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Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM

ef100mmf_2usm_1_
Review Date: Jun 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $345.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, EXCELLENT bokeh, fast focus, light yet sturdy
Cons:
high-contrast CA

This is one of the best lenses I've ever owned.

It feels just right on my 50D, and comes with some tack-sharp
images, even opened all the way up. Just have to be careful about focusing when wide open -- f2 at 100mm makes a rather thin DOF -- but it's still pretty forgiving compared to some lenses, unlike the 50 1.4.
Speaking of focus, it's fast and silent.


The only thing negative about this lens is outdoor high-contrast situations get some severe fringing, like shooting at high noon in the park. But I use this mostly for studio portraits, and live concerts, so I'm rarely in a situation where this becomes a problem.

Here's a sample using this lens at an outdoor music festival:
http://www.justingillphoto.com/DoDivision2010/content/images/large/Do_Division_86.jpg


Totally worth every penny.


 
Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]

1750diII
Review Date: Oct 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good walkaround for the price, good contrast/saturation, decently sharp
Cons:
AF, tiny manual switch, kind of plasticy

I think this is the best lens in this zoom range, at 2.8 for the price.
I'm ready to upgrade to L glass, but I need to sacrifice a little reach to save bank. I'm thinking the 17-35 2.8L

This lens has served well for a few years, though. Really sharp in the center, stopped down of course; wide open near the edges things get a little fuzzy but nothing hugely disappointing. The colors and contrast are nice, especially on higher-end image sensors.

Auto focus is the Achilles Heel on this lens. It's noisy, searches in low light, and could be faster. It has a tiny switch to switch from auto to manual, which takes a few seconds to find, which can be costly in fast environments. I'm wanting to upgrade to a lens that has full-time manual USM.

But, well worth every dollar I paid.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

ef50mmf_18_1_
Review Date: Oct 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: PRICE
Cons:
also price

Anyone who rates this lens a 9 or a 10 is a novice. Period.

This lens only does well at f/4 or above. But then what's the point? I'd rather use a zoom if I'm constrained to those apertures. The point of having a fixed lens is the wide apertures. Not to mention they usually have better glass for the price. This lens, being less than $100, is an exception. The sharpness and contrast fall considerably at larger apertures.

The AF is below average in low light. It searches a lot. At least it's quiet and somewhat fast.

That being said, you'd be foolish to not spend the few bucks getting this lens. If nothing else, you will run into a situation where you just HAVE to have the 1.8 aperture for low light.


 
Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 EX Aspherical

28_70f2_8lens_1_
Review Date: Aug 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Built well, feels nice, great bokeh and contrast. Pretty sharp. Low light AF is pretty good.
Cons:
AF isn't very fast or quiet.

The first thing I noticed about this lens was how nice it felt in my hands and on my D-Rebel.

The contrast on this lens is great. Focus isn't tack sharp, especially wide. But it is good. Modest USM in photoshop makes for really sharp photos. The bokeh is the best I've seen on any 3rd party lens.

The AF is moderate, and a little noisy. I would define it as a "skitch"ing sound. Some chromatic abbhoration here and there, but nothing serious by any means.

No zoom creep, even at 90 degree angles.
Color rendition is really nice.

A wonderful walk-around lens, more than worth the price.