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  Reviews by: bradc  

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Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

ef28mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Aug 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, fast to focus, good performance, FTM focusing, price.
Cons:
No hood included, loose fit with EW63II.

I hesitated to buy this lens against some of the other lenses in this category, due to some reviews - but I'm very happy with this lens so far. Focus is fast and accurate. Shots at f/2.2 are great. Wide open performance is still good, but like many primes is much better in low light, low contrast, higher ISO - rather than for test charts or backlit tree braches on a sunny day. F/1.8 in bright sun is a bit dreamy. Haven't noticed too much CA.

Background blur is nice - at f/2.2 or so you can nicely isolate a subject. Good focal length on a crop body (used on 40D). Against the competition it offer better build and focus than the 35mm f/2 (and slightly better focal length on a crop body), work on full frame (unlike the Sigma 30mm), and cheaper than either the Zeiss with manual focus or the Canon L - significantly so.

Very happy with this as a walk around prime lens for a crop body. Works great with a subject and blurred background, but needs to be stopped down on a crop body to get sharper corners. For family shots where corners aren't as critical it is ideal.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Aug 31, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, full time focusing, wide aperture, sharpness after f/2.8
Cons:
Wide open performance disappointing

This is a lens that I wanted to be really happy with, but ultimately the bonus of having f/1.4 and f/2.0 in a lightweight package didn't overcome the lack of detail and sharpness wide open. While I can stop down and get incredible sharpness out of this lens, I don't see any advantage over my L zooms in that regard. In the end I replaced this with a 60mm EF-S macro that does double duty as a macro lens, but one that is sharp wide open at f/2.8 and has USM focussing for a similar price.

Nice lens with a solid feel, I liked everything else about it other than the performance at f/1.4. If I'm going to the trouble of carrying an extra lens for use wide open, it needs to be sharp...


 
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

efs60_28macro_usm
Review Date: Aug 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, image quality, USM focus
Cons:
EF-S only, subject distance

It is hard to complain about this lens, it delivers sharp shots and doubles as a good portrait focal length with nice blur and a wider aperture. Compared to the 50mm Macro it is no contest (being USM and modern construction) unless you have a full frame camera.

I use it a lot for product / stock photography and it works great for that purpose, and the USM focusing can usually keep up with moving kids. That said the focusing doesn't feel as fast as non macro lenses with USM that I've used.

The only big negative is if you wanted to use this for outdoor or insect type macro photography (non still life). It just requires you get too close to the subject. I got this Macro out of Canon's lineup for the opposite reason - I want to not be so far away for what I do and 100mm or 180mm is too long for a portrait lens for me on a crop body. The 60mm is nice and small, lightweight, but feels well built.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Aug 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, sharpness, lightweight (for L lens), close focus capability
Cons:
Purple fringing

This is a lens I went back and forth on for a long time. I have the 17-55 EF-S lens, and a 70-200mm f/4 that I use on a crop body. I love the 17-55, but wanted something tougher for travel and more telephoto. I've seen mixed reviews both really positive and not. When these started getting sold separately from the new 5D at a price discount I decided it was time to go for it. It has turned out to match my needs perfectly. While the 17-55 is excellent AND faster, it isn't as tough and is a little short for my purposes (portraits/family). When indoors I tend to make use of flash or switch to a prime so the f/4 tradeoff was worth it (versus say the 24-70 f/2.8).

I like the quality, the weight is just right, and the lens delivers in sharpness. My only complaint would be some fringing when wide open with high contrast areas. Pretty common in lenses at the wide end, but I'd hoped the f/4 max aperture would do better. In practice it doesn't come up much, as I tend avoid washed out skies anyways, but it can be dealt with in post processing if needed. Some say this focal length range isn't good on a crop body, but it suits me fine. It spends so much time on the camera I hardly need another lens.