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  Reviews by: thw2  

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Feb 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, light-weight, IS works beautifully

This is one hell of a sharp lens. Sharpness is maintained even when mounted on a 1.4x TC.

Light-weight but superbly built.

IS really works giving 4 to 5 stops advantage at non-macro distances and 1 stop at 1:1 magnification.

For its incredible performance, this lens is worth every cent of its price.

Oh, did I say this lens is sharp from corner to corner? Unbelievable.

Canon has blown me away with this release.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D)

Review Date: Sep 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, reliable AF with center cross hair, very useful live view, portable (great for hikers like me), best viewfinder in rebel series
AF microadjust should have been added

Have been using the XSi since it was first released.

It is an amazing camera.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: lightweight, great colors & contrast, great built, effective IS, sharp, sharp, sharp
a little expensive

There's very little to say. It's simply unbeatable.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

Review Date: Dec 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $860.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact and lightweight. AF accuracy far superior to that on 350D. Anti-dust feature is marvellous.
Not so impressive high ISO (800 and 1600) performance. Large RAW files. Grip could have been larger.

Had the 350D for 1.5 years. Totally delighted by its performance. But AF accuracy was not very encouraging. So when the 400D was announced with the 30D AF unit, I thought I would compare the 400D and 30D side-by-side in a showroom. In the end, I chose the 400D because of its reduced weight.

I have been testing the 400D against my old and trusty 350D side-by-side frequently these days.

- 400D has improved grip; 2.5" LCD is a pleasure to use

- Both 350D & 400D have identical metering behavior with the 400D about 0.1 to 0.2 eV less sensitive

- AF accuracy on 400D EASILY trashes the 350D; improvement is NOT just limited to f/2.8 or faster lenses (verified with my slow 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS lens at 300 mm)

- High ISO performance on 400D is significantly poorer; may be better than competition but still not up to the usual Canon standards

- dislike the increase in file size, particularly for RAW files

Would have preferred the Canon 350D sensor in the 400D body. Smile

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Jul 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful colors and contrast, Sharp, Little CA, Excellent anti-flaring properties, Lightweight
Some copies show one side blur issues.

I sold the Tokina 12-24 for this lens. The lightweight Canon 10-22 easily outperforms the Tokina in different areas: anti-flaring, low CA, sharp, lightweight. Sharper than the Tokina although the latter has good contrast.

If Sigma had produced copies of their 10-20 without the right side blur issue, I would have bought it. I tried several copies of the Sigma and reealize all of them are idiots.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: I have never handled a sharper lens. The fact that it's super sharp wide open renders many L lenses to shame. Colors and contrast are amazing as well.
A little heavy (still much lighter than 24-70 f/2.8). Flaring not as good as 10-22 lens.

I consider this lens as part of the new holy trinity for EFS owners:
Canon 10-22, 17-55 f/2.8 IS and 70-300 IS. Performance to price ratio are superb on all three lenses.

Canon EF 35mm f/2

Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very light-weight, Sharp, Excellent contrast and colors
Noisy autofocus (buzzzzzz)

I had some issues with the lens when I first got it: terrible, terrible resolution. Sent it in for repair. Came back sharp but one corner was blurry. So I sent it in for repair a second time. This time, it came back super sharp with excellent autofocus (but still noisy). Couldn't be happier.

So, if you can get a good copy, it's a remarkable lens for its price. 35 mm is great on an APS-C camera.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Oct 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $465.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp wide open, very fast and accurate focusing, excellent build
Absolutely none

Maybe slightly more expensive than competition. But well worth it. I had the Sigma 150 f/2.8 for a while. Focusing was inconsistent on the Sigma. HSM speed is also no match for USM on the Canon 100 f/2.8. The Sigma 150 is also a tad heavier than what I wanted. Sold the Sigma and bought the Canon 100. Couldn't be happier. One of the best lenses I have ever used. Brilliant. Smile

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Oct 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: good price, sharp wide open at all focal lengths, little CA, reasonable focusing, very good IS, black & reasonably small
build quality can be better, ring USM will be MUCH better, focus lock should be availble for all focal lengths

Surprised by the wonderful performance of this lens. Smile Will highly recommend it to many people. Black lens attracts lens attention than the 78cm

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Aug 31, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: Cheap, lightweight for f/2.8 lens, affordable price
Terrible communication with Canon bodies

I went to a store to purchase the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens some time ago. The first copy I tried (let's call it copy A) gave horribly out of focus shots wide-open with my XT. Mind you, I've got Canon 17-85, Canon 85 f/1.8 and Sigma 150 f/2.8 lenses which work perfectly fine. Anyway, I returned to the store to exchange for copy B. This one worked out perfectly, i.e., sharp when wide-open.

Now, comes the weird part. The store has its own XT camera. We tried out both lenses on their camera. Guess what? Copy A was sharp when wide open but copy B was terrible. So, the results are just the reverse!

Conclusion? You should get the lens that matches your camera body (assuming your body is properly calibrated). If you bought it in a brick and mortar store, it's easy to get an exchange till you're satisfied. If you got it over the web... well, good luck. Wink

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, USM, Good range for walk-about, Contrasty, Good colors, Centre is Sharp
CA, Barrel distortion, Slightly soft between 17-28 when wide-open, Variation in quality from copy to copy

The first copy I had was soft on one side when wide open between 17-25 mm. So, I exchanged it and the second copy is stellar. Yes, the usual reports on CA, barrel distortion etc in wide angle shooting are true. BUT, most of these faults can be corrected in post-processing (except for softness in the extreme corners, of course).

The center sharpness of this lens is very impressive. I also have the Canon 85 mm f/1.8 lens (known for its sharpness when stopped down). Comparing both lenses at 85 mm and f/5.6 reveals NO difference. Amazing, huh? Smile That's how sharp the lens is... if you can get a good copy.

The performance of the 17-85 lens when wide open can be better. But for my photography habits, it does not matter too much. I use wide angle when I am shooting landscapes or interior architecture. For these purposes, a deep depth of field is desired and that's when the IS comes in really handy. I can stop down the aperture (improves centre sharpness between 17 and 24 mm too) and don't have to worry about camera shake. That's why this lens is just perfect for travelling.

I will highly recommend this lens for travelling because of its convenient focal length range and IS. The colors are very, very good too.