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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF speed, IQ, phenomenal in almost all aspects
Cons:
Body is plastic, albeit a high density plastic

This lens practically lives on one of my bodies. I use it the most often. The equivalent of 'the little black dress' for women: you are ready for both a day at the office and a night on the town. It is incredibly versatile.

I must say that @ 1.4 my copy is slightly soft, but nothing problematic. It is still much sharper than almost anything in else in this FL including the highly (over)rated 24-70, although I haven't tried the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS yet.

While I think this is completely worth the $1200, I would have liked a metal body like many of the other Ls.




 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built like a tank, weather sealing, sharpness across all apertures, superb contrast and overall IQ, IS works well, fast AF
Cons:
slightly lower IQ and sharpness than non-IS 70-200 2.8 L, slightly heavy for all day use

Many photographers prize this lens above all others, and you can see why the minute you take it out of the box. The build quality is unsurpassed: you could kill someone with this lens. It is also a virtual miracle worker when taking photos: it will allow you to get shots that you would otherwise miss.

As mentioned by others (and the manual), you must slightly pause after locking focus to allow the IS to stabilize.

While exhibiting excellent contrast, sharpness, color saturation and bokeh, I concede that the non-IS 2.8 does have higher resolving power. HOWEVER, I cannot hand-hold the non-IS model at 200mm lower than 1/250 without compromising image quality. Anything less than 1/250 and it doesn't matter how much sharper the non-IS lens is -- it will be blurry.

On the other hand, I can shoot cleanly at 200mm, f2.8 and 1/30 or even 1/15 with this baby (note: this is on a 1.6 crop 30D as well).

If you've got the $$$, get the IS 2.8L.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, excellent sharpness at 1.2, unreal IQ
Cons:
Front element moves when focusing

I second all the favorable reviews of this lens. It is my personal favorite, beating out the 35 L (though I use the 35 L more often for the FL).

I have no problem with the AF speed, or perceived lack thereof. I find that I often use manual focus on this sucker anyway: the DOF considerations when using wide open often require manual adjustment. It is a "deliberate" lens, or a "thinking" lens, as I like to say.

Aside from the front element movement, I think the only other con is that I try to find excuses to use this because I love it so much!

The price, while high, is not astronomical for the quality of the lens.