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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Dec 1, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $280.00

 
Pros: sharp wide open, 1.8 aperture, smooth silent fast AF, solid build
Cons:
occasional CA/purple fringe

This lens seems to be the benchmark by which most fast primes are judged. It's perfectly usable at f/1.8, so I never stop it down if I can help it. I use it for candid portraits in all kinds of lighting conditions. It does have some purple fringe problems in very contrasty scenes, but I rarely encounter it and it seems to be pretty easy to fix using hue/sat most of the time.

 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

ef85mmf_18usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast focus, f/1.8, great build quality
Cons:
Chromatic aberration (with some sensors, anyway)

Paired with a good low-noise sensor, this lens is worth it's weight in gold in low-light conditions. I use it mostly for candids of my family. The only flaw is slight CA at wider aperatures. This may be a problem only with digital sensors (angle of incident light is more important with digital sensors than with film), but is almost always easy to correct. My favorite lens so far.