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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

ef75_300_1_
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: IS helps in low light and awkward shots
Cons:
As sharp as melted cheese! Awful and mostly unusable at most apertures.

Compare this to the infinitely cheaper Sigma 70-300 Super Macro II and you would think the Sigma cost 300 more. The IS no wawy compensates for it. If I had nothing to compare it with I would say it was OK, but a 160 Sigma blows it away on all settings - save your money!

 
Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

24_70EX_med_1_
Review Date: Jun 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cost! Sharp images and not overly heavy compared to other 24-70
Cons:
Noisy AF, not as fast as USM/HSM focusing

New MACRO version: Slightly easier to handle than the Canon 24-70L although focusing feels slower due to the effort it seems to be making. The noise is the loudest AF of ANY lens I have ever tried, although I use it to shoot bands in low light and very high noise so it doesn't matter in the slightest.
82mm filters may set you back a few quid too, but this review is not negative at all - this is a fantastic lens.
The images are SHARPER, yes sharper than the Canon 24-70L I tried along with it. I had both for a week and the Sigma is noticeably better - something the "L" freaks out there will hate as it costs something like 500 or so less than the Canon.
If you want slightly softer pictures, but faster focusing, then spend the extra 500, but it is really a case of judging something on it's merits and not being snobbish about the manufacturer's name, and whether there is a red ring round the end. The Sigma is the better lens!
If you need to shoot in low light with crisp images, then this is the one to choose - and spend the 500 you saved on another lens!


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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Apr 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wonderful focus, IS is perfect for wildlife
Cons:
Better off attaching a vacuum cleaner to you camera and putting the other end in some dirt

Well if we lived in a dust free world with no gravity this lens is perfect. However it is enough to give some people arm ache, and when attached to a Canon 350D it makes up about 90% of the weight of the combined equipment.
I took out my 20D and this lens to shoot some wild birds. After returning home I took a couple of pictures of some pidgeons in flight. As I reviewed the photos on the camera I noticed the evil tell-tale signs - black dots in the sky!

Back home I took a test shot against a light box and loaded the picture into Photoshop and set the auto-levels. This is a good test to see what state your CCD is in. Holy *#@*!!! is all I can say!!! It looked like a photograhic negative of a star constellation!! Such a wide and long lens is basically a powerful vacuum cleaner when you zoom in and out.

The picture quality cannot be faulted, but in terms of your CCD you are going to be ordering lots of swabs and Eclipse from your dealer!