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Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM

EF14
Review Date: Dec 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,009.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A very sharp quality prime. Image quality is outstanding from f/2.8 down, minimum focusing distance, colors, contrast, very wide on FF, build quality, weathersealed, lens cap design... This lens is the heat!
Cons:
Price! Jeezus H...

Having owned the 17-40L, 16-35L and 15mm FE, I guess you can say I have a thing for UWA lenses. I've always been tempted by the original 14L, but was quite pleased with the results I was acheiving with the 16-35L at the time. Plus, I could hardly justify the cost. Fast forward to 2007 and Canon introduces the 14L II. This lens comes on the heels of the 16-35L II, which is reportedly a nice improvement over the mark I version as well. Those seeking a fast sharp UWA solution now have several great options to choose from. I was pretty much dead set on acquiring the 16-35L II, but recently sold all my zooms in favor of shooting primes exclusively. Then along comes the 14L II and many wondered if this lens will address the shortcomings of the original mark I version. While I can't compare this to the original version, I will say that I've been quite impressed with the performance so far. The images have been incredibly sharp even wide open. Yeah you'll get some distortion at the edges, but this is the nature of the beast when you're talking about UWA lenses. I concur that this lens is sharp from corner to corner and the colors and contrast is everything you'd expect from an L lens. The lens is incredibly wide on FF and there is just so much potential to be creative as you want to be. I love it. The build quality is incredible. A very solid lens. The built-in hood works well by design, and the improved lens cap works great. Makes you wonder why it was never implemented to begin with and if Canon will make one for the 15mm FE as well. Of course the front element protrudes, so you'll have to be careful about handling the lens. I haven't noticed any significant aberations, but I haven't really run it through its paces either. I plan to take it out this weekend and get some shots outdoors. I'm really anxious to see how it handles flare and CA, but based on reviews so far I expect it to perform exceptionally well. I will still rate this lens a 10 based on what I've seen in less than extreme conditions. I will conduct a more comprehensive follow up review after I've had it for a while longer. I plan on using this lens for urban landscapes, dramatic shots of interiors and people shots primarily. This is a very niche lens, so you have to weigh your options carefully before investing in this glass. There are many great alternatives to choose from and they won't set you back as much as this lens will. But if you need absolutely the best fast UWA prime that's not fishy, you would be wise to save your pennies and invest in this glass. Canon has done good.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Sep 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focal length on both full frame and APS-C sensors, image quality more than matches the 85 1.2L I & II, AF speed, large max aperture (sadly not 1.4 or below, but fast nonetheless, cost vs. the 85 1.2L, lightweight, inconspicuous, sharp, sharp and sharp! Does sports, weddings, portraits, household pets, ducks... This is an L lens in disguise.
Cons:
lens hood is bit weak, lens hood sold separately, AF is a tad noisy, doesn't have that L quality build (obviously for the price)... Honestly I really can't pick this lens apart. This is the best prosumer lens I've ever used PERIOD.

BLUF, this isn't a very technical review. Most everything good that can be said about this lens has already been mentioned and repeated. I'll just hit on a few points that are important to me. I once owned the mighty 85 1.2L and it was truly a stellar performer. I used to long for the days I could go back to having that ultra-fast 1.2 aperture, but the 85 1.8 pretty much mitigated the need. The 85 1.2L is now at the very bottom of my lens priority list, and I don't even feel that it's a necessity any longer. Yes, the 85 1.8 is THAT GOOD. How can a $350 lens possibly match its more expensive faster brother(s) for IQ? I don't know, but Canon has done something right and this is absolutely to best bang for buck non L glass you can buy. If you're in need of a lens for indoor sports, this lens fits the bill. Fast aperture is a plus, but the faster auto focus puts the 1.2 version to shame. If you're in need of a lens for portraits, this lens is arguably among the best Canon has to offer, and ranks right up there with the 85L and 135L. I've used this lens for weddings and environmental portraits and it does not disappoint at all. This lens is sharp across the aperture range, and out performs some L's I've owned. If you're considering the 85L, I strongly recommend you try this lens before you plunk down all that hard earned cash. Yeah, this lens may not have a red ring, but it deserves one.

 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Sep 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $975.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: focal range, f/2.8, L build quality, lens hood design, AF accuracy, minimum close distance focusing for macro
Cons:
Feels a bit strange to have to reverse zoom (lens potruding) to make the lens go wider.

Having previously owned and used the long discontinued EF 28-80 f2.8-4L, I was in no particular hurry to reacquire a mid-range zoom. Though the lens was optically a stellar performer, I always wished that it had a constant 2.8 aperture. I proceeded to go with the UWA (16-35) and the long (70-200), and filled the gap with a 50mm, which satisfied my shooting needs for quite a while. However, a new direction I've taken in photography has me wanting/needing to shoot more in the focal ranges I typically shied away from. I always knew that the likely candidates were the 24-105L or 24-70L. I considered third party offerings, which all seemed to be very good in their own right, but L build quality always wins me over in the end. And once again, this lens did not disappoint as far as that goes. I decided to try the 24-105L first, which turned out to be a great lens in its own right. However, I found that having a 2.8 max aperture was more favorable than the IS, extra reach and weight savings of the 24-105L. At first I thought it was a bit strange how the lens extends out from the body when zooming wide, but like most things Canon I got used to it pretty quick. The lens hood is well designed in that it covers the entire front element as you zoom in or out while remaining stationary itself. It's a bit massive, but it does the job and does it well. A great lens optically, it performs well even at max aperture throughout the zoom range. AF performance in low light is what prompted me to seek out this lens to begin with. Again, it does it amazingly well. I found the zoom ring on my particular copy to be somewhat loose and not as tight as it was on the 24-105L. Perhaps it is because the 24-105L was new, whereas I purchased the 24-70L second hand (the previous owner obviously putting it through its paces). Either way it doesn't take away from the fact that this lens deserves to be held in high regard. I do understand that there were questions concerning QC and copy variances, but I feel that it's nothing a good lens calibration can't fix. Overall, I'm only upset at myself for not picking up this lens sooner. It really is a spectacular lens.

 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

ef24mmf_14l_1_
Review Date: Sep 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focal length (obviously), fast f/1.4, FOV on both Full Frame and 1.6x crop, matches the 35L in terms of color, contrast, OOF background blur, and AF speed, L build quality, lens hood design
Cons:
Mediocre sharpness at f1.4 through f/2, but is razor sharp beyond that. This issue does not concern me a great deal as long as I'm getting the shot. Sharpness is subjective.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

I agree with the Digital Picture Dot Com review, which has been fairly consistent with what I've experienced with this lens except for the flaring. I don't often use this lens outdoors, so I can't say for sure if this is a major issue. I purchased this lens for wide shots indoors under poor light. For me this is a great focal length. Nice FOV on both FF and 1.6x crop bodies. When I had the 16-35L, I typically shot at 16mm or 24mm anyway. If you need a truly fast UWA lens, this lens will meet that need. From f/2 through f/8 (haven't shot an aperture smaller than that with this lens), this lens is nice and sharp. I feel this lens should be in every photojournalist's bag, and I'm quite surprised that it's not as popular as its closest relative the 35L. Photojournalist Todd Heisler used this lens for his Pulitzer Prize winning shots http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2006/feature-photography/works/ and ironically, the same lens was used when I first met him after he took photos of me returning home from Iraq and reuniting with my family.

Oh, and this lens does not really replace a zoom, but rather it compliments them. Sure you can get the focal length with either the 16-35, 17-40, 24-70 or 24-105 (or a number of prosumer or third party alternatives). Surely all these are great zooms, but unfortunately none of them can do f1.4. LOL


 
Canon EOS 40D

40d
Review Date: Sep 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, AF tracking, 6.5 fps, IQ, good high ISO performance, pairing of functions (top row buttons), improved (but not complete) weathersealing, ISO in veiwfinder, interchangeable focus screens, automatic ISO, DiG!C III, AF-ON button, Live View, Menu Screen, self-cleaning sensor, and reasonably priced!
Cons:
1. Direct print (might be important to someone, just not me) 2. Plastic battery compartment hinge (why?) 3. Making the Picture Styles button a programmable button that allows you to adjust IQ, WB or Picture Style and a better grip than the BG-E2N would be nice.

The simple fact that the 40D is slightly larger than the 20D, yet slightly smaller than the 5D was a selling point for me. I have large hands and need a camera that I can grip without it feeling like a small toy. It just seems to have a bit more "heft" I guess you could say. The partial weathersealing, finger groove beneath the shutter release, paintless hotshoe, are all really nice little bonus physical features, and I love everything about the new menu screen, very much like the 1D! And though the larger LCD wasn't a big deal for me when I first heard about it, it is indeed a very welcome feature. I've effectively put Live View to use and it definitely has a place on a DSLR despite how some may feel. I think this will be a very useful tool for a lot of shooters, and it was well implemented IMO. I really like the fact that I can change focusing screens and I will definitely be ordering an Ef-S super precision matte. The AF-ON button is also a great addition, though some may prefer to still use the good old fashioned * to separate the metering from the focusing. The good news is Canon gives you the option to go either way and doesn't force the AF-ON down your throat if you don't want to use it. Thanks, Canon! I found that the IQ is typical of any Canon camera, which is a good thing, and it handles noise at high ISO very well. The high ISO shots I took at a recent wedding were very usable and cleaned up really well with very little NR applied. Colors are vivid and bright, and there's a somewhat warmer feeling to the images. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the images are very 5D like in quality (without resorting to pixel peeping). The DiG!C III processor does a damn fine job and I'm satisfied with the quality of images this camera is capable of producing. AF tracking seems to be spot on. I was taking sample shots of oncoming traffic during a fund raising car wash we were having, and this system did not disappoint! For those of you who are concerned about it, the AF tracking works and it works well. And who can complain about a max burst of 6.5 fps, a couple of extra megapixels, an improved buffer (up to 75 jpegs!), automatic ISO, ISO viewable in viewfinder, being able to view selected AF points during playbck, the ability to register up to three camera user settings, 14 bit AD conversion, improved metering and spot metering range, extended Kelvin WB temperature range, brighter viewfinder, multiple exposure mirror lock-up, and a self cleaning sensor? All of which are great little goodies that only compliment this already great camera. And sRAW could definitely come in handy for some applications. Again, I've put this feature to use and it does become very useful when you want to shoot RAW, but have limited memory or don't need super large files to work with. Accidentally erasing all images on the card has been mitigated by having to turn the feature on in the menus, or batch check marking, which is a good thing if want to avoid inadvertently wiping your card clean! And among one of my favorite new features is the common sense and simplicity applied to what functions are assigned to the buttons near the top LCD. Metering is now paired with White Balance, Auto focus with Drive method, and ISO with FEC. Trust me, it makes much more sense this way. The new button layout beneath the LCD was not difficult for me to adjust to, though I must remember that the menu button is still located on the top left corner separate from the rest.

A few things that I could do without are the direct print button, the plethora of automatic Basic Zone shooting modes, and the plastic battery compartment hinge (why they did away with the metal hinge is beyond me - to cut cost ) One minor gripe is the Picture Style button. I wish it was programmable in custom functions so that you can use it to either select Picture Styles, or access the Image Quality or White Balance setting menu like on the 1D series. Not saying you can program those buttons on a 1D, but those buttons are made available to you on the body in a convenient location near the rear LCD.

In short, this may not be the "Wow" factor some folks have hoped for (it certainly is for me), but for what you get for the money, it has really impressed me and is definitely something that I'd consider a great improvement over its predecessors. Not trying to convince any happy 10/20/30D users either way, but just know that there is much more to consider than just what you see on the surface.

Own or Previously owned: XT, 20D, 5D, 1D, 1D2N


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Feb 18, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: All pros previously listed
Cons:
AF backfocus problem confirmed

This is a follow-up to my previous review of this lens.

I initially stated that I had no focusing issues with my copy, but must now join the ranks of those who do. Without getting into too much detail, I will say that the lens does have focusing problems at a focusing distance of approx. 1.5 to 3 meters (give or take). This lends to the popular belief that the lens is optically inferior (not as sharp) as the 50 1.8 or the 50 1.4. The backfocusing is readily apparent on 5D and 1D series bodies, all of which have a more complex focusing system. It has been shown that bodies that don't have advanced focusing systems like the Rebel XT, the lens focus is spot on. You can read the entire evolution of this here...

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/467828

I would still rate this lens a 10 based on optical performance alone. When manually focused, it has proven to be optically superior to its less expensive brothers. However, the autofocus miscommunication with certain bodies seems to be the Achilles' heal of this otherwise fine lens. I'm keeping hope alive that Canon will resolve this with a firmware update.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Dec 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Ultra-fast F/1.2, L build and quality, all attributes (colors, contrast, background blur) in the same league as the 35L, 85L and 135L, sharp througout aperture range, circular aperture, fast AF.
Cons:
Cost.

This is an excerpt from my initial impressions posted on POTN. Rather than retype all that mumbo jumbo here, I just quoted myself...

"Though I shouldn't have to explain, I'll outline my reasons for wanting this lens. One, I love the focal range on the 1.3x crop. The 35L worked beautifully for me on the 1.6x bodies, but I found it to be just a tad too wide for my taste when I made the leap to FF and then eventually to the 1D series. Besides, I pretty much have the wide end covered with the 16-35L. In a nutshell, I just wanted a fast prime that filled the gap in my line-up, that was somewhat close to "normal" FOV range, but could also deliver as portrait lens. I know full well that I could have easily settled for the cheaper 1.8 and 1.4 versions at a fraction of the cost, but I wanted L quality. I wanted a lens that is built to last and could withstand punishment if the need were ever to arise. I wanted a lens that I didn't have to worry about crapping out on me at a critical moment. I wanted it to be as fast as possible, considering that I plan to do plenty of shooting in very challenging lighting situations that I can't or will not use a flash for. But most of all, I wanted a lens that would cook me pancakes in the morning. Canon delivered. Those who are still riding the fence on whether or not it's a worthy investment, you have to ask yourself if you really need this or want this? What do you want from this lens the current 50 1.8 or 1.4 can't offer you? Are you willing to pay the premium cost to have those advantages? From what I can gather, people would be all over this lens if the price were right! But it's not, and therein lies the dilemma.

First off, I didn't experience any of the reported issues with back-focusing, front-focusing, sideways-focusing, upside-down focusing, etc... When I place my selected focus point on the designated point of the subject, the camera still finds its target and locks on. I ran it through the back-focusing quick check and found that there were no problems. If there was a focusing issue, it was due to my own error. There was an instance when I switched the lens to MF to shoot a WB card and forgot to place the AF/MF selector switch back to AF. I quickly realized this and corrected my rookie mistake. Bottom line, no issues with back-focusing.

I found the AF speed to be fast. Not faster than the speed of light like some expected, but more than adequate for me. Compared to my old 85L, the AF speed is noticeably quicker and I really don't understand what all the fuss is about with that. The USM is pushing a little more weight in glass than its 50 1.4 and 1.8 siblings, so comparing the AF speed to either of those should be considered a plus, not a minus IMO.

Background blur is comparable to any of the primes in the Holy Trinity, and is exactly what you would expect from a super fast L prime with a circular aperture. "Smooth", "Creamy" and "Buttery" are the adjectives that immediately come to mind. Consistent color and contrast throughout the aperture range, sharp images, no visible vignetting, and pretty good CA control pretty much sums up the optical quality of the glass. The CA that I've seen is no worse or better than what I was seeing with my old 85L that everyone seems to hold in the highest regard. To scrutinize this lens for that inherent lens flaw is just absurd."

To sum everything up, this is a damn fine lens. If you can justify spending your hard earn dollars on this lens, go for it. I consider it a godsend for the 1.6x users looking for a 85L quality portrait lens. If not, the 50 1.4 and 1.8 versions are by no means lacking in optical quality, and will suffice for 95% of the 50mm shooters out there. This lens fills the niche between my bread and butter 16-35L and 70-200L IS lenses nicely. Great for general photography, low light shooting and portraits. This lens is aimed at the serious amateur with deep pockets (not me) or the serious-as-sh!t pros with deep pockets (not me). This lens deserves to be regarded in the same respect as the Holy Trinity of Canon primes which include the 35L, 85L, 135L. Overall, I think Canon has a winner on their hands. If the price dropped down to the point that would attract "mere mortals" (me), I'm sure there would be nothing but praises being sung about this lens.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Jun 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focal range, build quality, fast, IS technology, two IS modes, minimum focusing distance switch, sharp throughout (comparable to primes), versatility, firm zoom ring, tri-pod collar, lens hood, lens case
Cons:
Cost (worth it to me) It's white (big fvcking deal) It's heavy (maybe you need to get in shape)

I recently acquired this lens after selling off my primes (35L 85L and 135L) in favor of a lens that would offer me more versatility for the type of shooting I've been doing. I needed another zoom that would compliment my 16-35L on the long end. I was worried that this lens would not compare IQ wise to the level of performance my beloved primes have given me. My fears have been put to rest. As soon as I received this lens, I took it out for a quick test run and viewed the RAW files on my PC. I was blown away by the sharpness and color rendition this lens produced. Not only is the sharpness comparable to the primes even wide open, but the colors and bokeh are as equally impressive! On top of that, the IS is good for a few extra stops as well. The L build and quality is what I've come to expect from Canon, esp. a lens with this price tag. It doesn't disappoint. This lens oozes quality, and from the moment you take it out of the box, you can tell that it's meant for serious business. Rock solid. This lens is right at home on my EOS-1D Mark II N. The perfect combination. The lens hood is massive, but not overdone. I don't doubt it's effectiveness and find comfort in knowing that it will take a good beating long before my front element does. Though I don't forsee myself really utilizing it, the lens case is of nice quality as well. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my decision to get this lens. I swore that I would not be happy unless I was shooting with the fastest primes available, but I can say with complete honesty that no longer holds true for me. When the time and money is right again, I will reacquire the primes I sacrificed to get this lens. But I can assure you that this will be the workhorse of my stable for a lifetime.

FWIW, I've also owned and used the legendary 80-200 f2.8L "Magic Drainpipe" and can say that this lens is a worthy successor that that marvelous peice of glass. I would even go as far as to say that it has surpassed it's performance. Don't let the negative reviews discourage you. I think you'll be most pleased should you decide to invest in this magnificent lens. Believe the hype.

(BH Photo has this lens for $1599 + the current $50 Canon rebate makes this a pretty good deal)


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N

1d_mkii_n
Review Date: Apr 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 8 fps, 45 AF points, 8.2mp (who needs more?), dual memory card slots, build, battery life, picture styles, ISO in viewfinder, standard accessory bundle, available accessories, 2.5" LCD, eyepiece shutter, weather sealing, more camera than most will ever need.
Cons:
Control layout takes a little time getting used to.

I recently traded my 5D for the 1d mkIIn (see my review of the 5D). Most of the arguments in favor of this camera has already been well covered by previous reviewers, so I'll just simply state my reasons for choosing this camera. First off, let me make clear that I think the 5D is a great camera. The images that have come straight out of the camera are simply amazing to say the least. The build and superb quality are what you come to expect from Canon. However, I find myself not needing the extra 12.8mp resolution as I don't normally make prints large enough to justify it. The FF frame sensor is a thing of beauty. But I think that a 1.3x crop sensor is a perfect compromise between FF, which exploits the limitations of all my glass, and the 1.6x crop, which makes my ultra-wide 16-35L not quite wide enough. Additionally, I plan to get into photojournalism and think that the 1d mkIIn would better suit my needs to pursue that goal. Not that the 5D wouldn't be a great tool for the job, but I would much rather have the tough build, weather sealing capabilities and ultra-fast frame rate of the 1d mkIIn. IQ wise, I think the 5D would beat the 1k mkIIn hands down. But IQ comes second to capturing the perfect moment, a catagory which I think the 1d mkIIn owns due to the superior AF system and faster frame rate. I'm also attracted to the 1d mkIIn for the dual memory card capability. Overall, this camera has been a wise investment for me. It may be overkill for most, but I wouldn't hestitate to recommend this to anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level and are dead serious about their craft.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $78.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, fast, focal range, "normal" perspective on FF, great portrait range for crop, lightweight, sharpness, color, contrast, IQ comparable to $1K+ glass, great to kick aound on the floor when bored
Cons:
Build (feels like a cheap toy), bokeh less than desireable, hunts in low light, loud AF

See the pros and cons. How can anyone has the "nifty fifty" in thei kit bag? Wink

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $870.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, size, lightweight, black, build, focal range, bokeh, colors, contrast, close focusing switch, lens hood
Cons:
Nothing. It's perfect.

What can I really say about this lens that hasn't already been said? If you don't mind zooming with your feet, I would recommend this over any zoom any day. But if you need the versatility of a telephoto zoom, I recommend not getting this lens. This has got to be one of the sharpest lenses in the Canon prime line-up. For the price, what could be better?

 
Canon EOS 5D

5d_586x225_2_
Review Date: Mar 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: FF, size, feel, ergonomics, ISO in viewfinder, ISO in 1/3 increments, resolution, picture styles, increased buffer, bright viewfinder, interchangleble focus screens, nice battery grip, large LCD, control layout similar to 20D/30D, reduced shutter noise, improved AF,
Cons:
3 fps, useless direct print button (should've been mirror lock-up button), no easy access to mirror lock-up

I took me a couple days to really warm up to the 5D. I had mastered my 20D and felt quite comfortable with it. I also got spoiled by the 1.6x crop. After I spent a day shooting with the camera, I can honestly say that I made the right choice in acquiring the 5D. I appreciate the way my lenses are performing the way they were meant to, and I especially enjoy the FF perspective. The viewfinder is bright and eye pleasing and I like being able to adjust the ISO w/o removing my eye from the viewfinder. Although these features were implemented in the 30D it's nice to have spot metering, 1/3 ISO increments, RGB histogram, picture styles and of course the higher resolution. The larger LCD is nice, but I honestly could've done without it. I didn't mind the tiny viewing screen on my 20D at all. I prefer the slight increase in heft of the camera. It feels more like a pro camera in my relatively large hands. Can't complain about the battery grip. I can't imagine shooting without one now. It took a few days for the dust in the viewfinder to show up, but when it did it didn't bother me as bad as I thought. I also miss the 5 fps burst of the 20D. Man, does the 5D feel slow in comparison. But I won't be using the 5D for action anyway. I plan to also purchase a 1d mkIIn primarily for that purpose. Migrating from the 20D to the 5D proved easy enough since the control layout is the same. I immediately accessed the menu and proceeded to customize my settings and custom functions. I was pleased to see additional cfn settings available to me as well. Most people complain about the lack of an on-board flash. I prefer not to use a flash since all my lenses are fast (2.8 and higher), so the no fill flash doesn't bother me. Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase and would recommend the 5D to anyone.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, IQ, bokeh, color rendition, rock solid build - oozes quality throughout, great focal range.
Cons:
AF is a little slow, but that's what MF is for. Exercise that lost skill.

Yes, it's expensive. But it's worth every penny. Once you've used this lens you'll see why. A must have for any Canon prime aficianado. Everything great to say about this lens has already been said. You must experience it for yourself.

 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast focusing, IQ, color rendition, bokeh, build quality, great 1.6x crop range, fast, light weight, nice hood.
Cons:
None.

It's really hard to take a bad picture with this lens. What else is there to say? Yes, it is that good. Words really don't do this lens justice. You really just have to pick one up and use it. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. You will not regret owning this lens, and only a fool would get rid of it.

 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Feb 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, fast
Cons:
Price

After contemplating the EF-S 10-22 and owning the 17-40L, I'm glad I ignored all the negative reviews and purchased this lens. I needed a faster WA zoom than the equally superb 17-40 offered, and really wasn't interested in any of the third party offerings. Yes, it's a steep price to pay, but then again, I'll never need another wide-angle zoom esp. when it comes to time to move to a FF body. I'm still taking some sample shots, but so far so good.

 
Canon EOS 20D

20d
Review Date: Nov 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,329.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality build [magnesium body]. Many Pro features. Built in flash. Size and weight.
Cons:
Not FF or weather sealed. Would be nice wouldn`t it?

Is it worth paying a little extra for this over the DRXT? IMO yes. First off, much better build quality. The magnesium feel of the 20D is preferred over the cheap plastic feel of the DR any day. The 350D DR XT just feels like it would break too easily. That alone should justify the extra cost of the 20D. If it had been weather sealed it would have been perfect. The 20D feels like a pro camera even though it`s aimed at the amateurs and prosumers like myself. If it were FF I would see no point in buying a 5D.