terryf's reviews

  • Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great sharpness, nice bokeh
    Lens shade/cap

    There is no doubt that the 135L deserves it excellent reputation for image quality. My 24-70L needs to be stopped down to f5.6 to begin to match the sharpness of my 135L at f2.0 (the test shots were of the portrait of Andrew Jackson on a $20 bill). However, when my Canon "L" lenses are used at f8 they are all very sharp and the 135L does not blow the others away. My only complaint about this lens is that the depth of the lens shade forces me to remove the shade in order to remove or replace the lens cap (my hands are fairly large). This is so annoying that I intend to replace the Canon lens cap with a Tamron cap. Still, all things considered, I prize this lens very highly and can not imagine giving it up.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $890)
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Combination of zoom flexibility with sharpness.
    Size and weight

    This is my standard "walk around" lens and I keep it on my 20D until the photo situation calls for something different. My copy of the 24-70L shows clear softness at f2.8 at both 24mm and 70mm when compared with a prime like the 50mm f1.4 or the 135L f2.0. Stopping down to f4 helps a lot and sharpness is excellent by f5.6. I will avoid using when f2.8 is required whenever possible. Nonetheless, for a zoom lens the image quality is exceptionally good. When I was shooting in some dusty, windy environments I did get some grit underneath the manual focusing ring that made it difficult to operate and that disappointing weather sealing is why I lowered my rating for construction quality.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $1,300)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Spped, light weight, low cost
    slight softness wide open

    I was surprised when I saw the DXO results for the sharpness of this lens at f1.4 and went back and reviewed my own test photos. I think that I may have a slightly better copy than the one tested above. Yes, there is clearly some softness at f1.4 but it is very close in sharpness to my 24-70L at f2.8. On the other hand, it is significantly less sharp than my 135L at f2.0. when my copy of the 50mm f1.4 is stopped down to f2.8 the image quality is excellent But, for my photography, this is a lens of limited usefulness. I only use it in low light situations.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Wide angle on a 1.6X crop camera, high image quality
    Useless if I upgrade toa FF camera

    I felt that I had no choice but to purchase this lens for my D60 as soon as Canon released it because my widest angle (a 20mm Canon) was just not wide enough for my landscape work or for use indoors in cramped situations. And I continue to use it on my 20D for the same reasons. But now, as I am thinking about upgrading to a FF Canon, I do feel that I may have made a mistake in buying a lens whose use is restricted to the 1.6X cameras. That said, the 10-22mm lens has given me excellent service. I am completely satisified with the image quality. My 13x19 inch prints are beautifully sharp. And since I mostly use it for landscapes it is fast enough and I do not see any noticeable distortion. while the build quality does not have the smooth (and heavy) feel of an "L" lens I have not encountered a single problem using the 10-22mm in the field under a variety of conditions.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $765)
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality, price relative to that of the super teles
    Slow AF with Extender attached.

    I have been very happy with this lens for my nature photography. Well over half the shots I take have the Canon 1.4 Extender attached so that, on my 20D, the field of view is equivalent to that of a 672mm lens on a FF camera. Yes, for small birds the 500mm f4 would be much nicer but it costs much, much more than this combination. For large birds (like Herons) and for similarly large mammals the amount of reach that I have is adequate. My copy of the 300mm L IS is extremely sharp. At f4.0 it is very nearly as sharp as my 135L at f2.0. The extender drops the effective maximum aperture to f5.6 and the combination provides very good shapness. There is some slowing of the AF function when the 1.4X Extender is used. A big bonus is that the IS (along with the relatively light weight of this lens) means that I can use this lens hand held for most of my wildlife photography. I also like the retractable design of the lens shade since that makes it quick and easy to remove the lens cap or change filters.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $1,650)
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light weight, low price for an IS zoom.
    Some problems in image quality.

    My copy of the 28-135Is may have had more CA that the copy tested by SLR gear. I found it to be frequently objectionable in the corners even on my 1.6x crop cameras. And it was difficult to remove in Photoshop. Another problem with my copy was "zoom creep". There was a lot of looseness in the lens barrel. When I would take a picture at a shorter focal length and then remove the camera from my eye, tilting it so that the lens pointed down - it would zoom out to 135 by itself. For these reasons I sold it and replaced it with the much more expensive 24-70L. Despite these complaints I am obliged to say that I used the lens for 4 years and did obtain many excellent images. While I do rate the 28-135 IS lens as recommended that is beause it provides good value for the price. The IS works well and when the lens is stopped down the image quality is very good. People who feel that they can not afford an "L" zoom should definitely consider this lens.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $435)
  • Canon 1.4X Extender EF II

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Greater reach with minimal loss of image quality.

    Well over half of the images that I capture with my 300mm L f4 IS lens are made with the 1.4x Extender mounted. Any loss of image quality is very minimal. It is important to note that both AF and IS are maintained when I use this combination on my 20D. It is true that the AF does seem to take a little longer to find focus when the Extender is mounted but that has not been a big problem, even when photographing wildlife. The only real disadvantage that I can see is the loss of a stop in speed but even that is minimized since I have IS on the lens. I find that I can use this combination handheld quite effectively. Interestingly, I have never found any reason to use the teleextender on any of my other lenses. The purpose of this accessory is to obtain greater reach and so it is only used on the longest lens that I own.

    reviewed December 4th, 2006 (purchased for $280)