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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp with careful use. Precise focusing. At times, amazing bokeh.
Cons:
A lot of CA in sun light, heavy and bulky and not $1800 build quality.

Obviously a terrific quality lens, that with proper use can produce superior results. However, the negative outweighed the good for me. During shoots, my wrists would begin to ache because of the wight. I got used to the weight, but still that frustrated me. I was surprised by the build quality. Not that it was poor, but it was not as good as I expected for $1800, that is for sure.

It was challenging shooting in sunlit high contrast scenes because of the sensitivity to CA wide open. I did some informal sharpness testing comparing with my 50mm f/1.8 II, and though it was sharper, not by much. The bokeh was much more smooth and just delightful at times. It's hard for me to not give a lens like this a top rating, especially since I am very please with a lot of the photos I shot with it. Would I recommend a friend to buy it? Only if money was no an object.

See the photos I took with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/niimo/tags/CanonEF85mmf12LIIUSM/


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Jun 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, weather sealed, wonderful quick and silent USM focusing
Cons:
Awkward length, large 77mm filter size, that's about it.

One fantastic lens! I love wide angles so I used to have the sigma 12-24mm, and I did use that lens often, however, I never used it for serious shooting. The picture quality just does not compare to this lens. After borrowing it from a friend for a few shoots, I knew I would eventually buy one for myself--just didn't know it would be so soon!

On a full frame, the 16mm can be so much fun! Whether shooting landscapes or your friends at dinner, it is very pretty versatile tool. Personally I found this lens to be essential for fashion/editorial shooting. Sure, you can go wider if you are shooting with a EOS Rebel XT, XTi, 20D or 30D (with 1.6x magnification factor) the 16mm will be around 25mm and a Canon 10-22mm or Sigma 10-20mm become candidates being actual 16mm focal lengths when at 10mm. However, because of, and the fact that I still shoot 35mm, this lens is the easy choice.



 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Oct 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $585.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very solid lens, quiet focus, produces great saturation, and surprisingly sharp even at 200mm f/4.
Cons:
Sometimes focus is not as fast as I'd like, but I don't have much to compare it to. There really isn't any big cons I can think of. I don't care about in not coming with a ring mount because I never really use it with a tripod.

My first L lens and actually my first lens of my own, period. Truth is I have considered selling it. Only because I really want a wide angle. However, I could not bring myself to sell it. Why? It is just a lens I would not want to part with. I would rather wait and purchase a wide angle later. This is such a handy lens and a QUALITY lens. Light enough to take it wherever you go (as long as there is light), no tripod needed.

One of my favorite things about the lens to is the fantastic smooth bokeh you can achieve with it. Amazing bokeh, great potential for portraits or candid shots at special events if you like to be stand-offish. I often like to be in the crowd, thus the desire for a wide angle. Still, this lens has it's place in my bag.

Sample images:

http://flickr.com/photos/niimo/222501652/
http://flickr.com/photos/niimo/253036021/
http://flickr.com/photos/niimo/227955624/
http://flickr.com/photos/niimo/198389489/
http://flickr.com/photos/niimo/191526532/