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Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

ef200_f2lisu_586x225_1_
Review Date: Mar 7, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly fast autofocus, razor-sharp images, bokeh to die for, nice IS, and a warranty that Canon supports...
Cons:
Weight, cost...as usual....However, you get what you pay for...

For indoor sports, this is THE STANDARD!!! The weight, although significant, is workable with a monopod and given the amazing sharpness of the images captured. With the 1DX (please see my review), this is my favorite lens without question. I'm relentlessly amazed at the ice hockey images I can capture across ice with this lens (in a low-light cave-light setting!).

Many of my primary images are captured with this lens at:

http://jalexanderimaging.smugmug.com/


 
Canon EOS 1D X

1dx-thmb
Review Date: Mar 6, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a tank, highly customizable, nearly flawless autofocus, usable low light sensitivity, rich full-frame files, in-camera multiple exposure capability. In short, the most addictive high speed camera I've ever shot.
Cons:
Cost.

I am primarily a sports shooter who specializes in photographing ice hockey at all levels. I also shoot fine art subjects including landscapes/nature, nautical subjects, portraits, and architecture. I have been a Canon shooter for over a decade and have shot nearly all of the 1D series as well as the beloved 5D and G series cameras. I've previously owned the EOS 1D Mark III and IV and, in particular, loved the autofocus tracking capability of the latter. However, I made the costly jump to the 1DX in 7/12 and have never looked back.

The 1DX is simply the most versatile, best built, and most flawlessly operating camera I've ever used. Of course, the speed, jpeg buffer size, and high ISO image quality set a new standard for high speed sports photography. In fact, at IOS 5000+, I've never needed noise reduction software since its purchase! I've shot this camera with the 200mm f/2.0L lens in many hockey rinks/caves where I was never previously able to get salable images. Amazing!

Additionally, given the rich, full-frame files this camera produces (even large jpeg's which allow me to blast away at 12 fps), I have customers who have printed massive (e.g., 8' x 10') images for advertising/promotional purposes. This includes some images of details shot from the length of a rink and cropped down. The only down side is, as always, needing to expand my storage and backup capabilities.

Another attractive aspect of the 1DX is it's versatility and customizability. The autofocus 'Cases' (a new feature for this 1D) are a great starting point for different sports, but each can be customized depending on need. I currently have three customized pre-sets in the camera that allow me to creatively switch (via the 'mode' button) between high speed manual, high speed shutter speed preferred, and slow speed (aka 'blur') modes, on the fly. This has increased my creativity and artistic use of this camera as an imaging tool, not just as a means of blasting off 4000+ images of another hockey game.

As an aside, depending on your facility with many menus in the 1DX, I highly endorse the Canon Professional Services (CPS) program. Their technicians are masters of this camera and are tireless (I have spent HOURS with them on the phone) in their willingness to tailor this beast to your needs.

Many 1DX images may be found in my hockey and nautical photography galleries at the following link:

http://jalexanderimaging.smugmug.com/