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  Reviews by: kevmar  

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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Dec 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Midweight, cheap, excellent build quality
Cons:
No hood supplied as standard. Zoom is liable to creep - but could be due to the usage my lens has had!

This lens is my workhorse lens.

As much as I would like to afford an L series, it isn't practical, nor within my budget.

This lens is a medium weight lens - its heavy enough to be noticed, light enough to be used all day.

Colour rendition is good, and its USM motor is pretty much bang on, and nice and quiet, making it good for all situations.

It is a bit long when used on a 20D/300D - Eqv. 45mm in 35mm - but for most of my work this is no issue (it mainly involves taking a step back or two).

I've used this in street and studio situations and found it to be a very valuable addition to the arsenal of lenses i carry - so much so, it has

If it had to suggests improvements, a little red ring would be nice, with better quality elements.. but this is NOT an L lens - this is a "consumer" lens.. that purely and simply rocks.

The ideal upgrade to your 18-55 lens.. and good for many purposes.

Recommended.


 
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus

ef135mmf_28soft_1_
Review Date: Nov 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This lens is an odd lens in my lineup, as with my 20D, the lens turns into a 216mm lens - in other words - a pretty far reaching telephoto lens.

In standard mode, (no soft focus mode) I found the lens to be nice and sharp

In soft focus mode 1, it was giving out very interesting soft effects, especially at the maximum aperture (f2.8). Soft mode 2 seemed to be a bit too excessive, and thus wasn't giving out pictures I personally liked. Soft focus at night made for quite romantic pictures out

The build is pretty sturdy for my liking - not L quality, but remember the price you're paying. The motor is defiantly out of the dark ages, and is pretty noisy - again down to taste. The rear element focusing means you can use your polarizers till the cows come home.

I've used this lens a bit now - certainly - it is WAY to long for studio work on a 1.6 crop body. Outdoors, it can be good for close candid shots from a distance so you don't interfere with whats going on. Optically, it needs to be around f4 to perform... and it will perform.

If Canon was to put a USM motor on this lens, I think it would be an improvement - but not a deal breaker.

For the price I paid for it, I thought it was worth a punt. Seems i was right.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Jul 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp, lovely brokeh, doesn't feel like its going to fall apart on you in one usage
Cons:
out of manufacture, prices over inflated in the second hand market

I was lucky when i got mine. It was in a second hand "Cash Comverters" style shop, and they didn't know what they had (it was attached on an old EOS750 that I've still got to fleabay sometime).

The unit itself was sound, and focusing was smooth throughout. Like the Mark II, the motor is noisey, but the opticis are sharp thoughout. The distance scale i've found is helpful when working away from the camera, as is that lovely manual zoom ring which far more accessable than the Mark2.

On a 1.6 body, this becomes the ideal portrait lens, and as such, I've used it for photoshoots, and its a life saver when you have 2 constant lights, and not much more.

If you're having trouble getting hold of a Mark1, get a 2 and live with it... but if you can locate one at a reasonable price, get it.



 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Jun 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheapish, Nice brokeh, Light
Cons:
Pastic, noisey, but if you've got the money, you wouldn't had got it.

This was the first lens i brought for my EOS300D, which is still sitting on it (my other lenses have migrated onto the 20D).

Popped it on the camera after i brought it, clicked away and was getting some very nice long townscape shots, with lovely colour rendition.

In low light, this lens knocks spots of anything I have. It gives a lovely depth of field and lovely brokeh... (one of my nicest portrait shots was done on the London Underground, no flash, and a steady hand)

If you're starting out, this is a good lens to have as it will teach to work with camera and experiment with the modes on it.

Yes, we can moan about how plastic it is, how noisey and how there's practicly no focusing ring. If you want that.. you get the Mark I... which I got in the end for the focusing ring (which in studio, is a godsend... switch off the AF and start thinking for yourself).

Treat it with a bit of respect... don't knock it much, and it will pay you back every time you use it.