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  Reviews by: shlomi  

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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: Mar 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharp, no distortion, macro, no flare
Very bad AF, washed out colors, not great bokeh

I bought this lens after reading the very positive reviews in this site. I was very disappointed and returned it after a couple of days of shooting, and got a 50/1.4 instead.

This lens is exactly what it looks like - an old compact macro. It is suitable for close range macro. As a general lens it is not really usable - it misses focus in *many* situations.

There are no complaints about sharpness. However colors are somewhat washed out, and bokeh is not great. For shooting people, there is no comparison between this one and the 50/1.4 - the latter wins hands down.

Get this lens only if the macro feature is its main intended use. If you want the full prime quality go for the 50/1.4 and you will not be sorry.

<A href="">Sample picture</A>

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Jan 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great colors and bokeh, sharp, light, small, cheap
Not as sharp as the f/1.2 version, long minimal focusing distance

This might be the best non-L prime. I find it much better than the 35/2 and 50/1.4. The colors are perfect. The bokeh is the best I've seen on an under $1000 lens. Contrast is excellent. Sharpness is very good but when you see the results of the 1.2 verion you realize there is a reason for the price difference. I mostly stop it to 2.8 but I can't say the sharpness is perfect - still better than any zoom I know. The USM is excellent - very fast, quiet and accurate, no hunting.

The balance on the camera is excellent. Build quality is evry good - feels solid; I dropped it once on concrete and nothing happened. This lens gives tremendous value for money. If you intend to shoot portraits and don't want to spend $1400 for the 1.2, this is an almost perfect lens.

One shortcoming is the not so small minimal focusing distace. This lens is not very useful for product and macro shooting.

Canon EF 35mm f/2

Review Date: Jan 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, small, light, cheap, perfect focal length, close focusing
Focus hunt, very noisy, slightly washed out colors, hceap feel

I love this lens and use it whenever I can. When it manages to focus correctly the results are just great. The colors are not comparable to those of the 50/1.4 but I like them as they are. It is small and cheap feeling - but it makes the camera very light and comfortable to handle in comparison to my other lenses.

The one problem that bothers me with this lens is the focus hunt in low light. I don't take it anymore to low light situations because I know it will fail, which kind of voids the f/2 advantage. This makes me consider the 35/1.4 seriously as I am otherwise happy with this lens. BTW I'm sure the low light problem can be fixed with a flash or ST-E2 focus assit light.

There is also that irritating buzzing sound of the focus engine but I can live with that. In fact just the other day someone told me my camera must be top of the line if it makes such professional sounding noises :-)

It can focus very closely and can almost be called a macro despite the short focal length.

As a walkaround I find it is the best length for 1.6x crop. I always use it at f/2.8 and above to get a normal DOF and good sharpness, but when used at f/2 results are fine too.