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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake

pancake-1
Review Date: Aug 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $229.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, small, light.
Cons:
F2 would have been nicer but 2.8 does the job in daylight.

My wife got me a gift certificate for $200 at my local camera store (god bless Duncan and Wright) and I decided to get the 40mm. I have the 35L and 50L so I didnít really need the focal length but what interested me was the size and weight. I wanted to take out one lens , the 5D2 and my 270 EX out with me when Iím riding my bike. Iíve taken a couple of hundred shots with it now and Iím quite impressed! Colour wise itís not as good as the 35 and bokeh wise it doesnít match the 35 or 50L but it is a $229 (Canada) lens.

Itís well sharp at 2.8. It does vignette way more than my other primes at 2.8 but the look isnít a bad thing, it does give the lens a certain character. The bokeh is more pleasing to me than maybe some on-line reviewers found but then bokeh quality is very subjective at the best. The build quality is very decent and it feels very well made. I was impressed enough to buy a good (B+W) CPL which was half the price of the lens...! All in all, this is a very good lens for an unbelievable price. Itís by far the cheapest lens I have ever owned and itís well up there with my L lenses for IQ. Nicely done Canon!


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Oct 13, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, even at 1.4. Great colour and contrast. For me its a perfect focal length for a 'walk round' lens on a FF camera. Good build quality, fast AF. Great bokeh for a wider lens. Gives a 50L like look to shots.
Cons:
No weather sealing.

I sold my 24L II to get this lens and itís been my most used lens since I bought it in April 2010. Up until then my favourite lens was the 50L. I find the 35ís focal length more useful to me.

I really like the bokeh compared to the 24L, although not quite as buttery/creamy as the 50L the 35L is sharper at 1.4 than the 50L.

I love the shallow DOF and the 3D look to the larger aperture shots. Itís like a wider, sharper 50L to me. I find it a great match up for travel with the 24-105. It really is as good as everybody says.


 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

EF24_14LII
Review Date: Nov 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, sharpness, AF, colours, contrast.
Cons:
The nature-of-the-beast WA bokeh isn't my favourite.

I used to be all zooms but the 24L II is my third prime now. Iíve had the 50L for three years and it took a while to get competent with it because of the very shallow DOF. No such problems with the 24L, itís a very easy lens to use. Itís also a lot sharper than the 50L at 1.4. I Ďummed and aahedí about the 24 over the 35 but the weather sealing was the swaying factor plus the fact that the 24L has been opitimised for digital and the 35L is quite an old model now.
This lens really comes into itís own for me indoors with available light. I love the sharpness, colours, contrast, speed of AF, build. The bokeh isnít as nice as the 50L but this is apparently standard for a WA lens. Vignetting hasnít been a problem for me with DPP but I am getting a bit of CA that seems to be fine after DPP. I did use MA in my 5D2 (-3) to get it where I wanted it.
Itís great to use outside too but I prefer the 50L in that environment. Iíve had the 24L for 10 months now and it was a good purchase, no regrets but when a 35L II comes out I may have to look at that too!
For my preferred subjects, mainly my family and friends, primes are the dogs bollocks. To non-Brits that means they are the best and the 24L II is a very, very good lens.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Jun 24, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Great build, great bokeh, best 50mm Canon make, looks sexy and works very well with the 5D2.
Cons:
The shallow DOF makes it a bit of a learning curve to use at first. The silly reviews some people have made on it.

I originally gave a review of this lens on my 20D in Feb 2008. I have a 5D2 and the two make a very happy couple.

This lens is well built, fast and just a great bit of kit.

Because of the extreme negative chatter and the unfathomable low numbers some have given this lens I continually pixel peep and use the MA function to check it.
The lens is fine.
Although focussing is more accurate using live view MF at 10x on lens charts, if you want to mess around with lens charts.
I found the factory settings to be the best on my 5D2 and the 50L.

Iíve tried the Canon 1.4 and this is a better all around lens. Sure the 1.4 is a lot cheaper but thatís reflected in the build quality. This lens just feels right and Iím a big fan of the 50mm perspective on full frame. On a crop, this lens doesnít shine.

On sharpness, at F1.2 itís not as sharp as my other lenses at F2.8 and F4. (Nah, talk about stating the obvious!)
Those expecting a lens at 1.2 to be as sharp as an ĎLí zoom at 2.8 have unrealistic expectations and should spend $6000 on a Leica MF lens instead of polluting the results for this lens review with Ď3í and Ď4í or Ď6í. Silly marks indeed.

At F1.6-1.8 itís a lot sharper and it gives a kind of dreamy look at 1.2-1.4, great for portraits of people who are not looking for every crinkle and crease to be displayed.

F2 up itís well sharp. The bokeh is just beautiful and this lens spends the most time on my 5D2, edging out my ďLĒ zooms. Plus it looks very nice, (shallow of me eh?).

The average mark should be 9+ if the 1.4 getís a 9.
This is the best 50mm Canon make and its worth a 10. Some people need to stop being silly.


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: Dec 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Too numerous to list, see below.
Cons:
The CF door does not fit properly, minor point really.

Iíve only had the 5D2 for 8 days now but I love it! Itís a quantum leap from the 20D it replaces. My 16-35 II looks spectacular on it and the 24-105 is now on the body it was made for. The lens is great on the 5D2.

Even my 50L seems easier to use. The Ďhighlight tone priorityí helps in high contrast situations such as snow (we have rather a lot of snow at the moment in southern Ontario) and there are many other very useful features including the user definable modes and the Ďquick control screení is a very good idea.

The video is quite interesting and looks amazing on my plasma TV via a HDMI lead. Donít use an IS lens though as the mic picks up the IS noise but otherwise itís very clear on TV playback.
Focussing in video is fine, there is AF itís just a bit slow so the odd tweak with MF is no biggy. I havenít tried live-view yet, Iím not sure how useful that will to my shooting style. I like the viewfinder.

I canít believe how sharp the JPEGís look on the LCD, chimped all the way in and still sharp, and thatís a small JPEG file as I shoot in RAW. I really am thinking that my 20D was defective!

This camera has blown me away. I donít know how anybody can give this a Ď5í unless they have not used it and just hate Canon.
This is a 10.
Iím betting on getting 4-5 years out of this at the very least.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 18, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Light, sharp, useful IS. Excellent build quality. Great on the 5D2. Feels great on this size body.
Cons:
Not great on my 20D.

Ok, this lens is way better on my 5D2 (despite some other adverse comments). I gave it a go with misgivings, at my 9 year old son's Christmas Carol affair. I decided to crank up the ISO instead of using a flash. I'm very impressed, I got hand held images (even after a 'red bull') at a 40th, at 105 mm with 2500 ISO which were sharp and way better than my 20D at 400 and with flash.
I am now starting to really appreciate this lens. It still a 10.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Feb 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great build, love the bokeh, light, very nice to use, looks good too!
Cons:
I can't really see anything negative on this. I've paid way more for my zooms!

I have had this lens a whole week now. I love it! Itís a bit long on a 20D but I just have to take a few steps backwards to sort that out.
The build quality is definitely ďLĒ. Very nicely done.
The lens itself exhibits the obvious fantastic bokeh and is quick to AF as far as Iím concerned.
I see no difference in daylight from my 16-35 II or the 24-70. It does seem to hunt in very low light but the flash AF assist deals with that issue.
It has taken me a few days to stop trying to zoom it ( my first Canon prime!) as the last 50 I had was on my old OM20 back in the Duran Duran era!
Iím getting better at dealing with the very shallow DOF at 1.2. Iím very happy with the LCD views of my little girl jumping in Florida puddles but the pixel peeping will have to wait until I get back to Ontario.
I do love this lens! $1100 from B&H was the clincher, Henryís gets no more of my cash!
God bless America and B&H Photo and Canon!


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: May 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, speed, bokeh, sharp, as well as the bloody good pictures I get from it.
Cons:
Price, price of filters, price of gas and Stella Artois,world peace.

Well, bit the bullet and shelled out my retro cheque on this very nice lens.
I got the 24-70 ten months ago (which I love dearly) and I toyed with the idea of buying a 5D to replace/add to my 20D. Change of plan.
I nearly bought the 17-40 but Iíve got well used to 2.8 and my previous Tamron lens purchases have taught me that the cheaper option isnít the way for me. No disrespect to Tam owners but photography is all about personal choice. This lens is a porsche to Yamrons 17-35 2.8-4.

I choose Canon ďLĒ lenses.

The 16-35 gives me the same kind of sharpness I get with the 24-70 at the real wide end. The 1.6 crop really was limiting me on the 24 end but 16 mm of ths lens makes a huge difference.
Great build quality (should be for $1840 Canadian!), and an easy transition from the 24-70.
Itís about the same size and weight as the 24-105 but the 82mm filter size means I have to get another expensive cir pol and the Rodenstock UV filter cost more than my mates new Kodak point-and-shoot!
Great bokeh, fast, well built and sharp. What more could you want? Cheaper would have been nice!
No second guessing on this one. Great lens and my bag is complete. For nowÖÖÖ.


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Nov 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Clarity,sharpness,speed, 2.8L, quality build,the evocotive way it feels, the boost it gives to the AF.
Cons:
I have nothing negative to say. We all know 2.8 is heavier. Stop whining about it or get a crappy plastic lens and crappy picture to boot. This lens with IS would be THE lens but then it would cost $2000...ooh er!

Two weeks ago I got the 24-105 4L IS.
I waxed lyrically about this lens after having it for five days. My local camera store has a 14 day return policy and I found myself tossing and turning at night, second guessing myself about this and the 24-70 2.8L.
Well, I bit the bullet , returned the 24-105 and got a 24-70.

Iíve had it 2 days longer than the 24-105 and I believe this is the lens for me.
True itís a bit heavier but you soon get used to it.
True that you lose some flexibility on the focal length.
True you lose the IS.
But on the plus side, the 2.8 really makes a difference.
The shots I tried with the 24-105 with moving water really failed to satisfy me for sharpness once I got into Photoshop. To get the shots I like I had to put the 24-105 on a tripod, defeating itís real point.
I also noted that inside the house with my 7 month old, it was less than stellar without a flash.
The 24-70 was a different ball game. The sharpness of the images I have taken are just a quantum leap for me.
It also feels like a Ďrealí lens.
Iím ex-military and it just feels like a good bit of kit that will take some punishment but still deliver, a bit like the old 7.62 SLR rifle I used to shoot. (Brits will know what I mean).
The 24-105 is more like the SA-80 rifle. Does the job but fails to deliver the real punch of the SLR/24-70.
I find myself just looking at the lens, admiring it, holding it, and just giving it lustful glances, sad or what?
The 24-105 did not evoke these somewhat strange emotions, so I have a bond with the 24-70 that defies logic.
I feel that this lens and I will become close chums and that my best pictures are yet to come.
This lens is the real thing. My pictures are better than ever and Iím trying artistic and technical shots with my 20D that I never really thought of before.
This lens has inspired me, and itís just worth the money, even though it is a tad steep. I think itís the best $1300 (Canadian) Iíve ever spent.

Canon, I could sell these all day for you. Call me.


 
Tamron 24-135MM F/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical (IF) Macro

24135mm_1_
Review Date: Oct 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Reasonable build quality, optically very nice, good range, even on a 1.6. Great on a tripod. Pretty cheap.
Cons:
Slow AF( I have missed too many good shots), problems with ETTL II flash sync with my 580EX, the lens lock is a pain.

This was the first lens I bought after ditching my old Minolta film gear and going with a 20D.

I have some great landcsape shots, mostly on a tripod, that I got with this lens. However on a 20D I noticed the AF rarely got locks on more than 2 of the 9 AF points in the viewfinder.
The AF really is slow and makes moving people and kid shots a challenge, as in a bit of a pain in the arse.
I also get very mixed results with my 580EX flash, sometimes I get a decent shot, sometimes not. This is also a problem with my tam 17-35 lense, but not my 70-200 F4L.

I have learned much about digital photography from this lens so I don't regret buying it. It's just that my abilities have outstripped this lens's capabilities.
On top of a tripod for landscape/outdoor shots it is more than adequate.
It's also a good starter lens. But I have moved on and I shelled out for the Canon 24-105 IS F4L, which is just amazing!
My tam 24-135 is now for sale!

Good bye old chum.....


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Oct 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, AF speed, AF coverage on a 20D, great focal range, even on a 20D, sharp and the IS delivers beyond expectations.
Cons:
Price, but you do get what you pay for, a bloody good lens.

Iím not sure if Frankdatank went to the same waterfall as me (Waterdown, On) but I heartily agree with him.
I popped down way too close to dusk and got some great hand held shots at 1/6-1/8th.
I actually did stand in the river with my tripod in the summer but it was a tad too chilly the other night. The IS just amazes me and it really is a quantum leap from my old Tamron 24-135, now destined to remain on the shelf.
Iíve been really impressed with is the much more positive AF response. I was used to one or two red boxes in my viewfinder (except with my 70-200 F4L), now I get six or so and really sharp piccies.
I toyed with a 24-70 2.8L, which really is a great lens, but for what I do (landscapes and family stuff) the 24-105 is just the best all around fit.
Some of the negative opinions either have crap copies or their particular style of shooting requires a different lens.
This photo stuff is personal yíknow, donít just take a review as gospel, look at your own shooting style and buy a lens accordingly.

This is a truly great lens and is perfect for me.
The 24-70 2.8L is another truly great lens but I donít shoot sports and Iím not a press photographer et al, so itís weight and focal range mean I didnít keep it and it went back to Henryís.
The 24-105 does the job for me! Itís a keeperÖ..