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  Reviews by: clsward  

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Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight

Review Date: Feb 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very well built, Great Features, Fantastic Range, Excellent Value
None that wouldn't be knit picking.

The only other flash I can compare this with is the Canon 420EX/550 EX which I have used on my 300D, Now I own this flash with the D70.

Out of the Box - Benefits from 420EX

Better Built and has LCD Display - Has a better and more sturdy hot shoe connector. The battery cover looks solid, the 420EX looks flimsy in comparison. THe locking mechanism is a small lever rather than the screw type on the Canon flash. Lay out is better and every feature works superbly with the D70. Even the LCD light on the camera turns on the flash LCD light. The manual and extra techniques manual is better than Canons. The Nikon comes with a built in diffuser.

Using this flash

The light light seems more even and more powerful than the Canon. Also used with an Omni- Bounce and bouncing the flash gives fantastic results.

Do I think tha 420EX is no good? No, I think it's a great flash, the SB-600 just takes quality, features and useability to the next level.

Just to make things even better the flash retails in the UK for 229, and I purchased from HK for 131.

I have not used the SB-800 which can be used as a master to trigger the 600, and I can not comment on the Canon 580EX which I have not seen. But this I believe is better than the 550EX and although Canon make some great kit, Nikon seem to have mastered the art of flash photography.

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Oct 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Very Sharp, Good Contrast and Colour. Very Light, Lens Hood
Maybe Build Quality

Only had this lense for a short while so this is an initial review.

The lens is not of L series construction. Saying that it is still solid and looks good. It is 35% of the cost of the L equivalent so what do you expect. Its up or above the construction quality of standard Canon Lenses.

So 4 out of 5 for build quality.

I find this lense sharper and bettter bokeh than nearly any lens I have ever tried, Equivalent to the Canon 70-200 F4 that I own, Contrast is also in the same league,

So 5 out of 5 for image quality

What about value for money? When you open the box and look at the lens for the first time you think "Looks OK". When I looked at the images on my PC I was gob smacked. Unbloody believeable.

Can I give 6 out of 5 for value for money?

If this falls within your budget and you want this range, then its a no boner, theres nothing in the same price range that compares, If you have 900 spare for the 24-70 L series Canon I would still consider this lens. Its so near the same quality and a damn sight lighter.

I love this lens, its mine mine mine,

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: O So Sharp. Great Background Blur. Great Value, Build Quality. How can a lens focus that quick?
Nothing, no matter how hard I try to think of a negative.

It just oozes quality, The F2.8 and IS versions are out of my price range so I've never considered them as a viable alternative. The extra weight would cause me a problem anyway as I'm a keen climber/walker.

Its focus's quicker than any lense I've tried. It's sharper than and lense I've tried, It's built better than any lense I've tried and I just love it.

It is expensive here in the UK at nealy 600 but I imported on from Jersey ( for 429. No duty or VAT to pay.

I have the 17-40mm F4 L as well, they make the perfect combination and are both relatively light when attached to my 10D. As these are both F4 I intend to buy either a 50mm F1.4 or 85mm F1.8 for low light conditions.

All in all I have not one negative about the lens. Canon could have included the Tripod Ring and it could have come with a free case of Red Wine but apart from those pipe dreams its PERFECT!

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Oct 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Quick AF, Compared to previous non L seies. Built like a tank (A very solid one at that). Pin sharp at 40mm. Great balance on 10D.
Now I can't go back to cheaper lenses.

I've come from using a 28-135 mm IS lens and some really horrible Sigma 70-200mm APO thing.

I've splahed out and gone for the 70-200mm F4 L, and this lens. I can safely say these L seies lenses are no better than my old ones. ha ha ha. Also the sky is yellow and I live on the planet Zog.

Both lenses are stunning. The 17-40mm is razor sharp at 40mm and fantastic across the range. Like other reviewers have agreed this makes an ideal walkabout lens. The contrast is unreal, and colours (colors) fantastic.

...and heres a stange thing - I like the hood, I SAID, I like the hood. It was shipped with the EW-83E so I don't know if they've changed it recently.

The guys that have mentioned barrel distortion must have a faulty lens cos this one dosen't suffer from it at all. Plus this has been shown in some reviews to be sharper than the 16-35mm at the 25mm plus range.

Just get one, If I was a female lens I'd want it's babies.