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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $700.00

 
Pros: Good wide-angle, even useful on 1.6x crop factor sensors. Nice color saturation. Excellent construction.
Cons:
Lens hood is very awkward. Not quite as striking a quality difference as other L-glass in my bag.

This has been a tried-and-true lens in my bag. For those thinking about upgrading from the Canon 18-55 kit lens, I have a non-technical comparison overview on my site.

http://www.fountainphoto.com/2004/05/10/canon-ef-17-40l-vs-ef-s-18-55/


 
Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

exef14_1_
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Tight optical coupling yields very little loss of light, good color, great sharpness.
Cons:
Works with a very limited range of lenses.

I use this extender all the time on my Digital Rebel with a 70-200/2.8L IS lens, giving an effective focal length of 448mm !

My only regret is that this extended has the deep glass which juts out too far to use on many other lenses. A more generic manufacture would help turn things like my 50mm into a 100mm, and give a more useful walking-around range to my 17-40/4L

Also, it's a little annoying that the standard Canon lens cover doesn't fit on this. I always have to be sure I keep the deeper lens cover with this extender, rather than swapping around indiscriminately.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpest lens I've seen. Very small and light.
Cons:
Awkward focal length on Canon digital cameras.

This lens doesn't get as much use as it deserves, given it's quality, but I find that I'm either mounting a wide-angle zoom, or a telephoto-zoom on my digital rebel these days.

That having been said, when I neeed the sharpest images I can get, or want to mount an extension tube for close-working-distance macro work, the 50/1.4 is incredible.

I also often use it for indoor candid portraits, as it works quite admirably wide-open in low-light, and the equivalent 80mm frame works pretty well for grabbing headshots of folks in a small room. The 1.4 is a life-saver in this situation, because of the shallow DOF otherwise impossible with a 50mm lens.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. :-) Incredibly sharp, great bokeh which yields stunning portraits when wide-open. The IS works marvels.
Cons:
Very heavy. The AF/MF switch is easy to bump if you are using the zoom ring from certain angles. Tripod ring can't be removed without unmounting the lens.

I bought a new camera bag, just so I could leave this lens on my Digital Rebel body when it's stored. The lens works beautifully with my 1.4x Extender, and with my 25mm extension tube for closer focusing.

The IS is a dream, well worth the extra money, in my opinion. If you don't want IS, just get the f/4 version of the 70-200, as it's much lighter and cheaper. But for the best, IS can't be beat.

Search for '70-200' on my site for a wide variety of photos taken with this lens.
http://www.fountainphoto.com/


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: May 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great WA + Normal range for Canon 1.6x digital crop. Solid build quality. Still very sharp wide open. Affordable
Cons:
77mm filters are expensive, zoom ring is too close to the camera body.

I've posted a few test shots comparing this to the EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 Digital Rebel 300D kit lens.
http://www.fountainphoto.com/archives/000020.html

Not a comprehensive review, but gives you a quick glance at the superiority of this lens.