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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Apr 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast lens, great build quality, weather sealed, nice wide angle, sharp
Cons:
None... perhaps a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for

Thus far my favourite lens. Despite a couple recommendations of the 17-40 over this lens because of price, I went with this one, and it was a fantastic decision. I've heard reports of having to trade in a few copies to get a 'sharp' copy, most of which I put very little stock in... it's a wide angle. Wide angles tend to be less sharp than telephoto lenses, especially on corners. This is an asset, not a weakness... it will help bring attention to your subject. If you want sharp corners for landscaping or something, get a tripod and stop it down. Also, do you really think Canon is going to have huge sharpness issues with one of their much-touted L lenses? If bad copies of this lens were as widespread as the rumours make you think, Canon would be out of business! Don't believe the DPReview-esque crowd...

Like I said, this is my favourite lens... I might forsee it being edged out from that position by the 24mmTS when I purchase that, but even then this lens will remain a close second. I've used the 17-40 as well, and preferred this one. The extra stop over the 17-40 has come in very handy. This is a fabulous walk around/photo-journalism lens. If that's what you are looking for and like shooting wide, you can't go wrong with this lens.


 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Aug 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight, nice colours, actually like the push-pulll design, and the IS is fantastic!
Cons:
Dust issues, AF ever so slightly slower than the 70-200 IS

On weekends, I do a lot of shooting for youth soccer tournaments in southern CA, and my experience with this lens mostly goes towards that venture. I've found that this is just about the perfect lens for youth soccer.... the range it covers for the fields is perfect to get some nice, up close action shots.

Despite some people here complaining this lens is heavy, I found it to be very light (and I am the first to admit I am a scrawny guy). I am handholding this lens for as much as 10 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays with no problems.

Despite it being a relatively slow lens, since soccer takes place outdoors, this has never been a problem for me. I never use the IS during the soccer tournaments so that I can save battery, but I have used it for birding, and have found it to be very impressive.

Of the problems I noted, I did say the AF is a bit slower than the 70-200IS, but not problematically so. Dust can be a problem, but not in the way I think other people have stated. I haven't had dust actually get sucked up onto the sensor, but what has happened is that dust got sucked up during a little league baseball game (dust flies everywhere when those little kids start sliding). A nasty layer of grime coated the inner part of the body- I'm not sure what else to call it, the inner body part of the lens that slides into and out of the outer body element when pushing and pulling. For weeks afterwards, the locking ring that controls the friction of the push-pull action would be stuck in the morning, only to give after receiving a good tug, and I saw that some of the grime and collected and gummed up the locking ring. Inconvenient, but didn't really affect me much during a day's shooting, and hasn't seemed to affect image quality.

All in all, remember, this is one of the lower costing telephoto L lenses. With that said, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck- up to 400mm range, pretty good sharpness and great colours and contrast, and IS to boot! Strongly recommended as a good daytime starting telephoto lens, for sports, birds, or whatever else you see fit to shoot.