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  Reviews by: Joel Kern  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Feb 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness that blows away my L zooms. Complete lack of CA up to f5.6 - minimal CA from f8 and beyond. Inexpensive - no worries if it dies on me.
Weird bokeh - very, very different from my L zooms... but different can be a good thing. Inexpensive - poor AF and completely uninspiring build quality.

An interesting lens at a bargain price... should have picked one of these up sooner. A nice companion lens for the 24-70 f2.8L.

Points of interest:

- No chromatic aberration from f1.8 to f5.6 - None! CA starts to creep in from f8 on up, but remains lower than both my 70-200 f2.8L and my 24-70 f2.8L zooms. A very, very good characteristic.

- Sharp from f2 on up - sharper than my L zooms at least, although I haven't tried the 135 f2L yet. Vignettes heavily wide open and up until about f2.8... but this can be seen as an advantage in some situations.

- Weird bokeh - I like the bokeh of this lens for certain situations; hate it for others... it's sort-of old school (like the lenses I used to use when I was in college 10 years ago) but with a weird twist. I'll get the hang of it eventually.

Definitely keeping this lens in my bag for the times that a photo would benefit from a complete lack of CA, killer sharpness, (what I'll call) "edgy" bokeh and/or vignetting. Don't think I'll be using it much for my landscape photography, but I've had some success using this lens for both portraits and product shots.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Jan 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp zoom lens with no chromatic aberration problems to speak of from 100mm to 200mm. Rock-solid build and a complete joy to use... a MUST-HAVE lens from the Canon stable.
Nit-picks: Closest focusing distance could be a little better and chromatic aberration performance at 70mm leaves a little to be desired... but then you'd have a perfect lens.

This is the one lens that will keep me tied to Canon. It's just that good. I've used Nikon a equivalent in the past (80-200 f2.8D two-ring), and while it was a good lens, the Canon runs circles around it. Incredibly fast focusing speed thanks to it's ultrasonic ring motor, incredible sharpness for a zoom and unsurpassed aberration correction for a lens in this range (I suppose the Leica 70-180 APO might be better, but I could never afford one anyway). The best telephoto lens I've ever had the pleasure of using.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Amazing build quality, stellar optics. While I actually use my EF 70-200 f2.8L more (I apparently like that focal range better), this is the lens that is mounted on my camera at the start of every photo shoot.
Yes, it's heavy... but it's a tank :)

I've owned this lens for some time now... recently compared it with a Canon EF 28-70 f2.8L because I was hoping to reduce the appearance of chromatic aberrations in my images without using software all the time. Found that the 24-70 has quite a bit less CA than the 28-70 does, despite some online reviews saying the opposite.
Looks like I'll be using PT Lens from now on. Smile

Sharpness in this lens is incredible... perfectly matched with my Canon EF 70-200 f2.8L (non-IS). Build quality is incredibly good (it's a tank).
First copy I had of this lens started ERR 99-ing on me due to a faulty aperture control motor... which Canon replaced with another faulty aperture control motor (assuming they replaced anything at all the first time).
Second copy has been working great from day one.