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  Reviews by: jimhsu  

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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Jun 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,079.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful colors, as sharp as one would ever want, wide open possibilities, solid construction, silent and deadly focus
High price?? (you get what you pay for with this lens, though!!)

I've had this lens for about 1.5 months now. For a 10D (1.6X crop) this lens is what I use most of the time as it is essentially the standard normal focal length after 1.6X. It puts no limitations on what I can do: indoors, outdoors, bright light, almost no light.

I love the colors that come through this lens. Naturally vibrant and realistic. Minimal sharpening and color adjustments are needed if anything at all.

Four-digit price is steep, but if it is feasible, I can't see how one could go wrong with this lens. Its construction is solid as are all L lenses.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range very useful for people/street photography. f/2.8 offers versatility in no-flash shooting. USM is smooth and quiet. Great sharpness and color. Usual excellent L lens construction.
24mm occasionally not wide enough for me. (Worth it but....) Pricey. That's it....

Got this lens to cover the hole between my 17-40 and 70-200 zooms. It has stayed on my 10D for @80% of the time through a week-long trip to San Francisco. Except for the times when the subject is too tall or too wide or too far and I can't move from my vantage point due to a wall or a cliff behind me, this lens was fabulous in every situation. (See my 17-40L review.)

It is a very sharp lens. As with other L lenses it is extremely well-built. Focus is effortless and extremely rarely does it hunt around, only when I ask the impossible (focus on cloudless blue sky, for example).

The biggest strength is the versatility and suitability of 24-70 range (1.6X crop) for daily use. For that reason this lens stays on my camera most of the time, simply because most of the time when I pull this camera out of the bag this lens allows me to do what I want, whether it's indoors with no flash at night or sunny and bright outdoors.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Mar 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $689.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Relatively inexpensive entry into L lens category. Wide angle capability (even at 1.6X crop) saves the day over 24-70L. Light yet sturdy. Sharpness and color.
f/4 somewhat limits indoor/nighttime use. Zoom range slightly limited (17-60 would be perfect for me). Can spoil you and ruin your tolerance of non-L lenses!!

17mm at 1.6X is more like 28mm, but that's the lowest I can get in a zoom and it's an L lens....thus I took the plunge and got my first L lens with this purchase. Though I have to crank the ISO to @400 or sometimes 800 to get decent exposure indoors/no flash (my preference)/night time (NOT my preference), with 10D the noise is still very low and I have been extremely happy overall. Still I wish I could use it at f/2.8 or even lower like my primes 35/2 or 50/1.8 and 85/1.8.

Got the 24-70L 2 weeks ago, and though 24-70L is overall a better range of zoom and f/2.8 is nicer, I took both lenses to San Francisco and the ability to zoom around from 17mm to 24mm wide angle was crucial and essential for some great shots. I got very good at switching lenses on the fly, standing up, and putting nothing down on the ground. From some of the desirable vantage points it is simply impossible to cover the entire subject (Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, Japanese Tea Garden, etc.) with 24mm, and standing on a cliff, or edge of a pond, or back against the wall, sometimes I can't move back any farther. In these tight situations the 17-40L came through for me, and I am glad I kept this lens after acquiring the 24-70L.

This lens is lighter than other L lenses, but feels just as well-built. Rings for focus and zoom are smooth-turning and offer sure-footed adjustments yet are never unintentionally loose. USM autofocus is swift and silent.