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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

EF24_14LII
Review Date: Feb 15, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build is awesome, focus is fast, sharp from f 1.4, beautiful pictures.
Cons:
AF, AF, AF, AF, AF, Will not focus consistently/accurately!

I'm on my 3rd copy of the 24mm f1.4L version II. The first two had wild and severe focus issues (even though the 2nd copy was sent back to Canon and adjusted, 4 times).

The 3rd copy has just as many issues as the first two. Sometimes it focuses well, often it will front or back focus for no apparent reason.

All lenses tested on 4-5 bodies, bodies checked out by Canon and in specs (as well as being perfect with other lenses).

I set up on tripod and point at flat subject (to avoid confusing AF system). Every time I hit the AF the lens readjusts and the focus jumps and re-locks. If I push the shutter 4 times, I usually get 1 sharp picture and 3 out of focus (both front and back focused). Tested at multiple subject distances, in various lighting, problem always present.

Besides confirming and reproducing the issues I'm having, 2 Canon techs have now informed me that this lens has a design flaw and that a huge majority of the copies out there have this AF inconsistency problem. In their words, out of 20 lenses, 1-2 will work properly and not act the way mine does. I don't know what to believe, but I've had 3 bad lenses in a row and this is what I've been told.

Check your copy if you buy one. AF mistakes might not be your fault.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Aug 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f1.2 speed and dof; sharp sharp sharp even wide open; unbelievable image quality; accurate AF; colors & contrast; !!!
Cons:
CA from about f1.8 down if not careful; focus a little slow; weight; other lenses get jealous ;)

This lens is amazing! After all the lenses I have gone through, this is the only one I REALLY care about and love. If not for this lens, I would seriously consider trying Nikon's promising new D700. If canon had other focal lengths with the same quality as this lens, I'd buy all of them regardless of price.

Weight can be annoying on a 20D or Rebel. Not bad on a 1 series body as it hangs level and doesn't swing.

CA can come in to play but after f1.8 they are pretty well controlled if not gone completely.

My version is so sharp at f1.2 that I NEVER feel the need to stop down until I need more DOF. I use f1.2-1.6 about 95% of the time.

Even with version II, focus is pretty slow on consumer bodies. Right on par with most macros it seems, though, much faster than my Sigma 150mm macro. On a 1dmkII body, the focus is much faster and even good enough for tracking kids around as long as you aren't too close.

I find focus to be accurate.

Flare is never an issue.

Colors are rich and accurate.

The minimum focus length could be shorter, but I can't complain as it's equal to most other lenses in it's class.

After first getting it, I was in a room with about 8 other photographers and I passed it around to let everyone try it. After that, I was constantly being asked if I had the lens when we met and if they could use it.

The image quality is amazing!


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Aug 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price! Sharp. VALUE!
Cons:
Build

I picked up a plastic version II, and I have to say that it is wonderful. It's easy to make fun of the build (like a toy) but the value of this lens is TOP. Mine did get crushed in a hiking bag once and the front element popped off. I was sad for about 5 minutes until I figured out how to pop it back on.

Mine is only a little soft at f1.8 and I have no problem using it wide open aside from a lower contrast. From f2-2.2+ it is great. It focuses relatively quick, even if the AF is a little sloppy. I use it as a single walk-around lens often due to the flexibility and weight.

For the price and performance you can't beat it; I recommend it to all my friends (and many have bought it now and also love it). I can't bring myself to upgrade when this lens does so much for so little money.