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  Reviews by: isogood  

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Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF HSM APO

Review Date: Jun 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,080.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: very sharp till 200 mm, HSM, F4 aperture, image quality
Some AF issues on 20D and 40D, needs monopod.

ood and bad news about it :
My first purchase comes with a dead HSM motor, need to return it for exchange.
Second copy comes with a huge front-focus, needs to be fixed by Sigma.
(tested on 20D and 40D bodies)

Perhaps just unlucky with these two copies, but…. Probably QC issues again….

Good news, after all that, AF works well and fast, pictures are very sharp at 100 and 200 mm, even wide open.
It compares to my Canon 70-200 L4, may be Sigma is a little better, for my copies.
At 300 mm, it is clearly softer, but I can say very good.
Nice coloration and contrast, beautiful image quality for the price. Works well with Canon 1,4 x TC.

Not easy to carry and shot without monopod, the 70-200 L4 is shorter range, but much more comfortable for walkaround.

You can watch some sample pictures on my Pbase gallery, original shots at original size, with no post-processing.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Feb 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: image quality, sharpness, lightweight, compact, great IS, comfort in use
perhaps AF a little slower with IS on, but not sure...

I have upgraded from the non-IS version, and very happy with it, hard difference of price, but now I can make shots that I cannot made before without the IS, in those frequent situations you cannot use a monopod. A very comfortable feature.
First copy I received was not sharp, so I returned it, and the second copy received was perfect, so be careful…
Lens is compact and light, no comparison with the heavy 70-200 L 2.8 ! Great to travel and walkaround.
Image quality is as good as the non-IS version (I mean excellent !), perhaps a little better, but not sure… Difficult to see a difference.
Sharpness is good wide open, but better (superb) at 5.6 and 8, it declines at 11 and up.
Vignetting or Chromatic aberrations are negligeable.
Image quality is quite as good in the borders than in the center. That’s great.
Built quality and sealing seems to be very solid.
Not sure efficiency of IS is equivalent to 4 f-stops, perhaps 3…. You gand get sharp shots hand hold at 1/60 sec, or even 1/30, impossible with the non-IS.
AF seems to be a little slower than on the non-IS version, when IS on, but I’m not sure, just an impression. Perhaps need some practice of this feature.
It works perfectly, and deliver a superb image quality with the 1,4 x canon extender.

I like it very much, for sure a real upgrade coming from the non-IS version, if you often shot handhold.

You can see some samples and test shots in high resolution on my Pbase gallery, all original shots (IMG_ ) are with neutral settings on 20D and not any post-processing :


Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Sep 5, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: global quality of images, useful and confort with range and IS
dust sucking

I wrote a review very positive some weeks ago, but i have to add a remark, ad you guess what about... About dust inside !

I don't want to rewrite my review, and I agrre in all with the review of "perspective", so just add my experience about this dust vacuum cleaner...

I never experienced that on a Canon lens, even the worses... Dust came inside after about two weeks of use in non-dusty (at all) conditions.
I prefer not imagine what it will happen in dusty conditions.

It is clear now with all the reviews on this problem that it is not because of a bad copy. It is a problem of conception and sealing.
Some people said imprudently there is no difference with the L lenses, sorry, but for sure, here, there is.

Don't send it back to the seller for an exchange, you will get exacly the same problem with the new copy.

There is no only dust, but it seems little withe artifacts too on the internal lens.

I showed the lens at the Canon agreed repair store in Paris (Vilma) and for them, "it is not a problem"... because we can't see the dust on the pictures...
Not covered by the guarantee, and 80 USD for clean that with 2 weeks of immobilisation...
Incredible... an unacceptable for a lens at this price.

It is a real and very serious problem, and my conclusions are for sure as "perspective" says, Canon has to re-engineer and fix this problem, so it will take time, not sure of the results, and no other solution in this range if you need a Canon quality image, and the IS.

Canon must give an answer and some explanations to the customers about that, if they don't want to see the selling curves of this zoom coming down very fast, and managing the bad feedbacks of the customers.

for the moment, I keep it, because I need all the other features, and I am satisfied with the image quality. Real a great confort in walkaround ad reportage use, outside and inside.

pics and samples of my first review (completed) are here on Pbase :

I don't shoot the dust, you know what it is.

I know we are the first buyers of this zoom (I waited for a long time) and like we said in french we must "essuyer les plâtres", that's to say, be beta-testers, and discover the problems in daly use.
So we take a risk, and we know that, we have to assume it, but Canon must assume too and give an answer, or at least, offer a free first cleaning for the first buyers.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jul 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: color rendition, saturation, sharpness at 4 and up, perfect IS and USM focusing, beautiful pictures, helpful in low light
no hood, a little softer at 2.8, vignetting

Some impressions about new Canon 17-55 2.8 IS and some links to samples for illustration.
(All pictures are at original size, be careful to choose « original » option under the picture, the oher sizes are downsampled by Pbase - shoot hand-holded, IS, body settings neutral, no post-processing)

I don’t agree with comments that give a 10, for a perfect lens. A 9 seems to be maximum for it. Perhaps better, but only after post-processing by a good software.

Two little problems in my opinion, the vignetting, very present wide open, disappear at 4 or 5.6, but…
The lens seems very sharp at 4 and up, but for sure a little softer at 2.8.

About the vignetting, I have made some test shots at different apertures, and ther compared with Canon 10-22 and Canon 50 1.4.
It is better on this point than the 10-22 (hard vignetting wide open…) but the not APS-C 50 1.4 is clearly better than the 17-55, for a use at 50mm at 2.8.
Tests visible here :

Some sharpness test pictures here, you may see the difference between 2.8 and other apertures stopping down.
EXIF are under the pictures.

This said, sharpness is one of the qualities of this zoom, well sustained by the IS, imperative for me, who shoot often in low light, where no flash or monopod allowed (museums…)
You gan get sharp shots at 1/8 sec, if you don’t drink too much beer before…

Other quality of this zoom is the color rendering, well in Canon tradition, quite perfect in terms of natural, neutral, or saturation, clearly better (I mean different…) of Tamron or Sigma on this crucial point.
On my EIZO screen, it is quite impossible to see a difference between the model and the picture on the screen, not reach the prime L lenses, but not so far.
Perhaps the 24-70L give better saturation and contrast, but not sure…

We reach the perfection with the AF – USM focusing system, superb of precision, fast and silencious. Works perfectly.
The zoom ring is very sweet to move, confortable. Here again, Canon is the best.

I have read some complaints about flare, so I tested it in the worse possible conditions, ok, if we want to make flare, we make flare…. But nothing terrible at all…
Chromatic Aberrations are very well controlled, only in extreme edges, as you may see it (with the flare) on some shots of Effeil tower in back-light :

You may see also similar shots to compare taked with Canon 10-22 and Canon 50 1.4 on these galleries :

I could say about this comparaison that at 50mm I have a little preference for the 50 1.4 against the 17-55 but only in high lights, cause in low light, the IS is an enormous advantage.
At 17mm and at 22mm the 17-55 is noticeably better than the 10-22, less vignetting, better sharpness, no contestation.
So my 10-22 became only a 10-16… Thats clear…

I have no Tamron or Sigma at this time (all resell or returned) so I can’t compare same shots, in this range, but it would be interesting to do that.

Canon is really ridiculous in persisting not give the hood with a lens at this price, and this hood is impossible to buy at this moment in europe. No stocks at Canon.
This hood is essential for the quality of the pictures but also to protect the front lens, very exposed.
I use the EW-83E from my 10-22, not sure is the best way, but better than nothing…

Price is high, sure, 1200 USD for me, but there is no real competitors with this quality and features, so no real choice possible.

I think the lens worth 600 USD and we have to pay again 600 USD for the IS.
If Sigma and Tamron same range for APS-C would have IS, for sure their prices would not be so far from Canon (see Sigma 80-400 OS…)

So much more qualities than defects, and for sure a good buy if you need all the features.
Now we have to see with use if pictures produced worth the price, and if the build quality is solid…
So come again for a completed review in some months.

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Jun 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, great natural colors and saturation, light but solid, fast AF, good hood, tripod collar, beautiful look.
Bokeh of a 5.6 (don't dream for 2.8 bokeh...), no autofocus with 1,4 X

I work with this lens since 9 months now, on a 20D, and always very satisfied.
I shot most often sports outside, like golf, often under the sun, so I got no problem with the slow 5.6 aperture, even used with the 1,4x extender.
With the 1,4X the autofocus doesn't work on the 20D, but it is not a big problem.
The lens is beautiful, a pleasure to watch and hold, nice piece of glass...

I use it always on a monopod, and get pictures often very sharp. I don't like to shot handhold with a 400 (really a 560...) Shutter speed is always over 800, often at ISO 200.

If I compare with my Canon 100-400 IS (I have sell it), I can say that the difference in terms of image quality is very important at 400 mm. The prime surclasses the zomm in sharpness, color rendition, contrast and saturation. The image is clearly better.
(But I have to say honestly that the 100-400 is very good in the range 100-300)

I shoot most often at 400 mm, because on golf tournaments, I must stay maximum far away the players, not to disturb them vith CLICKS !
I have also with this prime, a slighly better and faster autofocus, essential for sports.

I have tried also a 80-400 Sigma, but was not satisfied at all, with the color rendition and the curious focusing...

So the choice between this lens and the zoom was very quickly done.
Only problem, I have not the comfort of a zoom, and must anticipate the placement before shooting, or move back quickly with my legs...

A perfect lens in this range of price for outside sunny shots, as sports or animals.

some samples on my Pbase gallery


Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Review Date: May 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: natural colors, sharpness, built quality, optics, price, range, and i forgot some...
not any for this price

i am using this lens since one year, on my 20D, and it is always a great pleasure.
I shot most often sports outside, like golf, and portraits, most of pictures are keepers, and the range with the 20D is perfect for this use.
I add sometimes a 1,4X Canon teleconverter, with great results.
I have also a Canon 400 L5.6, more useful when far away from players, but the picture quality of 70-200 L4 seems a little better

Like other users, I recommend it for outside sports, it's the best zoom lens at this price, certain.

you can see a gallery here with some samples :


Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: color rendering, wide angle at 10, good contrast, very little flare, not heavy, good range.
a little softness on the edges, but all wide angle zooms have the same or worse.

I use now this lens since 6 months, always very happy with it, confirm my first rating at 9.

Very good results on crowds, landscapes, or architectural, even in some situations close of the players for golf shots.
often use in a "funny" mode more than a "serious" mode, I think I will complet it with the future 17-55.

you may see a gallery of samples here

and much more on some galleries of my Pbase

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated



some tests here

I will retry my review tomorrow it seems doesn't work posting....

Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: Jan 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp, nice colors and contrast, good focusing, hood,
little flare, beware...

using it with the 20D, very happy, meets my requirements.
Very good colors and contrast, seems a little (different than canon colors, but very little...
great difference with the warm Sigma

it is sharp on my copy at all focal lengths and apertures in the center, and good at the edges
edges show little softness and chromatic aberration in some conditions, but no more than others at same range.
It is very easy to correct in post-processing.

I appreciate the ligthweight and the smooth focusing.

You may see some of my tests shots on Pbase, side to side with my (very good) canon 10-22

some golf shots I like also with it on my Pbase golf galleries

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Jan 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: beautiful rich and natural colors and contrast, sharp at center, lightweigth, very wide angle, no flare
Chromatic aberration at extreme edges, in certain conditions, with softness.

First impressions using it with the 20D, very happy, meets my requirements.
I appreciate the "Canon" natural, neutral colors and contrast, very rich, great difference with the warm Sigma.

The range is ideal, and it is sharp on my copy at all focal lengths and apertures in the center (better at 5.6), not un "incredibly" sharp (as I read below), but very good.

edges show softness and chromatic aberration in some conditions, but no more than Tamron or Sigma. It is very easy to correct in post-processing.

I appreciate the ligthweight and the smooth focusing.

Not an L lense in my opininion, but not so far. If I need ultimate sharpness, I cas use many other lenses, but if I need very wide angle, it is the only way.

You may see some of my tests shots on Pbase, side to side with my (very good) Tamron 17-35

Canon EOS 1D Mark II N

Review Date: Nov 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated


is the sutter sound quite egal to the 20D (a problem...) or is it more silencious ?