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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

ef70-300_45-56doisu
Review Date: Apr 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, good reach, fast AF, IS, mine is sharp!
Cons:
Not L build quality at an L price

I bought this because I travel a lot and my 70-200L f/4 is just too big to fit in a travel size case. I was looking for something more compact but not willing to give up the sharpness of the L. I figured on buying this lens just to try it out and if not satisfied, resell it. I'm keeping it. I have shot hundreds of pictures side by side with the L and must say, this lens holds it own. The IS really makes a difference for me, especially at longer focal lengths. I have shot numerous resolution charts off a tripod and I can see no difference. The MTF charts are sufficiently close to back that up. My main use is handheld and here the IS really makes a difference. You do need to stop down beyond 200mm to keep it sharp, but the L doesn't even go there. My biggest complaint is the build quality. It's not L quality by any means and there is so much going on inside this thing that I worry about durability. Only time will tell.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Apr 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, versatile, IS is wonderful
Cons:
No lens hood included

I have a 17-40L and a 70-200L. I was shopping for something in between (maybe 24-70L or Tamron 28-75) when salesman suggested trying the 17-85. I did and I'm glad. I have compared the 17-40 against the 17-85 extensively and get consistently sharper results from the 17-85. I'm sure IS is a factor since I shoot primarily handheld. I had become an L snob but no more. This lens effectively replaces the 17-40L and a standard zoom as well, making the price very reasonable in my book. I use this lens on a 20D and think it's the best all-around and most versatile lens available for this camera. It's not built like the L but still not bad.