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  Reviews by: joelypolly  

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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jan 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very light, good image quality, cheap compared to other options, solid construction, supports filter in the mount itself.
Image quality is soft wide open, subject to flare as are most ultra wide angle lenses, requires a filter to complete environment seal. No IS. It's f4 so not as fast as it's f2.8 cousin but it is only half the price.

Definitely a must have for most shooters. Image quality is ok wide open and quite good stepped down. After coming from all IS enabled zooms not having this feature has meant a tripod is more necessary than usual. Slower hand held shutter speeds will often show blur depending on how stable your hands are.

The creativity that comes from having those extra MM really help and as this lens is EF it means if you upgrade from a crop camera body to a full frame you will be able to take your investment with you.

Full time manual focus is available on this lens.

Some sample photos can be found at for those that are interested. I also posted some extreme flare examples.

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Nov 2, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Very good image quality

Here are some more sample photos with the 77mm B+W Circular Polarising Filter attached. It is probably the best filter for day time photography with the 28-300mm.

Sunset in Shanghai

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Apr 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight and reasonable size, Good range (27~136mm), IS works well, Good starter lens and walk around lens
Contrast isn't quite as good, Plastic body, Image quality could be better

This is your "standard" zoom lens for Canon cropped bodies, the 17-85mm translates to 27~136 on standard 35mm full frame. This gives you reasonably wide angle and not too bad telephoto. The aperture goes from 4 at 17mm to 5.6 at 85mm. The price is around 600AUD/450USD. Everything about this lens is "standard" or just very average. Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing as this is one of the best standard (read:walk around) lenses for cropped bodies.

The lens is light and quite compact which means you won't be too worried about carrying it around with you all day. It is focuses fast enough to catch most types of action if thats your thing. Nothing about this lens stands out about the crowd but nothing about it is particularly bad.

Now lets talk image quality. Well thats average too... Looking at the photo from 30D it looks great when your zoomed out or printed normal size but at the pixel level it isn't very sharp. If we look at image quality towards the edges well that kinda gets a bit worse but still reasonable if your not pixel peeping. Towards the edge we also run into CA issues especially when using a higher aperture number (ie. anything over 16). Other things to be mindful of is the distortion and vignetting at 17mm.

What about macro work? Well this lens is not to bad for that since it can focus quite close at around 30cm. Flowers and insects won't fill the full frame but you will be able to crop a bit and get a reasonable sized bug. So I guess thats another average point in its favor.

You can check out some sample images from

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Apr 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast 1.4 aperture which means excellent low light performance Excellent DoF effect Excellent bokeh when focusing on close objects Light and inexpensive Metal Mount
50mm on a cropped body is... well weird Shallow DoF means hard to focus at times Plastic body

This is probably one of the most popular primes ever sold. It is inexpensive, light and quite a sharp when stepped down a little. This lens is also about a quarter the price of the f/1.2.
I have owned a copy of this lens since May of last year and it has opened up a whole new dimension of photography that just wouldn't not have been possible on a standard zoom.

The DoF effect is very very shallow, in fact so shallow that I had trouble at the beginning locking focus on what I wanted. You will be using this lens in Manual focus mode much of the time simply because the AF won't always pick the correct thing to be in focus.

Check out sample photos from the lens at

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 7, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Great image quality and very versatile
Heavy and does suck in dust on non sealed bodies

This is a update to the original review
Images from the lens and a more detailed review can be found at

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, nice range, build quality, excellent IS
Bit heavy to hand hold at 300mm

Definitely a good lens for the price. Sharp and the zoom range makes it the perfect lens to use for travel.... not so good if you can't carry a heavy lens.

To all those that are complaining about it being a dust pump check to see where the air is being sucked in from your camera. On my 30D it sucks air through the battery compartment so you might want to try and keep that area clean or try and seal it against dust. Those that have a sealed camera shouldn't have any issues.

The pull/push design is much easier to use than two ring style on the normal zooms.