

I picked up this camera used about 2 months ago and continue to be amazed. I started with the Rebel XT, then upgraded to the 40D, and now this camera. I have also been able to compare this camera to the 5D and 5D Mark II. My thoughts.........

This camera has superb AF ability. When tested against the 40D & 5D II (newer technology), the 1Ds II is superior - no questions asked! While the 40D had a 6.5 fps capability, the 1Ds II has a 4 fps capability. It is much slower than the 40D, but the AF makes up for the slower speed. The 1Ds II has an amazing shutter response time. I had no idea how slow the Rebel and 40D were in response time. When you want to take the picture, it happens! I find that this helps when hand holding lenses without IS at slow speeds. The LCD screen is lacking, but I just use the histogram when shooting. The 1Ds II also has some locking features that one has to get used to. You have to hold down buttons to get around the camera menu/settings. I wasn't sure when I tried the camera out, but I am now flying through it without problems. I can adjust settings very quickly now. The build quality of the 1Ds II is simply awesome! If you pick it up, you won't want to put it down. It has a solid feel. As for ISO results, I tested this camera against the 5D II. I would give the 5D II a stop advantage (maybe a little more) over the 1Ds II. However, the noise with the 1Ds II is very smooth, even at 3200. I have printed 16 x 20 photos at 3200 and the noise is almost invisible. I will say that the 5D II is impressive all the way up to 3200 and very usable at 6400 and it also has very smooth noise. Lastly, the 1Ds II has 16.7 mp, which is quite a jump from the 40D. I am blown away at the detail when looking at 100% crops. Wow, it is just awesome!

Overall, I have to give this camera a 10/10. It just has too many advantages to outway the older technology. If you are planning to upgrade from the 5D to 5D II, I would seriously consider the 1Ds II. You will not be disappointed.


 
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

1dsmarkii
Review Date: Dec 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF, Metering, Build Quality, 16.7 MP, Shutter Response
Cons:
Small LCD (not a huge issue)

I picked up this camera used about 2 months ago and continue to be amazed. I started with the Rebel XT, then upgraded to the 40D, and now this camera. I have also been able to compare this camera to the 5D and 5D Mark II. My thoughts.........

This camera has superb AF ability. When tested against the 40D & 5D II (newer technology), the 1Ds II is superior - no questions asked! While the 40D had a 6.5 fps capability, the 1Ds II has a 4 fps capability. It is much slower than the 40D, but the AF makes up for the slower speed. The 1Ds II has an amazing shutter response time. I had no idea how slow the Rebel and 40D were in response time. When you want to take the picture, it happens! I find that this helps when hand holding lenses without IS at slow speeds. The LCD screen is lacking, but I just use the histogram when shooting. The 1Ds II also has some locking features that one has to get used to. You have to hold down buttons to get around the camera menu/settings. I wasn't sure when I tried the camera out, but I am now flying through it without problems. I can adjust settings very quickly now. The build quality of the 1Ds II is simply awesome! If you pick it up, you won't want to put it down. It has a solid feel. As for ISO results, I tested this camera against the 5D II. I would give the 5D II a stop advantage (maybe a little more) over the 1Ds II. However, the noise with the 1Ds II is very smooth, even at 3200. I have printed 16 x 20 photos at 3200 and the noise is almost invisible. I will say that the 5D II is impressive all the way up to 3200 and very usable at 6400 and it also has very smooth noise. Lastly, the 1Ds II has 16.7 mp, which is quite a jump from the 40D. I am blown away at the detail when looking at 100% crops. Wow, it is just awesome!

Overall, I have to give this camera a 10/10. It just has too many advantages to outway the older technology. If you are planning to upgrade from the 5D to 5D II, I would seriously consider the 1Ds II. You will not be disappointed.