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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Aug 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Strikes an excellent balance between size, weight, price and gives you a very nice fast prime with great bokeh. The close focus distance also makes this lens great for macro work as well.
Cons:
Would be good to see canon update this but not if they double the price.

A really outstanding lens. A really great prime that strikes a nice balance of size, weight & price. Bokeh is wonderful as well. When you consider the size, weight and price of the 300 2.8 this lens is a real bargain and really delivers. Having F4, IS and the close focus distance makes this lens very flexible. Would be nice if canon upgrade and maybe added the latest IS but i hope they don't double the price of this lens. There really is something to be said for a telephoto lens with this size/weight as you really can walk around all day with it.

 
Canon EOS 50D

50D_1_
Review Date: Jun 10, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great all round camera, excellent image and build quality.
Cons:
None.

I upgraded to the 50D from the 20D so it was a great upgrade. Can't really fault this camera. Excellent build quality and image quality. I use it with 24-70, 70-200 and 100-400 and the results are simply excellent. I shot everything from family pics, portraits, candids, wildlife/birds,weddings, macro etc etc and this camera more than meets my needs and then some. I have resisted the temptation to upgrade to 7D/5D etc as this is still a great camera, sure the 7D focus system would be good or the improved high iso of a full frame sensor but the 50D is still a really solid camera. Highly recommended.

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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Feb 17, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb lens, amazing telephoto flexibility in a single lens. You just can't beat the flexibility offered by this lens.
Cons:
Its not cheap or small

Excellent lens. If your thinking about it just do it. Its extremely flexible and whilst not a small lens it is a lens you can easily walk around with for hours. In this sort of price/size range your options are 300F4L IS, 400 5.6L,70-300L IS and 100-400LIS. I already had the 70-200F4L non IS but wanted more reach but still the flexibility of a zoom. Having used this for a few months the zoom was the right choice for me. If your not sure about primes vs zooms, get the zoom for sure. I am based in the UK and with the cloudy overcast weather IS is essential. I am not really into bird photography but i can easily see how even 400 isn't enough, especially if your talking about small birds. I like this lens for compressed landscapes and being able to pick out distant landscapes i.e sunrise,sunsets,mist etc in the distant hills. As an all round telephoto its excellent and its flexibility far exceeds any of its cons. You can't compare this lens to Canon's super telephotos such as the 500F4 etc because they are just in a different price bracket and nothing like as portable as this lens. Highly recommend it.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing value for money. Very sharp, fast and ideal for portraits. Its so small as well.
Cons:

This is just an amazing little lens and great value for money. Really hard to beat. Its ideal for portraits etc. Sharp, nice bokeh colors etc etc. Focus is fast enough for most needs. If your thinking about the 85 1.2 its probably worth giving this little lens a go first and see how you go. I wish all lens could pack so much into such a small portable lens. Sure the 85 1.2 is faster, sharper with slower AF but the difference in cost is quite considerable and you really need to want F1.2 to justify buying it. If your looking for a good portrait lens don't hesitate to buy this.

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just amazing. The Bokeh is just wonderful, small, light weight, amazing colors.
Cons:
No IS.

Just amazing. This is the sharpest lens i have ever owned. You buy this lens to use at F2 and it really does not disappoint. I used it along side a 70-200 F4 and the difference between F2 and F4 is massive. Sharp, wonderful bokeh, great colors etc etc.

I owned this lens for a 4 years and then sold it because on a 1.6x body i found it a strange focal length. Its too long for indoors. If this focal length really works for you i cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with this lens. The 70-200 is much more flexible.


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent mid range zoom covering a very very useful range.
Cons:
Its big and heavy and no IS.

I was very disappointed with my first copy of this lens, it just seemed fuzzy and not very sharp. Even after calibration it still wasn't good enough for my liking so i sent it back and had it replaced. My 2nd copy is much much better.

I use this lens on a 50D. For me it has replaced 17-40/35 1.4L/85 1.8. Whilst its big/heavy lens i find 24-70 to be an extremely useful focal length and having 2.8 through out the range is really useful. Its long enough that i can use it for portraits etc and the 2.8 gives me nice bokeh. I find 24 is wide enough for my needs but if you like really wide angle then on a 1.6x body you may find this limiting. Coupled with a 70-200 it provides amazing quality over a very very useful range.

Don't be put off by the bad copies etc because this is an excellent lens. If you get a bad copy, send it in for calibration asap and if that doesn't work get it replaced. You don't need to detailed tests to determine if its sharp, take some real pics at different focal lengths and apertures and it will be obvious, just make sure your shutter speed is high enough.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent wide angle lens on a 1.6 body. Light weight and overall excellent.
Cons:
F4 and no IS so its not ideal for indoor/lowlight

Overall this is an excellent lens i think. I've used it on various 1.6x bodies and its a nice wide angle lens. Coupled with the 70-200 F4L its a nice travel kit, covering a nice range. In the end i ended up selling it because i found that 17-40 wasn't really ideal as a general purpose lens, i found 40 too short and 17 to wide except for landscapes etc.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Amazing lens for the money, best value all round telephoto by a long way and much cheaper than the IS or 2.8 version.
Cons:
F4 not fast enough for indoors.

I've had this lens for 7 years and its just amazing. It covers a very very useful range and is very sharp and contrasty. Really can't fault this lens. There is a reason canon have multiple lens in this range and thats because its a very useful range. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this lens again.

 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Feb 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, Contrast, Sharpness etc its got it all. Having a really fast prime opens up a whole new world and having 1.4 is just wonderful and its sharp!
Cons:
Its not cheap.

This is a wonderful lens. The color, contrast, sharpness is excellent. Its not a small lens especially when you put on the hood but its definetly worth the $/'s. Whilst it might not be a flexible as something like the 24-70 2.8 having F1.4 makes it flexible in other ways. If you can afford it and are looking for something in the 35mm range then its kind of hard to beat it. This lens along with my 135 F2 will be with me for a long long time to come.

Cheers
David.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Aug 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning quality. Light weight. Very usable range i.e 70-200. Low cost.
Cons:
White - being white it does make it stand out a little. Lack of IS. Boy if this lens had IS it would be the lens to have. F4 can make low light work a little tricky without pushing the ISO up.

I purchased this lens after starting out with the 10D and 28-135 IS.
The 28-135 IS is no slouch of a lens but the 70-200F4 is good step up.
For the money the 70-200 F4 is just stunning and if i was making the
decision again i would not think twice. I think every serious photographer should have this one in the bag. The focus is nice and
fast and the build quality is good step above the 28-135. I considered
the 2.8 IS version but is a pretty large lens and i could not see myself
lugging it around and hence i opted for the lighter F4 version.

For a 10D i think the 70-200F4 along with the 17-40 F4 is a fantastic
combo giving you a very nice range for a pretty reasonable cost. The only downside i think is being F4's low light stuff can be a little
challenging. Get yourself a 50 1.4/1.8 and that should cover the low
side.

Since i am an amateur i cannot justify spending thousands on any
one lens and hence i think the F4's are just fantastic.

In good light i just love this lens for portraits because at F4 it allows
me to really isolate the face and have a nice blurred background. I
never really apprecaited low depth of field and cream bokey until i
got this lens and now i am an addicted.

A few of my image samples with this lens so far -

http://www.pbase.com/image/31712493.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/32297552.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/29517724.jpg

If your even thinking about it...stop. Just buy it. For the $'s your going
to be hard pushed to find anything in this price range that can match it.
If you do not have the cash then wait. Save up the dollars and but it when you can afford it. In the long run its better to do this rather than buy something not so good and then end up upgrading.

Cheers
David.