Canon EOS Compatible lens

1994 to present

Canon EFS 10-18mm f 4.5-5.6 IS STM

This lens was obtained to give me same angle of view as my 16-35 does on a full frame body.  Target area is travel. Lens is backup in the event the full frame system has problems.

STATUS: Active

Sigma AF 14mm F3.5

This lens was purchased about 1996.  Having travel to China and using a 20-40mm I found I needed something shorter.  This lens worked very well until technology pulled the rug out from under it.  Sigma it seems like to reverse engineer the interface between another vendor’s body and their lens.  So they designed the lens to work with what they say on the EOS digital interface.  In 2002 it works OK with the digital 1Ds, and the 2003 digital rebel.  But the 2005 1Ds MK 2, well no dice. It would not communicate.  So it usefulness went downhill.

A few years ago, about 2012 I needed to take some very wide shots.  Put in on the old 1Ds, all the images were low in contrast.  Looking through the lens, there were hundreds of small bubbles.  Whatever Sigma used to glue the elements together was failing.  The lens had always been stored with the rest of the Canon lens and they did not have problems…

STATUS: retired to the display case.

Canon EF 15mm f 2.8 Fisheye

I like this lens a lot.  My wife hates it.  OK, where the 14mm Sigma will make a building look straight, and this one bends them into a circle.  If I shoot say inside a large tunnel or cavern.  Groups of people inside a small tent, A forest of trees from the ground looking up.  They all look better as the corners are not stretched out.

STATUS: In service

Canon EFS 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM

This lens lives on the 7D.  It was released to the market with the 7D and in my preferred range of view for the cropped sensor body.  (same view as 24 to 135 mm of full frame).  The lens is rugged.  Takes 72mm filters and has survived a lot of travel, bumps and bangs.

STATUS: In service

Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM

My most use lens.  Very wide angle of view.  I have had this lens since it was announced back in 2001. Rugged all metal. Weather resistant. 77 mm filters.  This is an L series lens.  And while the 17-35 was also a L series, this one is better build including a rubber skirt at the lens mount to reduce dust and moisture from getting into camera body

STATUS: In service


Canon EF 17-35mm f2.8L USM

This lens replace the 20-40mm Tamron, Good lens, but suffered from a lot of corner distortion at 17 mm. When the new on came out, well I just had to trade up.

STATUS: sold


Tamron AF XR Di II 17-50 f2.8 SP

Replace the 18-55 Canon lens that came on the digital Rebel with this lens.  Much heavier. Full 2.8 aperture. Made a night and day different on the Rebel as this overcame the low light issues of the rebel and its limited ISO range.  When the 7D was purchased to replace the Rebel, this lens was simply transferred to the new body.  However after a few months of shooting, it became apparent that focus issues on some shot were the result of the lens not focusing fast enough, but somehow reporting to the camera body it was done.   Researched issues with this lens and a rep. at Best Buy  did say there was issues with this lens on fast camera like the 7D.  So…although Tamron is supposed to have been paying for Canon chips in their lens, something was amiss here.  Replace this with the 15-85 Canon lens.  This lens was given to a friend to use with an older body.

STATUS: Given away

Canon EFS 18-55mm f3.5-5.6

This lens came with the digital rebel purchased in 2003.  It is not world class, has a micro motor and gear train for the auto focus.  It still works and now is a backup lens for use on the 7D bodies

STATUS: active


Tamron AF 20-40 f2.7-3.5 SP

I bought this lens as my first AF wide angle in 1994.   It worked great. I only sold it because I wanted wider view and there was this Canon 17-35mm L calling to me.

STATUS: sold

Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5L

Tilt Shift-Electronic.   This lens provides the Canon EOS camera with many of the features you only get using a studio view type camera.  You can tilt the lens assembly to have the focus plane follow a specific area of the subject.  This allow increasing the depth of field without stopping down, or reversing it, giving very little DOF.  The shift part.  The real reason I wanted this lens is this allows one to shoot a building and not have it look like it is going to fall backwards.  Now in the digital world you can simply manipulate the image and correct for the distortion.  But in the days of film this was a lot harder.  Down sides.  Focus is manual.  You must also centre the lens, take you light meter reading, or better using manual mode. Get proper exposure, then tilt and shift.  I found the light meter in the camera was confused by the off axis operation, but the exposure if done as described is correct.

Also had some problems using it with cameras that had the internal flash project too far forward of the lens mount blocking the controls of the lens.  So bodies like the A2E did not work too well.  All of the 1 series bodies which don’t have built in flash have no issue.

STATUS: In service

Sigma AF 28-200 f3.8-5.6

I purchased this lens together with the A2E in 1994.  What a disappointment.  Every few shots the body/lens combo would lock up.  The only way to correct it was to remove the battery, and start over.  Sigma’s reverse engineering of a “black box” not knowing details of the interface.  Took it back and traded it for a Tamron lens of same nature.

STATUS: returned to store

Tamron AF 28-200 f2.8-5.6

This lens was the instore replacement for the Sigma lens above.  It worked! It served well until I got the desire for better glass and served as the longer lens for a few years.  Used in companionship with the 20-40 Tamron.

STATUS: sold

Canon EF 28-70 f2.8L USM

My “studio” lens.  I love this lens.  It is perfect for most set up (non-candid) shots of people.  Very very sharp.  Had used it in the field, It has telescoping front section that projects outwards at the shorter focal length (backwards to most zoom lens that extend).  This proved a bonus when shooting in rainy Scotland. As It kept the filter well back under the hood.  But I still felt it could be more susceptible to moisture than some of other lens.

STATUS: In service


Canon EF 50mm f 1.8 II

Mostly a plastic lens, this one came on the original Rebel X 35mm film camera and was sold with the body.  Simple basic lens.

STATUS: sold


Canon EF 50mm F2.5 Compact Macro

While I had another macro lens, I wanted something smaller for travel.  This one fit the bill. Build is good, sharpness is excellent if stopped down to about f5.6 and very flat field.  Provides 0.5X magnification, however an extension tube will bring that in If needed.

STATUS: In service


Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L USM

This was my first Canon telephoto.  Replaced the 28-200 Tamron.  Much fast autofocus that the Tamron.  Way heaver, but looked good on the 1nHS, and the f2.8 give much better defocusing of backgrounds.

STATUS: sold

Then came the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM

On Sept 11, 2001 at the time the twin towers in NY were destroyed, I was at Canon Canada, picking up the first of these lens.  The one I got was released with no date code.  A prototype.  I was taking it to the middle east for a photo trip.  First the travel.  3 days later, Canadian airspace re-opened and our plane managed to fly out.  This lens.  I had tested this lens against the no IS version and found it much sharper.  (and I thought it was good).  This lens was replace a few months later with a real one, with valid production date code and warranty.  In Dec. 2016 while shooting in Costa Rica I was running into problems with moisture in this lens.  The 16-35 and the 15-85 were not having a problem… Dried it enough to continue shooting, and took it into Canon when we got back.  Bad news the seals had failed and moisture had left no correctable marks on the inside surfaces of the lens.  Cost to repair was over half the price of a new one.  I had noticed in the year before this lens was showing signs of an issue.  When zoomed to 200 mm and aiming upwards the lens would tend to creep back in focal length.  Now that is something I got with lens that extend, not with this lens.  It appears the seals of the zoom ring were what was worn out and they keep the zoom position held.

STATUS: In service as backup

Then came the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM

This new version is sharper still.  And if focuses close enough now that I can shoot to the ground at my feet from a standing position.  Something the previous lens could not do.  Otherwise it is like the older lens.  Just as fast, feels like same weight.  Hard to tell much difference.

STATUS: In service

Canon EF 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Lens used as a compact telephoto while traveling or scouting out an area for birds and other wildlife.

Very compact when shorten.  Like most extending lens this one fights you when you are aimed upwards and zooming to 300mm.  Gravity wants the lens shorter.  Designed for full frame, or film cameras.  For the size sharpness is good to great, I have tested it at various focal lengths and apertures.  The longer the Focal length, the more I need to stop the lens down for best sharpness.  I also tested this lens using a 2x Tamron tele-converter.  It was sharper to use digital magnification in photoshop than the optical means for digital work.


STATUS: Active

Tamron SP 90 f 2.8 Macro

This was the first macro I bought for the Canon EOS system back in about 1997.  Good lens and I would have kept it if I had not found the used Canon 180

STATUS: sold

Canon EF 180mm F3.5 Macro USM

Top end macro lens. Found this one used.  In almost new condition in 1999, so it was not more than 3 years old.  Front takes macro strobe lights.  There is sharp, then there is this! I originally got it to duplicate and crop slides (pre digital).  Using slide copy film this lens was so sharp it resolved the complete grain of the original slides.  No information lost.

It works perfectly with all the digital bodies, and with the longer focal length you don’t have to crowd your subject.  Say a bee… don’t get in their face, they not likely to sting you.

STATUS: In service


Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L USM

Having been impressed with the likes of my Canon 70-200 f 2.8, and lusting for more power, I purchased this lens plus a 1.4x and 2x Canon tele-converters.  From various magazines and other sources I also learned that you could stack the 1.4x and 2x converters on the backside of this lens, (you need a 10mm extension tube to do so), and there you go.  A 840 mm f 8 lens.   The lens was very sharp as this class of lens is, and it was not until 2002 did I succumb to the desire to have same in an IS lens, after I had gotten used to it on the new 70-200 f2.8 IS.

STATUS: sold

Then came the Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L IS USM

In 2002 after having used the IS feature of the new 70-200 I decided to upgrade this lens to the IS version.  Otherwise the lens are more or less the same, yes the number of elements are different, and the new one focuses a little closer.   Don’t run IS when you are very close to subject, funny things happen in the view finder.  It bobs up and down a lot.

STATUS: Active

Canon EF 600mm f4 L USM

After having use the 300 f2.8 for a while, and spending time in South Carolina birding, I decided I wanted a 600mm.  So I bought it.  Worked great.  Right up until in 2002 I decided an IS was good idea. See comments about the IS for more details

STATUS: sold

Then came the Canon EF 600mm f4 L IS USM

In 2002 after having used the IS feature of the new 70-200 I decided to upgrade this lens to the IS version at the same time as the 300mm f2.8.  Lucking camera dealer got to sell me two new high end lens on same sale.  This lens is just about hand hold-able, at least for a few seconds.  I have many shots taken on the spur of the moment hand held.  Just don’t think about it too long.  I usually use this lens on a Gitzo carbon fibre tripod and a gimbal mount.  I also have found that putting a 1x red dot rifle scope on the flash shoe good for quickly finding the bird or plane in flight.

STATUS: Active

Canon Tele-converters

The original versions of these devices would not stack.  You had to put a 12mm extension tube between them.  The front cap for them was an odd metal type that treading onto the outside barrow of the forward facing lens element.

I replaced both of them with the newer mark II versions.  The front caps are much more like a standard body cap, other than slightly deeper.  They stack directly when needed and Canon claimed the sharpness is better. 

A great thing about these devices is that there is internal electronics that tell the camera body you have increased the FL and decreased the aperture.  For example if I put the 2x on the 300 f2.8, the camera knows I have a f5.6 lens and the EXIF data shows 600 mm.  Now if you stack them, it still show same date as if you had the single 2x converter on.

These devices also work with the 180 Macro for greater magnification.  Back in slide copy days, you needed to do so if you wanted to crop the slide.

STATUS: MK II Active,   Original units sold

Tamron AF 2x Tele-Converter

Used originally with the older Tamron telephotos, and the Canon 70-300 DO lens, in the day, this one now just sits in the box.

STATUS:   Retired

Canon and Tamron extension tubes

I really keep two extension tubes around.  The 12 mm which is a Tamron, for short change in focus distant.  It was really a left over from stacking the older Canon Tele-converters.

The 25mm Canon I use with the longer telephotos to sort of make supersized macro lens.  Putting one on the backside will get you in a lot closer.  The interesting thing is the Canon unit has electronics in it -like the tele-converters and on some of the bodies compensated the light meter.  Not so much of a problem with digital as you can do a test shot, but with film..

The quality of the glass on either are the same…. NONE J

STATUS: Active


Canon 77mm close up lens/filter

This achromatic close up +0.500 Diopter lens fits on the front of a lens and allows it to focus a lot closer. Because of its achromatic design, there is no colour fringes that happen with simple close up lens.  Fully anti-refection coated it works extremely well on the 70-200 f2.8.  Converting that lens to a long macro, I can get in a take head shots of butterflies and the lies

STATUS: In service