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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Typical L quality, not so big and heavy, sharpness, IS which bring a lot more versatility, perfect range for a walkaround lens ( at least for my style of photography...)
Cons:
zoom ring a bit stiff ( but my lens is only 3 hours old...)

I visited my favorite shop tonight, looking for a new camera bag... Conversation went on the 24-105. I said "Impossible to find one" ( They have been all withdrawn, here in Switzerland, after "the problems" came out), the salesman answered "I've got one..." He told me Canon had just begun to re-ship brand new lenses with all defects corrected.... As I had my 20D with me I tested it right away. It was night already, so I could only take a few pictures inside the shop, under bad artificial lighting. All at f4. And came the big surprise: no vignetting, virtually no distortion, perfectly sharp, beautiful colours !!!!!!!! So you guessed it : I ended up spending much much more than I expected.... Back home I did a few more trials. On a shot taken at 24mm/f4 I tried PTLens, then I got a distorted picture !!!! It might be a totally different story on a FF slr/dslr, but on the 20d crop-sensor I can't find any distortion !!! Pictures are very sharp, I'll need more testing to judge it but it seems to be at least as good as my 70-200 f4 ( a very good copy) And IS is incredible as always... I have a very usable picture at 105mm 1/5 sec.... and definitely sharp at 1/25. I'm sure this lens is going to be a lot on my camera !!!!! BTW I've got the bag too :-)

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus

ef135mmf_28soft_1_
Review Date: Dec 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: funny as it seems: incredibly sharp, even at f 2.8.Awesome bokeh. Beautiful dreamy look to the picture when the SF feature is correctly set
Cons:
SF effects difficult to handle and to predict !

I came across a mint second hand copy of this lens, for the equivalent of 100$ !! I was looking for a "fast" tele lens, so I bought it not for the SF feature but for the f2.8. I felt in love with the lens as soon as I had seen my first pictures taken with it!!! It's perfectly sharp at 2.8, fantastic creamy bokeh, beautiful colors and contrast, in line with my L lens. Even if build and AF are quite old I used it for basket ball with very good results !!!!! On a 1.6 crop camera it's a 216mm f2.8 !!!! A real bargain for who can't afford a 135 L (like me...)
I did try the SF feature with some beautiful dreamy pictures as a result. But I find it very difficult to handle. One really need to take a lot of pictures with different aperture/SF setting combinations to get a keeper.
If only for the price I paid and the pictures I get, I'll never sell this lens!!!!