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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

ts243_1_
Review Date: Jun 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tilt and shift functions, color/contrast, build quality, compactness
Cons:
Chromatic aberration, corner softness, weird barrel distortion, metering

This is an amazing lens. There's nothing else like it. I use it on a 300D, but on my 35mm SLR the field of view is much better -- it's a focal length that makes more sense on FF. The color and contrast are great.

The main negative is barrel distortion -- weird barrel distortion. PTLens has a servicible profile for it, but nothing completely undoes the distortion. The trick is to be very careful with placement of vertical lines and to make sure the camera is perfectly straight up and down (i.e. with a spirit level). Otherwise the convergence of lens distortion and perspective distortion can look pretty ugly. Cyan-red CA occurs in all high contrast images, but it's easily correctable. Metering is tricky with this lens -- you have to meter in manual and with the lens unshifted and untilted, but then often add a stop to compensate for light loss when shifted.

On my 1.6 crop SLR I've seen no vignetting at all.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Bokeh, sharpness, build
Cons:
Autofocus, CA, lens hood

When stopped down and manually focused this lens is a gem. The autofocus on my copy couldn't find water in the ocean. There is some virtually uncorrectable blue-yellow CA in some photos too (I say uncorrectable because it is very broad and Photoshop doesn't necessarily recognize it as CA). I'm disappointed because I'd been expecting better. If Canon can fix the autofocus then maybe I'll think more highly of it.