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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Dec 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp images at most aperatures. Nice color and contrast. Great for portraiture, general shooting, and close-ups. Compact size and weight.
Autofocus tends to hunt more most other Canon lenses.

This lens is a fantastic addition to a Canon photographers arsenal. Tack sharp images at most all aperatures. Beautiful color and contrast rendition. Nice 2.5 wide open aperature. I'm more than surprised with the results of this lens.

I originally purchased this for mostly macro photography, but now it stays on my 20D a lot. I like being able to go macro and then use it as a regular super sharp lens. With Canon's Extender (25mm) you can go 1:1, otherwise it's half life size.

This is a perfect fit with Canon's MR-14EX Macro Ring Light. Both make a great combination, and not just for macro shots. Try some regular shots, or even fashion-type shots and you will be quite surprised with the versatility of this pair.

Of course it would be nice to have 1:1 without an extender, but I knew that when I purchased it.

Only small quibble is the hunting autofocus mechanism. It appears it can't figure whether you want a very close up or a long shot, however when it does find the autofocus range it's quite fast in snapping into position for all the next shots.

Recommendation: A real winner!

Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

Review Date: Dec 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: ETTL, Ratios for 3d lighting, lamp light for focusing, poor-man's modeling lamp, built-in wireless flash with other Canon speedlights. Much more...
None yet.

I found quite a few pleasant surprises with this flash after my purchase. Wow, what capabilities! Extreme close-up ETTL (with compatible bodies of course). Full left and right ratio's for 3d lighting effects (or you can turn off one side completely). Poor man's modeling effect like the other good Speedlights. Bigger surprise, built-in wireless master and slave mode with other speedlights for more lighting effects. Great flash for macros and even fashion-type portrait photos. I use the lamp light for spot-on focusing - neat feature!

I'm very impressed with this ring light. It clips on very easily to my 50mm 2.5 Canon macro lens, and holds on strong. Great ETTL shots and even better capabilities if you read all the functions this flash has.

Highly Recommend.