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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build quality, internal focussing, full time manual focussing (FTM). The optical quality is very good, far better than the f1.8 version. The recent price drop in Europe / UK makes the lens even better value
Cons:
Slightly wobbly front elment; not the absolute pinnacle of optical quality

I personally don't like zoom lenses (even the 'top drawer' ones) and I would rather ran a set of light, fast prime lenses any day. This lens fits the bill. I have used this lens extensively on my EOS 3 and EOS 10D - on the latter it makes a blistering 35mm equivalent 85mm f1.4 portrait lens!

Focussing is a joy and optical quality with a digital body is superb. With prime lenses, I don't think you need bother with 'L' series on the whole - I have Canon EF 24, 28, 35, 50 and 85mm primes and they are all superb ('L' series zooms, on the other hand, are worth the investment). The 50mm f1.4 is a 'must have' lens for travel and reportage and low-light photography - give me one of these rather than a slow consumer 28-70 or 28-105 zoom any day.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Jun 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb build quality - gasket seal on rear mount, solid controls and no front element wobble! I love the fact that it has internal focussing and internal zooming and the fact that it has full time manual (FTM) facility. Good focal range. The optical quality is very good and can be used with confidence with a APS sized sensor digital camera (e.g. EOS 10D, 20S, 300D, etc...). Best aperture f5.6 but f4.0 is quite usable too.
Cons:
None at all - if only all lenses were like this...

Highly recommended. I use this lens on an EOS 10D and use it as my standard lens. Ok, it's a bit slow (f4.0) but it can be hand held with ease and the good full aperture performance gives flexibilty. Distortion acceptable on EOS 10D and very low CA. 17mm gives about 28mm equivalent (35mm camera) but actually looks wider in use. Lovely to use with excellent focussing.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent full aperture performance. Excellent optic surfaces and finish. Generally good build quality, very fast focussing and FTM; reasonable price for a fast prime lens: becomes an equivalent jaw-dropping 135mm f1.8 on an EOS 10D/20D/300D etc...!
Cons:
Slightly wobbly front element (hence only 9 for build quality), Otherwise, nothing

This has been on my EOS 10D a lot and makes a great portrait lens or medium telephoto. One of Canon's best lenses. Very low CA when used with a digital camera - a good choice for an APS sensor sized digital camera

 

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