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Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus

ef135mmf_28soft_1_
Review Date: Aug 12, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small lens (52mm threads), same hood as 85mm lens. This is makes a nice fast and light telephoto lens on a DSLR. Optical performance is outstanding, out of focus highlights are very pleasing. Focusing is relatively quick and quiet for a non-USM lens, thanks to internal focus mechanism. Lens doesn't extend or rotate during focusing.
Cons:
No USM, build quality notch below 85/1.8 and 100/2 lenses. Manual focus gritty. Minimum focus distance could be less.

This lens has gotten more use than I expected initially. When I want to bring a real telephoto lens, but want to keep weight and bulk down, this is the lens. With a D30/D60/10D, its field of view is equivalent to a 216mm lens on a 35mm system, In practice, I found that I have not really used the soft focus feature, except for playing and testing. The effect is hard to predict, I find, and not easy to visualize on the small review display of a DSLR. If you notice it, it is too much.

 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Jun 16, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent build, but still surprisingly light. Instantaneous and sure focus, even on D60 in low light. Surprisingly close focus.
Cons:
Awkward hood. Would have been nice if there was a narrower hood for use with DSLR's that do not use a full-frame sensor.

As I only bought this lens today, it is to early to give a definite review, but the initial impressions are very good. The lens is a joy to handle, and focus is very fast, even compared to other speedy lenses such as the 85/1.8 USM. Local contrast seems very good as does sharpness, even at the closest focus distance and widest setting. I'm especially impressed with the color, bokeh and rendition of out-of-focus highlights.