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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Aug 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $249.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, even wide open. Nice contrast and color. Rivals Canon's L-Series optics.
Not a USM lens, but that has little or no effect for landscape and general photography. A bit larger and heavier than Canon's other consumer-quality 50mm lenses.

The vast majority of my photography is landscape or travel. Because of that I rarely need fast (f/1.4 - f/2.0) glass or quiet USM focusing. Hence, this lens is fantastic for my purposes. It's very sharp even a low f-stops, with a "sweet spot" at f/5.6 - f/8.0 when stopped down. The focusing is actually quite fast, if a bit louder than USM lenses. The front element is also deeply recessed -- you won't need a lens shade in most cases -- and therefore well protected. Don't let the macro terminology fool you, this is a great general purpose and landscape lens.