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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

ef_24-70_28u_1_
Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely versatile, solid, top quality images. It's a keeper! Worth the money, as it covers so many bases. Buy this lens first.
Cons:
None really. The reverse zoom feels weird at first and the hood is a bit unwieldy. Forget discreet shooting. Makes most of your other lenses redundant;) Stretches your pocket.

My regular setup is a 20D, battery grip, 580EX and this lens. Oh, and a tripod. This means you cannot carry it around on the off-chance of getting a candid snapshot; you have to commit to being a person carrying $4k's worth of kit around and hope to become invisible (flash excepted), as photographers should be. Trouble is, this lens spoils you for anything else digital. They say 'kit doesn't matter, it's what's behind the camera', which is true for vision, composition and photojournalism; but however inspired you are, this lens will raise your game big time. And you can always beat off muggers with it.