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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Apr 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, F/1.2.
Cons:
Slow autofocus, expensive.

I love doing photos with a 50mm, and this lens have been always on my wish list. Coming from an EF 1.4, this lens for sure feels better build and glass looks nicer. Having said that, it will be harder to master this lens than the EF 1.4. Also, I have the sensation that autofocus is faster and better on the EF 1.4 version. I guess that the lower AF performance of the 1.2L is related to huge pieces of glass that needs to be moved in the lens.

So is it worth getting this lens over the 1.4? I guess that if I have to apply logical thinking my answer would be no. It is way more expensive, AF is not as good and you only get a half stop advantage. I am going to exchange back my 1.2 for an 1.4? No way, it feels too good having this lens and once you understand its limitations, is a top performer.


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

ef10028lmisu_586x225
Review Date: Apr 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good IS, versatile: not just a macro lens.
Cons:
Build materials does not feel L grade

Let's start with the bad news: for being an L lens its build quality feels a bit plastic. Having said that, the optics are great, sharp, IS works fine and price is not absurdly high compared with other L lenses.

Nice thing about this lens is that the front element does not rotate or extend, all focusing happens internally. The manual focus ring also is big enough and smooth.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Apr 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great for low light environments, nice optics.
Cons:
None.

Since I bought this lens it has been on my camera much of the time I have been shooting. In a crop sensor makes a great portrait lens and in full frame I find is wide enough as a walk around lens.

Although some people complains about build quality, if you are upgrading to this lens from a 50mm 1.8 you will be positively satisfied with its quality. Obviously, you can not compare to the build quality of an L lens, but then the price is not the same.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Apr 17, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Prize, sharp and f/1.8.
Cons:
Slow/noisy autofocus, cheap build quality

This lens is a bargain. You get f/1.8 for less 100$ if you buy it used. Image quality is OK but build quality is not great, although for the price you pay is great value.

I sold mine to buy a f/1.4 version as I was always complaining on the autofocus and the fact that it has not full time manual focus.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

ef_16-35_28_1_
Review Date: Apr 17, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wide and good quality lens
Cons:
A bit soft and prone to flare.

This was my first L lens and I was very happy with it. Actually, during 7 years has been one of my most used lenses on a cropped sensor camera. I think that a good used one is a great value (prize is low given the mk II version of the lens).

Now that I have moved to full frame camera, the corners were a bit too soft for my taste so I sold it, but I already miss this nice L lens.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Apr 12, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, build quality, price.
Cons:
For the price, none.

I bought this one together with a canon extender 1.4 and the combo worked great. Bought it to replace a Sigma 70-300 and it was a great increase in the quality of my photos. Although it is a bit short in a FF camera, on a crop sensor has a nice tele reach for a walk around lens. Size and weight are small, as its price for the quality you get (both build and image quality).

One thing I really appreciated coming from the Sigma was the constant aperture and that the front element does not rotate.

I sold it to finance a 100mm 2.8L macro.


 
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM

EF17-85
Review Date: Apr 12, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Nice range.
Cons:
Image quality.

I bought this lens new some years ago with a Rebel XT and I was quite happy with it. The quality of the lens was far better than the rebel's "kit lens", but eventually I replaced it with a 16-35 2.8L and a 50mm 1.8 (later a 1.4).

I guess that if you are new to photography as a hobby it is a great lens to start with, as it gives you a nice focal range and IS comes handy in low light.

I have red in other reviews about quality build issues. Did not have any problem with it during the time I shot with, but I have to confess that once I updated my lens equipment to other better lenses the plastic 17-85 felt cheap.

Right now I would not recommend this lens, but back in 2004 it was a great performer for me.