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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast focus, image stabilization makes hand-held use the typical mode of operation.
Cons:
None. Well, okay, its beige. You'd think Canon would figure out that nobody thinks that's cool.

Any attempt to compare this lens to Canon's IS zooms, any of them, is a joke (I know, as I have recently owned the 75-300 IS, the 70-300 DO IS, the 100-400L, and the 70-200 f/2.8L). But that, I guess, is the nature of a prime.

I purchased this lens, the 100-400L and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens all at the same time with the plan to have a "shoot out" between them, and then to keep the best and sell the other two.

Well, the 100-400L and the 70-200mm have been sold, and this lens is the keeper, folks. The 100-400 wasn't even close. The 70-200mm was a very nice lens, but just a little too short for the birds in the bushes.

The price on e-bay runs typically at about $900-1000. I got
lucky and picked one up for a little under $900. It can be done if you wait for the right price/timing.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $125.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, image quality great at all settings, extremely shallow depth of field at or near wide open is very artistic and makes the subject stand out very nicely from the background.
Cons:
Out of manufacture.

First, despite the review header on this thread, do not think for one second that you are going to get this lens for the supposed "average" price of about $90.00. If you do, you are buying a lens that is in pretty sorry shape, or from somebody who does not know what they are selling. This lens actually sells for about $120 (if you are lucky) to about $160 (if you just want one, now). Shop for a good price, but don't drive yourself crazy trying to find one for FM's "average" price. You won't find it unless there is something significantly wrong with the lens or the seller. or both. Pay the going rate, and feel good that you have one very, very nice lens (approaching L quality, IMHO) for a relatively inexpensive investment.

I shopped for a long time, and bought one that was being sold
as a part of a lot of camera goods (filters, extension tubes,
other miscellaneous stuff). My estimated actual purchase price for the lens (after selling all the other stuff off) is $125, and I feel lucky to have gotten it for that.

I agree with all other very positive reviewers here, and would only add these comment: this lens is particularly good with digital EOS cameras like the rebels, D10, D20, etc., for two reasons. First, At 800 ISO or higher, it is possible to use this lens in good room lighting without any flash and get a fair number of keepers (not all). Certainly far more that even the far more expensive EFS 17-85mm IS lens (which I also own), despite its image stabilization capabilities, and with a much more artistic depth of field (blurred backgrounds that make the subject "pop" out). Second, due to these cameras' 1.6x crop factor, this, lens operates at exact magnification. Try it: mount the lens, look through the camera and then open your other eye -- it's as if the camera is not there. The image in your eyepiece and without the camera are practically the same size and distance.