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  Reviews by: kaifri  

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Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

Review Date: May 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: amazing sharpness, unmatched sharpness/blur effects, fosters creative potential of the photographer
not weather-sealed, manual focus

This lens is a real gem! For me it is the most versatile TS lens on the market! I mainly use it for creative portraits of bridal couples! The potential of this lens to create stunning images is unmatched! Especially, if locations are not special this lens greatly helps to create extraordinary results. For instance, just shoot a couple or a person against a blue/cloudy sky and make use of the tilt effects of this lens! Check my blog to get an idea:

For a long time I refused to buy this lens because it has only manual focus, which deterred me. However, Canon's live view makes the tilt effects visible, especially if you magnify 5-10x. In addition, I recommend using the Canon focus screen EG-S for manual focus. It is slightly darker than the other focus screens but makes focusing so much more convenient and precise.
I don't use the shift function of the lens as often as the tilt function, but sometimes if I do architecture it's a crucial function!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Dec 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00

Pros: bookeh, construction-quality, weather-sealed

I tested all three Canon 50mm lenses and this one is clearly the best. Yes, it is true, sharpness at f1.2 is disappointing and does in my humble opinion (I'm a professional wedding photographer) not match higher expectations of professional photographers. However, sharpness improves significantly at f1.4 and again at f2 but overall sharpness from corner to corner is not reached before 2.8. Of course, sharpness at 1.2 is NOT all blurred but absolutely sufficient for private portraits etc. However, in comparison to the 85mm 1.2 sharpness is disappointing.

Another con is the autofocus. While it is fast enough to focus quickly on non-moving subjects it is a real challenge to focus on moving subjects. Don't get me wrong, autofocus is not slow but in comparison to Canon's latest lenses like 70-200 f/2.8 II it leaves much to be desired!

Still, this is my favorite lens and much better than the 50mm f/1.4 , so why is that:

1) Its bokeh is far superior in comparison to the Canon 50mm 1.4, above all much smoother. Check out my webgallery as a reference (roughly 50% of the pictures were taken with 50mm, most between f1.4 and f2)

2) Colors and contrast of the 50mm f1.2 are much better than other 50mm lenses.
3) It is fully weather-sealed in combination with a front-filter. This becomes an important issue when traveling. I've recently used it in the Sahara desert and not a single grain of sand made it onto the sensor or onto the lens' inner elements. Check out some pictures:

4) Construction quality is perfect. The lens feels and handles very well.

Overall, I absolutely recommend this lens. It is for sure the best 50mm lens on the market and if you like the 50mm focal length this truly is a must-buy!