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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

1dsmarkii
Review Date: Aug 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible image quality, high resolution, full frame sensor, excellent auto focus, big viewfinder, build quality
Cons:
heavy, large file sizes, slow frame rate

This body is excellent. Got mine used. Works great for studio work, events such as weddings, and has the AF needed to do sports. With current prices it may just be the best value (price/capability) dSLR on the market. If you have a chance to get one, do it! You won't be dissapointed.

*goes good alongside a 1D Mark II for when you need those faster frame rates.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Razor sharp. Superb build quality. Good range. Excellent image quality.
Cons:
Expensive.

First off, if you are using a FF (5D, 1Ds) or APS-H (1D) body this is the wide zoom of choice. If you are using an APS-C (1.6x crop) body this one isn't really going to be wide enough and you would be better off with the EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5.

That said, for FF or APS-H it's an excellent choice. You'de be hard pressed finding a better canon-mount zoom in that range...

The primes (14L, 24L, 35L) are each better at the focal length... but the zoom is *almost* as good.

I'de say this one is a better performer than either the EF 24-70mm F/2.8L or the EF 24-105mm F/4L IS - albeit for a different intended range.

You won't be disappointed with a good copy of this lens.

It's one of my most used, 'go-to' lenses.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

1D2
Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: High build quality, excellent AF, excellent battery life, good images
Cons:
makes other camera feel inferior after you've gotten used to this one

With a lot of these showing up on the used markets, you would be better to get one of these for the same price (or less) than the cost of a 50D...

The RAW files it produces work well in modern RAW conversion software - so noise isn't an issue at all anymore...

8.2 MP may not be a lot nowadays but it's enough to do very large enlargements - and this camera will still outperform a lot of newer bodies with more megapixels for off-tripod work...

A real workhorse!


 
Canon EOS 1D

1D
Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast and near-perfect AF. weather sealed. Excellent image quality.
Cons:
eats battery power in a major way.

The trailblazing Canon 1D is, by Moore's law, and any other reasonable measure, an obsolete dinosaur.

However

Even today, there is something still magical about this body. Even though it only produces 4 MP images.... those 4 MP images are excellent. The low pixel density means you get sharp images, with no fuss!

The RAW files it produces clean up very nicely in modern RAW conversion software - so noise isn't as big of an issue anymore.

The thing that makes it a real winner is the low price on the used market - amateurs can now afford a camera that will really help them when shooting sports. A classic 1D will still outperform any rebel, 10/20/30/40/50D, or either of the 5D bodies, for AF on fast moving objects needed in sports photography. The 8 fps frame rate is also a wonderful help...

So, if you're an amateur shooter, and you've got a few hundred dollars to spare, grab yourself a used 1D and be confident that this old workhorse will keep you riding!


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: wickedly sharp. possibly the sharpest canon lens. 1:1 magnification.
Cons:
slow AF.

every canon shooter should have this lens. if you use it for what it's intended - close-up photography - the results are stellar.

also works good for portraits.

AF is too slow for sports though


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Jan 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Best portrait lens EVER. Screams of optical quality. Incredible bokeh. If there is only one reason to use Canon EOS, this is it!
Cons:
Difficult lens to use. You have to NAIL your focus at wide apertures - a lot more so than most other lenses. Expensive.

Quickly becoming one of my favorite lenses, the 85L II is an optical force major...

*the AF is fast enough for anything except sports
*the focus is quite precise - a lot more so than most other lenses - but this is needed with the really narrow depth of field at wider apertures
*focus-by-wire takes some getting used to but otherwise works fine
*not a lens for amateurs. you need a lot of skill to get the best results - but when you do, the results are outstanding!


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,354.67 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: really lightweight, ridiculously sharp, fast and silent AF, works well with 1.4X TC, wicked Image Stabilizer, a lot less money than the f/2.8 version, 77mm filter size so it's the same as most other high-end canon lenses, really high mangnification ration (0.25X) for a 300mm lens
Cons:
looks better with the lens hood retracted than with it extended...

what can I say, this is your best choice for a telephoto lens without moving up to one of the *really* expensive choices, like the 300mm f/2.8 or it's larger cousins...

 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: really wide... good image quality, lens build is better than your average consumer-grade lens but not as good as an "L".
Cons:
Rather costly for a consumer-grade lens; f2.8 would have been nice; if it fit on a 1D2 or a 10D it would be even better, almost too lightweight for my tastes...

If you have a rebel or 20D then this lens is a must-have. It's the only Canon option for true wide-angle on these dSLRs. Who needs full-frame anyways.... Too bad the 10D and 1D2 owners have nothing...

 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: outstanding image quality, great build quality, easy-to-use, and well-balanced.
Cons:
it costs a lot and has a bit of weight to it, but I find those characteristics common with quality electronics.

This lens is absolutely superb. It is the best medium-range zoom you can get for a Canon mount. Also, it will probably be your most-used lens... so this is a good place to invest in quality.

Really, it's not that heavy... get off the couch if you think it is!

The images you take with this lens will have a real lifelike, 3-D quality to them.

The accurate IR focusing guide is a nice touch as well.

Everyone should have one of these... and you can take mine from my cold, dead hands!


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Superb image quality, low cost
Cons:
There are indeed better lenses but you'de be hard pressed to find a better lens for the mere pocket change you spend on it

This should be the first or second lens anyone buys for their Canon kit. You can't beat the image quality for the price.

 
Canon EOS 20D

20d
Review Date: May 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: High Resolution, super fast AF, super burst rate, very fast shutter response, no lag after a shot or burst, awesome in low light and at high ISO, great battery life, awesome dynamic range with RAW files. Best camera in the sub-$2000 category. anything better would cost a lot more. EF-S 10-22mm makes the 1.6X crop a non-issue.
Cons:
viewfinder is small and dim, BG-E2 is OK at best but nothing fancy, it's not as nice as an EOS-1 series but costs way less!

A great camera. The 1-series SLRs are better but they cost a ton more...

This camera is the best in it's class. RUN, don't walk, to the camera store and get one NOW. If you are wondering if this is a good camera I say YES... go buy one and start shooting!