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  Reviews by: Gino02GT  

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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Nov 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp at all apertures, amazing bokeh, huge aperture, built like a tank, accurate autofocus
Not real negatives, but only what is to be expected from a lens with an f/1.2 aperture: size, weight, price, some chromatic aberration (large apertures), some vignetting (large apertures on full-frame)

The 85L isn't just a run-of-the-mill 85mm lens. It reaches out and gives you just about anything and everything that this focal length has to offer. Going to f/1.2 means you have just about total control of depth of field with this lens.

Speaking of apertures, the minimum aperture is f/16, as if to give you the hint that this lens isn't interested in being stopped down.

Mount this onto a full-frame sensor and you've got a setup that's very hard to beat. Wide open you'll get some vignetting in the corners, but this isn't always apparent. If you shoot an evenly lit white wall or ISO test chart, it will be. I find in many of my pictures at f/1.2, the vignetting doesn't jump out and hit you. I prefer the look it gives to the pictures with the kind of subject isolation possible at those apertures.

There is also chromatic aberration present at very large apertures on high-contrast areas, but that is to be pretty much accepted when you're dealing with lenses of these speeds.

Autofocus is very accurate and of decent speed. I would assume that the Mark I version of this lens could be described as somewhat slow, but the Mark II is good. Some people start crying over the idea of slow autofocus, some people's descriptions exaggerate and blow the issue way out of proportion. I think it's just fine. Definitely not something you'd praise for being all-out fast, but not a shortcoming like some would have you believe.

An interesting aspect is the focus-by-wire design. If you use custom function #4 to put the autofocus on the * button, manual focusing is active all the time, otherwise you'd have to hold the shutter button down halfway. The lens hood also clips onto the focusing ring, so you can turn the hood and focus as well. Just be careful that you don't do it accidentally. Along those lines, BE CAREFUL WITH THE FOCUS WIDE OPEN. User error is a killer in a lens like this.

Plus there is no substitute for the ego-boosting traits of this lens: take off both caps and stare into the barrel of this beast....that is a LOT of glass!

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

Review Date: Oct 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Absolutely tack sharp, lightning fast (and silent) autofocus

A simply amazing lens to get you into the supertelephoto focal lengths at a reasonable price. The next step for more millimeters from Canon is going to cost you over $4,000 more.

The only reason I stop this lens down is for more depth of field. Sharpness is never an issue when shooting with this lens, keep it wide open and fire away.

I chose this in the end over the 300/4L IS because of the focal length, and VERY glad that I did. 300 wouldn't even be close to the reach I need for wildlife. On a related note, this lens performs wonderfully with my 1.4x extender, which I frequently use with it. No perceptible loss in quality with my copies.

Without the IS, this lens does take a little practice when long lenses are completely new to you. A good tripod is a must.

You can go on about how fast the autofocus is with this lens, but you still won't be able to fully describe how great it is. Definately something one has to experience.

If you're looking for a lot of reach and are shooting in conditions where good light won't be a problem, this lens is for you.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Oct 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp a couple of stops down, small, light, VERY inexpensive
Any downsides of this lens can be directly attributed to the fact you're only paying $75 for a very sharp lens.

Build quality, 5 blade aperature, plastic's $75, you really can't be too picky at that level. Once you move past that you'l get one of Canon's lightest, smallest lenses. After hauling around some small, medium, and somewhat large L's, attaching this onto my camera really is a nice change of pace.

Stop it down to about f/4 and you'll get results that you might not have thought possible with such a (relatively) small contribution from your wallet.

Buy it. I read the same statement from these boards and went with it. They were right, I agree, and now I say it again: just buy it.

ESPECIALLY if you're new to photography, this is the perfect lens to serve as an introduction to prime and large aperature lenses. Coming from a point-and-shoot to a 300D and one of these really opened the doors of photography to me.

Now I'm a multiple body and L lens carrying junkie Smile