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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small/lightweigth, 1.4, fast AF, sharp , 50mm is a magic focal,
Cons:
build quality (rattles), no internal focusing, focus ring is loose, very soft until f2.8, color/contrast definitely not as good as L lenses.

You cannot go wrong with this lens, but it will always be a mixed feeling: Optically it is good, but only when stopped down a bit, and mechanically it works fine (fast AF for such an old design) but the lens itself feels like c...p in your hand: shake it and you can almost think it is a maracas.

what i really don't like about the lens is the fact that it extends when focusing, and because it feels so fragile, I am always afraid to break the focus mechanism. The bokeh could be better, but that's what makes it different from an L lens ... along with the price ... Compared to the sigma, it is small and weight nothing.

Overall, not a love-lens, but it will always do the job. And 50 mm is such a nice focal to work at!





 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

ef10028lmisu_586x225
Review Date: Mar 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good optical quality (color, contrast, sharpness), IS, internal AF, flexibility (macro, but fast enough for aother usage)
Cons:
Plastic, plastic, plastic.

I had a 135 F2 and sold it (me fool) when i switched to the 5D. The question was should I re-buy the 135F2 or buy the 100mm Macro IS instead. I bought the 100 macro L.

I am not a macro shooter (so far) and my review is based on my experience of L and non L primes. This lens has very good glass in it: incredibly sharp (really, as good as the 135 I think), the micro-contrast is amazing and the color are rich straight out of the box.

The IS is useful. Is it useful for Macro? As I said i am not a macro expert. I think it helps, but it does not make macro easy. As many said, instead of an "in-plane" stabilization, a system that would compensate for front-back motion would have been a lot more useful. Overall the IS is good, but I feel it is not as good as the one on the 24-105. IS is a tad noisier than on the 24-105. AF is fast, having a limiter makes it very usable in non macro situations.

My biggest grip with this lens it the plastic construction. don't get me wrong, the build quality is good ... ok. But Plastic has no place on a L lens. The 100mm Macro feels cheap in comparison with the 135f2 or the 17-40 for instance. I think that in really cold conditions, if I bang the lens, plastic will split. Metal wont. Weight? who care. I prefer to carry 50g more than having a plastic casing (you can even see the molding joint ... come on canon, put yourself together). Focus ring also rattles a bit.