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  Reviews by: EvilZardoz  

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Big, white, a conversation starter. Definitely a pro lens. Sharp wide open. Lightning fast AF. Maximum aperture is plenty fast for low light work or for action, build quality.
Heavy, non-discrete, hard to hand-hold for lengths of time, cost.

This lens is big and heavy. I consider this a plus when using it on the 1Ds Mark II - but a con when using it on a 300D or 350D - it feels like the lens mount will be ripped off. It's not easy to hand-held and as such, I prefer the IS version which I have had a higher keeper rate.

Wide open, this thing should be tack sharp. Vignetting is very apparent on a full frame camera when wide open but minimal on a 1.6x crop. AF is lightning fast and is well suited to AI SERVO tracking.

Build quality is faultless. Zoom ring feels a bit weird if you're used to smaller lenses. This lens isn't weather sealed unlike the IS version, though. I've dropped one of these a few years ago and it survived without a scratch, although the lens hood (which I use all the time) took a lot of the impact. Bokeh is wonderful. Contrast is all there. Colours are great. If you can't afford the IS, then this lens is the one for you.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

Review Date: Mar 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Cheap, large focal length range, light, easily available secondhand
Lacking of contrast, lots of CA even on a crop body, soft images.

So this is a consumer zoom for the average person who wants to zoom a bit. For that, it's fine - and compared to the quality of most point and shoot cameras, you get a lot more magnification and better quality. This lens is cheap, but unfortunately you get what you pay for. The build quality is poor. AF isn't fast (but no slouch), images are soft and exhibit lots of CA even when stopped down to F/8 or so on a crop body (20D) - I've tested this lens on a 1Ds Mark II and I was better off cropping from the less-than-stellar 28-135 IS. I have used several copies of this lens and none have impressed me.

If you don't pixel peep and want small prints or small photos and have the ability to zoom, then this is your lens. Also consider it if you are starting out and need a good lens to learn with - it is certainly good for that purpose. Also consider the 90-300 f/4.5-5.6 as a possible alternative which I found had slightly better sharpness and better controlled CA.

Buy secondhand - this lens doesn't hold much value on the secondhand market vs. its new price, plus plenty of people are selling them.

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jun 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Light and very versatile focal length. Ring USM is nice and fast for a non-L lens. Has first-generation IS - a must have for handheld photography in lower light if on a budget.
Terrible vignetting on full-frame bodies (1Ds Mark II) even at f/8. Not very fast at 135mm. Contrast is a little lacking. IS doesn't support panning.

This lens uses Canon's first generation IS. Don't try and use it for panning or it'll misbehave. It's very easy to get used to this lens and then throw on the 50 f1.8 and think you'll get a crisp shot at 1/30th ignoring the absence of IS.

Vignetting is terrible on a full frame body but barely noticable even when wide open on a 300D. You may wish to buy the optional lens hood for this baby as it will make a difference.

I can definitely see why this lens is so popular, but don't consider it for a high end body.