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  Reviews by: nsbkaizen  

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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: Dec 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, weather sealed, affordable, sharp at f4
Edges are soft

This is a really fun and versatile lens especially mated to a 5D. The center sharpness at f4 is excellent and I don't worry much about the softer edges. There is quite a bit of vignetting on a full frame but is easily corrected in post processing. I have considered "upgrading" to the 16-35mm f2.8 but can't justify the price difference for the extra stops and the added weight. I have found f4 adequate even indoors provided I increase ISO accordingly. On the 5D, I can go up to ISO 1600 and still get acceptable shots. I almost always use this lens at 17mm. I would welcome another affordable rectilinear wide angle (the 14mm is just too expensive) but until then I am very happy with the 17-40L. This and the 135L are great "bargains" if you're looking for a L quality lens.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: -very sharp at f1.2 -out of focus rendering is superb -ability to isolate a single element in a picture is outstanding
-weight -price -slow AF from infinity to closest focusing

This lens is not as easy to use as compared to the 35L for example but the results are spectacular when you nail the focus. The sweet spot is about a meter from the subject which is about the closest focusing distance. Portraits taken at this range will have the eyes in sharp focus while the rest of the features dissolve creamily into a beautiful blur - maybe not your conventional portraiture but I love the look.

I would highly recommend changing to a high precision focus screen and get used to manual focusing. Your keeper rate will be much better.