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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good IQ, quick to focus, great colors, accurate, good deal on the used market
Cons:
none, but it could be sharper & have IS

generally a good lens, though when i switched to nikon and used the nikon version i discovered how awesome a TRULY sharp 24-70 is.

that said, this is a solid version. certainly not as great as other canon zoom offerings, unfortunately. the contrast is punchy, which is nice, btu i'm not a fan of the zoom mechanism and protruding front element; makes the lens way bigger than it needs to be, and makes the hood absolutely ginormous. so i wish it was internal focusing.

in all honesty, i used my 24-105 90% of the time when i needed a lens in this range.

for low light work, i moved to primes. for sports, i moved to the f4 version due to the added reach. for landscapes i used the f4 because i found it to be optically better. so unless you have to have the 2.8 speed, maybe consider other options.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: affordable, great build quality
Cons:
copy variation, not super sharp

i've used three copies of this lens and have never quite been satisfied with it. i never quite feel that my images have been in focus! i can live with its soft corners because honestly on FF when you're shooting at 17mm, people get distorted and i try to frame them away from the corners anyway... (landscape shooters will obviously have a totally different perspective). but even in the center points, i'm always kind of "meh" about this lens. i guess if you wind up with a good copy it's relatively affordable for what you get.

 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp with good IQ, like that it's an all in one package
Cons:
dust magnet, weird zoom mechanism

my dad owns this lens and i use it a lot when i go to visit the family. i've probably taken thousands of images with this lens and after all is said and done i've got mixed feelings about it. on the one hand it's pretty sharp and has great colors and contrast. on the other hand, with the quality of the new 70-200 2.8 II, there's no real reason to have this lens any more if you pair the Mark II with a doubler. the push pull mechanism tends to suck dust into the lens, and the zoom mechanism is really hard to get used to. that said, it's quirky to focus and quite reliable. just perhaps obsolete these days.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, contrasty, sharp, light, small, portable, affordable, sharp -- did i mention sharp?
Cons:
lacks IS

unbelievable lens. this and its IS brother are the best canon zooms made in my opinion, aside from the 70-200 2.8 mark II. once i used this lens, i was blown away by how sharp the images were. i didn't think zooms were capable of this quality wide open. i used the non IS version briefly, sold it, put my 2.8 on the shelf and reserved it for emergency only, and got the f4 IS. i love the 70-200 f4 series of lenses. they are simply phenomenal. for an outdoor shooter or a travel shooter, you can't beat them. they're easy to carry around all day and won't break your back/neck/camera bag. light, small, portable, and unbelievable optics. enthusiastic thumbs up.

 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: mind blasting if you're new to lenses of this grade. indestructible.
Cons:
has a washed out look, not much contrast, not as sharp as the newer versions, kind of a let down for a lens this expensive.

i loved this lens until i switched to primes. then, suddenly, i hated it and basically stopped using it. maybe it was the fact that i was using all L series primes? but maybe not: when i got the f4 IS version, i immediately knew that my distaste for this lens had everything to do with the fact that it just optically does not perform as well as the newer canon zooms (i.e. the f4 IS, the F4 non IS, and the f2.8 Mark II). it's soft compared to the current gen zooms and the colors and contrast need to be pumped up in post. if you're looking to save the money, get this -- but i highly highly recommend waiting a little longer, saving a little more, and getting the mark II version, which is simply phenomenal.

on the plus side, it's quick and accurate to focus, and can probably withstand having a bomb drop on it.


 
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

24-105lisusm
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast focuser, sharp, great colors, good build quality, inexpensive, not too bad a vignette
Cons:
i wish it went to 120 like the nikon variant

i really like this lens. when i first got it in the kit with the 5d2 i was a bit of a 2.8 snob, but the more i used this walk around lens the more i liked it. it's fast to focus and very very accurate. the colors are bright and punchy and the contrast adds a lot of vibrance to the lens. it's resistant to flare, and tack sharp wide open. having switched to nikon recently, i miss this lens a lot. nikon's version has the advantage of being a little longer on the long end, but it's glacially slow to focus and it vignettes BAD. this lens is a great all purposes addition to a canon shooter's lineup. highly recommended.

 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: nice focal range, reasonable walk around lens, light weight for what you get
Cons:
poor IQ

a reasonable lens for a crop body camera but really not the most ideal solution. it's pretty slow to focus, the AF tends to hunt a bit. slow on the long end, and really not very sharp. if you're looking for a convenience lens, this might be an option, but if you are seeking critical sharpness... move along.

all that said, it's a very useful focal length at basically 24-135 equivalent.


 
Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

ts452_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very usable focal length, great build quality, super sharp
Cons:
none

fantastic lens! super sharp, and as other reviewers have mentioned it's an ideal focal length for maximum creativity (i.e., if you're using it for creative people photography you can do a LOT with it). found the build quality to be better than L series primes (from 24-135). very solidly built. optically excellent. it is a little shy on contrast but that can be fixed in post. i think this beauty should have a red ring on it!

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: beautiful images
Cons:
heavy, slow to focus, prone to flare

i sold this bad boy to move up to the mark II. it was unusably slow to focus while tracking people walking (think: bride walking down aisle). also flared a fair bit if an errant strobe or the sun was in the frame (at least, flared more than the Mk II version). significantly less contrast than the Mark II. i like it -- great lens especially for the price -- but the new one is really worth the extra bucks.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, nice bokeh, built like a tank
Cons:
slow to focus, not sharp wide open, heavy, expensive

not sure what to make of this thing. upgraded from the Mk I version because that version was too slow to focus on anything moving. i found it to be just barely fast enough to focus during a wedding, and a huge step up in flare resistance. nice contrast, beautiful colors. optically it could be sharper at 1.2 or 1.4. i refused to shoot this lens below 1.8 unless i absolutely had to do to image softness. but it's a beauty nonetheless.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: none
Cons:
filmsy. don't breathe on it!

canon doesn't make a good 50mm prime. they make a cheap junky one, a medium priced junky one, and a super expensive one that is okay but that still falls apart. this 50mm is the cheap junky one. it rolled off a coffee table and landed on a pillow 12 inches lower. broke. got a new one to put in a travel bag and the focusing gears make the most unholy noise ever now. beware. it'll blow your mind if you're moving up from a kit lens, but it will annoy you to no end if you are used to anything of any quality.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: none
Cons:
flow to focus, inaccurate, poor image quality, really poorly made

i hate this thing. after not very long, the lens stopped focusing. it went back to canon three or four times and eventually a tech told me to use it as a paperweight. recently the rear element FELL OUT OF THE LENS WHILE THE LENS WAS ATTACHED TO MY CAMERA!!! the glass was rattling around INSIDE THE MIRROR BOX. Total piece of junk.

 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, nice bokeh
Cons:
design flaws cause it to fall apart, could focus faster

mixed feelings on this lens. here's the problem: the sun shade is attached to the front of the lens, to a little plastic part that recedes into the outside of the barrel. i can't explain it exactly but basically if you have this guy in a belt pouch and you pull it out by the sun shade, which is pretty common if you're working a wedding and operating quickly, you will eventually break something inside the front of the lens barrel and the hood will become loose and the red L ring will separate from the lens. i don't know how this problem will progress if you don't take care of it sooner or later. ultimately i suspect that the shade and lens will come apart without twisting. if you do take care of it it's a $400 repair. pretty lame for a 40 cent part.

anyway, otherwise a nice lens optically. i read a ton about it being not so sharp, not so accurate, etc. i thought my copy was tack sharp. not as awesome as the 135, but good nonetheless.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: beautiful color rendition, well made, contrasty, sharp, quick to focus
Cons:

my most used canon lens. literally i shoot 50% of a wedding day with this lens. it's fast to focus, sharp as a tack, and has absolutely beautiful colors and contrast. i did have a bad copy that literally took 5 trips to canon service before it was fixed properly, but i attribute that to canon service and not to the lens itself.

 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

ef24mmf_14l_1_
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good value, great for crop sensors, still good on FF depending on what you shoot
Cons:
soft in the corners, less flare resistant than the new one

i actually like this lens. i'd pass up the Mark II if I was shooting a crop camera. for shooting weddings and people it's also a reasonable option on a FF camera because although it's a little soft in the corners, the corners distort people anyway and i don't' like to have my subjects there in the first place. these days, the used price makes it a great deal.

 
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

EF24_14LII
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp corner to corner, beautiful image quality
Cons:
too expensive for what you get

wish this lens was a little cheaper, but at least it's less costly than the nikon version. my 35L was my daily driver for weddings until i got this... kinda got sick of shooting in cramped reception venues and this opened the world up just a little bit more. but that extra 11mm was huge, and i fell in love with the focal length. very flare resistant, pretty quick to focus, super sharp. absolutely beautiful lens.

 

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