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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Oct 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,249.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Versatile, Low Distortion
Cons:
Heavy

I have been looking for a replacement from by beloved EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens since upgrading to the 5D Mark II. The 24-105 f/4 L is sharp enough on the short end but suffers from distortion and a lack of bokeh. It's an attempt to do too much with a single lens. I sold it and purchased the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L and what a difference. It is very sharp across the entire zoom range, adds an extra stop, and has a very pleasing bokeh. Definitely L quality and a worthy replacement to the 17-55. If only it had IS! A great travel, people, and all-around general purpose lens.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: Dec 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Light weight, IS well-performing, great travel lens for telephoto needs.
Cons:
Tripod collar not included and is a little pricey.

This lens is very sharp across the focal range and all apertures and is only aided by the effective IS system. Being f/4.0 limited the bokeh and OOF rendering can be somewhat harsh at times. Excellent for travel and cityscape photography. The tripod collar is not included and is a little overpriced at $149.99. A word of warning - the IS needs a few seconds to settle down as it were once activated.... a quick depress of the shutter may lead to out-of-focus shots if the IS is still stabilizing. Highly recommended - wish Canon would update the 70-200 f/2.8 IS with the upgraded optics and IS along the lines of this lens.

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Dec 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality - sharpness and bokeh. Light and relatively affordable.
Cons:
Could use IS.

A stunning companion to the EF 85mm f/1.2 Mark II when extra reach and compression is required. Another stunning people lens with extra implications for stage, sports and other forms of low light photography. The image quality (sharpess, bokeh, etc.) are all excellent. The lens is lighter, fast focusing, and a little easier to handle than the 85mm f/1.2. IS might be helpful in certain conditions but for the value and quality in this focal range it cannot be beat!

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Dec 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,745.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Magical. Phenomenal image quality in terms of sharpness and out of focus blur. The definitive portait lens.
Cons:
Expensive (but worth it), rather heavy and the exposed rear element makes it somewhat awkward and requires special care when handling. Some CA as the aperture is opened at its widest.

There is something absolutely magical about this lens. This is THE people lens and is well worth the price of admission. Besides the sharp image quality, the boken and out of focus areas are rendered stunningly even when stopped down. My favorite shots are largely from this lens and I am only beginning to explore its magic on the new 5D Mark II. Anytime candid people shots are in order, this is mounted to the camera.

 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Dec 18, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Full Frame, Larger Viewfinder, Control Layout, 3" Screen.
Cons:
Kit lens is garbage, Noisy RAW files out of camera, 21 MP is overkill, AF is outdated, overpriced.

Definitely overrated. The hype of enhanced low light performance, while there, is not the the end-all people make it out to be. To achieve true low noise performance requires the DPP software reductions that destroy, and I mean destroy, image sharpness and detail. The rest of it is standard Canon fare, clunky interface, parts that work sporadically, and a sub-standard AF system. All-in-all a pricey toy that once again proves it is the photographer that makes beautiful images, not the gear. As a lifelong Canon photographer I have tried to justify the excitement and hoop-lah surrounding the camera but it is just not there.

 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 18, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Build Quality, Range
Cons:
Image Quality, Distortion, Corner Sharpness, Abyssmal on 5D Mark II

Absolutely abyssmal on the new 5D Mark II. Image quality comparable to the plastic kits lens that come with the older toy rebels and it is not suitable for large, professional applications. High-end equipment deserves top-notch glass and this is not it. Corner sharpness is non-existent and the distortion on the lower end destroys those focal ranges for usefulness. Even the toyish EF-S 17-55 IS tops this lens for quality. Anybody who claims this lens to be sharp either has a better copy or has not seen sharp, quality glass.