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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

Review Date: Mar 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: F:1.0! Solid build, you can almost smell the quality.
Weight, but that comes almost always hand in hand with quality. Price. Extremely difficult to use.

WellI bought this lens a bit inpulsively. It's used, but as new. Price paid 1400.

The F1.0 aperture makes otherwise impossible shots a possibility. In the middle of night I can shoot at a shutter speed from 40-80/1 sec. During day it's almost impossible to use the F1.0 outside, it's simply too light.

Optical performance at maximum aperture don't really blow you away, but stopped down to 2.8, or even better 5.6 it's good.

But the real show stealer is ofcourse the Aperture, and the possibilities it gives the lens users.

The lens is difficult to use, and it is a special tool, it's not you average lens. When used for portraiture, the focus areas dept might be as shallow as 2-3mm, so focusing takes on a new meaning.

I believe it's original price was about 3300 in Finland. That's a lot! You get the 1.4 and 1.8 50mm for about 100 and 350, so you pay a lot of money for the aperture, and the 1kg weight.

I think many people don't like this lens, because even the 1.8 50mm lens can out perform it, but this lens is not ment for razor harp pictures, it's ment for low-light work. And the effect you get from this lens, can't be reproduced by any other lens. It's simply super for what it was intended for.

I would never had payed 3300 for it, but 1400 is a reasonable price for a mint specimen.

Even though its dinosaur weight, millionaire price-tag, shabby slow focus and not so sharp images at f1.0 I will rate it EXCELLENT. Because it really is excellent. It's a specialist tool, and it can get you those impossible shots. It's pretty small, and so solidly built I think it would fit god as a coconut cracker.
Love working with it. If you love low light, handheld, so much different than tripod work. Find yourself one. It's not easy to find one. And last its price is done sinking, it will become a rarity.

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

Review Date: Feb 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Aperture F1.8 is marvelous. Build. Handling. Optics are stunning
Well the price I guess, but reasonable for the extreme quality and aperture! Weight (3kg) . Attrects a lot of attension... Filterholder tricky to use with polarizers.

Buying the 50mm F1.0 2months ago I talked to the very nice man who sold it about the 200mm F1.8, it was then that it cleared for me that I've got to get this 200mm F1.8 lens as well.

After 2weeks desperate search a guy answered on one of my "I buy" ads. He said that he sells it for 2500 and not a cent less, so I gathered the money and became the happy owner of this monster lens.

I have not used it a lot yet, due to the poor weather conditions in the south of Finland during winter. Mostly cloudy... But about 100 pictures.

Firstly, the otics are far far better than I expected at f1.8. It's like f2.8 on my 28-70mm L. Color reddition is excellent. Bright controlled and true colors. really good contrast over the whole of the image. No viewable diffrence around the edges. Razor sharp troughout.

The effect you get from the high aperture, you never have to worry about not getting the background blurred enough. I promise, it is!

Weather sealing is another plus. 2 days after I bought it I had it with me in the poring rain at +2 degrees C. and it performed perfectly.

The hard case that comes along in the original set, is superb for transportation. (Make sure it comes along, it will help to preserve the lense second-hand price.)

The hood is just super! Really good protection towards all elements, rain, snow, dust, vind, and the usual bang in the wall. And make sure you get this one aswell if you buy one, the lens hood has a price of 600 euros if ordered separately from Canon.

Well I could go on all day telling you how superb the optics are, because they really are, but let's put it like this:

You can't be misspleased with this lens. And the optics never ever let you down. Highly recommended!

Beware of theives. I find myself a high target of eyes whe walking about with it.