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  Reviews by: molson  

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

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice size and weight - makes a great travel lens
Cons:
A bit expensive if you buy it on its own, but a super bargain if you buy it in kit form with a camera body.

A bit pricey unless you buy it in a kit, but an excellent all-around standard zoom lens.

 
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX

DX-17-55_L
Review Date: Sep 11, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very good image quality for a DX lens.
Cons:
Stretching the zoom range to 70mm might have been nice...

This was a nice lens at the time it was introduced, but I can no longer recommend it as there are a lot of much better options available now.

 
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

2139NAS_180
Review Date: Mar 25, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Decent performance for a DX lens, but should never have been marketed as an FX lens.
Cons:
Expensive and not very good for FX cameras.

A pretty decent lens for DX cameras, but the sharpness and vignetting performance really suffers on a full-frame camera.

 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Aug 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Brilliant optical performance, close focusing, lack of vignetting, resistance to flare
Cons:
None

This lens is better in every respect than the EF 17-35mm f2.8L lens it replaces. Even on full-frame 35mm film, this lens performs brilliantly. It is remarkably sharp corner-to-cormer, with no chromatic aberration, little or no vignetting at any aperture, and flare is well controlled. There is noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end, but this disapears around the 20-24mm focal length.

Aside from the distortion, this lens performs better than most of Canon's wide-angle prime lenses (especially the awful EF 20mm f2.8). Somewhat expensive, but worth every penny if you like the wide perspective.

Finally, Canon users have a lens that (almost) matches Nikon's 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S.


 
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

ef20mmf_28usm_1_
Review Date: Aug 1, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Decent build quality, USM
Cons:
Too big, too heavy, too expensive (C$850!), poor optical performance.

This is one of the biggest disappointments in the Canon EF lens lineup. It suffers from major image degradation toward the edges of the frame at all apertures (although this may be less noticeable on digital cameras with a 1.6x crop factor). Center sharpness is good, but not great. Given the size and cost of this lens, I thought Canon could have produced better results.

If you need a wide angle, stick with Canon's zoom lenses; even the 20-35mm f3.5-4.5 is a better performer than this one.

Update:
I tried another sample of this lens, and found it worse than the first one I owned. Even stopped down to f/11 or f/16, this lens could not resolve even a moderate amount of detail outside the central portion of the frame - everything was just mush (and that's with a sturdy tripod and mirror lockup). I suspect this performance might be acceptable on a low-resolution digital camera with 1.6x cropped FOV, but this lens is simply horrible on a full-frame film camera. I traded this one in on the brilliant EF 17-40mm f4L.


 
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF

1986NAS_180
Review Date: May 27, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent contrast and color rendition
Cons:
noticeable vignetting at wide apertures; feeble tripod collar makes it totally unusable on cameras without mirror lockup at shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/2 second

My comments are directed at the AF-S version of this lens. Nikon should be embarrased by the tripod collar on this lens - it turns a great lens into an "okay" lens. If you're going to buy one, the first thing I would recommend is to order a replacement tripod collar from Kirk Enterprises. Putting this one glaring weakness aside, in terms of pure optical quality, this is one of the best lenses I have ever owned.