TUCSON, ARIZ.--For more than a week now, I've been on Road Trip 2007, my journey around the Southwest visiting various science and technology-related sites, and I've been having a great time.
I've toured the nearly-hidden tunnels that go underneath the Las Vegas Strip, and braved my fear of heights on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. And I've peered into the Earth's past, and a scary future, at Arizona's Meteor Crater.
All the while, I've also been ferrying around a box full of high-tech gadgets to review, and I've been road-testing them as I go. It's been a busy trip so far, and I haven't had a chance to use them all, though I hope to.
But the tech gear that's been the most useful so far, even, dare I say, indispensable, are the two lenses Canon lent me to use with my own personal Rebel XT digital SLR.
They are a 10-22mm ultra-wide zoom and a 70-300mm telephoto zoom.
Now, I will admit I am not a camera junkie, and I will never get around to using these lenses in all the many ways I could. I think I take good pictures, but most of the time it's using the most minimal of settings.
But with these two lenses, I feel as if I've expanded my repertoire exponentially, and I wish I had the cash to buy each of these for myself since, sadly, I have to return them when I get home.
The telephoto lens has been great in helping me do things like shoot pictures of the 747s parked at Pinal Air Base north of Tucson, a place I couldn't get into for a visit. But I really wanted some pictures, so I pulled off on a side road, popped on the 70-300mm lens, and snapped away.
The real star of the trip has been the 10-22mm lens, however. I've actually been using this lens in place of the stock 18-55mm lens, even when I suspect it isn't quite the right gear for the job. I just like what I can see through it so much.
I'm also sure these lenses have their deficiencies, but I haven't found them yet, though I admit I may not be qualified to judge what is missing about them.
In the end, I would say that for amateur photographers, these two lenses are a terrific addition, and I would feel very comfortable recommending them.