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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: May 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,079.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good L quality build and feel, images sharp, fast, quiet focusing, nice bokeh.
None except my personal beef with some lenses that the objective element isn't recessed at all. This leaves the lens, IMO, too vulnerable unless you fit the enormous shade or add a filter. I only add a filter when I want to filter - not as armor.

I was going to get the kit 24-105L with my new 5d2 but a pro I respect who shoots 5d's urged me to not try to save a few bucks and instead get this, the much better lens. He has both. I'm glad I went ahead and followed his advice because the 5d2 as well as the other new top Canons with 16 mp and up really are incredibly demanding on their lenses. Only the best will do or you may as well stick to using your old 30d body.

I really like the way this lens feels in use. It oozes quality which gives me a good feeling everytime I use it. The output is as good as you can ask for in a zoom. After all, this isn't a 200 f 1.8 8 pound monster. It's an extremely high quality lens with no shortcomings except I find it sad that we need to pay this much to get something we need on the newer bodies.

It balances on the 5d2 well so it works as a walk around lens. OK, it's not nice and light like a 50 mm but it's tolerable for an all day hike about.

I would urge those buying a 5d2 to reconsider the kit lens. The 24-105 is an L designation but I dont' see it nearly the quality of this lens. It may seem silly to some to give away a few mm at the upper end to get one more stop but also pay a lot more than the 5d2 w/kit, but if you wish to get your money's worth out of the 5d2, you need to feed it right.

Ditto, of course, those other higher end cameras such as the 1ds III and IV.

Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Review Date: May 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $239.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good quality overall. Light weight, easy to use.
If you are used to USM lenses, this focuses less quickly and with more noise. It's better than most other non-USM's though.

Perhaps quality varies from sample to sample with this lens as it seems to others. My one seems to be a very good one. From the first time I tried this lens, I was surprised almost to the point of being shocked at how good it was compared to what I was expecting from a roughly $200 new cost lens. I've not seen the quality of this lens exceeded in any lens costing anywhere near it.

The lens is decently sharp at 2,5 and once at 4,0, it's terrific all the way up. I have successfully used this in macro shots as well as general 50 mm use on my FF camera.

If given a choice between saving some money and the f 1.8, I'd go with this lens. If it was between this and the f 1.4, it'd depend upon my choice of low light or macro. I also think my example is better than the f 1.4 I had for a loan a while back.

Personally I'm very pleased with this lens. As my new 5d2 can shoot high ISO's well unheard of only a short time ago, the roughly 1.4 stops from here to the f 1.4 isn't relevant to my needs where the macro is of great use.

Of course, if you can have it all, then the 100 mm or 200 mm macros with the 1.2 are the way to go. For us, who are on a budget, this lens does a heck of a lot.