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  Reviews by: RobertLynn  

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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

ef_50_25c_1_
Review Date: Aug 30, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Affordable. 1:2 macro capabilities right out of the box. Ability to buy adapter to make it 1:1. Close focusing distance.
Cons:
Slow focusing (it's actually not that bad). Must buy adapter for 1:1 (I think there's other macro options for 1:1 rather than buying a dedicated adapter and a lens for it).

This lens is incredibly sharp at f/2.5. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't actually expecting an incredible lens. I was previously using a 50 1.8 and tubes for my detail shots...no wonder I had to stop down. That was a terrible combo. With this, I can shoot f/2.5 and the subject isolation is out of this world!

This lens is an incredible value, and I'm exceedingly pleased with my purchase.


 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $515.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: A step up from the kit lens. Better build than cheaper alternatives. Image Stabilizer.
Cons:
Distortion is bad at 17-24mm, and over 80mm. Must use correction software.

This lens is a good starter lens. It's a shame it's not f/4 throughout but that would be a kick into another Canon lens option.

The iS works, and works well. The lens focuses quickly, and accurately.

There's distortion from 17-24mm that you need software to correct.

It's a good walk about lens, but for critical work I wouldn't suggest it. For a beginner full range lens, I'd suggest it. Definitely buy used though.


 
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

ef24mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast Av, reasonably quick footage, semi-wide, affordable. SHARP even wide open.
Cons:
Focus ring feels sloppy.

A cheap alternative to a fast wide angle lens. Sharp wide open, and even gets clearer as you increase.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $69.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap! Fast Aperture!
Cons:
Slower to focus than 1.4 version (but less than a 3rd of the cost), and build quality. It feels fine to me, but next to a much more expensive lens, you can tell the difference. However it's a camera lens, not a baseball bat. Lens mount is plastic, but that shouldn't be an issue. Again, it's a lens, not construction equipment. I'm still giving it a 10 for BQ rating, because of how cheap it is. You know going into it, you're not going to get an L built lens.

For all the more this lens costs, you cannot afford to not have it. If you have the 1.4, obviously you don't need this.

The bokeh on this is harsh to SOME people, but not to all. You'll have to be the judge of that.

It's loud (no USM) when it focuses, but I only notice it if I listen for it.

My copy is sharp at 1.8, and like it should increases as the Av increases.

Basically the best way to say it is, this lens does have flaws.
CA, Loud, slow focus, build quality.

However, it has TOO many things that are great about it, that far outweigh the flaws.


 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Jun 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,230.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality. IQ is constant through FL. Fast aperture. Build Quality.
Cons:
High cost, weight.

I'm giving this lens 10's across the board. The images I get with this lens need very little sharpening. Yes, the price is a little high, but now that I've paid it and know what the lens gets me, I'd pay it again.

Please note, I'm not a pro, and this is a huge investment for me. Take my rating with that in mind.

I've read a lot of problems with L lenses, in particular the 2 I decided to go into debt to buy. However, I've had none of those problems. My copy of the 24-70 is sharp out of the box, even wide open.

I knew it was a heavy lens going into it, so i cannot complain about the weight. Another benefit for me is I usually have the 70-200 slung around me neck, so when I go to this, I feel a little relief.

Bottom line, this lens has excellent bokeh, focuses reasonably quick (not quite as quick as 70-200 2.8IS, but faster than a 17-85IS, 24 2.8, and 50 1.8, I only compare its focus speed to those lenses, because those are lenses I've owned).

If you're looking for this focal length, and fast aperture in a convenient zoom, this is the lens to get. Don't worry about it not having IS, and don't compare the 17-55 IS to this, because imho this is optically superior.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: May 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very good focal length. IS. Fast Av. Fast, silent, accurate focusing. The IS is quiet (but you can hear it if you are in a quiet area TRYING to hear it). Build quality is top notch. Light paint reflects light, and keeps the lens cooler (feel the hood vs the lens outside in the sun, you'll see). Lens is reasonably sharp at 2.8, and cleans up very nicely at 4.
Cons:
The weight (I knew this getting into it, it's not an issue for me, but for others they may not want to go hiking with it). The cost (it's on rebate right now, but still it's a lot of money. Casual photographers will love the lens, but springing for it may hurt the bank. My suggestion? If you enjoy photography and will use the lens, then buy it. Put the cost out of your mind, and enjoy the images you get from it.

1st, let me say I'm just an aspiring hobbyist, looking to start doing paid gigs. Take my review as someone who hasn't been doing photography for too long, though I have had work published by a few bands.

First off, the price. It is a hefty tag. However, how often do you have to buy it? With this price, you get a zoom over a 70-200 range, with a fast Av (to my knowledge, I can't think of a zoom made by Canon that is faster than 2.8), and IS technology.

Secondly, the weight. Physics will show you how it is that this lens weighs so much. It's the constant Av over the focal range (the f/4 IS is nearly half the weight) adds tremendous weight to the lens. At 3.7 lbs with the tripod collar on, it is heavy. I do not mind the weight, however I can see having it slung over your neck all day would definitely be bothersom.

Third, performance. The AF is fast, accurate and silent. When you test it, there's reports of sharp and soft copies out there. I think obviously there are some however; I think a lot of it is unrealistic expectations, and user error. Simply put, a telephoto lens isn't as forgiving on bad technique. Neither is a narrow depth of field. As far as sharpness, I find my acceptably sharp. Knowing that a prime (say 135L or 85L) is going to be sharper than a zoom. How much sharper in print, I cannot say. I'll leave that to someone else. Colors and contrast on this lens are great. Shots have minimal CA, except I've got a few at higher ISO (1600-3200) in high contrast areas, at full zoom, and 150 feet away) that have it. I didn't notice this, and it was pointed out to me (again think of this when you consider this review, I'm not the most experienced photographer out there) that it was there. was told it was minimal and could be corrected in post.

Another thing is that the front element doesn't spin during focus. You could us CPF if you wanted to.

My bottom line is this, after countless hours of research, I decided the best lens for me was this one. I could benefit from the IS, (though I'm confused on how much it benefits me), I use 2.8, so the choice was there. If you're looking at this one, you're looking at any of the 4 7-2's that Canon offers.

My advice is simple.
If you need f4 and no IS, then the f4 non IS is for you
If you need f4 and IS, then the f4 IS is for you.
if you need f/2.8 and no IS, then the 2.8 non Is is for you,
and you guessed it...the f/2.8 IS is there if you need 2.8 and IS.

Not a single lens in that range will do you wrong. Don't worry so much about the weight, worry about what features you need.
Before I forget, the case that comes with the lens is nice, not like the bag you get with the 24-70. Also the hood is nice, and does a great job of reducing flare.