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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jan 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $289.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp from f2 and down, FTM, quick USM, quiet, chunky (nice weight)
Cons:
Halation and low contrast from f2 and up, could be sharper wide open

On my 2nd copy of this wonderful lens. I used to own the 1.8 MK I then upgraded to this version. Just as sharp as 1.8 but a little dreamy wide open (I just use a custom shooting style to adjust contrast/sharpness and it seems to fix it OK). The weight is nice (I is heavy) and the focus ring feels good. Though it's not an L, it can come close in most situations, I just wish it wasn't so 'dreamy' wide open. I just got the 85 1.8 so we'll see which stays on as the favorite!

 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Inconspicuous black, fast & accurate AF. IS will same your butt on the long end.
Cons:
Sometimes might be a little soft at 300 but just zoom back 20-50 mm and details will be sharp, sharp, sharp. Not a constant aperture. Should come with a hood.

My first zoom and it has IS so I was very excited to try it out. Give her lots of light and she'll stop the action in most situations beautifully. You can squeeze very nice bokeh out of it (just give good distance to the background and zoom in tight).

I sold mine to upgrade to the EF 70-200 f/4L USM. I'm sure there a debate going on somewhere about these 2 lenses. It's all about personal preference IMHO.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $495.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Relatively light, fast & quiet AF, sturdy build quality, beautiful colour & contrast, sharp, sharp, sharp! Professional white colour. Great intro to L lenses.
Cons:
Conspicuous white colour.

Give this baby good light and you'll keep almost every picture. The sharpness/colour/contrast coupled with the lens's AF speed and accuracy make this one of Canon's best pro-sumer lenses ever. The bokeh is so creamy and the clarity & colour so vivid the subject just pops out of the picture so easily. Get the 1.4 extender and it's an even better outdoor lens.

I can shoot without IS rather well now so I saved a lot of money!

I just upgraded to the 2.8 non-IS version so we'll see how that goes.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $152.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Metal mount, inexpensive, beautiful bokeh and sharp wide open, very nice colour/contrast for a non-L, fast!
Cons:
Hunts in very, very low light sometimes but mostly finds it's target just fine. Loud AF motor (not USM), no FTM

My first prime after I initially bought my camera, this is one of the best deals you could possibly get as far as price and performance go. Low light images are astounding. I decided on the MK I version as the 'Plastic-Fantastic' or 'Nifty-Fifty' just seemed too cheap in built quality for me. I forgot what it was like to have a proper prime that used available light effectively. My old X-700 had a 50mm 1.7 and performed wonderfully in low light, so this just brought back my desire to photograph again. Mine was built in 1987 but still performed like new!

I just sold mine to upgrade to the 1.4 so we'll see how she performs.