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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: May 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, f2.8 aperture, IS, build quality
Cons:
AF is very good, but not quite as fast and effortless as the 24-70 f2.8L

After years of reading about how good this lens is I have to say that it lives up to the many kind reviews and comments that it receives. I was struck right away at how sharp this lens is. The closest yet to "prime" quality in a zoom for me. This lens is also sharp wide open which even for its expense and reputation surpised me. "Oh, it really is sharp wide open!" The IS is a godsend because this lens isn't exactly a lightweight being a f2.8 lens. My only disappointment is that the AF isn't as elegant I expected, I have found that it hunts a bit, (on a 20D) but I'm being really picky here. It does focus very accurately and that is what really matters. Like it has been said many times before you get what you pay for. Build quality is very good. Indeed this lens borders on the price point of "insane", but it is no wonder why so many pros consider this to be Canon's best zoom.

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

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Jul 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Zoom Range, IS, Sharpness and Solid construction
Cons:
Expensive, original Image Stablization that doesn't work on a tripod

I debated this purchase for a while. This is currently the most expensive lens I own, yet it is the slowest and least sharp! However, the 100-400L zoom seems like the best choice in terms of versatility vs. quality. Yes, a 300 f4L or 400 f4L would be nice, but I coudn't afford both. A 300 f2.8 totally out of my budget. The relative compact size of the 100-400L is a bonus for packing around. Though I have to say it isn't a lightweight. On my first outing with the lens I found the push/pull zoom took a bit to get used to, but I easily adapted. With a little practice handholding at 400mm it is not only possible, but you can aquire very sharp results with IS on. This lens is comparable to the 70-200 f4L in terms of color and contrast. I'm impressed with the sharpness even at 400mm - it is sharper than I expected. I think good handholding technique is something that you have to develop to get the most from this lens. A tripod, MLU and remote shutter even better. The more time I spend with the lens the better the images get. Regardless of some of negative comments I have heard this is an impressive lens that deserves the L designation. If it fits your shooting style, budget and are willing to lose that tiny bit of sharpness that you would get with the f4 prime telephotos wide open the 100-400L f4.5-5.6 IS USM is a great choice.