jraNL2's reviews

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

    7 out of 10 points and recommended
    small, black, inconspicuous, image quality
    average built, zoom action cheap, price too high

    Seems there are differences in image quality coming from this lens, but I think I'm lucky not to have to deal with image quality problems. Images say more than words, so I have posted some photos taken with this small and inconspicuous lens - which is also its strongest point - here:


    My biggest issue is that the lens build quality is average and about the same level (or maybe worse) of - say - a midrange 28-135mm IS USM. There are wobblings all over its duo-cam plastic construction which gives a really cheap feeling to it. The zoom ring rotates heavily, especially when pointed straight right at an object and there's a resistance at the end of its longest end. I have to do this trick to make it easier: to zoom out, point the lens first downwards then rotate to the desired (longer) focal length. To zoom in (shorter focal length), point the camera/lens combination upwards followed by rotate action of the zoom ring. This "method" gives a smooth(er) zoom action result, but beware of doing it in a proper order, otherwise it might resulted in a heavier zoom action !

    Having been spoiled by the best build quality of buttery smooth metal-barrel lenses of Carl Zeiss for decades, I don't buy this cheapish feeling of this 70-300 DO lens. Especially at this price point, makes the lens price way out of proportion. Shame on you, Canon !

    So, recommended? Yes, with a but ..., that is if you can live with its shortcomings and the exorbitant high price. Otherwise look elsewhere.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $1,445)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    useful series of angles, good build, best image quality, logical price
    lens hood ugly, for some its EF-S label

    What a lovely lens is this ! Better built than average, very useful series of angles for everyday photography, supported by clear, colourful sharp results and a realistic price. I've missed the ultra wide angle since my CZ Distagon 18mm becomes an "ordinary" 29mm on a 1.6 crop DSLR. That the lens is a EF-S is not much of an importance to me, it works just fine. And when someday I'll decide to go FF, the 17-40L will serve the same purpose as this EF-S 10-22 on a 1.6 crop DSLR. But as usual, images say more than words, so I have posted some photos taken with this ultra wide here:


    As there's no image quality issues for me, a remark is addressed to its butt-ugly EW-83E lens hood which shares the same purpose for the 17-40L and the 16-35L. This hood is very wide, absolutely out-of-proportional to the lens' nice balanced build, a stand-in-the-way in many bags and on top of it relatively expensive as well. So I decided not to use any hood at all until I bump into the right alternative, nicely formed one, not too big but still functional hood someday (EW-83II?). I use a screw-in UV filter instead to protect the vulnarable lens' front element/coating. Luckily this EF-S 10-22 isn't too sensitive to flare, although I've seen a lighter aperture blade-ish spot in an image one time. It could also be caused by the use of the protection filter.

    All in all, it's an excellent all purpose lens. Highly recommended, provided one can handle its very wide angle which can be confusing to photography newbies.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $893)
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    relatively small, IS, focal range, relatively good image quality, price
    average build quality, not top glasses used

    My - second hand purchased - copy of this lens must be dated from the earlier release period, so around 1998/99. The serialnumber at the bottom says in faint digits 2702xxxE. Nonetheless it's a fine lens with not so great build quality. It's a true midrange in everything. There are a bit wobblings all over its duo-cam construction and a faint squeak sound of plastic against plastic when zoomed out. Strange enough I find this lens rather sympathetic with its useful range of zoom and relatively good image quality, which is just below that of the L image quality. Let's see a sample here:


    The IS is a useful factor and can be a "life" saviour between having a good shot and just a blurry (n)one. Its zoom range is great when used with either a 35mm film or FF DSLR camera to function as a pleasant walk around lens. This doesn't automatically mean with a crop factor DSLR, in this respect 1.6x, it suddenly becomes worthless. Far from it. With its 35mm equivalent 45-216mm and combined with the EF-S 10-22mm this 28-135mm lens makes a very useful duo for travelling around with just two relatively small and light lenses which can handle almost anything photographable without having to pay a visit to a physiotherapist after getting home.

    Still a pity that Canon doesn't want to invest a bit more in this useful lens. With a better build quality and a better glass, this would surely be a top lens. Of course there's still a EF 24-105mm L, but the price is nearly three times over the 28-135's.

    Recommended? Yes. Though this lens lacks the L quality in terms of both build and image quality, it remains a sympathetic lens with its good results. Personally, this one will be with me for a long time.

    reviewed December 25th, 2006
  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    L build and image quality, relatively light, price
    ugly lenshood, for some focal length might be a bit too short at 40mm

    Well, what can I add after so many loud applause of the crowd getting excited by the build as well as image quality in relation to the price of this L designation? In one word: an excellent lens. If you're not convinced yet (I doubt it, though), let's see some samples I put here:


    The lens is easy to work with, I'd say it's almost compulsory for anyone using 1.6 crop EOS DSLR as a standard zoom lens. The AF is also fast without hesitation, even under dim light condition and the image quality is on par with its other L brothers and sisters. Furthermore the reason to get excited is the price which is reasonably on the cheap side, taking L quality into account. The provided lens hood (EW-83E) is ugly, but I have already given it a kick in the ass on my review of the EF-S 10-22mm so I will not repeat it again this time. But it's butt ugly, believe me, so I decided to mount a cool Contax metal hood #3 I happened to own with a help of a step-up ring 77-86mm in front of the lens, then checked it at every lens opening ... and voila, no vignetting or whatsoever in the corners of my 1.6 crop DSLR images. The 17-40L doesn't produce only best images but it's now elegant, too, thanks to the round metal hood.

    Since I have a habit to pair lenses, this 17-40L does pair best with 70-300 DO. A gap between 40mm and 70mm is not much of a problem for me, but the same layout of these lenses is much more of an importance. In the "heat" of shooting session I must instinctively know that both lenses have a zoom ring which lies behind the focusing ring. The other pair, the EF-S 10-22mm and the EF 28-135mm IS, has exactly the other way round layout, the zoom ring lies in front of the focusing ring.

    So, recommended? Are you kidding? For its relation of price and (image) quality only it's already compulsory for owners of 1.6 crop DSLR to have it in their photo bags !

    reviewed December 25th, 2006 (purchased for $774)