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  Reviews by: Perry Ge  

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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Jan 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, bokeh quality, IQ IQ IQ IQ. Build quality excellent, accurate focus.
Cons:
Slow focus, heavy, extends during focusing, weird FTM, exposed rear element.

This is the best lens I own. By far.

- It's the slowest focusing, by far.
- Its full time manual implementation is annoying, especially since it only works when the camera is on, and since it extends during focusing, this means I have to turn the camera on to retract the barrel.
- The rear element is really exposed and looks vulnerable, care needs to be taken when changing lenses with this one.
- It's heavy, and very expensive, and not weathersealed.

However, despite these shortcomings, this is my favourite lens ever. The images it spits out are jaw-droppingly good. Images are tack sharp wide open, and they make my eyes bleed at f/1.8 - I have to soften most of the shots that I make with this lens, not sharpen them. Bokeh is unbelievable at all apertures. Pure quality. The build is great, and there is a wonderful, subtly rubberized finish on the lens that makes gripping it very comfortable. AF is extremely accurate, and only slow if you are going from one end of the throw to the other - if you're in the ballpark already it's pretty quick.

For all the shortcomings of this lens, all is forgiven when I look at the images it produces. Canon have something special here, and IMO this lens is one of the best arguments for using the Canon system. I love it.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Jan 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Fast AF, nice bokeh, sharp.
Cons:
Relatively poor build, focal length, price, inconsistent optics and bad CA.

I thought I would love this lens. I wanted to love this lens. I didn't like it much at all. Optically it was very good - sharp wide open, with good bokeh, though CA was pretty bad and mine didn't seem sharp at longer focusing distances. Reports of copy variation make it seem like this is an inconsistent lens.

Build quality is a bit dated since this is a 1993 lens design. Focus ring has some play, and it feels cheaper than other Ls I have (17-40, 85L, 200L, 400L).

At the end of the day I didn't like the focal length on my 5D. That was the deciding factor for my getting rid of it. If you like the focal length, it's still a great lens.


 
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM

ef400mmf_56_1_
Review Date: Jan 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb AF, excellent handling, very nice built in hood, very sharp from corner to corner even wide open.
Cons:
Minimum focusing distance, no IS.

Wonderful lens. Lightning quick AF, great for birds in flight, light, still focuses quickly and accurately on my MKIIN even with a 1.4x TC. Very sharp, nice bokeh - and obviously you know it's f/5.6 and lacks IS when you buy it, but I haven't found either to be an issue. I love this lens, worth every penny, and the built in hood design and included tripod collar are just bonuses for what is perhaps the best bird in flight lens available.

 
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

1ef200mmf_28_1_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, size, IQ, focusing speed.
Cons:
None for the price.

Phenomenal lens at a really good price.

I got rid of my telephoto zooms for this lens because I wanted the speed in a lighter package. This lens is fantastic! IQ is excellent - tack sharp, great colours and contrast. The autofocus is to die for, it has no trouble tracking fast moving objects. It's lighter than the 70-200 f/2.8 series, and much cheaper. It also takes teleconverters well.

One of the best lens purchases I've ever made. Highly recommended.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Feb 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, weight, price.
Cons:
Light fall-off, barrel distortion.

I use this lens on a 5D, and it's one of the best I've ever had. It beat my old 50 1.8 prime's IQ hands down, and gives my 200L prime a run for its money.

I don't know what's going on when other people are bashing its IQ, or if I just got a superb copy, but this is one of the best lenses I have ever had the pleasure of owning. It is very good at 40mm, and astonishingly good at 17mm - very sharp, contrasty, and the colours are wonderful.

On the downside there is some light falloff, especially when I use lee filters (I do landscapes) and barrel distortion at the wide end, but nothing to get me whining about.

A very good lens for the price. Highly recommended. It's a good walkaround on a crop but on full frame it really explodes to life - the perfect landscape lens.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Nov 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $357.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, super-fast AF, gorgeous bokeh, great IQ, price!
Cons:
Some CA wide open under harsh conditions, AF can hunt a bit in low-light, stupid hood.

Picked one of these up second hand and it's my favourite lens by far. Amazing bang for the buck - images are sharp, colours and contrast are great, 1.8 aperture is really useful for creating gorgeous bokeh or shooting in low-light conditions. The AF is lighting quick and for the most part, very accurate. Fantastic price for a lens of this quality as well.

My only beefs with it are that there is a bit of CA when shooting wide open under certain conditions (when harsh whites with sharp borders are present), and in low light, the AF occasionally hunts. The lens hood is also an incredibly stupid clip-on design that feels flimsy at best.

All in all, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this lens - especially given its price!


 
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

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Review Date: Aug 31, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $475.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Build quality, colours, fast focus
Cons:
Soft, annoying lens hood

A pretty good ultra-wide for cropped sensors, especially for the price. Build quality is fantastic, I feel like I can use this thing as a weapon.

I am not a fan of the lens hood, it's very tight and it's almost impossible to either remove/replace the lens cap or turn a polariser with it on. Not a huge issue, but annoying nonetheless.

Wasn't too impressed by its sharpness. Pretty soft wide open, especially at 10mm and around the edges. Even at f/8, sharpness is OK but nothing stellar. To be expected from an ultra-wide I guess, but if you're used to shooting with primes, even the nifty fifty blows this lens away. Maybe I got a soft copy, who knows - if so, Sigma have got to work on QC!

This is my first Sigma, and I'm underwhelmed. I've never been disappointed with a Canon lens. Maybe I expected too much from a lens designated 'EX'. I'd be curious to get my hands on a Tokina 12-24; I might miss the extra 2mm, but at a similar price, maybe the image quality'll be better.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price! Sharp, light, fast.
Cons:
Build quality, noisy AF hunts in low light.

There is no excuse not to own this lens (unless you have the 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.2L). I love it to death!

Fantastic image quality for this price, fast, light and sharp. On a 1.6x cropped sensor, focal length is 80mm (35mm equiv), making it an excellent portrait lens, particularly at f/1.8. Stop it down a bit and it's incredibly sharp.

Build quality is crap, and the AF is quite loud and hunts a little bit in low light, but what did you expect for this price?

Even at twice the price, this lens is still worth it. Unless you have money to blow on a 50mm with better build quality, this lens is a must-have.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price! Sharp, light, fast, good portrait lens on a cropped sensor.
Cons:
Build quality, AF hunts in low light.

There is no excuse not to own this lens (unless you have the 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.2L). I love it to death!

Fantastic image quality for this price, fast, light and sharp. On a 1.6x cropped sensor, focal length is 80mm (35mm equiv), making it an excellent portrait lens, particularly at f/1.8. Stop it down a bit and it's incredibly sharp.

Build quality is crap, and the AF is quite loud and hunts a little bit in low light, but what did you expect for this price?

Even at twice the price, this lens is still worth it. Unless you have money to blow on a 50mm with better build quality, this lens is a must-have.