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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM

Screen_Shot_2014-07-21_at_8_05_15_PM_copy
Review Date: Jul 16, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Corner sharpness and overall IQ, 77mm filters, great IS
Cons:
Not a one

I've been waiting a long time for this lens! Have shot and owned the 17-40mm, 16-35mm (both versions) Tamron 16-28mm 2.8, Zeiss 18mm and 21mm. All of them let me down with edge IQ, especially with large groups of people. I just had to make it work with the 24-70mm 2.8 II (which is amazing).
I've had the new 16-35mm f4L IS about 3 weeks, a gazillion images with her on the 5D III and am very impressed with her.
Everything else is up for sale. Thanks Canon.


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

70-300mm
Review Date: Jul 16, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding IQ, easy to travel with
Cons:
zoom/focus rings reversed

Traveling by air, I decided to bring only a lowe pro slingshot 200 for my camera gear. I about decided not to bring a tele other than the 100mm 2.8L. My 70-200mm 2.8 II wouldn't really fit, and the 300mm 2.8 and 500mm f4 were obviously out of the question. I hate owning really good glass then shooting with cheap stuff just for the sake of travel space. The 70-300mm focal length had never really interested me because none of them are sharp.
Researching this lens lead me to give her a try. Wow! what a great image maker! In need my 2.8 glass for events, but for travel, this 70-300mm L IS is perfect. much smaller than my 70-200mm and I can bump the ISO up on my 5DIII to cover the speed issues. I ended up marrying this lens to a 70D giving me even more reach (although the ISO is more limited that with the 5D) and the 16-35mm f4L IS on my 5DIII.
Worked great on Maui. Love the lens!


 
Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO FX SD

735451
Review Date: Jan 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful sharpness edge to edge even at 16mm! Best at f5.8
Cons:
front filter usage it expensive

I shoot Canon, and Canon currently makes nothing to compete with this lens. If the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 mk II cost $699 and this Tokina cost $1500, I would recommend the Tokina every time! I use the Canon 17-40mm for when I need front filters or a more compact WA. Optically, it's no worse than the 16-35mm MK II and I use the Tokina 16-28mm when image quality is critical on the edges or sharpness is critical.
Both these lenses combined cost $200-$500 less than the inferior 16-35mm mk II.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Jan 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: 2.8 and uses front filters
Cons:
poor IQ wider than 20mm

I am so disappointed in this lens! I have owned 3 different versions and all are unusable on the outer 25% wider than 20mm with groups of people. At no focal length or aperture can this lens compete with the 24-70mm 2.8 mk II. (or compete with the Tokina 16-28mm 2.8).
Please Canon, do something about this! Nikon's 14-24mm blows this away to the point that it makes more sense to give up AF and open aperture metering if edges are important.


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Screen_Shot_2013-11-16_at_5_30_13_PM
Review Date: Jan 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Absolutely the finest optics that I have ever used, including primes!
Cons:
82mm filter size, I guess no IS

At $2K this lens is a bargain! with high res full frame cameras like the 5D III, every flaw of a lens is magnified. Like many others, I have experimented with Zeiss, Nikon and Canon primes to achieve the best results possible. I often need to make images of large groups of people (over 200). Detail and lack of distortion is everything. I was blown away with the IQ and detail of this lens when it first arrived, and every time I use it, I'm blown away again! No more primes in this range!

The improvement that Canon made on the 70-200mm IS with the mkII (which were substantial) pale when compared to the improvement they made with this 24-70mm. It is spectacular in all regards. Now, is there any chance that Canon can do something about the 16-35mm mk II? It's miserable by comparison, unusable on the edges wider than 20mm.


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM

5004II
Review Date: Dec 29, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $9,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Noticeably sharper than my V1 and that is saying a lot!! Much better with converters than V1.
Cons:
None

The 500mm f4 IS has been my all time favorite super tele from canon for over a decade. The improvements in weight were more significant with the 400 and 600mm lenses, but that's because the 500mm was already close to ideal. For weight alone, the upgrade wasn't worth it, it's noticeably lighter, but the real reason to upgrade is optical performance. It really is better than the wonderful mk1, but with converters (III) it really kills the mk1. It's more manageable than the 600mm and 800mm, and with the 1.4III and a 70D it's got all the "reach" I need.

 
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM

400f28II
Review Date: Mar 3, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The size/weight is amazing! I never would have thought that Canon could make this lens this light
Cons:
Not a negative, but the image quality is not improved from the IS MKI like they were able to do with the 70-200mm 2.8 IS mkII and the 24-70mm 2.8 mkII but it's not fair to expect that kind of upgrade.

I was able to secure the 400mm 2.8 IS mkII through the cps loan program. I've had a decade long battle between the need for 2.8 for football and the need for a good nature/travel lens. The 500mm f4L IS seems to be the best compromise. The new 400mm is the exact same weight as my 500mm IS mkI, balance is a little different since it's shorter and has a bigger FE, but it's about the same to carry or hike with. That aspect of the lens simply amazes me!

In securing the loan from Canon, I wanted to see if the IQ was an improvement along the same lines as the mkII 2.8 zooms of late. I can not believe how much the IQ was improved on the 70-200mm and the 24-70mm! For $11.5K I was expecting maybe the impossible. I've spent a couple days doing fairly critical comparisons between my 500mm f4L IS and the 400mm 2.8 IS mkII with the 1.4III converter on my ID mkIV and 5D mkII.

For me, the IQ between these two setups is a draw and where a difference existed, it favored the 500mm over the 400mm II with the 1.4 III. Now I know that you might think this is an unfair comparison, but that was the comparison that would have prompted me to make the purchase. I mention it here, because I know that there are others debating between the 500mm f4 IS mk I and the 400mm IS mkII with converters.

I should also mention that the 500mm with the 1.4 III beat the 400mm II with the 2xIII in all of my tests, resolution, contrast and overall sharpness. All my shots were with the lens stopped down 1 stop.
For me, the new 400mm 2.8 IS II is a fantastic lens, but optically on par with my 400mm 2.8 non IS mkII and my 500mm f4 IS. If reach, weight and IQ are big concerns for you, and 2.8 is a need at times, the 400mm II is a great option! As an alternative you could make the choice that I am making and have the 500mm f4L IS, the first version 300mm 2.8L non IS (a truly amazing lens, that compared favorably to the others with the 1.4 and 2xIII's) and still have $3500 in your pocket!

It's fairly easy to find the 500mm under $6K (paid $4700 for mine)and the 300mm at or under $2K (Paid $1300 for mine), and the 400mm 2.8 IS mkII is $11,500.

I should also mention that without converters, the new 400mm is on par with my old 300mm 2.8L and my non IS 400mm 2.8 mkII but not better to any noticable degree. Certainly not like the improvements made with the 2.8 IS zooms.

I hope this info helps someone with their decision, it sure made mine easy.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Dec 18, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focuses fast, tracks great, but most importantly, IQ is near legendary.
Cons:
This is where I would say that it's not $1000, but in truth, it's worth $3000.

Initially, I poo pod the idea of an upgrade to my 70-200mm 2.8 IS. It performed very well, and sometimes I think Canon upgrades just to sell more lenses because you can get 10-15 years use out of these. Well, I had the opportunity to upgrade for just a few hundred dollars, so I did. Never really thought that I would see any difference image wise. I was wrong! With this lens on a 30D or 1D mkIIn on my shoulder on the sideline, I would use her when the action came to close for the 400mm/500mm. As I combed through the first few games I found a striking difference in sharp useable images from the IS I. 8 games later, I am completely convinced, this is the finest zoom and one of the finest lenses that I have ever used! Rivals the 300mm 2.8L, rivals my100mm 2.8L, I've never seen anything like it. I had no idea what I was missing with the IS mkI. Focuses faster, tracks better, but most importantly, IQ is near legendary.

 
Canon EOS 7D

canon_eos_7_d
Review Date: Oct 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,685.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: speed, size, IQ and easy video
Cons:
none so far

I should premis by saying that I primarily shoot 1D series cameras. I was anxious to try canon's newest af system and was not dissapointed. I shot a NCAA game with her in place of my IIN. She performed very well.

All that said, the 7D will not replace my IIN or mark III, but it's a great $1700 camera!