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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

5DIIIs
Review Date: Jul 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Faster & more responsive overall, Excellent AF system, Better handling, More customizable buttons, Excellent high ISO IQ, Silent mode shutter, Better LCD, Headphone port
Cons:
Lack of AF point illumination, Slow SD card performance, Base ISO noise, Spot meter center point only, Image review zoom, No built-in flash, No continuous video AF, No true HDMI, no interchangeable focus screens

The pros far outweigh the cons for me. Most of the cons above are small matters compared to the huge advantages of the new AF and better handling over the 5D2. The AF point illumination issue is a puzzling omission by Canon. Some users just hate it. For me it's a minor annoyance, but Canon really did blow it with this issue on an otherwise awesome AF system.
I'm only an avid hobbyist with only a few side photography jobs a year, but it meets all my expectations for a DSLR.
It isn't perfect, but as close as it gets for me.

I gave it a 9 rating, but its more like a 9.4


 
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

28-75mm
Review Date: Apr 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ, good color, good sharpness at f2.8, very sharp and contrasty stopped down a bit, lightweight & compact, good zoom range
Cons:
Zoom & manual focus rings are wobbly, AF hunts in low light, AF is not as fast as Canon Ls, some CA

Excellent all-around performer for a walk-around lens on a full frame camera. Better IQ at equivalent FLs to the Canon 17-40L, expect in AF performance. Much more compact & lighter than the Canon 24-70L.

I didn't like it on my 40D and didn't use it very often, but much better now on my 5Dmk2.


 
Zeiss 35mm f/2 Distagon T*

35mm
Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $870.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp and contrasty across the full frame at all apertures. Like the color and saturation. Excellent build quality.
Cons:
Some CA in the corners at small apertures in high contrast areas. Stiff focus ring.

This for the ZE version for Canon EOS.
After getting my new Canon 5Dmk2 I wanted a good prime walkaround lens. This fit the bill perfectly with the best IQ of all my lenses. I had reservations about manual focus, but with focus confirmation and a little practice, this became a non-factor. It actually has made me a better photographer.
Although I don't use this lens the most, it's so good that I try to figure out more ways to use it. I would love to complete my Zeiss collection with the ZE21, ZE50 MP and ZE100 MP. Once you start using these lenses there's no turning back.
Mechanically solid and quite heavy for such a compact lens. Beautifully constructed. The focus ring is excellent, but a bit tight with a long throw which is a good thing for precise control.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: Feb 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,040.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast & accurate focus. Super sharp at all apertures and focal length, except as noted below. Excellent color and contrast. Relatively light and compact. Very good IS.
Cons:
Not as sharp in corners on FF. White, draws too much attention.

Sold my original beloved 70-200 f4 non-IS and haven't looked back. The IS version is better in every way. Sharper, faster focus, better contrast and of course IS. The cost difference is a bit high though.

On a crop camera I found absolutely no flaws. On my new 5Dmk2 at wide apertures and on the long end there is a bit of resolution loss in the corners. Super sharp in the center.

Love the weight compared to the f2.8 versions, making it a very portable telephoto when traveling or hiking. Works well with a 1.4x teleconverter.
I can't imagine a better version of this lens for the current EF mount.


 
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

l217_efs1755
Review Date: Feb 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast aperture. Fast & accurate focus. Sharp, even wide open. Very versatile. Good IS. Good color and contrast.
Cons:
Pricey. Heavy. Hood not included. Some CA wide open.

The only thing that holds this lens back from L status is the EFS aspect. Otherwise, the equal to most of the Canon L zooms. Sharper in the corners than the 17-40 L.

It lives on my 40D and I rarely wish for more from it on the crop cameras. Weight and price are a fair sacrafice for such great IQ, performance and versatility.

Image stabilization is really worthwhile for indoor shooting and when a tripod isn't possible.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great value. Sharp center. Relatively compact and light. Very versatile. Fast, accurate focus. Weather sealing with appropriate filter.
Cons:
Weak resolution in corners (especially FF). Distortion moderate.

I purchased this with my first full frame DSLR the Canon 5Dmk2. Excellent combo for a versatile walk around setup (I like wide angle).

The 5Dmk2 is a wide angle torture test and very few lenses have sharp corners on it. The 17-40 is the best value wide angle for full frame and "gets the shot" when ultra wide is necessary. The lens is better at the longer end of the zoom range. At the widest focal length, even at f8, the corners are not very sharp. I find that the EFS 10-22mm is sharper in the corners on my Canon 40D at the wide end.

I prefer primes for the wide angle, because they seem to have sharper corners, but for a zoom, this one suits me for most shooting.