frances's reviews

  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    range and sharpness

    I use this lens on a 20D. I bought it to go on safari aabout 18 months ago and I have to say it takes wonderfully sharp pictures, with good depth, color and contrast. The push pull is cumbersome at first, but I am used to it now. For me the focus ring is too close to the zoom tightening ring and in the excitement of the finding the target and locking on, I sometimes get confused and turn the wrong one, which wastes precious time. Still, when I manage to connect with the target, the images are sharp, contrasty and simply beautiful. Initially I bought the 28~300 and use it for about a year. I love that lens I was constantly comparing the 100~400 to it. The 28~300 takes sharper pictures so at first, I was a little disappointed in the 100~400, but this one can be used with the 1.4 extender beautifully on a tripod (it does lose AF abilities on the 20D) but it enables me to take great images of wildlife and birds that otherwisw would be out of reach. I am quite happt with this lens. I just wish it were lighter.

    reviewed September 24th, 2007 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, versatile

    I have used this lens for about 2 and a half years now. It is wonderful. Sturdy construction and very sharp, contrasty images. I shoot a lot of nature and wildlife, and where the target is within close enough range, the images are superior to the 100~400 (which I also have) The push pull zoom operates smoothly. The build quality is excellent. It focuses quickly and quietly. Image stabilization works great. The only inconveniences that I have with this lens are the weight and the cost. It is heavier and more expensive than the 100~400, but the images are better. If I can take only one lens, this is it. I just wish Canon and Nikon were interchangeable. Then I could use this lens on the Nikon d200.

    reviewed September 24th, 2007 (purchased for $2,400)
  • Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sturdy build quality, feels good in the hands, vr works well and photos are fairly sharp
    a little slow

    I bought the Nikon D40X and this lens because I wanted a really good vacation camera and lens. The problem with this combination is that when the lens is at max wide angle (16)and the camera's flash is used, a shadow is produced on the lower edge of the photo. This is corrected at 18 and does not recur at other angles.

    reviewed November 25th, 2009 (purchased for $665)
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

    10 out of 10 points and not recommended
    fast, sharp
    heavy, expensive, fixed tripod mount

    I rented this lens for a week and tried it out at every opportunity. The iq is simply awesome. I found the lens to be uncomfortable to handhold. I would have removed the tripod mount were it possible to do so, but I could not find a way. The focus ring is so large that I always had my hand on it, which is good for MF but not so for AF. I am so used to the flexibilty of my 100~400 that I much prefer it to the 300. I compared IQ of both lenses and find that, for my purposes, the 100~400 is my best option. I used the 300 with a 1.4 extender and was not happy with the results, but without the extender it was slightly sharper and clearer than my 100~400. I will continue to wait for Canon to update the 100~400 and hope that the new one will be as sharp as my old one.

    reviewed March 4th, 2014