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

Review Date: Feb 3, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: IS, Range, sharp from 24-50, very good build quality
Sharpness drops off after 50mm. Softer then 24-70 2.8L at same focal length, Price.

I have a 20D and wanted to replace my Sigma 24-70 2.8 with something better. I thought that the 24-105 with IS would fit the bill. The first 24-150 was very soft at 70mm and above, which was noticable without zooming in using photoshop.

I returned the lens and got a second copy. It was better at all focal lengths, but the performance still dropped off above 50 mm. I rented a 24-70 2.8L, and it beat the 24-105 at all focal lengths except 24mm which was about the same. At f4, the 24-70 clearly won which was surprising based on a review at Luminous Landscapes.

I returned the second copy and now I have a 24-70 2.8L on order. Hopefully it will be as good as the copy I rented....

If you decide that this lens may work for you, make sure you test it across all focal lengths. I may have just received two bad copies.

Optical quality is more important to me then IS.

Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: I did a lot of research on tripod legs. The carbon fiber were out of my price range, so I picked up a 3021 at the local camera shop. It has not let me down! I like the fact that I can look through the camera without extending the center column for additional stability. I was concerned about weight for our trip to Yosemite. I ended up strapping it to the side of our camera backpack with no problem. I barely noticed that it was there. I have a 484RC2 head which is fine except for no paning base. Not very helpful for panoramics, so the head will be upgraded soon.
The only negative is weight, but that turned out not to be a serious issue.