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Canon's lenses make a great Road Trip addition

A telephoto and an ultra-wide lens are a terrific complement to my Rebel XT digital SLR.

I wasn't allowed into Pinal Air Park, near Tucson, so to take this image of a row of 747s parked there, I used Canon's 70-300mm telephoto lens. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.

The Canon 10-22mm and 70-300mm lenses I've been using have been a terrific addition to the stock 18-55mm lens that came with my Rebel XT. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.

This picture of Arizona's Meteor Crater was taken using the Canon 10-22mm zoom lens, which allowed me to capture almost the entirety of the crater. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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.