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  Reviews by: DemonAstroth  

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Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Apr 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size, sharpness, cost, relatively fast.
No IS, older design.

This lens can be very sharp. Most of the time is very sharp, and it is very inexpensive. This is one of those lenses one needs to know about if one is shooting crop.

The 24mm wide end is significantly wider than the 28 of other alternatives, it is USM, and at least on a crop sensor (7D) the images are sharp.

However, it feels like an old lens, there is no IS, the zoom and focus ring are not well dampened and are sort of small.

Regardless of the few negatives, the lens is an excellent value and has a very useful focal length. It is very sharp and if one can put up with the lack of IS and the non-constant aperture, it can truly shine.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Review Date: Apr 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size, build quality, inexpensive size (58mm), great performance, bokeh.
Price. Non continuous aperture. Barrel creep.

The 70-300 was a very nice lens to have and a very good option against other 70-300mm lenses and even 70-200.

The build quality of the lens is very good. It feels very heavy for its size and it's nice to hold a camera with the lens. The lens extends as it is zoomed in but it is still very small compared to other zooms at same focal length. Though the barrel creeps, there is a lock that prevents it. Unfortunately, it can only be locked at 70mm. The lens supports FTM focusing, and the 58mm front element does not rotate, which will make using a CPL pretty easy. Though the quality is better than other zooms I have used (28-135mm, 24-85mm), it is still not on par with L lenses. The zoom and focus ring aren't the same. Regardless, one could not complain about the construction of this lens.

Picture quality is also very good. It is evenly sharp and if stopped down things get even better. However, at 100% crops it is evident that L lenses are sharper. I have compared it particularly with a 70-200mm f/4 L IS, and with a 300mm f/4 L IS. I actually like the onion ring bokeh that it sometimes produces, and at times there is a dreamy effect to photographs. Glare is a minor weak spot, though the provided hood is more than adequate.

If one is willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of picture quality,and in return get a very nice unobtrusive lens that will get carried even in instances when other lenses wouldn't, then it is worth the price.

Certainly the new price vs Canon's new L 70-300 price is too small, and the L lens may be the better alternative. However, if one finds a well taken care of used copy, it will definitely make a nice addition as a portable alternative with great build quality and very good optics.