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  Reviews by: wfr2  

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

Review Date: Mar 12, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,095.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Let me first say that I hated the old 1-4 and never thought it deserved a good rating. However, I have been blown away by each of the new Canon lenses and the new 1-4 is no exception. Nice and sharp at all zoom settings right out of the box for me. Needed a bit of AF calibration on my bodies (1DXs) when using the 1.4x tele-extender but is sharp now with that too. Focus is fast even with the tele-extemder. The new image stabilization is fantastic, Realy is 4 f-stop effective.
Will not focus with 2x tele-extender. I know it is not supposed to but given how well it works with the 1.4x I thought it might. Would love a fixed 4.0 f-stop but I guess that would increase the weight/bulk too much. It is really hard to come up with a con.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera

Review Date: Dec 12, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Amazing camera for the price. Very fast.
People have over stated its high ISO capabilities. Very good for a crop sensor I guess but not worth raves. If you are coming from an old crop sensor camera you will be impressed. If you are coming from a 1DX you will be a bit disappointed.

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM

Review Date: Dec 4, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $12,999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: weight, IQ, IS

There have been enough reviews of this lens so I will just add a few opinions. I was surprised how light this lens is compared to the old one. It is bulky and looks like it should be a lot heavier. Reminded me of when I first picked up a 400DO and it was lighter than it looked. Tack sharp after calibration even with the new 2x teleconverter (which needed a lot of adjustment). First super tele I have had that was sharp with the 2x TC.
Barely fits in my roller bag but it does fit. Price is hard to justify because a used 500mm v1 is so good and less than 1/2 the price but that is a personal decision. (I just sold my old 500 here on FM and that was a great lens) Conclusion: The new 600 is a remarkable lens in all respects but not twice as good as the old 500mm.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Jun 26, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: see earlier review

Should have said all my tsting was wide open.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Review Date: Jun 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp as a tack even with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. IS is superb.
Too heavy for vacation travel (keeping my f4 for that)

I have had a lot of lenses over my 45 years of photography and this is the best ever. I am just blown away by how good this lens is. The IS is superb. Best by far of any lens I have ever owned. Tack sharp. I have never gotten really sharp images using my 2x teleconverter until this lens. Amazing effort by Canon. I will still keep my f4 version for vacation travel because it is smaller, lighter and pretty darn sharp too (not with the 2x though) I never used the version 1 so I cannot comment on how signifigant the improvements are but this version 2 is one great lens. BTW, I bought this one used on the Buy and Sell forum (3 months old and like new and under warranty) so I did not pay full retail. My wife just commented that she has never seen me so excited about a new lens. She is correct!

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Oct 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp and fast
heavier and bulkier than I expected

I hesitated a long time before buying this lens. I was using a 17-40mm and 24-105mm lens combination on my 50d but did not want to carry 2 lenses while touring the sites on vacation and the 17-40 just lacked the range I needed so I bought this one used on FM. Very impressive sharpness and the extra stop will be nice in those old churches. Build quality is good but not quite in the same class as the 17-40 and 24-105. Seems a bit pricey if buying new.

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Review Date: Jul 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: massive focal length range, good sharpness and focusing accuracy once calibrated, great lens to have on the seat next to you
too heavy to use as a walk around lens, variable f stop, only 5.6 at 300mm, IS a little disappointing

I bought this lens to replace a 100-400 which was not as sharp as I would have liked. I wanted a zoom to put on a second camera while photographing from a safari car with my 500mm and this will work great. Having the lower focal lengths will be a huge benefit over my 100-400 or 70-200f4. Once I calibrated it to my 50D, I was very pleased with focus accuracy throughout its range. I also have tested it on my 1Ds3 and was very happy. The only downside is the IS which does not seem as effective on this lens as on my other lenses--good but not great. It is too heavy to be used as a walk around lens, I will keep the 70-200 for that. I don't like the push/pull either but there is no alternative. This is something of a specialty lens. If you really need this range, the weight and cost are worth it.

Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

Review Date: Jul 4, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: supplement: works well with 2x teleconverter

Just a short update now that I bought a Canon 2x teleconverter. This lens worked so well with the 1.4xTC that I decided to buy another 2x after selling my previous one last year. Works very well with this lens. Not quite as sharp as with 1.4x as should be expected but stilll very good. I even tried hand holding it with success.

Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

Review Date: May 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: lightweight, SHARP and good contrast, fast and accurate focus, can be had 2d hand at a big discount, IS works well, Handholdable
checkered reputation (undeserved IMO), does not hold its value well, costly

I hesitated for almost 2 years to buy this lens because of all the bad reviews. I tried a 400f5.6 and could not live w/o IS so there was no alternative but to buy it. I bought it used and required test images. Wish I had not waited. This is a great lens. I shoot only RAW and convert in ACR and have not seen any problems with clarity or contrast. This lens is tack sharp and is good contrast. Because of its checkered reputation, used ones can be bought at a signigigant discount.

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, sharp, compact, built in hood, price
none that I have noticed

I went back and forth between this lens and the f2.8 version. Finally decided on this one as the better mate to my 500f4 because I thought I would never carry both the 500 and the heavier 2.8 whereas I would be willing and able to carry the compact version with my 500. I figured that, no matter how good the 300 f2.8 is, it was not much good if I left it at home. I had a 400 f5.6 but hated not having IS so this with my 1.4TC is a substitute for that lens too. It is still very sharp with the TC. I put a Lenscoat on it which I found useful in that the Lenscoat is cut long and forms a friction brake to hold the hood in place. It makes a great carry around lens for wildlife where the distances are not too great (I use it on a FF camera so I do not get any multiplier effect). I bought mine used on FM but it looks like new.

Canon EOS 40D

Review Date: Nov 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: big, bright view finder; big LCD screen; fast!; build quality
no L glass designed especially for this sensor size and it really deserves it. Res of LCD should be higher.

I use this, a 5D and a 1Ds2. This is the first camera I have ever owned where I could clearly see the viewfinder info with my lousy, glasses covered eyes. The LCD is nice and large but the res is too low for really evaluating focus precisely but it sure is nice for menus and histogram and composition peeking. Lots of these for sale used now and I do not know why. I bought a used, LNIB one. I just wish Canon would make a 17-60mm L zoom for this sensor size, weather sealed and all. It deserves it. Love the new My Menu function--now I can find FORMAT w/o a long search. I do not use styles, etc so I cannot comment on that sort of thing. This is the smallest body size I can use comfortably with back button focusing. Feels good in the hand, not great like a 1 series but good and a whole lot lighter!

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharp, neat built in hood, compact (but long)
It would be sooooo much better with IS

It is sharp but I find this lens to be frustrating. It may be politically incorrect to criticize this lens but it feels like an antique. 400mm demands IS. I bought it for use when I cannot lug my 500mmf4 around. I just do not understand why Canon has not updated this lens. It should be shorter and really needs IS.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Sep 1, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: image quality, focusing speed, size
not wild about the big hood

This is an update to my prior rave review. I have now tried it with a 1.4xTC and am amazed at how good the IQ remains. I am so haqppy with it that I may sell my 100-400 which is sharp only up to 300 anyway and does not do well with a TC.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Apr 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp and well built
I wish they had made it a bit shorter. It does attract attention.

I sold my very sharp nonIS lens on FM's buy and sell because my age dictates IS now. I am pleased to report that the new lens is also very sharp even with 1.4TC. Fairly light and very well built. IS works well but I am not convinced it is really 4 stops worth. I first bought a 70-300DO with IS but that lens is nowhere near this lens in IQ or build quality.

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

Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: compact length, fairly light weight
average build quality, PRICE

I bought this lens strictly to carry in a small backpack while traveling around cities. I bought it for its compact length. I was surprised as how fat it is though. It is not as good image quality wise or in build quality as my 24-105L or 70-200L but it is OK for what I will be using it for. The zoom creep is annoying. I agree that it is similar in build quality to the 28-135. My city kit will be a 5D, 24-105 and this lens. I bought it used on the FM forum. The new price seems awfully high for this quality of build. With the longish hood, I agree it is hardly a stealth lens but better than my 100-400 in that regard.