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

Review Date: Jan 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Massive zoom range, 400mm at this price is amazing, very sharp.

I have bought this lens to have more reach compared to my 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM, and it performs beyond my expectations.

It does need more light naturally, but you know that when you buy it, the other option would be a 400mm 2.8 ... but did you see the price on that one ! I did use a 1.4 TC on the 70-200, but still hadn't enough mm's at some tracks.

In my opinion this is the best 400mm for the money, my copy is tack sharp right up to 400mm, it is brand new judging by the serial number, so I guess that the new units are better than the old ones you read about becoming soft above 300mm.

The range is amazing when you are standing along a race circuit and still want a safe distance between you and the cars.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Review Date: Jan 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Massive power for such a small unit
it needs good quality rechargeable batteries to keep going.

The 580EX II is a bit expensive, but they are worth it. I use them off camera with an Elinchrom SpyPort system to light cars, and it is just spot on.

Did add two CP-E4 battery packs as I have the impression they eat power more quickly than the older EX model, but with the power pack I can shoot hundreds of full power images.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon EOS 40D

Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF speed, build, ease of use

I actually bought a second 40D a few months ago to replace my 350D as backup body, at the current pricing it is one hell of a camera for next to no money.

Was thinking about getting the 50D instead, but the extra features didn't tempt me to spend nearly double the amount, don't need 15Mpixel anyway, I can print large posters from the 40D shots too, my customers love them and that's all that matters.

AF speed and tracking is spot on with the 40D, the fps is amazing although I rarely use/need it, but it is good to know you have it available if required.

Did fix a grip on it from the first day (both bodies) to have the extended shooting capabilities.

Actually paid less for the 40D than for my 350D back then.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very nice range, fixed f/2.8, IS and USM all in one lens
A bit expensive and hood is optional

I have owned this lens from the day it became available, sold my EF-S17-85 and EF70-200 f/4 non IS to be able to pay for it ... and never regretted it for a second.

This is a tack sharp lens, a bit heavy perhaps and you have to buy the hood with it to avoid flare (I never experienced flare when taking normal shots)

Been using it for several years now, and still no dust inside, did fit a B+W UV filter from day one to it however, don't really understand where all those horror stories came from.

It has become my standard lens for shooting cars at meetings and events ... I must admit that the AF of my 24-105 is a bit faster, but most cars I shoot at events don't go anywhere...

If it would fail I would have it fixed, and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if needed.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome UWA, little distortion
no IS, but then again on such a range it isn't really needed either, f/2.8 fixed would be nice.

I have used this lens for several car events, especially the crowded ones. This lens is ideal to get up close and personal to take your shot, the risk of anybody walking into the frame is a lot less because you are standing closer to the car.

There is visible distortion up to about 12mm to 14mm, but remember this is an ultra wide angle lens, what do you expect ?

I've used it with a B+W Circular Polarizing filter and really loved the results, color and sharpness are spot on, as is AF by the way.

Only downside could be IS, but I use a tripod for long exposure interior shots anyway, it could be an f/2.8 lens all the way, but that would make it even more expensive than it already is.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $774.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Colors and sharpness are great !
Would be nice to have IS mode 2 for close up panning.

I have bought this lens to fill a gap between my EF-S17-55 f/2.8 IS USM and the EF70-200 f/2.8 IS USM lens, also because it has such a nice range.

I mainly shoot cars, so the 24mm isn't too useful on a 40D during a meeting, but on a private shoot you have more space and the 24-105 is my weapon of choice (next to the 70-200).

Went for the 24-105 instead of the 24-70 because of the IS and longer range, the aperture of 'only' f/4 didn't really bother me as a mainly shoot at f/5.8 to f/8.0 anyway to get the entire car sharp on the shot.

Did a wedding for a friend with the 24-105/70-200 combo with two 40D's and the shots turned out magnificent, this lens is a keeper in my book.

Automotive photography made easy

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: If you are shooting motorsports this is the zoom lens to buy
White and heavy, but you know that when you buy it

I have this lens for two racing seasons now, and it still blows me away, it is sharp at 200mm f/2.8 when shooting a 24 hours race.
Panning shots are great with this lens, I use it primarily for car sports (GT races and stuff like that) and it really shines here.

Af is blindingly fast and accurate, I have nearly no out of focus shots since buying this lens, sure it is expensive, but it is worth every penny you pay for it.

I even used it with the Canon EF 1.4 Extender, and sure the AF speed and image quality drop, but not dramatically enough to keep the shots from being published.

Currently use it on a 40D, and I am very pleased with it.

Automotive photography made easy