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  Reviews by: Brian Mitchell  

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

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Jul 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, good range, wide aperture.
Cons:
weight, cost

A great lens, with a very good build quality and range. It works well with a 1.4x or 2x extender. Some of my better photos with it are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62641147@N00/sets/72157601022389640/

But, then, this lens is also a brick! It is really too heavy to carry around on a regular basis. So think hard about why you want to use it. If it is for day-light outdoor shots then go with the f/4.0 version. Its cheaper, much lighter, and you'll carry it more often.


 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Jul 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: IS, light weight, low cost
Cons:
Narrow aperture range

This lens came with my Canon 20D (as part of an upgrade package), I used it sparingly, and then gave up on it too soon for an upgrade to a Canon 24-70mm 2.8L. I upgraded because I like to take low light shots without a flash, and thought that I needed a wider aperture. Two years later, and after reading reviews like below, I realize that I was under utilizing the technology found in both the lens and the camera and, with some practice, you can get great shots out of this lens. The 17-85 range is great, making this a fantastic walk-around lens. I just bought my father a Digital Rebel for his birthday, and included this lens, and it is all he will need for some time to come.

Some of my better shots with the lens (mostly in Cambodia) can be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62641147@N00/sets/72157600675727830/


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Jul 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, fast, good prime to start
Cons:
None for the price

For an entry level 50mm lens, and selling for about $79 on Amazon, this lens can't be beat. Some representative pictures that I've taken:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62641147@N00/sets/72157600394476350/

The key aspect of this lens is its flexibility. Flexible because it is light, so you'll take it everywhere in your bag, always ready to throw it on the camera when needed. And flexible because you can take pictures in very low light without a flash.. With the ISO turned up you can almost take pictures in the dark. You will see what I mean if you look at some of the above-linked pictures. Some of my best shots are there, and that is because this was the right lens at the right time.

If you already shoot with prime lenses, and are comfortable paying more, go for the f/1.4. I rented it once, and was impressed. It sells for under $300. But if you want to try out a great and almost equivalent lens, start out here. You need this lens.


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Jun 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness. Good and artistic DoF and blur
Cons:
Hard to control the DoF

A great lens. The pictures are amazing, and require far less Photoshop processing than every other lens that I own. My only complaint is that it is hard to control the dof, which can be too thin.

Some of my best pictures with this lens, which I think really show it off:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62641147@N00/sets/72157594455547698/detail/