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  Reviews by: Justin D  

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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Feb 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS, Perfect range for me on a 30D, Sharp with good colour and contrast
Cons:
Bad bokeh

This lens is a solid all purpose lens. Under the right conditions, it takes awesome shots, though it doesn't do as well as some of my other lenses in less than ideal conditions. There are times when it blows me away and times when I'm a little disappointed that it's not doing all the work for me.
The bokeh is pretty bad - it looks a little like motion blur (even at 1/1000s), which to me makes some of my pictures look like they are taken at slow shutter speeds rather than having out of focus subjects. If you can get a bit of distance between your focal plane and the OOF areas, it isn't so noticeable - it's only when something is not right OOF (though that's always the case to some extent).
The range was perfect for a travel lens for me on a 1.6x camera. I had a 10-22 and 70-200 f4 IS with me for 3 months and I would certainly not hesitate to leave them at home next time.
It stands up well in terms of build quality.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f1.8, Very sharp at f2.8, feels good in the hand even if it is not L quality build (whatever that is). AF accurate and fast. Colour and contrast good, too. Good price and from what I read, consistent QC.
Cons:
Can't think of any. I remember thing the depth of field was a bit wider than I liked in a shot or 2 at or about f5.6, but I can't see the shots now. Probably imagining it.

An impressive lens. Fast enough to pull in almost as much light as my eye in some situations (at 1600), very sharp, comparatively light with a solid feel, good colours and contrast. For some reason, it took me a couple of hours (~50 shots) to start getting good results (could have been the behaviour of my 8 year old subject, though), but within a couple of hours, I had 5-10 shots I reckon are pretty good. Highest keeper ratio of all my lenses after the 70-200 f4L, but I'm not dealing with extremely narrow depth of field with the zoom.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Sep 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, fast autofocus, price
Cons:
Too big to fit in lens pocket of my Orion Trekker II. It's use is somewhat limited (to daylight), but there are other, significantly more expensive lenses that are faster.

This lens is seriously impressive. My first L lens and all I can say is I'm going to buy more. It is sharper than my manual focus primes (when I hit the mark with them, that is) and contrast, colour and background separation are light years ahead. It is probably sharper than my 50mm canon prime, too. My Zeiss 135mm 2.8 will stay with me - it can take lovely pictures and is quite small - but this lens makes me think twice about assuming that zooms are for convenience and primes are for quality.
About the only thing my primes have over this is speed, but I bought this with full knowledge that an IS version was coming out and that it's usefulness is probably limited to daylight shooting. I have yet to use it with a polariser, but from what I shot, I expect it will be fine. A hell of a lens for everyday daylight shooting. I simply can't imagine better, though I know there is better.