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Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

ef200mmf_18l_1_
Review Date: Aug 31, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Sharpest piece of glass I have ever used. Sharp @ f1.8 and F8........Really fast AF. OOF highlights are the best and backgrounds literally melt away. Subject takes on an almost 3D-like look. Contrast and colour are superb.
Cons:
Heavy for hand-holding but not impossible. Focusing distance can be a turn off for some. Big and white, really gets noticed in a crowd.

I have been eyeing one of these 'obsolete' pieces of glass for years but I rationalized my 'wanting' by telling myself I would only consider one if I could ever find one for sale here in Canada. Well, this was the year and I made a deal with a fellow from Edmonton. Well used and needed parts for the hood to attach. But optics and glass were perfect and I negotiated a good deal. ($2700 CAD). So glad I have this lens. Yes, it is heavy but the shots you get get @ 1.8 are truly astounding. I use it for product photography even though I have to stand pretty far from subject. But the BG does melt away. Truly astounding. Colour and contrast are beautiful. Just finished my daughters soccer season and got wonderful shots even during evening games. AF is fast (on 1DsII and 5D2). Just a gem of a lens. If you can afford it and don't mind spending a fair bit of change on a piece of glass better not need repair, go for it!!

 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Nov 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrast, colours, light-weight, perfect FoV on my 1.3X crop camera!!
Cons:
None!

Great lens! Have used this from portraits to landscape shots and it never fails to impress. Colours are outstanding and the sharpness is top-notch!!

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Aug 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optics are out of this world; build is typical L; light-sucking ability is unreal; colour and contrast are superb......I can go on and on and on with how great this lens is!!
Cons:
None for me!!

Having had the very good 'cheaper' cousin (85F1,8), I found that with my DRebel, I just wasn't using this focal length all that much. Once I switched to a 1D, 85mm suddenly seemed to work much better for me. I also decided that I am a prime person so my dream trio of primes are 35L, 85L, and 135L. I picked up a great condition used 85L and was immediately drawn to the heftiness of this lens!! It is quite a chunk of glass. I find that while the AF is slightly slower than the f1,8 version, it doesn't bother me at all! The quality just exhudes from this lens.......contrast and colour are the best I have seen (and yes, I have owned a 135L). People often describe shots taken with this lens as magical and once you start using it, you quickly realize what they mean. It is as good as you read about..........

The one thing I must mention with the 85L is that there is a learning curve in getting consistantly good shots with the very narrow DoF wide open and even stopped down a bit. I am still in the learning mode but that is half the fun! It is a fun lens to learn and when you do get a great result, it is well worth the expense. Highly highly recommended!!