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  Reviews by: chromedome  

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

Review Date: Nov 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size and weight are great for travel, used alongside the EF-S 17-85 and 50mm1.4 this makes a great travel set on my 20D. Very Sharp and contrast is good with hood on.
Slightly soft wide open at 300mm. Needs hood as any extraneous light lessens contrast quickly on this lens. Doesn't like UV filters (No biggie) Lens Lock has to be on when carrying or it extends by itself.

I absolutely love this lens, I took it with me to Portugal recently and found it to be the surest focussing lens that I have on my 20D. That includes the 100-400L and the 70-200F4L. I've had more keepers out of this lens than either of the other two combined (although I don't have any complaints about the 100-400).

The DO has become the lens that goes with me everywhere as it's just so easy to carry and use. For what it is it does it's job well. I wanted FTM which instantly excluded the non DO from my list of prospective lenses. I would recommend that anyone try this lens, rather than listen to the negatives, those are minor niggles from my point of view.

It should perhaps be a little less expensive due to it's slightly less than "L" build quality and the lens creep. however it focusses quickly, quietly and accurately. It's IS is effective for me up to between 2 and 3 stops (no more). It's definitely easier to hold and use than the 100-400. I've also had success with it when coupled with a Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC. I still get AF which I find surprising on a 20D.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Aug 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Versatile, great IS, my copy is very sharp even wide open - must be the best compromise lens available - Perfect for the 20D.
Some vignetting with normal thickness Polariser, Not L, Not constant aperture, Mild CA fully wide gone by 20mm, some barrel when wide

To be honest I cannot understand the negative reviews of this lens. It's a consumer zoom with a slightly OTT price tag, granted, but it does what it sets out to do and that's fills a gap in the market that no other lens seems to come close to (see synopsis below), and if used to its strengths, it will allow you to produce some very good quality images!

I've had this lens on my camera for about 4 months now and the IS has saved the day for me now on more occasions than I care to mention. I don't think 3 stops is an exaggeration. I find that it is very sharp and detailed from 24 up to 85 performing at its absolute best at or around F7 at about 50mm. This lens has a great range for everyday walk-around shooting - surely what it is designed for! I take it that this is the EF-S replacement for the EF28-135IS as it's only designed for 1.6 crops wich equates to 27-136mm and has an improved IS system.

I have the Tamron 17-35f2.8/4 and when I examine images taken at 17mm by both these lenses from a tripod. I find very little difference. I rarely bother to change from the 17-85 now as I trust it to produce the goods for me and I'm a lot more comfortable with its ability to focus accurately.

I had the Sigma 18-125 for a short period. This lens was quite sweet especially for the price, but for me it was not good enough and very soft and poor to focus at the long end.

I originaly had the Tamron 17-35 paired with the Tamron 28-75F2.8 - I couldn't get any of three copies of the 28-75 to focus at all unless I used F8. Even after a return for calibration they all Front Focussed terribly, so from my perspective; if you own an EF-S mount and you want a good reliable all rounder then the EF-S17-85IS is probably the best bet at the moment. It's not as sharp and contrasty as a 70-200F4L but then again I'd be dissapointed with the term 'L' if it was! (I haven't tried the Sigma 18-50f2.8 yet though!)