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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

ef28-300_35-56lisu
Review Date: Apr 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Zoom range, Image Quality, IS, Build Quality
Cons:
White color, funny hood, push-pull zoom

Fantastic zoom range on FF body. High image quality is a wonderful surprise. It's not a 'travel zoom' as the zoom range suggests, although it can work beautifully as one, if size and weight isn't a concern. It's in fact a terrific choice for studio portrait, event, and even product photography, anything that requires ultimate composition flexibility and high image quality.

On 1.6X you would need a 18-200IS to work the same way. Otherwise 42mm equivalent is a limit for wide angle situations.

The hood is very funny, so small that it looks like a decoration. You should really leave it at home.

Not a huge fan of the push-pull zoom action, but it doesn't seem to be an issue for this lens. The 100-400 is a 'dust pump' according to some users. This 28-300 is probably better sealed.

Not a good choice for street photography if you attempt to remain discreet in the background, due to the size and white color. A good tool to impress your client, on the other hand. Smile


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Oct 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,495.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, weight (good balancing on pro bodies), amazing background blur ability. super-bright view through viewfinder is addictive - F2.8 zooms look dark like hell compared to it. Great build quality
Cons:
price (but large aperture is never cheap). lens front extends during focusing, although not much.

Literally a 'canon ball', this thing's diameter is even larger than that of big zooms like 70-200IS or 100-400IS. But that's what it takes to make a bright lens like this. At F1.2 it's already plenty sharp. Many people said its aF is very slow. It's slower than the faster IF or RF designs such as 135/2 or modern zooms, but it's very useable. It's made to be slow yet accurate, as the DOF at F1.2 becomes so shallow. A focus limiter would definitely boost AF performance. Need to be careful when you mount the lens as the rear element flush with the metal mount. Image is tack sharp with silky background. Has to be seen to be believed. Worth every yen...

 
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

ef135mmf_2l_1_
Review Date: Oct 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great sharpness - largest aperture IS the usable aperture. Lightweight. Works with Teleconverters.
Cons:
Aperture blade not circular. Wish there's IS, and rubber gaskets for peace of mind... :)

Put this lens and the 24/1.4 (some prefer 35/1.4) in your bag and you have a light weight combo that can handle 80% of shooting situations. Works well with TCs as well. Bring two TCs along and you have 200/2.8 and 300/4 without the size and weight.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Oct 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: At F4 it's sharper than 70-200IS at F2.8. Great color and contrast. Outstanding sharpness. Light weight and small size.
Cons:
Small aperture and non IS not suitable for indoor handheld. Expensive tripod collar have to pay separately. No rubber gasket. Vignetting won't go away until F8 on FF bodies. bright color shouts 'rob me'. Would pay $1k for an upgraded version with collar and IS :)

Great high performance yet light weight lens for hiking and landscape. If you don't need IS and don't absolutely need one stop faster aperture, this lens is a steal. The cheapest lens with Fluorite element you can buy:)

 
Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye-Nikkor

1910NAS_180
Review Date: Oct 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp image from corner to corner. Typical excellent Nikon pro line build quality. Excellent straight lines once corrected fisheye effect in software.
Cons:
none

Sharp image from corner to corner. Typical excellent Nikon pro line build quality. Excellent straight lines once corrected fisheye effect in software. Using it on the full frame canon and result is great. There are some color fringing at extreme corners, but thats expected for all extreme super-wide and fisheyes. Can be easily taken care of by software. If you need a full-frame fisheye, no matter whether you are using Nikon or Canon, get this one and you won't regret.

 
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

2139NAS_180
Review Date: Oct 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality beats the primes it covers. Super fast and silent AF. VR works as advertised (3 stops). Beautiful silky smooth bokeh. Great lens body design (tripod mount, hood, weather seal, etc).
Cons:
none. absoltely NONE

If you can afford it, by all means get it. Image quality is every bit as good as the primes it replaces. It's simply the best 70-200 out there on the market today. I've been constantly amazed by the images this lens captures for me.

Only negative aspect I can think of is that it will make many of your other lenses sit on the shelf for the most of the time.


 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: Oct 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great image quality. Fast AF. IS works very well. Light weight compared to 2.8 version. Built-in hood very handy.
Cons:
Tripod ring is not very smooth. Doesn't have markings on lens body to align the lens with tripod ring. Lens' white color screams 'expensive photo gear come and get me'.

The 'Big gun' for those who don't want to carry 6+ lbs or don't want to spend $4k. A great performer. Image is sharp and contrasty. Not a 'dog' like some websites called it at all. works very well with 1.4X TC as well. IS is very effective. Got tack sharp photos handheld at 1/30s.

Wish it has the updated IS so it can be used on tripod. IS has a louder (not really loud) noise than new IS lenses. Not weather sealed. Tripod ring isn't very smooth. Doesn't have markings on the body to align the tripod ring.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Oct 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp and contrasty at most apertures, large aperture for handheld in low light. Good bokeh when used as a portrait lens on APS-C bodies. Reasonably fast AF. Full time manual override despide its micro-USM AF mechanism.
Cons:
Build quality isn't confidence inspiring. Loose yet bumpy focus ring. Got dust inside after short use. Doesn't come with a hood. Wish they make a 50/1.2L with IS and weather seal.

A great all around lens. Compact and light weight. Focuses quite fast with FTM. On a APS-C sensor body it works very well as a portrait lens. Bokeh is smooth also. Image is very sharp and contrasty at most apertures. A must for any photographer.
Build quality isn't among the gooder, in fact it's all plastic except the mount. Mine's focus ring is very loose. You can hear this rattling noise if you shake it gently. And it's not very smooth either, kind of 'bumpy' when you MF. The price is higher than other 50/1.4 lenses from other brands. Doesn't come with a hood.


 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

ef24mmf_14l_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great sharpness even wide open (wayyyyy better than the F2.8 zooms at F2.8). nice weight and size. shallow DOF in a wide angle lens.
Cons:
Lateral CA glows purple and green in close and distant bokeh. Watch for high contrast situations. My first copy was DOA. No weather seal. Hood is too tight.

A great available light lens. very sharp even wide open. at F2.8 easily beats pro calibre zooms. Focuses very fast. If you are looking for a lens for low light situations, forget about the 50/1.0 and get this one. downside is lateral CA is pretty heavy, especially when shot wide open and there's a lot of high contrast. Close bokeh glows purple and distant bokeh glows green. (convert image to black & white is the easiest solution Smile
My first copy came DOA, rear element was filled with tiny bubbles, and it won't focus at infinity at all. Second was a great performer, but there was dust inside the distance window.


 
Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

ts452_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: solid build (even better than many lenses with the red ringie), shift/tilt convenience, good image quality
Cons:
heavy CA if you shift too much.

A great lens to shoot products and smaller architecture. Great for sculpture and flat artwork copyworks as well. Actually a great landscape lens too. this focal length is always considered not so 'interesting', it's simply not true. Canon's marketing folks need to remove the red ring from the slow plastic zooms and put it on this babe. By all means a classic.
Image is quality is very good (better than 24mm TSE), but once shifted too much it will show similar heavy CA. PS work is a must.


 
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

ts243_1_
Review Date: Sep 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Great focal length for interiors and tall exteriors, convenience of shift/tilt
Cons:
soft at all apertures. color fringing at all apertures even without shift.

A very handy lens if you shoot architecture or want to be creative with nature / landscape. However color fringing and softness is pretty bad despite its red ring and the big ground and polished aspherical front element. Worse thing is it's pretty hard to correct the CA after you shift since it's no longer symmetrical. Avoid high contrast situations and prepare for a lot of PS work to eliminate CA effect. Still it's a very versatile lens but it takes some work to get great results out of it. I heard the Zuiko Shift 24mm made for the OM series is the best shift lens out there. But since it's out of production this 24mm canon and the 28mm PC Nikkor are your only easy choices now.