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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ultrasharp, fast, dirt cheap, absolutely great bokeh, a must have
Cons:
some blooming on highlights, a bit soft wide open; minimal focus distance too great

It's one of the best optics I own, and if not for the purple fringing (it can be annoying around the catchlights in the eyes), I'd say it's a perfect lens. I use it as a portrait lens on my 5d and I keep congratulating myself for buying it. It makes absolutely beautiful pictures; not only portraits, but landscape details as well. I wish it could focuse closer, for 1:4 semi-macro, but it gets better with a macro extender.

 
Canon EOS 5D

5d_586x225_2_
Review Date: Oct 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, 35mm sensor, large viewfinder, autofocus, speed of operation, weight and balance
Cons:
not environmentally sealed, no sensor cleaning (unlike Olympus), flimsy compartment doors, lots of dust gets into the finder, awkward and un-ergonomic command placement compared to Olympus, Minolta, Nikon and probably all other brands; no viewfinder closing switch; poor custom setting solution

First things first: this thing has the best image quality on this side of medium format digital backs. Real resolution is the same as 1Ds II, and subjective image quality is stellar; definitely in the medium format film territory. Also, the operation is fast, without delays, and it has most features one would want (not all, though - dead pixel mapping, for instance). The viewfinder is excellent, the same size I had on a 35mm Minolta, and a relief after tunnel vision of Olympus E1.

Being used to Olympus E1 build quality, 5d feels a bit flimsy and un-ergonomic. Also, it gets dusty and requires frequent cleaning if you're not careful when changing lenses. I'm used to having a weatherproof camera so it can feel a bit uncomfortable if I have to expose it to sprinkling waterfalls and occasional rain, so I hope Canon will release one that has weather sealing, but without price&weight penalty of a 1Ds II. Olympus E1 has a much better solution for custom settings; 5d has only one, and it's on the command dial which prevents you from using Av/Tv/M/B modes while the camera is on custom settings. Olympus has multiple custom settings and you can use them in all camera modes. Canon has a thing or two to learn in the area of ergonomics, it seems. However, the camera itself works very nicely, it's quick, not too heavy, it's cheap enough to buy without getting a mortgage on the house, and produces excellent image quality; for the first time since I use digital I'm not concerned with resolution or DR, because I know it's enough for anything I will ever need, and I don't need to upgrade, ever. However, I would prefer its sensor and electronics inside an Olympus E1 body, which is simply better.