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  Reviews by: doctordoom16  

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Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

DX-17-55_L
Review Date: Aug 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality is fantastic, Fast, accurate focus, colors are incredible, sharp out of camera (D200 RAW and fine JPG).
Cons:
Telescoping barrel is a pain if you don't use hood . Otherwisw buy it, you won't regret it

You get what you pay for, and in this case even more. It is a great lense. The portraits are amazing that i have take, colors are well saturated, and shap out of D200. well balanced on D200. I leave hood on at all times, so it telescopes inside hood, not a problem for me 9others complain).
I compared this in the same focal range w/ my 18-200 vr, and it was not until f8 tha the 18-200 even came close (way to flat , unsaturated, and very soft). Don't let others tell you that you can use a 18-200 to take the place of this lense and the 70-200, it is only if you can't afford them should you consider the 18-200 (which is in no way cheap, but still $2000 cheaper than the 17-55 and 70-200 combined).
I love it, and don't take it off my D200.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Jan 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality superb, AF speed is quite and quick, balances well on 20D with battery grip, Sharp pictutes, IS.
Cons:
Takes some practice to get the sharp pictures that it is capable of getting, Very heavy (even more so than my 300f4), lense hood just does not seem like a good fit (I have had 2 copies and both needed a little effort). Some quality control issues.

I had problems with the first one I bought (IS stopped working and AF was slower than it should be) I exchanged it and no problems since. I will say that I have used almost all lenses at this focal length (Tokina 80-200, sigma, 70-200, canon 70-200 f2.8&f4, Nikon 80-200, nikon 70-200VR-before i swithced to canon). I really like this lense. I mostly use primes (135, 85, 50, 300) and i really like the convenience of fast glass with all these focal lengths. I will say that this lense will produce ultra sharp pictures (printed a 20x24 portrait), especially with freds sharpening plugin. It is built very well (Idid like the feel of the nikon 70-200VR better and the black finish). It balances well with the vertical grip on the 20D (too big without the grip). AF is fast and VR is fast to kick in (faster than the nikon). On a tripod, I can't tell the difference between this and the 70-200 f4 or the 70-200 canon w/o IS (It is sharper than the sigma to the naked eye). Off the tripod at shutter speeds below 250, this lense is sharper than non IS. The IS does make a difference (I have shot at 200mm at 1/60s with very good results). Below this i found softness, but still acceptable. Price is a bit high.

 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp and cheap (price not quality)
Cons:
slower AF and noisey, hunts in low light- but nothing dramatic

In a nutshell: I bought it, loved it, returned it because i thought i needed a "L" lense (24-70), returned the canon 24-70 because it wasn't any better optically (although build quality was superior by a long shot), repurchased the tamron. It is smaller, lighter, and 1/3 the price. It is not my favorite focal length and to pay the $1100 for the canon really hurt. I am thrilled with this lense. At first i didn't believe the reviews. How could a $350 lense outperform the $1100 L lense? It is true. Optically this gem pumps out great images. If you need a tank of a lense in this focal length, get the canon. If you like to save money and love sharp, contrasty pictures, get the tamron. highly recommended, even if you can afford the canon.

This is not my sharpest lense, but if you do a price/quality ratio comparison, this is my number one lense. My comparisons on sharpness are to my 135 f/2, one of canons sharpest lenses.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, fast AF, nice color/contrast, feels godd on 20D w/ battery grip.
Cons:
none

I have used the nikon 70-200 vr lense, the tokina 80-200 lense (nikon mount), the sigma 70-200 (on my 20D), the canon L 70-200 f/2.8, and by far this lense is the lightest and most comfortable to handhold. The VR/IS lenses are way too heavy and big for this focal length (my 300 f/4 is smaller and lighter). This lense is like a toy dog, you can take it anywhere and not notice its weight. I never use it on a tripod (low light i use my 135 f/2 or 135 f/2 with 1.4x tele con)) and don't miss the collar. The images are sharp and contrasty (not on par w/ my 135 f/2, but still very, very good). I really like this lense. I do miss the extra stop at 2.8, but if the light is fair, shooting at f/4 and ISO 400/800 will produce very good images. Noise on the 20D is well controlled at ISO 800 (except in the darkest of shadows). The lense hood is small and easily managed. I would recomend this lense highly to anybody looking for a good all purpose lense with outstanding image quality at a very reasonable price. I think that canon has done a great thing by introducing the "L" line of F/4 lenses (17-40, 70-200, 300). I own them and love them. Thier is nothing sacrifised with these lenses except size, weight, and cost (which are 3 things i could do with less of). Unless you need the extra stop (I used to think i did, but having a f/2.8 in low light is not as big a differnece as you think. Get the 135 f/2 if you need true low light shots at a reasonable tele length) get this lense and enjoy the "L" craze at a great price.

 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: It is an L lense, so quality is high, fast AF, f/2.8, great contrast and color.
Cons:
Marginal difference compared to the tamron 28-75 f/2.8

First off, I no longer own this lense. I bought it at a NYC retailer who has a great return policy. I bought the tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lense and loved it. It was small, light, and image quality was very good (not 135 f/2 good, but still very sharp and contrasty, but color a little flat). I used it for 3 weeks and all of a sudden got "L" envy. I saw others with the canon 24-70 and i had to have it. I returned the tamron and paid the huge step up in price for the canon. It is very substantial, and you know that you are holdinga a expensive piece of glass. The problem was, it was too substantial. With the lense hood it was bigger than my 135L f/2, and heavier than my 70-200 f/4. For this focal range it was too big for me. The size is not a negative, i'm sure the weight is proportional to the quality. However, the optical performance was not noticeable to me as compared to the tamron. In fact I will say the tamron shot wide open at comparable focal lengths was just as sharp or even sharper. How was this possible? After reading other reviews, I began to believe. The proof was in the pictures. I dragged the lense back to the store and they were not happy, but they took it back and exchanged it for a tamron. I am once again happy with the tamron for a lot of reasons. I think the canon 24-70 is a very good lense (not on par with my 135 f/2), but to justify the price differnece for little to no disernable difference over the $365 tamron was just not going to happen. I still love my "L" lenses, but have now opened my eyes to the tamron lense. I will not give up my 17-40 L, or my 70-200 L, but i will still be more open minded.

 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, retracable hood is perfect, IS works very good in low light, Fast AF (on 20D), sharp pictures, great bokeh, color/contrast.
Cons:
none

I was torn between this and the 100-400, but due to my positive experience with the 135 f/2, i went with the prime. i could not afford the 300 f/2.8, and i am very satisfied with this lense. The build quality is excellent, the AF is fast, the bokeh is amazing (not as nice as the 135 f/2, but close). I miss the 2.8, but the IS and the 20D's clean higher ISO makes up for it. I shot on a very overcast day w/ the 1.4x tele at ISO 800 and 1/250 sec to capture some soccer action, and the pictures were very good. I will say the AF hunts alot with the 1.4 tele in lower light, but some prefocising helps. This lense is a great addition to any photo nuts collection. If you need a zoom, get the 100-400, if you find yourself shooting the zoom at 400 all the time, like i do, you should save the $400 and get this lense and the 1.4x tele for the optical performance.

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Dec 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF (on 20D), lightweight, great build quality, The sharpest images of any lense I have ever used.
Cons:
None

I bought this lense after reading all the reviews. I have never used a prime, except the 50 1.8, before i bought this lense. I will never trade or sell this lense, I love it. This is the lense i compare all other lenses to as far as optical sharpness and color/contrast. I try to use this lense whenever possible. It is amazing in low light ( I used at the big apple circus wide open, and at my daughters swim lessons indoors). I use it for all portraits, and it is just perfect (you need some room to maneuver due to 1.6 crop factor on 20D).
If i could own one lense, this would be it. The "L" craze is real as they are superior to other third party lenses in optical quality and craftmanship. Bokeh is very creamy, and the circles of light wide open in front of the christmas tree are amazing looking.This lense is sharp wide open at f/2 and any percieved softness is due to shallow DOF not lense performance. I use it w/ a 1.4x canon teleconverter, and their is some slight, but very small degradation of quality. It is a great lense and would only be better with a closer focusing distance. Otherwise, you need to buy this lense if you are pickey about lense sharpness.