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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Nov 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast & colour
Cons:
High introductory price

This lens is so sharp at 2.8 it causes pixel-peeping overload. I was always disappointed with the first IS version wide open at 200mm. Isn’t this the reason we buy a 2.8 over a 4 ? Indoor sports & events.
Weight difference between first & second version is not noticeable but the hood improvement is. The zoom ring feel was another annoyance in the first version as it always felt gritty. I did find other posts complaining of the same thing. The zoom ring feel on the new lens is as it should be. The IS on the new version has the same start-up jump and “un-pinning” noise but definitely smooths shake a little better.
It cost me $1000 to upgrade. No regrets, other then my 85L purchase a couple of years ago as the 70-200 2.8 II resolves like a prime.
They got this lens right


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: Oct 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: The best low light focusing lens I've ever used. Fantastic flare control. Beautiful build, size & weight.
Cons:
Well documented “focus drift”, horrible reviews making the 50L the Edsel of L’s

Well I have to admit that this lens was probably a bad decision for a few reasons. First let me say that in the field this lens performs very well. It easily focuses in near darkness, much better then my 35L. The auto focus on this lens is definitely a newer generation then any of my other L’s as it behaves much differently. Secondly the coatings on this lens control flare and coma again better then any lens I’ve ever used, significantly better then the 35L. The pictures seem much clearer with out the haze that the 50 1.4 is notorious for at wide apertures.

The focus drift is significant at 2.8. On my copy, with 5D, it extends from the closest focus distance to at least 6 feet. Shooting people, especially faces, never seemed to be affected. It showed up when shooting cars and other inanimate objects where a clearer references were in and out of focus.

In my opinion the biggest drawback to this lens are the endless bad reviews & tests. This is one lens that people are afraid of and this has a dramatic affect on the value of the lens. It is a terrible investment, probably the worst L lens you can invest in. Because of this I decided to return the lens to the dealer within the return time frame and was told that here in Canada, Canon’s considers this lens a “special order” item and they will not return or exchange – period. I sent 2 polite emails to Canon and only the first was returned. I found this level of customer service very discouraging considering that in the past few years I have purchased a 350D, 30D, 5D, 70-200 2.8 IS, 35L, 24-105 etc etc.

Definitely rent this lens first to determine if the “focus shift” affects your style. 85L quality pictures are easily found posted from other owners of the 50L so you could pick up a used copy pretty cheap and be very happy.


 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

ef_35_14_1_
Review Date: Feb 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build, contrast & AF speed
Cons:
None

I hated the build quality and CA of my 50 f1.4. I sold it and replaced it with this gem.
It is twice as big unfortunately but worth it. I find I use lens more then any other now because of its speed and IQ


 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jan 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Better sharpness then my 17-85 IS. Weight is great for this type of lens. Lens performs better then expected.
Cons:
Build quality lower then 17-85 IS. Noise generated from IS and focus is greater then my other lens, but just. Feels fragile when extended.

I read that the closest you can get with this lens is 5 feet, however it seems like a long way sometimes when you are too close. The best way to describe this lens is a cheap plastic tube with small but very good glass and electronics. Only time will show how it stands up.

As stated earlier it performs better then I would have expected. The extension lock is a great addition. I can walk around easily with the camera around my neck under my coat without worrying about it zooming out.

It works very well with my XT. Focus is fast and accurate and the IS is the reason most people are reading about Canon equipment. Yes it is that good.

Thanks to the other reviewers for posting opinions