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Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

Review Date: Mar 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $288.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It's basically an "L" quality extender for several high-quality Canon single length telephoto and zoom lenses. Deadly sharp!
Almost 300 bucks for an extender doesn't thrill me (but the quality does!) Held steady, I can't see a loss of image quality.

Losing the AF on my 100-400 with this extender wasn't a big deal. I tried the "tape trick" on the correct contact points and, OK, the AF was restored ... but the lens was too touchy and "snoop-focused" anyway so ... no gain, some pain.

With the 100mm f/2.8 macro, this thing is wickedly sharp. With the 70-200 and the 100-400, it gives you two lenses that are a real handful to control. Biggest tripod you have is required.

All in all, it's a "must have" accessory in my bag.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Jun 1, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated


*NOW* the 20D is back on Canon's website!

Odd .............................................

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Jun 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Reasonable price for such incredibly high performance digital imaging capabilities. What else is there to say?
None really. Not any more than any other digital camera body.

Despite its killer capabilities, it appears that as of the end of May, 2005, this camera has been "deleted" from the list of Canon's active models.

See their website - - and it's no longer there!!! The 10D officially dropped off the website listing several weeks ago - now the 20D has slipped beneath the waves.

What's next, a 30D? A 40D?

When the Digital Rebel XT came out, that gave Canon three 8-ish MP camera bodies and the one in the middle - the 20D - was too consumer to be viable for the pro market (was it really?!?!?!) - and it was far too much of a "pro" camera to be attractive to consumers.

Therefore, I'll bet it was a case of the odd-man out and that means the 20D found itself without a valid market.

I got mine and that's all that matters. The images from it combined with an "L" lens never cease to amaze me!!!!!

Canon i9900 Photo

Review Date: May 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: VERY fast and relatively quiet. SEPARATE INK CARTRIDGES!!!! Phenomenal range of coloration!
Hasn't come down in retail price much from it's introduction.

It's everything good you've already read and more. We use lots of Pictorico paper and the inks dry i-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y and the prints seem to have more depth to them compared to other papers.

Zero negatives on this OUTSTANDING printer! I hate to give anything a "perfect" score but if the i9900 doesn't deserve it, nothing does.

Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF 193

Review Date: Apr 17, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: None

Sure this isn't "kosher" to do but, c'mon someone, enough time has passed since it's introduction for the EXCELLENT Tokina AT-X Pro 124 (12-24mm) f/4 to hit this review section!

Therefore, let me get the ball rolling ......

The AT-X 124 is a "APS-C" sensor sized ULTRA w-i-d-e zoom for D-SLRs that has been a L-O-N-G time coming!!! As long as you anticipate the usual consequences of shooting with an ultra-wide zoom, you won't be disappointed!

Built quality is absolutely first-rate! Us Canon users will find it not a notch less than our beloved "L" series lenses. Color, resolution and contrast are just what we'd expect from an "L" lens, too - - -except this lens fits ALL of out Canon D-SLR's, not just 2 models, one of which is a "toy" (The rebel Digital / a.k.a. 300D). As with most ultra-wide zooms, you see some barrel distortion but it's well controlled, IMO. I observed no colour fringing ...

With the 1.6X factor, this is a "genuine" 19-39mm zoom ... and I have shot with is almost every single day since I received it and have not been disappointed with a single exposure.

Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

Review Date: Mar 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Flawless interfacing with almost all EOS SLR / D-SLR / "G" series digi-cams.
1), Makes for a heavy hand-hold package - especially if your D-SLR has the battery pack. 2), It's a little pricey.

This flash is another in a long line of Canon TTL / E-TTL "winners". I've taken both Canon macro light units for a "test drive" and am still deciding between this and it's 2-headed monster sibling, the MT-24EX. It's like picking between 2 Porsches that vary only in color or something ....

The lighting control - one flash tube or both - plus the ratio control in E-TTL - means it's pretty hard to make a bad exposure with this unit.

For any of you tempted to over-ride every automatic feature of it and the camera ... don't.

Just do a 3-shot flash bracketing "rip" and one of 'em will be absolutely dead-nuts on target. Guaranteed.

Color balance appeared to be spot-on. Elements 3 gets a rest ...

Wish I could justify both this and the MT-24EX but I really like staying married.

Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $189.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing piece of "can't live with out it" equipment! Light weight, sensitive and HIGHLY portable. It ROCKS!
Batteries are a little expensive. And it only works with Canon EOS "Type A" cameras. Someone needs to "unify" an incredible photo flash accessory such as this!!!!!!!!!

Simply does everything it was promised to do - - and more. No distance problems, no "bounce" problems. It's the dead-solid perfect way to do wireless multiple flash if you're a Canon EOS "A" owner.

Works best indoors but outdoors is no problem as long as you work within the proper range.

Works PERFECTLY with our 10D or 20D - - and, as a bonus - with our G3 PowerShot too!

If you have EOS "Type A" cameras with Canon "EX" flash units and do a lot of flash photography - especially multiple lighting set-ups - this should be in your arsenal or you've missed the boat.

AWESOME for remote-mounted fill-flash outdoors!!!

Impossible to over-compliment the ST-E2.

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

Review Date: Dec 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,239.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build Quality: Like a tank! AWESOME colors, clarity and zoom range. Love the unique 2-position IS switch. It really works! Finally: Comes with a nice lens case AND A LENS HOOD!!!!! And a tripod collar!! Yowza, Canon!!!!! USM / AF is positively spot-on with my 10D/20D. Nice, easy, rapid "zoom-tension" feature.
Price - to some degree. The rebate helped. Push-pull zoom isn't my favorite method but it *IS* quicker than a "twister". Is "compatible" with tele-extenders but won't AF at max zoom range with a tele-converter in place - even the 1.4X.

Big, fat and kinda slow. Big deal. So are all 3 of my cats.

This lens - if you can" tame" it - is simply great! Wish it weren't a push me-pull you zoom but .. it DOES allow me to zoom MUCH faster.

Folks, it *DO* capture beautiful images! Yep, it's an "L" lens!

Watch which position the IS switch is in .. and GO! Beautiful color, contrast and overall image quality. Mine auto-focuses like a rocket - dead-nuts on almost every time. Tack-sharp and looks good enough for post-processing even wide open. Other than the cost, no complaints.

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Nov 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fantastic lens for the money! Very sharp, beautiful colors, great "bokeh". Superb contrast. Makes images leap off a laptop screen. Focus response better than I expected (with EOS 10D / 20D) after reading some of previous reviews. USM is silent and incredibly fast. Mine will "snap focus" instantly! Virtually a perfect "walk-around" lens on vacation. Image-stabilization is amazing. However, try one before you believe ANY reviews - even mine.
Doesn't feel quite AS "robust" as an "L" lens. Again - Canon needs to "get the message" that lens hoods should come with a new lens purchase!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They used to! The extra 30-45 bucks is just plain insulting.

Just simply a stunning lens - even wide open for some shots - as long as you stay away from strong back-lighting. Always better stopped down a notch or two - but what lens isn't? Minor CA on the edges when used with a film camera but with the 1.6 crop on a 10/20D, this disappears. No "fringing" that I have observed.

My EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens has been MORE than I expected. IMO, some of these negative reviews have to be considered as "HIGHLY SUSPECT!!!". The lens performs better - MUCH BETTER - than I expected, better than the first lens of it's type I fit to the camera body. It produces STUNNING images! I'll grant that it's not a "L" model, but for the money, it's impossible to argue with the results.

Lens feels "invisible" on a 10D / 20D digi-cam with a battery grip because of its "somewhat" light weight - but it is a well-built lens, no question.

If you had to leave the house with just ONE lens for the day, this might be it. Perhaps the 28-300 but it's B-I-G and W-H-I-T-E and VERY h-e-a-v-y compared to this model - - - and at 8-9 times the price ... it quickly fell out of favor. (Plus, I just don't trust 10-11X zoom lenses to perform well at the extremes, "L" series optics or not.)

This is a "fill" lens for my 17-40mm f/4 USM "L" and my 70-200f/4 USM "L" lenses and it had performed admirably! AND flawlessly! On some shots - with a polarizer in place - I can't tell the difference between my "L's" and this lens.

Actually, for the money and the range of usefullness, it's the best lens I own.

Nikon D70s

Review Date: Nov 25, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: It's a Nikon ...
An average PRICE PAID OF MORE THAT 9,900 BUCKS!!!!!!!!!

"Fundy" / Andrew,

The average price paid is a "calculation" of the numbers you reviewers enter. Either you're being cute or simply crazy - or you genuinely made an error - when you entered the price you paid as 99,000 dollars.

You have "KILLED" some prospective buyers by your numbers. Can you please correct them?


Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Nov 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,239.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Find another mfr's lens in this approximate focal length as a bench-mark. Now, raise the bar about twice as high with THIS lens. F-A-S-T, beautifully-constructed optical wonder. It's an "L" alright ... Possibly the fastest, most silent auto-focus lens I've ever used!
Biggish. Expensive-ish. A bit unweildy on balance unless you have it on something like a 10D / 20D with the battery grip. Another B-I-G filter to buy! And ... disturbingly, the lens hood is sold separately. Why?

You don't have to be crazy to buy this lens ... but it will help. Just fairly well off will do.

Lens is positively awesome! The colour ... the resolution ... the bokeh.

It is amazing what Canon has created! Because of the 1.6X correction factor, this lens along with the 24mm and 35mm "L" series lenses in the bag and a 20D, this is an ideal 3-lens traveling kit! It's like the ULTRA-speed "135mm" I always dreamed of back in the good old film days.

Is there siuch a thing as a "perfect" lens? Probably not. But this'll do in a pinch! If you can afford it, you WILL NOT be disappointed.

Canon EOS 1Ds

Review Date: Sep 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Not bad. "Low" megapixel sensor. Ha! Ha! Read on ..... The new EOS 1Ds Mk II - yes, a Mark II version of the super-camera - makes most other "pro" digi-cams look like Instamatics ...
Probably the cost ...

New Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II has been announced. It's on their website .... so don't rush out and buy that ratty old "plain-vanilla" EOS 1Ds just yet! It's successor is waiting in the wings ....

Biggest improvement: 16.7 megapixels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a Digic II processor, of course. Faster "write times", Better display. Faster start-up. Yadda, yadda, yadda ....

And ... all of the other neato features us Canon lovers have come to expect with the rest of the top-of-the-line EOS digi-cams.

16.7 megapixels!!!! This is an SLR-sized digi-cam capable of shooting with medium-format film cameras!!!!!!!!!!!

If the phrase "this changes everything" didn't mean anything before, it surely must now.

But I repeat: 16.7 megapixels!!!!!!!!!!!!

This isn't just "raising the bar". It's putting in up on the MOON!!!!

Ciao for now,

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Sep 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well, DUH?!?!? It's an "L" lens. Not much else to say ... GREAT zoom range, lightweight and mobile in the real world. Use something like a 17-40mm "L" with it on the low end and it's just about the perfect 2-lens combination.
Lacks the IS feature. (Big deal. Use a monopod.) Long, white lens attracts a LOT of attention in public. Be careful! For the additional cost, I couldn't justify the 70-200mm f/2.8 (that and the added weight).

Don't cut yourself when using this lens. It's THAT sharp! =:)
Just hold it PERFECTLY still and the images will simply astound you! Beautiful, silent USM AFand a silky-smooth zoom feature. Surreal colors, contrast and resolution. It's a "dream-come-true" lens.
Stays on my 10D about 75% of the time. I use it for almost everything!

Late November 2004 update: Just added the optional tripod collar and a 20D body and after using this, I'd advise EVERYONE to get it!! Terrible price at 122 bucks but the 10D body and the lens balances better with the collar in place on the lens.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: LIGHTNING-FAST AF! Not an "L" series lens but indistinguishable from one as far as quality. Built like a brick ship-house. PERFECT 1:1 macro lens w/o an adapter.
Missing a red stripe on the front lens barrel ... and a lens of this price w/o a lens hood is terrible!!

GREAT non-L Canon macro lens! 1:1 without an adapter, lightning-fast USM AF and colors that are hard to believe. The contrast and overall fidelity of images is astonishing! If you do any serious macro at all, this is your baby.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality. Lightning-fast AF! Overall performance: It's a Canon "L" lens alright! Dare I say it - it's as good or better than Leica-R glass. It's SPECTACULAR!
Wish it was a stop faster ... BUT THAT GAWD-AWFUL LENS HOOD!!! 1, It's flimsy and a little hard to attach and 2, If the red-striped Canon "L" lenses don't attract enough attention on their own, this lens hood does it - in spades!

With the 1.6 factor on affordable Canon digi-cam bodies, this lens is - in reality - a SUPERB +/- 28-65mm f/4.0 zoom. And, boy-oh-boy, WHAT a 28-to-65 it is!!!! Better than any of the reviews I've read. Better than any words from salespeople or other users. Has to be put thru the paces to be appreciated. Some have cited slight barrel distortion. Not mine. I shot some test grids and it was dead-solid perfect at 4 points within the total zoom range. Camera (10D) with the BG-ED3 grip and this lens is a tad heavy but PERFECTLY balanced. Killer images! Contrast and overall sharpness is nothing short of spectacular. Wide open, just "soft" enough to throw the background wickedly out of focus - and the subjects LEAP out of the captured image ... almost 3D-ish like. Best "zoom" lens I've ever shot with (on a digi-cam, that is. My Leica-M Summiluxes still top the charts).

Canon Speedlite 550EX TTL

Review Date: Sep 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent, high-powered EOS-dedicated E-TTL flash. Unit performs as good or better than advertized.
Typical top-heavy, plastic shoe-mounted flash head. BE CAREFUL clunking it into anything!

Ditto MarioPro's comments: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS almost to memory! Triple-memorize them if using this flash in a combo flash set-up with the ST-E2 wireless transmitter! Like anything else ... know your equipment blindfolded. In the dark!