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  Reviews by: seanmclennan  

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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Dec 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Sharp focus (even at 1.8), small/lightweight, low cost
Cons:
Not weather sealed, no lens hood...available one isn't too good either, suffers CA in highlight areas and high contrast transitions

I finally bought this lens. I've wanted to for a while, but needing to buy a 30D...and Canon's double rebate program gave me all the excuse to finally get it.

Right away I was impressed with it's size and weight.

After taking several test shots of fine detailed items...I was especially impressed. I took one shot from the doorway to my kitchen and the oliveoil bottom in the center of the image (16-18ft away) was tack sharp...pixel peeping the image, at 200%, you could see the label's paper texture! Love it.

Really nice bokeh, fast AF, good length for portraits.

If you've got the big $$$, the 85 1.2 might be for you...otherwise, this is a smart purchase.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid body. Parafocal lens. Full time manual focus. Dust sealed. Silent AF.
Cons:
Worst lens hood ever. Useless in low light. Slow AF performance in any lighting conditions.

What can I say....I tried really, really hard to buy this lens. It does everything you've ever wanted a lens to do. I just could not find one that worked on my 20D at all.

The good stuff is what everyone has said. It's got the most features you can cram into a lens. It's built like a tank. It's going to hold it's value forever. The only thing I wasn't impressed with was the low light AF and general AF speed. Of course all my other lenses are constant 2.8s or faster...so I might just be spoiled on that one.

Unfortunately, every single one I tried on my 20D (5 in total) back focused at anything less than f8. If I shot a close up of a persons face, focused on their left eye...their ear was in focus. What was worst still was the camera would give me a positive focus lock when it was completely out of focus. If I focused on a high contrast object....then released focus lock and pressed it again...the lens would change focus point and give me another positive lock. Do this 20 times and get 20 different results.

It could be my 20D, but it works fine with my Canon 70-200 2.8L, Tam 28-75 and Canon 50 1.8 (ok, this one front focuses slightly).

It's a shame because I loved this lens. Everything about it was professional caliber. I would recommend this lens to anyone...I would just tell them to try them on their camera first. Well, I would advise anyone to do that with any new lens purchase for a DSLR.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

ef70_200_28_1_
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Sharp, Completely silent, did I mention fast AF?
Cons:
Hate the hood. No dust sealing. I guess I could call it heavy...but that's nitpicking.

My first L lens. It rocks. It is sooooo fast at focusing it's incredible.

I am boggled to why Canon does not have a dust seal on this $1600 lens! The 17-40 has one and it's almost half the price.

I have shot 3 soccer tournaments, 3 hockey tournaments, and everything else from ballet to superbike races. This lens is a professional lens that works to perfection.

I don't know what else to say. If you shoot fast sports...and/or your income depends on your shots...you need a professional lens that performs. This is it. Period.

I do hate the hood though. Took 6 months to *wear* it in so it would mount easily. Before that it was a 5 minute struggle to get it on everytime.

It is heavy. Relatively speaking of course...what do you want for a tack sharp 70-200 constant 2.8 in a metal body?


 
Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

2875mm
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp. Fast. Focus lock. Good lens hood. No surprizes.
Cons:
Plastic body. Slightly slower AF performance compared to a Canon L lens. Noisy AF compared to USM lenses.

This is the first lens I bought for my transition to digital about 1.5 years ago. It rocks.

It's a fast 2.8...perfect coverage for my 20D. Love the hood. It goes on easy and snaps perfectly in place. (wish my 70-200 2.8 L's hood would do that..I hate that hood)

I've shot over 75,000 shots on my 20D...at least 45,000 were with this lens. It performs. Period. I don't get false focus locks. I don't get excessive AF hunting..even in low light.

It's been man-handled and put in dangers way more than once. Caught by a flying hockey stick and clipped by a puck. Hit once with a soccer ball...and dropped twice from 2 feet onto carpeted floor.

I was impressed when I bought it...and a year and a half later, I really am still impressed with it.


 
Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

1735mm
Review Date: Feb 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good wide open. Fast wide open. Sharp. Good lens hood. Great color reproduction. Can't beat the price.
Cons:
Plastic body. No dust sealing. Noisy AF compared to USM lenses. No zoom lock...so hold camera on it's side and zoom creeps. If you shoot completely vertical...you might need to hold the zoom ring to keep it from creeping.

I tried 5 Canon 17-40Ls...and I could not get one that didn't have focus issues on my 20D. Might be my camera...but it works fine with my other lenses. (Canon 70-200 2.8L, 50 1.8, Tamron 28-75 2.8)...so in the end, I bought the one that works.

I really wish that Tamron would make more robust lenses for their professional SP line. Sigma has this right. Make stronger lens bodies and maybe even some dust sealing...I would be more than happy to pay an extra 15-20% for this...and it would still be at least 30% cheaper than any comparable Canon lens!

The lens impressed me the most by doing nothing unexpected. I put it on and shoot. It does what it is supposed to do...and does it every time. Sharp, neutral color reproduction, no AF hunting, no bad AF locks. It does it's job without any headaches or issues. You can depend on it. Isn't THAT is what we really care about in the end?

I would recommend it to anyone.