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

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: May 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast aperture, superb AF, excellent IS, nice bokeh, no vignetting wide open, extremely useful range. Built like a tank, detachable tripod ring/foot complementary and useful lens-pouch.
Cons:
Very expensive! Not sharp enough for such an expensive lens. I never use it at f2.8, unless I have no other choice.

Ok, in general, this lens is unique, but since they charge you an arm and a leg, it should be SHARP at 200mm and f2.8 and mine isn't.

The price for this lens in my country is double that of the F4 without IS. I am convinced that Canon has a higher earning on this one for sure, production wise.

I saw a lot of problems with mine when I upgraded from a 20D to a 1ds mk II, the lens hadn't seen much use while I owned a 1.6 crop camera, due to its then very narrow fov.

After I bought my 1ds mk II, the range the lens really came into its own and it quickly saw a lot of use in portraiture, large animals, landscape, weddings and events. Though, I also quickly found that the lens didn't focus well and also lacked sharpness wide open on subjects beyond 30 ft.

After a calibration at Canon, the lens now focus properly at infinity, but the sharpness is still not what I would consider excellent (its within "canon specs" though).
Therefore I usually use it at f3.2-f3.5 to gain some sharpness (then it's ok and I can use it with confidence).

About weight:
I don't get why people whine about it's weight, it's a 70-200 f2.8 zoom in a _metal barrel_ -with IS and a tripod foot. Stop whining or buy the F4. I have used it extensively on trips with my 1ds mk II and I simply accept that this combo has a certain physical weight and get on with it, I have no problem walking a whole day with it and I am no muscle man.

I pull 2 points from the overall rating due to it's rather soft performance wide open and the fact that canon set the price point so high. If I could choose again, I would consider the f2.8 non IS if I could get hold of one, it's sharper.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: May 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatile, sharp, flare resistant, good IS and environmentally sealed, rugged build. Price is fair.
Cons:
Vignetting wide open (especially at 24mm), distortion at 24mm.

I use this lens in my studio all the time. Usually I shoot at around F8 and at that aperture, this lens is very sharp and a dream to use.
I've also used it wide open, and at 100-105 mine is actually surprisingly sharp and fully usable, I cannot speak for the wider end, as I usually use it stopped down (for landscape and city).

I've used it on travel as well, and the range this lens offers, specially on full frame, makes it a jack of (most?) trades and work very well as a "pick one" travel lens.

I've found the distortion and vignetting wide open at 24mm to be a little annoying, although correctable. Because it is a F4 lens and that the lens suffer from distortion and vignetting in the wide end, it is not a lens I would bring to ie a church.

I am a sucker for fast lenses, so when I have a choice, I'd rather carry my 24L, 50 1.4 and my 135L and change lenses if I am going on shorter trips.

Anyway, this tool can be used for a lot of things, on full frame, it can serve very well as a studio lens, as well as a travel lens. The weather sealing is a nice feature, especially for travel.

All in all, I am pleased with my copy, bought mine in Tokyo 2 years ago.