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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Aug 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp sharp sharp! lightweight, excellent focusing abilities. Very small minimum focusing distance. Build quality is L all the way
Cons:
took me too long to finally get one.

As if there aren't enough reviews already to make the plunge. Well I own some good glass. I put this lens right there with my 85 1.2L II because of its usefulness in very low light, great background blur and subject isolation. I give the 85 a better build quality because it is like a tank and the 35 has some plastic, but the image quality blows my 24-70 2.8L and my 24-105L out of the water. I can't even use these two wide open and that is at f/2.8 and f/4.0. The 35L makes a 2.8 lens seem slow. At 800iso, f/1.4 in my living room with only 1 window will the blinds half open (no lights on) I am getting between 1/100 and 1/200 second shutter speed! NO FLASH NEEDED. With the flash I can set the flash exposure compensation at -1 and the flash just opens up the shadows. I can shoot in AV inside. Between this lens and the 85 1.2 I see no other need for available light wedding photography. Stop reading. Go get yours!

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Jul 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,689.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, brokeh, color rendition and feel
Cons:
CA wide open is terrible. Almost needs to be manually focused when wide open.

Picked this up from B&H with the $100 instant rebate and am pretty impressed to say the least. This lens is so sharp it will ruin your opinion of most anything else wide open. The brokeh produced by this lens looks magical as I have NEVER seen anything come close. I have also had to tone down the sharpening on my post processing and in camera as it is almost too sharp. It will reveal any and all flaws if you focus on someones cheek. The depth of field is so shallow when you are close up that if you don't nail the focus, forget it. I am using it exclusively on the Mark III and I am very impressed with how fast it focuses but it is the least consistent focusing lens wide open of any lens I have ever used. Wide open from a distance you can forget even trying if your subject is moving at all. Up close, its focus accuracy is outstanding. Build quality is amazing and the look of this lens on your camera is enough to make you stand out and be the envy of any other. I shot a wedding last night and one of the guests was a female photographer and she said the lens was going to make her cry it was so impressive. My only other complaint is the CA (purple fringing) is terrible when you shoot wide open and the focal length is a little tight on a 1.3 crop. I would say it would be a problem on a 1.6 crop camera like a 20d. If you buy this, get ready to zoom with your feet and get really good at manual focus.

 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image stabalization works amazing. Lens is very sharp even wide open and the extra reach makes this lens perfect for my work (weddings and dance comps). I find the lens to have less distortion at 24mm than my 24-70L, even on my Mark II at 1.3 crop. Very nice lens.
Cons:
None

This lens exceeds my expectations. Being that there are some reviews that are a bit negative, I was hesitant to purchase this lens. I do not regret it at all. I like this lens much more than my 24-70L and the extra reach is awesome. Paired up with my 70-200 2.8L, I feel covered for all my shooting situations. Distortion at 24mm always bothered me on the 24-70 but this lens doesn't bow straight lines IMHO as much. Image stabalization is nearly silent. Much better than my Nikon 70-200VR lens I sold 3 years ago. Build quality is amazing and the zoom and focus rings are as smooth as silk. I also like it that Canon finally recessed the AF and IS buttons so you don't accidentally bump them off. I highly recommend this lens.