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  Reviews by: Richard N  

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Canon EOS 10D

Review Date: Jun 15, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF speed, RAW format, CMOS image quality, usability of high ISO, price, overall ergonomics and design
1.6 crop - sometimes I love it, other times I hate it... plus little, simple things, nothing serious...

I am an amateur photog and have a decent experience with Canon film bodies shooting slides. In 2001, I made my first jump into digital realm, with a Powershot G1. Great camera, but I greatly missed SLR's design and flexibility, so the G1 was used mostly as a snapshot P&S for parties.

I was following greatly the introduction of D30 and D60 but believed them to be out of my price range. With the 10D, everything changed. I already had good lenses and lots of usable accessories, so I needed to pay for the body only. Mainly, I love 10D's AF speed performance (comparable to EOS 7 - series); clean, "milky-smooth" images from its CMOS sensor and excellent image quality up to ISO 800 (even though most of my pics (about 90-95%) are shot at ISO 100 or 200)...

My 10D was from the third batch (S/N: 032...) and I never experienced any focusing problems. All of my lenses are perfectly sharp when on 10D.

Hard to add anything else to all the comments below, so I won't waste space anymore. If you need go out and get it.

PS: It seems like we will never get a second gen. Foveon upgrade to Sigma's SD-9, so why wait for anything else. I was waiting to see that happen (I'm still amazed at the quality of Foveon pics) but it is too late for me now. I'm sticking with Canon and I'm very happy about it...

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Jun 15, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Weatherproof design, excellent sharpness and contrast
None so far

Excellent when paired with my 10D. I use it mainly outdoors and it shines there. (Indoors its use is a bit limited by f/4, but then I would get 16-35/2.8L if I was looking for an indoor WA zoom...) Construction and feel is top-notch.

In terms of sharpness, it almost matches my beloved Canon EF 24/2.8 at its corresponding length and f-stops. I should better say that it is next to impossible to see any difference for the majority of my applications - landscape and travel.

Hard to believe you can get as much quality out of such a wide-angle zoom.

I know there has been lot of controversy over this lens. My recommendation, go to a store, try it, check it, get it (a good copy, I mean) and you won't regret it. It greatly complements my travel kit, together with 50/1.4 and 70-200/4L.

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

Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good all-around zoom. Very good quality for a consumer zoom, IMHO best of all mid-range consumer priced Canon's zooms (even better than 28-135/3.5-4.5 IS USM).
Unusual filter thread 67mm, zoom ring a bit too narrow.

I had an excellent copy - optically and mechanically. Very sharp and contrasty (again, given that it is a consumer zoom). No zoom creep. Also, the front element doesn't rotate which is good when using filters, such as grad. NDs or polarizers.

This is a great starter lens with a good range, esp. when shooting film or DSLRs w/o crop factor. I used this lens mostly on my film-based bodies - Elans (IIe or 7e) and was very happy w/ picture quality (using Velvia or Provia slides).

Bogen/Manfrotto 3001D Tripod Legs

Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $105.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Stable, good build quality and light tripod
Quick action lever locks are sometimes annoying

I had a Bogen 3021 but it was too heavy to carry outdoors. This one is a great one for photogs on a budget.

Canon Extender EF 1.4x II

Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optical quality, very good build.

Extremely happy with it. I use it often with my 70-200/4L on a Canon 10D body without affecting picture quality in any way. Good weather sealing.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Optically excellent, very useful fast aperture. Light.
Noisy AF focusing.

Great prime to have. I guess everyone should have one. An excellent portrait lens on my 10D. Extremely useful when shooting in low-light. USM is good, but it needs to be updated to a newer design.

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great optically, AF speed is fine for a non-USM lens, standard filter size (58mm).
No USM, good construction, but no L standards.

Nothing much to add. I believe that this is a best introduction to wide-angle primes and has been in my bag for almost 6 years.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Apr 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, excellent picture quality, focus limiter, compatible w/ TCs
No IS, expensive accessories

I agree w/ my fellow reviewers, it is probably the best value in the current Canon lens line-up. You can't make it any sharper. Also very good performance with 1.4x II TC (picture quality and AF speed). Very useful on my backpacking/trekking trips, given its weight and rugged build. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Apr 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $445.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great macro lens, very useful at portraits too, focus limiter
Tripod ring way too expensive

I love this lens. Since getting a DSLR, I find myself using primes more often and 100/2.8 macro USM is my favorite. Excellent sharpness - edge-to-edge, even at telephoto distance.

Not a record speed setter in terms of AF performance. If used w/ focus limiter, or manually pre-focusing (which is possible w/ FTM), its focusing speed is fine for most of my applications.

Would love to have a tripod ring included in the package, but not for $135 extra.