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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Feb 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: better focusing, better sharpness wide open, better min. focusing distance, better hood, better IS
Cons:
price

I had the original version, which was no slouch, but gave it a rating of 9. This one clearly deserves a 10. Top quality.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Nov 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: this is a versatile, quality product, with outstanding overall image quality
Cons:
some copies are soft, as others have mentioned. some copies have occasional focusing issues, as discussed below. most lose noticeable sharpness on the long end, which is fairly common with zooms.

I agree with the overall ratings this lens has received for build quality, pricing, etc. I gave it a "9", which is a bit harsh, but I can't give it a "10." I believe a lens should be rated by how it performs given its respective specifications (aperture/IS/focal length, etc); it should not be rated ON its specs.

Like others have said, this lens produces some great photos, with remarkable sharpness, contrast, and bokeh. It has saved me several times at weddings and other events. Now comes the "however": Every once in a while, maybe 1 shot out of 100, the focusing is just a tad off. Accounting for human error, poor technique, bad lens copy, calibration, etc., the fact remains that this lens inexplicably provides one poor to average image (in terms of sharpness) from out of nowhere. this has been said by other reviewers and (posters in other forums here on FM) who have provided convincing examples of this strange phenomenon. Does it occur enough for me to sell the lens or not recommend it? No. Especially when the other 99% of the shots are spot on fabulous.



 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: in virtually every aspect (AF, size, sharpness, color, etc) this prime portrait lens is perfect for what it is.
Cons:
none

I don't mind using my 70-200/2.8IS. And I sometimes had fun using my 85LII. But this one? I can't wait to use it again.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Sep 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: inexpensive, sharp, 1.8
Cons:
none at this price point

this really is the best bang for buck in all of photography. and it's so cheap that you need not put a UV filter on it to protect it...if you scratch or break it, just buy a new one.

I concur that it is very good at f/1.8 and sharp at f/2.8. if you're on a tight budget, this is the best lens you can buy for portraits, shallow depth of field, or lowlight photography. period.



 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Jul 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: bokeh, sharpness, etc. - what everyone else is saying
Cons:
poor autofocus, poor price v. use ratio

I agree with much of what other reviewers here have said, particularly the last few, and especially Simon King's assessment.

I coveted this lens for quite a while, and with my overtime pay I finally pulled the trigger in May '07. As much of a bokeh-seeking, prime lens junkie that I am, I thought I'd be using this lens all the time. To the contrary, I find it unreliable (autofocus) for wedding work, especially for low light candid shots (receptions, etc.). I've gone back to using the 85/1.8. Also, as a prime lens guy, I generally don't mind switching lenses on the fly with my thinktank belt setup, but I have to say that with this lens, the rear element protrudes so much that I'm flat out uncomfortable using the lens casually. If I don't put it on my 5D before I leave the house and keep it on, forget it - I aint bringin' it. It's a substantial lens in weight and girth, and it is indeed somewhat difficult to use at the wider apertures, but I'll go one step further and say that even at f 2.8, the autofocus issues are much worse than many other lenses at 2.8. In short, too many minor problems (price, size, rear element, autofocus) keep me from getting my money's worth. Make no mistake, this is definitely an impressive lens that creates out of this world images, but if I knew I'd end up keeping my 85/1.8, I would have just bought the 50L or 135L. I recommend this product, but not overwhelmingly.



 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Dec 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great balance/feel, very nice bokeh, superb images by f2.8 with stunning color/contrast/sharpness
Cons:
usable wide open but wish it were a little sharper by f2, distortion



 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Dec 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $970.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp - even wide open, versatile
Cons:
extending front element

finally had to add this one to my collection, and I'm very glad that I did.

i guess the 17-40 has spoiled me, but I don't like the front element extending when zooming in, so that takes some getting used to, especially if you're largely a prime lens user. but i can't mark it down for that, as I knew it did that when I bought it, and I've always found it curious when reviewers say things like, "it's only f4." the product is the product, and you should review it for what it is...there's a big difference between design limitation and design defect.

Anyhoo, i used my 100mm macro to test the sharpness of the 24-105 at the long end, and I was floored by the results, which clearly demonstrated the 24-105 was sharper (with better color/contrast too) until f/8! As for the wide end, I have to admit that the 24-105 just inched out my beloved 17-40 in sharpness and contrast. I suppose I'm surprised with the results because of some of the reviews I've read about this lens, but I'm a true believer now. It'll get a lot of use for travel and weddings, so even the price seems fair to me.



 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Jun 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fabulous image quality, portability, built-in hood, tripod ring, good with a 1.4TC
Cons:
first generation IS (only 2 stop correction and a bit clunky sounding when switched on as others have said)....ultimately no big deal



 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, small, decent value
Cons:
soft until f/2.5, a little focus hunting in low light

admittedly, i use this fun lens quite often, especially for snapshots of friends and family, but i find myself wishing it had the sharpness and color saturation of my 85/1.8. for this reason, i tend to shy away from using this camera when I'm more "serious" about shooting. on several tests i've run, the color, contrast, and sharpness of the 85 is noticeably better wide open until f/4, which is basically the aperture range i enjoy for using my primes. if i could rate it about "8.791" I would, so I'll give it a "9."

 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $469.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: high contrast, great color, crazy sharp
Cons:
occasional AF hunting (more so in macro mode)

My first macro lens, so it took me a while to get decent shots. when i finally figured it out (~4 months), i realized the potential of this fantastic lens (another way of saying my bad shots with this lens were all my fault). It's definitely "L" sharp as others have mentioned. I also like that the 2.8 is actually usable (very good sharpness and contrast), which is particularly good to know for portrait use. as i recall from my own testing, my 85/1.8 was only the slightest bit sharper stopped down to 2.8 v. this lens wide open at 2.8....not bad. The filter size is 58mm, consistent with other non-L primes, like the 50/1.4 and 85/1.8, so filter sharing is possible. the hood, which i believe i purchased separately, is fairly significant in size, and while i only use hoods about 1/2 of the time that i shoot, i use it 100% of the time with this lens, as the front element really protrudes - a risky proposition when one is getting so close to a subject. overall, the lens has a nice feel, and i consider it a very good value. highly recommended.

 
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

111_small
Review Date: Apr 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, well built, good value
Cons:
cap and hood not on par with EX quality

L-quality sharpness at most f-stops, but wish it were a little sharper at the smaller stops (say, f16), since this is a wide angle lens and thus a landscape lens for many. all in all, superb sharpness. and really good value compared to nikon/canon offerings and the only 3rd party ultra wide that goes to 10mm (v. tokina, tamron). minimal distortion, which is good enough for this focal range. the lens cap feels loose, and the hood is a bitch to initially put on...usually takes a minutes or two to find the groove before twisting it on. the lens itself though is highly recommended if you are okay with what it is....an f4-5.6, APS-C sensor designed ultra wide angle rectilinear lens.......well, it's more fun than it sounds.







 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Mar 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great image quality, well built, good value
Cons:
many buyers of this lens have a 1.6 crop factor camera, which compels the purchase of another hood, such as the one for the 24L or the 24-105L, to avoid using the insanely wide (but necessary) hood designed for film/full-frame sensors



 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Mar 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: insanely sharp, best L value
Cons:
none

i have other good glass, like the 50/1.4, the 85/1.8, the 100/2.8, and the 17-40, but this lens at f5.6 is unmatched in color and sharpness.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very good at 1.8, sharp at 2.8 and beyond, good value, relatively small, fast clip on hood, 58mm filters
Cons:
can't reverse hood

I recently purchased the 100mm macro, so this lens now falls in between my 50mm and my 100mm. I initially felt this would make my 85 a bit redundant and thus unnecessary, but then I realized.....I don't care. I'm not selling this lens; it's fun, compact, and the image quality is outstanding.

 
Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

4882618_125dc_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, good value for versatile walk-around lens that includes petal hood
Cons:
focus speed, only for DSLRs

This is my first post. I felt a little compelled to boost the average score this lens is getting here because from my point of view, it's an underrated lens. Ran some tests, and I was surprised by the results. This lens, at least my copy, is sharper than my 85/1.8 until f8, but even after that point the difference in sharpness is marginal, as is the difference in color/contrast. I had planned to purchase the 28-135 IS, but a merchant recommended this lens instead. I was wondering whether I had made the right choice by listening to him, and now I know I did. I'm not a big fan of wide-angle shots, so I don't own any special wide-angle lenses. If you're like me, then it's also nice that this lens can serve in a pinch as a decent wide-angle.