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  Reviews by: Dr Jimson  

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality, good build, good value, easy to use.
Cons:
none

I have found the image quality of this lens to be almost L standard. It is certainly better than a couple of my L zooms.
It hasn't quite got the contrast and colour of the 180L but you have to look hard to see the difference and the increased depth of field sometimes makes up for this. The 100mm certainly is much better value and is easier to use hand held.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. F1.2 is awesome for indoor shots and ultra shallow depth of field. Very smooth bokeh.
Cons:
Some chromatic abberation.

This is my favourite lens. It produces fantastic portraits that have an almost 3D effect.
The lens is very sharp, especially if stopped down slightly.
Some reviews say the lens is difficult to use but I have not found this to be the case. The shallow depth of field can cause problems but I have found the best way to deal with this is to select the central focussing square, focus on the eye and reframe the shot.
I like the heavy weight of this lens and find it sits in the hand nicely.
My only criticism is that there is some chromatic abberation visible in high contrast shots but this is not usually a problem in portraits and is also only really noticeable on heavily cropped or enlarged images.


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Image stabiliser is brilliant. Built in hood. Light weight for size and quality.
Cons:
None

One of my sharpest lenses. Easy to use. Probably the best value "long lens" Canon produce.
Works well with 1.4x TC (2x TC is manual focus only)
I am a big fan of lens hoods and the built in hood is much easier to use.
The image stabiliser is very effective.
I find this lens is a very nice weight and can be hand held fairly easily. Mount it on a monopod and it is awesome.


 
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

ef_180_35_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp,very good contrast.
Cons:
Heavy

Extremely good build quality although a bit heavy. Challenging to use hand held. The focal length is great for not scaring the bugs away but does result in a very shallow depth of field. The contrast and colour is superb. This lens does require perfect technique and is much more demanding than the Canon 100mm macro. When I first got this lens I thought it was a bit soft but I found this was just down to the way I was using it coupled with the incredibly shallow depth of field.
Focus stacking software reveals just how sharp this lens really is. I would recommend using at least a monopod and preferably a tripod.
Focus is very slow but I almost always use manual focus so this is not really an issue for me.
I am not sure the difference in image quality between this and the 100mm justifies the difference in cost.


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Nice weight. Perfect for candids. Fantastic bokeh.
Cons:
none

This is probably my sharpest lens and I have a few L primes and zooms. Great for candid portraits at weddings (much more discrete than 70-200 2.8). Bokeh is excellent and is great for getting rid of busy backgrounds.
It is a bit long for standard portraiture on a crop body.