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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Sep 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weight, precise focus, fast focus, bokeh, value for money, sharpness
Cons:
build quality isn't great (much better than 1.8 II), focus makes a slight whirring noise.

For the price, this is awesome. I previously had the 50mm 1.8 and although that is alright, the 1.4 is better in every department.

I've read the stories about the softness at 1.4 but honestly, I don't really see it on mine. It suffers from a slight lack of microcontrast at 1.4 and 1.6 but it's nothing to worry about and thus far it's actually been quite appealing.

The bokeh of this lens is awesome. Not totally circular but very close and I love it. The 50mm 1.8 would make strange pentagonal blocks out of bokeh but this is smooth all the way.

In summary: for the money this thing is fantastic. The DOF is very thin so if you're doing the lock centre focus then recompose please bare this in mind.

Oh, and buy a filter for it.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Sep 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, focus speed, bokeh, big big zoom ring, focal length, tripod ring, colour reproduction, IS actually works! I can get sharp shots at 1/15 at 200mm handheld- crazy stuff.
Cons:
CAs up to f/5.6, flares very badly, weight, balance issues.

I got a great deal on this lens. I have a version from 2001 that is cosmetically a little lacklustre but optically flawless.

make no mistake about it, this is HEAVY. On my ungripped 40d it's a fair weight to lug around. What I meant by 'balance issues' in my description is that if you are zooming, you have to take the majority of the weight in your right hand to steady the camera and with a lens of this side this can get tiresome after a 2 hr shoot or so.

Also, I was surprised to see just how bad this lens suffers from lens flare and chromatic aberrations and bokeh fringing. It's a shame because the bokeh on this thing is absolutely awesome, and with it being a zoom lens I'm even more impressed.

Having said all that though- the negatives are things you quickly disregard once you see the pictures properly. once you get home and/or print the pics you won't give a crap that it was a little heavier because the rewards you reap are worth the extra burnt calories to make the pictures happen.

Overall, I really like this lens. It was heavier than I expected but that isn't really a lens fault in itself but more of a preference of mine and with this being heavier than anything else in my camera collection (bar my tripod) it took some getting used to, but like I said, once you've done a shoot with it you won't care if it weighed twice as much Smile