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Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM

843011
Review Date: Oct 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00

 
Pros: decently sharp at wide open, usability, contrasty
Cons:
price, fall-off is pretty heavy wide open, not weather-sealed

Why did I buy this lens?

I needed something small, light, good IQ, and usable. I want to be worry free and take this lens around and take photos at or near magical focal length on a full-framed camera.

Rationale for choosing this lens:

Canon 24mm 2.8 IS - I chose the 28mm instead of the 24mm because of sharpness concerns (not saying the 24mm isn't sharp) and, to my shooting style, 24mm on the full-frame is a bit wide. I also do not like the 24mm wide-angle distortion.

Canon 24-105mm IS - too big and not sharp enough against primes. Distortions, etc. f/4 aperture

Canon 24-70mm I - too big and heavy and no IS. Front elements extend out while zooming.

Canon 24-70mm II - too big and no IS. Front elements extend out while zooming. I'd be a bit scared carrying this 2k+ lens around to adventurous places.

Canon 24mm 1.4L - 24mm distortion. And also, the 24mm focusing is not quite accurate in my opinion. In a walk-around situation, I would like a care-free point and shoot feeling. The 24mm just doesn't cut it for that in my experience. The 28mm IS also has IS, which helps a bit with camera shake. 28mm IS is also lighter! 24mm costs 50 dollars more.

Canon 35mm 1.4L - 35mm is just not wide enough for certain situations. The 28mm IS actually reminds me of this magical 35mm focal length. I love shooting at 35mm for most walk-around situations. The 28mm IS also has IS, which helps a bit with camera shake. 28mm IS is also lighter!

Therefore, 28mm fits right in the middle! It complements the 24mm 1.4L and the 35mm 1.4L very well. As a travel and walk-around lens, I am enjoying the lens a lot.

The price is ridiculous. Think about this (prices at this moment)-

Lens: 799
Hood: 55
Pouch: 35
= 889

That is a price nearing 17-40, 24-105, 135, and others. If you don't have a 35mm 1.4L, I suggest saving up for it and buy that lens used. 35mm 1.4L really is the partner in crime with this lens in my usage, but the color, contrast, and f/1.4 is unbeatable


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

ef70-200lisiiu_586x225
Review Date: Apr 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IS (4 stops), AF (fast), sharp at 2.8, f/2.8, contrast -> excellent images build quality, fluorite lens, usability
Cons:
price + weight

I traded in my 70-200mm 2.8 is mark i for this lens. For field use (I mainly take pictures of animals and events), it is extraordinary.

Yes, 85mm 1.2 and 135mm 2.0 are much sharper and optically outstanding, but the slow AF of 85mm 1.2 and a bit inaccurate AF of 135mm 2.0 make these lenses a bit frustrating to use when you are pressured by time.

70-200mm IS, fast and accurate AF makes the lens outstanding. The pictures are sharp and I took some photos that I cannot take with my primes in low light due to lack of AF/IS abilities.

Picture quality, contrast, and sharpness due to these improvements make it much better than the 70-200mm 2.8 is mk i. I thought the pictures on the mk i lens were a bit lackluster compared to the primes. But the mk ii justifies using a zoomed lens vs. my primes- at least for action photos.

Definitely, with portraits and extreme low light situations, my 135mm and 85mm are still handy (f/2.8 just doesn't cut it).

The price is... not sure if it is justified. In my field, I now use this lens and the 35mm 1.4L (still one of the best lens IMO).

Bottom-line for this lens- it is extremely usable.