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  Reviews by: Pixel Perfect  

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Jun 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp at all apertures, beautiful bokeh, colour and contrast, fabulous IS, fast accurate AF.
It's not f/2! Would have liked to see less plastic in the build.

As the owner of a superb Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro, I was in two minds whether to get this lens. However, with the purchase of the 7D, I was finding the 150 a bit long and without IS, I was needing higher ISO's and/or larger apertures to keep shutter speeds reasonable. After seeing the price drop below $900 I decided it was now or never. It only took a few shots to realise this is a truly excellent lens worthy of the L label.

The lens is tack sharp even wide open, and produces a lovely smooth bokeh with nice oof highlights. It came as no surprise to see the rich colour and nice contrast as well.

For macro work I find the IS very useful (it does work). I use flash a lot and with the Sigma, I often have the background underexposed since I'd needed a faster shutter speed to avoid shake. With IS and the shorter FL, I can now use a slower shutter speed and let more ambient light into the scene and use less flash for a more natural look.

The 100L also makes a fabulous normal 100mm lens for general shooting and I have it wide open most of the time. And unusually for a macro lens, the AF is very fast and I'm sure would have no trouble in AI servo for action events. The only slight let down is that it's not f/2 like my sensational 135L. There is a noticeable difference between f/2 and f/2.8 on my 135L and sometimes I find f/2.8 not giving enough subject-background separation. Overall though f/2.8 is a nice compromise as an f/2 version would have been far more expensive. However, it's for this reason I'm not selling the 135L.

I would highly recommend this lens to anyone not only doing macro but as fast general purpose lens, which is ideally suited to portrait.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Jun 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding sharpness, even wide open, beautiful colour and contrast, fast AF and relatively portable
None really, but it would be nice if mfd were smaller and a lens this long needs better IS. Price is high, but the results soon have you forgetting this.

This really is an outstanding lens in all ways. The IQ is superb, with rich colour and good contrast as well as being extremely sharp. On my copy, it is still tack sharp wide open when a 1.4x TC is attached. Even with a 1.4x and 2x attached the IQ is very good. It is partly due to it's excellent performance with a 1.4x TC that I have not considered the 800 f/5.6L IS (the main reason is price).

I use this lens extensively for birding and I find that it can be hand held for extended periods (provided you rest you arms between shots) which makes it about the best all round wildlife lens, taking reach, weight and cost into account. The 600L IS is much heavier and hand holding is not really an option, and the 800L IS is also heavier, but much more expensive. Having said that I still use the lens more often on a tripod with gimbal or monopod.

In short this lens is just a joy to use and until you use a supertele, you don't realize what you are missing.