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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Review Date: Jul 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: See below
See below

Contrary to some reports, the lens is not soft on a 5D. It may not outresolve the sensor (especially not when shifted), but the image quality from about f8 to f16, of a good copy, is very good both unshifted and shifted (until the last millimeter or so of shift) on a 5D. I have tried it on my rebel xti and it is soft on the rebel even though you're only using the center of the image circle -- there is greater pixel density on the rebel hence the need for higher resolving power of the lens. Also, chromatic aberration is present with my copy when shifted or tilted, but it is quite well controlled, on my copy. I tried a couple of copies when I bought it, the other copy that I sent back was as sharp in the center but the resolution fell off a lot more quickly when shifted than the copy I kept.

It's an unusual lens, even though the implementation of the concept is imperfect. I'd rather pay twice the price and have less chromatic aberration, more biting sharpness, and less distortion, but the lens I'd like doesn't exist, and might cost 3 or 4 times the price. At about $1,100 it's a good value, if not a bargain.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Nov 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: High image quality. Lightweight. A joy to use.
Not especially compact.

This is the first Canon zoom I've held onto for use with my 5D. The image quality is top notch. I look at images at 100% magnification, and have printed test sections of what a 24" image would look like (including up rezzing). The lens passes my sharpness evaluations. Color and contrast are also excellent. The IS works well enough so that I can get critically sharp images at 200mm down to 1/100 or 1/80 almost all the time; no or very little difference between these images and what I can obtain from a tripod. I'm not talking usably sharp, but critically sharp. I previously tried out a 70-200mm f4L and ended up returning it because I found that I needed to use at least 1/500 shutter speed for critically sharp images at 200mm and that limited it's use for me. . . Maybe I have shakey hands, or maybe I have different standards than others, but in any event the IS works for me. Only downside is that the lens is not especially compact, but I knew this. When you add the lens hood, it gets quite large. The lens is fairly light; I don't anticipate problems walking around with it all day. I actually think the price is reasonable for what you get.

Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Sep 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent close focus performance. Excellent bokeh. Very good and even sharpness to edges on a full frame camera, and into the corners from f4 and above. Excellent performing autofocus.
Chromatic aberration (which is easy to correct in Photoshop RAW). Microcontrast at infinity focus is good, but not on the level of a NIkon 28mm AIS (or the Zeiss 28mm I'm guessing).

I just got the Canon 28mm f1.8 lens, and am using it on a 5D. I pixel peep, and overall I'm quite impressed with the lens, although it's not at all perfect. I've been testing 28mms in general recently, and the Canon 28mm f1.8 is quite good. It's reasonably sharp in the corners from f2.8 (better than any other 28mm I've tested on full frame at that fstop) and excellent by f4 -f5.6. It is much better than the Canon 28mm f2.8 in the edges and corners at all f- stops. It equals the Canon 28mm f2.8 in the center of the frame. It trounces the 28mm Nikon f2.8 AIS I was testing (with a Fotodiox pro adapter) in the corners until f8. The Canon 28mm f1.8 doesn't have as good of microcontrast at infinity focus as a classic wide angle like the 28mm Nikon f2.8 AIS (one of the truly great 28mms) except in the extreme corners, but it's much better than its so-so reputation. The Canon 28mm f1.8 has very even performance throughout the frame, which is a big plus for wide angles. And it performs excellently for close-ups with nice bokeh. It lives down to its reputation for chromatic abberation. Chromatic aberration is a problem if you don't shoot raw. If you do, it's easy to correct in Photoshop ACR with a -20 adjustment to the red/cyan channel. It's of course a pleasure to have the ability to auto focus and not to need to use stop down metering. Not all Canon wide angle primes are as bad as their reputation. The 28mm f1.8 is an excellent lens if you want a fast 28mm lens. It excels for "environmental portraits," street shooting, and is quite good for landscapes, though perhaps not the best for landscapes. I suspect that it would not perform quite as well on a 1DSII or its rumored higher pixel density successor given the mtf charts. I suspect that the 5D is probably close to maxing out the resolution of the lens, but I have no firm data on which to base this suspicion. On a 5D, it's a very good value, and an excellent overall performer if you want a fast 28mm lens with autofocus. If you only want a 28mm for landscapes with maximum resolution at f8 or above, I'd look at the Nikon 28mm AIS, Contax 28mm f2.8, or maybe the Olympus 28mm lenses.

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8

Review Date: Oct 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $160.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp edge to edge by f5.6 on Canon 5D. Also very sharp at f2.8 with softness only in the extreme corners. Lightweight. Inexpensive.
Corner softness at 2.8 through 5.6. This is only a minor drawback and does not come close to outweighing the tremendous advantages of this lens.

This is a tremendous lens. I just switched from a 6cm x 9cm baby view camera system back to Canon, now using only the 5D full frame digital. All lenses have compromises. This lens' compromise is that the extreme corners are very soft at f2.8. That problem is largely resolved, albeit still barely present by f5.6. The problem is only in the extreme corners. You can crop slightly, or leave it, no one should notice. Of course you can also just shoot the lens at f5.6 or smaller if you're obsessive about it. Coming from using view cameras, where you can shoot very few f5.6 lenses at wider than f11, and rarely want to shoot them wider than f16, I see this as a very small compromise. Other than the softness at the very extreme corners, the lens is uniformly sharp from edge to edge -- I can't see any variation at sharpness looking at unsharpened images (shot raw) in Photoshop at 100% magnification. Distortion is barely present if at all. The lens is well enough corrected to use for architectural images -- I have done so -- of course you need to keep the camera horizontal, etc. to avoid distortion, but that's true with every 35 mm wide angle lens except for the tilt shift lenses. Did I say that the lens is tiny and lightweight? You can walk around with just the lens on a 5D and feel like you're back in the 70s or 80s, with a great little camera that's great for street photography. The difference between this and my beginnings of using a fixed lens on a Minolta SRT 101 is all the automation and benefits of digital, and of course with the 5D now I have the ability to make Hasselblad size enlargements. Did I mention that the 5D and 28 mm f2.8 (and also 85mm f1.8) are getting me to fall in love with photography all over again. BTW, don't bother putting a filter on the lens. Treat it rough and have a great time. If you ever damage it just buy a new one. It will only cost you about as much as a filter would have cost anyways (a slight exaggeration but not far from the truth).