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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Jan 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Great Bokeh, Quick & Quiet Focus
Heavy, Mis-Calibrated Autofocus (Battery Test/Back Focus Test), Low Light performance not as good as prime lens, UV Filter overpriced

This was my first Canon L Lens purchase and had very high expectations for its performance.

Current inventory: Canon 50 1.8 & Canon 18-200EFS 3.5-5.6

The 18-200 is half the price of the 24-70L and at similar focal lengths the 18-200 came out on top on what I thought was a 'sharpness' factor (details of back focusing below). As for depth the 24-70L and wide aperture was very noticeable. Also nice bokeh.

Shooting within the 1m range of the subject, the 24-70mm was solid, but realistically I am not going to be that close to my subjects for all my shots especially at 70mm.

Results of my battery test:

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/philiphoang/4257634136/sizes/o/">Battery Test</a>

Shooting 1m+ of the subject and at 70mm. The batteries are stacked at roughly 2 inches and 45 degrees to the next. This shot was taken roughly 1.5m away from the center subject (#4). The focus is subtle, but you can read the fine print on #5 as compared to the center. In fact, #6 (though not shown in 100% zoom) is slightly sharper than #4 as well.

For $1250, I was hoping for quality performance and quality control. Take my review with a grain of salt, I've talked to much more experienced photographers who have all told me their 24-70mm is a gift from heaven. I hope my next copy will yield better results.

Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Can't beat the recycling time.
Heavy, best used off cam. 20 flash continuous requires cool down.

Strobe has not disappointed. I'm not sure if anyone else here has the same issue in build but I noticed some "fog" in the LCD screen.