photogjack's reviews

  • Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Relatively small and lightweight, very sharp

    This is a great lens on a full frame body, like the 5D or 1Ds series cameras. My copy is significantly sharper and less prone to flare than my 16-35 f2.8 zoom, even wide open and it focusses very quickly (much faster than my 50 f1.4). It is a terrific lens with no negatives.

    reviewed July 22nd, 2006 (purchased for $400)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    f1.4 - when you need it, you need it
    a little slow to focus, not as robust as other Canon primes, not as fast to AF as other Canon primes

    I like this lens but it is a mixed bag. It is a little soft wide open, but my copy is very sharp by f2. It does not focus as quickly as the 28 f1.8, and wide open it vignettes pretty dramatically on the 5D. But when you need f1.4 (like when working in a church) you need f1.4 and it is there. When you close down to f2.8 or f4, it is absolutely great, very sharp and the vignetting is gone.

    If or when Canon revises this lens, I would like to see 1) internal and faster focusing, 2) closer focusing and 3) improved performance wide open.

    Despite its flaws, I would still recommend this lens to someone who needs a fast normal lens.

    reviewed July 25th, 2006
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    very sharp, focuses quickly, nice build quality

    This is a great lens. On full frame it is a great portrait lens. It is a nice walk around lens in cities or crowded environments (markets and the like), it give you a nice working distance from your subject. Image quality is excellent, it is a very nice match for the 28mm f1.8.


    reviewed December 8th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    razor sharp, light weight, fast focusing
    absolutely none

    This is an amazing piece of glass. Stunningly sharp, very fast to focus, lightweight, discrete (especially if you are used to using one of the giant white zooms). I started using this instead of my 70-200 2.8 L (IS) and have never regretted it. 11 stars out of 10.

    reviewed December 8th, 2006 (purchased for $700)
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    useful zoom range, sharp, image stabilization
    size, weight, price

    I have a love hate relationship with this lens and ultimately the hate side prevailed. Well hate is a bit strong. This lens is very sharp, focuses very fast and I think Image Stabilization is the best thing since sliced bread. For spot news, sports and that sort of work it is indispensable. But it is HUGE, very heavy and expensive. I stopped using mine and switched to the 200 2.8 L because the prime is smaller and lighter. I give this a 10 for IQ and build quality but an 8 overall because it is just too big and heavy to carry around all day. jack

    reviewed December 8th, 2006 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM

    6 out of 10 points and recommended
    really, really wide
    a flare monster

    This is my least favorite Canon lens. When you need a really wide lens (on full frame) this is it. On cropped bodies, the 10-22 is probably a better choice. But my copy flares almost uncontrollably and is not terribly sharp. (My 15mm fisheye has better flare control and I think it is sharper, but it obviously has the FE thing going.) I recommend this lens for people who really need a wide angle and are prepared to deal with its foibles. But I think a lot of people will be disappointed with it. jack

    reviewed December 8th, 2006 (purchased for $1,200)
  • Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    It is a fisheye
    it is a fisheye

    I have this and the 14mm f2.8 L. I prefer this lens. At least in my case, this lens is sharper and has better flare control. (Although my 14 focuses a little faster.) Fisheyes are cool but you should use them sparingly, like once per assignment or maybe just once a month or every couple of months. The look can get tedious pretty quickly. That said, in the right hands this is a really fun, useful lens. On the 1.6 crop bodies this is a useful lens - it crops out most of the Fisheye effect and gives you a kind of interesting wide angle look. jack

    reviewed December 8th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Image stabilization, sharpness

    Outstanding lens in every way. Image quality is first rate, construction quality is equally excellent. Image Stabilization opens new photographic opportunities. I routinely handhold this lens at 1/60th and 1/30th with acceptable results, which makes it great for places where tripods and or lights are not acceptable (churches). I routinely use it with the Canon teleconverters. With the 1.4 there is no loss of quality to speak of (pixel peepers might disagree) and focusing speed is still first rate. With the 2X there is a slight loss of sharpness and contrast and, on the 5D, it vignettes noticeably. But it cleans up nicely by f5.6 and is still quite usable for most applications.

    reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $4,500)
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Useful zoom range, reasonably sharp
    not as sharp as primes

    This is a good lens for a photojournalist - it covers an excellent working range. It is quite a bit sharper than the 17-35 was and it focuses a lot closer. I don't think it's as sharp as wide angle primes. Flare is extremely well controlled, especially for such a wide lens.

    For day to day use, I prefer the 28mm f1.8. I haul this out when I am covering spot news.


    reviewed December 16th, 2006 (purchased for $1,500)