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  Reviews by: breenj  

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

Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, build, IS

I use this lens with the 30D.

I had the 400mm f/5.6 prime, and wanted to try the zoom thinking I would give up a little in sharpness but gain focal length flexibility and IS.
To my surprise, you really have to pixel peep to find any difference between the 400 prime (which I felt was very sharp) and the zoom wide open. Sometimes I couldn't tell any difference. I couldn't be happier with this lens. It doesn't have the newer generation (4-stop!) IS, but I have been perfectly happy with the IS performance.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jun 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, bokeh, AF speed, size, takes converters well
? No tripod collar included, maybe? I've never missed it.

I don't really use this all that much since I often go for the convenience of the 70-200 f/4L IS or the 100-400. But every time I do use it, I end up happy with the shots.
This lens is tack sharp. With a 1.4x converter, I couldn't notice any IQ loss. With the 2x it's noticeable (and AF slows down a lot), but still very sharp.
I use this with a 30D.

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, fast AF, little quality loss w/1.4x extender, built in hood
Not quite as sharp as my 400 f/5.6? (I'm just nitpicking here.)

Not much to say that hasn't already been said. In a comparison, I found that my 400mm f/5.6 was a little sharper than my 300mm f/4 IS. But if the lighting isn't good, the 300mm will be better, with the IS.
Since I use it mostly for surfing (need longer focal lengths) I sold the 300 and kept the 400. I did feel the 300 was worth the price, but the 400 was better for me.

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Jun 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, color, light weight, fast AF, built-in hood
None really - you already know that it is f/5.6 and doesn't have IS - everything it claims to have or do, it does very well.

I use this on a 30D (1.6x crop)
I just sold this when I got a 500mm, and I already am thinking I might regret it. Considering the size and weight, and the sharpness at this focal length, it is a great lens.
Sharp even wide open, with only a little improvement seen (to incredibly sharp) stopping down. This was sharper than my 300f/4 IS, which is no slouch.

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX SD

Review Date: Jun 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, build quality, constant aperture, price
Flaring (not unusual for WA)

I had this lens for over a year, and was very happy with it. It is sharp, has good colors, and is well built. Despite it's build, dropping it from seven feet onto a boulder wasn't a smart thing to do. After the plunge, the AF didn't work, but everything else was fine. Most lenses in this price range would have shattered.
I ended up trying out the Canon 10-22, which is also a good lens, for the additional 2mm on the wide end. I would recommend either, it just depends on the focal length range you want, or if you want f/4 over the whole range.

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

Review Date: Apr 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness - pretty good wide open, excellent at f/4 size price
thinking hard...

I would have given this lens a 10 had I not tried the Canon 17-55 IS also. I think it should really be about a "9.5". In most lighting, it would probably be hard to tell the difference in the Tamron and the Canon. Wide open, the Canon is sharper, but by f/4 or so I couldn't tell any difference. The Canon may have slightly better color and contrast, but the Tamron is very good also. The Canon IS allows some shots that you just couldn't get with the Tamron, but then the Canon is much larger. I would say the build quality of the Tamron is actually better than the Canon.
Overall a very good lens for the price, highly recommended.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS works very well - really does add 2 or 3 stops Sharpness over most of the range
Price could be better, build quality could be better, telescopes out At 300mm, need to stop down at least 1 stop for sharpness Compact, great travel lens

I had the 75-300 f/4-5.6 IS before this, and this really is much better - noticeably IS is better and the CA is much better controlled.

Really a very useful lens, one of my most used. IS is great - no problem shooting from a small boat in ocean passes at 300mm (in good light). The build quality doesn't feel that great, but it's not that bad either (I didn't pay 'L' price...)

Very compact, so I use it much more often than some other long lenses.

Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG Lens

Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, from f/2.8 up Price Compact size, but solid build
? only 60mm on far end, but I already knew that and don't miss it much

I have had this lens for about a year. It is very sharp at f/2.8. Some of the reviews have noted that it is heavy, but it is well-built and compact also.
I use it on a 30D (1.6x crop factor), so I often would like to go wider. I have ordered a Tamron 17-50 2.8 to try out, and IF it is as good as the Sigma, I might sell the Sigma. But not until I try out the Tamron very thoroughly.
I highly recommend this for full frame cameras, and for 1.6x crop factors if the range is good for you.