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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: great bokeh, great DOF control, black, reasonably discrete, excellent build
$$$$, odd filter size

This is a nice lens, and so it should be for the price.

So far I've used it for street portaits on a trip to China, and I was surprised how useful the fixed focal length was on a 1.6 crop camera (20D).

Excellent build quality, fast auto focus, and its fast.

But for me, the reason to get this lens is the Bokeh and DOF control. If you don't already have a 85 or 70-200 2.8 (which have great bokeh too) and can live with a fixed focal length, this could be the lens to get.

With the shallow DOF you have to careful with the focus. I've missed some shots at wide apertures because the AF got it wrong or I got the manual focus wrong (easy to do on APS size camera viewfinders).

I like the black colour of this lens. If the 70-200 2.8 came in black, I would have got that instead. The 135L attracts some attention , but I don't think as much as white L lenses.

If you take pictures of people (or animals,or anything you want the background blurred) this is a good (but expensive) option. For me, it's a keeper.

Canon EOS 20D

Review Date: Oct 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice build, instant shutter response, 5 fps, excellent battery life, good menu system, 9 point auto focus.
not cheap

My previous camera was a Nikon D70, so my review should be read with that in mind.

I like this camera a lot. I have just been to China for 10 days and I hadn't used it much before going, but this camera was easy to use. The menus are quick and easy to navigate and the main settings easy to change.

I took about 1000 pics and it never let me down. Sure there are some crap pics, but that's my fault.

The battery life is incredible when using jpg. If you shoot raw, you'll need to keep an eye on the power, or get a spare battery, if you are out all day shooting. I shot some raw + jpg at one stage and that sucked a bit of battery power.

Shutter response is instantaneous and i love the noise. The shutter noise hasn't bothered me, but if you going to be taking pictures of Tiger Woods, you better check the noise before buying.

View finder is pretty good for this class. Heaps better than D70, but still doesn't compare to viewfinder on even a N80/eos 30 type film camera, of a FF digital. If you manually focus a lot, you'll need to check whether the viewfinder is big enough for you.

The build quality is very good. Perhaps not quite as good as D70, but still good enough for most amateurs.

When used with usm lens, autofocus is fast and silent.

overall a very good camera and a joy to use. For me its been a worthy upgrade from the D70 (an excellent camera in its own right).