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Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Review Date: Nov 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Much lighter and shorter than 400mm 2.8--easy to transport and to shoot handheld, excellent IQ
Price and aperture (relative to 400mm 2.8)

I hesitated for weeks before buying this lens. It's expensive (only $1,000 or so cheaper than the wonderful 400mm 2.8 Canon lens), it's 4.0 instead of 2.8, it's not an L lens (since it uses the less common diffractive optics), and the user reviews of the early production lenses were mixed (the latter reviews are much better). However, I finally decided to buy because I needed a 400mm lens for a mix of sports and outdoors photos, and I knew that I would rarely use the much heavier and longer 400mm 2.8 lens. It is true that the 400mm 2.8 has photographic advantages over the 400mm 4.0 DO, but those don't mean anything if you don't have the lens with you when you need it!

In the month or so I've had the 400mm DO, I've taken it with me on trips--in planes, inside the cabin, with enough space for two camera bodies, and 24-70mm and 70-200mm zoom lenses--and I've shot sports handheld _exclusively_. The autofocus is very fast, the image quality is _astounding_, and I can only say good things about this lens. Perfect 10 for me!

Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

Review Date: Oct 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: lightweight, image quality

Before buying this lens I spent several weeks reading all available reviews. I was a bit hesitant because of some mixed reviews, and for a while considered whether either the 300mm f/2.8 or the 400mm f/2.8 would be better choices.

I decided against the 400mm f/2.8 because I like carrying my lenses around in city walks and mountain hikes--something almost impossible with this lens--and that I would only use this lens for some soccer shots--not worth enough to buy the 400mm f/2.8. It was a relatively easy decision.

I did consider the 300mm f/2.8 much longer. The size and weight would allow me to shoot handheld, it's one stop faster than the 400mm DO, and it has outstanding reviews. However, 300mm was not enough reach for some uses (e.g., soccer) and I knew I would end up using the 300mm with a 1.4x converter quite a bit, losing some autofocus speed, the one stop advantage, and perhaps some image quality.

I finally decided to trust the more recent reviews on the 400 DO, and I am very glad I did! I've shot several soccer games since I got this lens, and I am extremely happy with the results. Fast autofocus, outstanding image quality, good contrast, and I can handheld this lens for several soccer games in a weekend.

I look forward to hiking with this lens, as well as traveling by plane without having to ship part of my equipment.

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jan 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,094.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, build, sharp.

I've had the 14mm lens for about 1 1/2 months, and unlike the previous reviewer my experience with this lens has been great. I've used it with a Canon 5D in normal and low light situations, landscape and architecture, and the result has been consistently outstanding. I ordered 16x24 and 20x20 prints of two of my photos with this lens--excellent results!