Canon Lens Comments (Still Under Construction)

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 28-80mm f/2.8 L USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM
Canon EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM
Canon EF 1.4x Teleconverter
Sigma APO 500mm EX HSM

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8

Still to come.

Canon EF-S 17-85mm F/4-5.6 IS USM

This is an interesting lens. It has a lovely zoom range on a 1.6x crop body, the images stabilisation is third generation so you hardly notice it's on, and it works really well, but the lens does three things badly, it exhibits quite bad pin-cushioning at the short end, where it also has alot of chromatic aberation and it also seems to have a tendency to suck in alot of dust over time (which may not have a lot of effect on image quality, but is rather disconcerting)

Canon 28-80mm f/2.8 L USM

I owned a well used version of this lens for about a month. It is a solid lens! lovely feel, robust and substansial. It has very nice bokeh and lovely rendition of skin tones with exceptional reds and oranges, mine wasn't super-sharp but I think that was because it was so well used. The hood is massive. Not such a nice zoom range for 1.6x bodies. I ended up swaping it for a tamron 17-50 f/2.8 lens which was an interesting swap. The reasons were because I needed some money and because it was alot smaller and lighter. In retrospect it may not have been such a smart move.

Canon 50mm f/1.8

What can you say: tiny, light, noisy, flimsy and really cheap, but also really sharp! The best value for money in the canon range, but I never seemed to use it so it's been sold.

Canon 70-200mm f/4 L USM

One of the cheapest L lenses and one of the best. The one i had was really sharp, build quality is excellent, 1.2m minimum focusing is impressive. No complaints other than that it didn't have image stabilisation and was only f/4, but if it had more, it would be really heavy and expensive. The newly released IS version looks like a winner! fourth generation IS plus weather sealing! I might be tempted if the F/2.8 version doesn't get me first!

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM

I own one of these currently, I got it used and abused (not really, just very well used) for a bargin price of NZ$1500. It is a really chunky lens, weighs alot, but f/2.8 is great. Like the canon 28-80 it has really good saturation does skin tones well. My version isn't very sharp, but that's because it's old and has a bit of fungus. The autofocus is very good and the whole thing is very substancial.

Canon EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM

I owned this lens for two years, it is a great lens, very versitile, but I sold it for one fundemental reason: it's not sharp wide open! (only gets sharp once you get to f/5.6) having said that, it is quite sharp at f/4 but it's much sharper at f/5.6 which always made me avoid using it wide open - defeats the point of owning an f/4 lens.

PROS: image stabilisation, 1.5m minimum focusing distance, focus limiting switch, built in lens hood, weight, cost.

CONS: NOT SHARP WIDE OPEN!, only gets really sharp once you get down to f/5.6. Image stabilisation only first generation (bit clunky).

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM

The 400mm f/5.6 L USM is a very nice lens, the longest you can get before the huge price jump to the canon super-telephoto lenses. I got mine used for about NZ$1300 (US$830) on It was old but virtually unused.
The lens does two things well which makes it so good, it is very sharp wide open and it focuses very fast. It also has very good saturation and contrast. It is very sharp wide open (if you call f/5.6 wide) and only gets fractionally sharper towards f/8. The points where it could be improved are exactly those that would make it more expensive. Image stabilisation would be the biggest improvement the lens could get. Being restricted to 1/400s with a f/5.6 lens really makes you use high iso values a lot if you're not using a tripod. The minimum focusing distance of 3.5 meters is restrictive, extention tubes fix the problem but are quite a hassle in the field. The focus limiting switch from 8.5 m to infinity is great at times. So if canon could put out a f/5.6 400mm L lens with image stabilisation and a minimum focusing distance of about 2.5 m for around US$1500 there would be many takers!

Canon 1.4x TC

Not much to say here, very good converter, very little image degredation with the lenses it fits on. Mine has the last three lens pins taped so I can use it with the 400mm lens