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

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,075.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: A well built lens with excellent IS and fast focus even in low light.
Cons:
Sharpness from 24mm to 35mm is poor to marginal, but comparable to my 17-40L in the same range. Canon really needs to work on short focal length zoom lens sharpness!

After much reading of others' evaluations here and published test reports, I finally decided to buy the lens hoping I would get a really sharp copy. Well I didn't get a copy that was sharp at short focal lengths. From 24 to 35mm, it is marginal at best. I tested it extensively on newsprint and found that until I got to f8, it was quite soft with my 20D. It is comparable to my 17-40L in the same focal range with the 17-40 being a little better at 35mm at f5.6. From 50mm to 105mm, it performed well in the sharpness testing. For scenics and landscape work using short focal lengeths, I will have to shoot at f8 to f11 when planning to make enlargements over 8 by 10".

In everyday shooting, the lens focusses fast and the IS is better than my older IS lenses. It appears to be well built and, hopefully, it will last a long time as my 'workhorse' lens. I hope when I buy a full frame body, I will still be happy with it.


 
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

ef75_300_1_
Review Date: Apr 17, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great 'travel' lens and a good value for the price. Very sharp, even wide open at 300 mm. (See review below).
Cons:
Edge light fall off wide open and underexposes 1/3 to 1/2 stop from wide open to f 11. No tripod collar available and will not accept extenders.

For a camera club presentation on lenses, I compared this lens (at 300 mm) to my 300 F 4L IS. The test used Provia slides so no digital crop came into play. The target was a sheet of want ads from the newspaper and a portion of a lens resolution chart. I was amazed that the center and edge sharpness of the 75 - 300 at f 5.6 was as good as the 300 L wide open at f 4.0. The one drawback was exposure. The 75 - 300 showed light fall off on the edges at 5.6 and 8.0 amounting to about 1/3 of a stop. (This is easy to see on newspaper). The overall underexposure was also between 1/3 and 1/2 of a stop until the lens was stopped down to f 11. Now that I know that, I set the exposure compensation to allow for the underexposure.