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  Reviews by: 24Peter  

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Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus

Review Date: Feb 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp; small, lightweight, cheap
focus is slower than USM, slightly less accurate

Recently picked up my 3rd copy of this lens. This is the best one. First one was also nice and I regretted selling it. So.. second one wasn't as sharp. Held on to it a short time and then went without one for a while. Then while looking at some old photos taken with this lens I decided to pick up another.

Never use the soft focus feature. I use it as an outdoor, natural light portrait lens and more recently indoors with my strobes.

Samples at F3.5

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharper than previous 75-300 IS USM
Problem with portrait orientation shots - 200mm-300mm

Good lens overall but some of us are finding that in portrait orientation at the long end of the lens (200mm-300mm) the internal elements shift creating blurry images - actually sharp in the center but blurry at top and bottom of image. Not clear if Canon will fix the lenses. So make sure your copy is OK or that you can live with the defect before committing.

Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

Review Date: Jul 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp. Small/lightweight. Sharp. Nice zoom range. Sharp. Great construction. Sharp. Cheap.:-)
Maybe it could be a little faster? f/2.8-4?

I bought this lens several months ago for my Rebel XT and was immediately impressed. But as the months passed, I thought maybe there's something better out there.

So I tried the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 Xi. Sharp lens. Good contrast. But - like many others have posted terribly soft at f/2.8-5 at the low end of the zoom. Sent it back to Tamron - got a refund.

Then I tried the Canon 28-135 IS. Definitely soft wide open at all focal lengths and apetures. Gets slow very quickly. Already at f/5.6 by 60mm but didn't really matter since need to be at f/8. Little on the heavy side. Expensive.

Then I tried the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG. Soft at the either end of the zoom range wide open (esp. soft at 70mm f/2.8-4) plus weird contrast problems as apeture changed in middle of zoom. Very heavy. Weird zoom/focus rings. Expensive.

Finally I tried the Sigma 105 f/2.8 EX DG macro. Very nice optically. Sharpest lens I tried. (I also have the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II and the Sigma was easily as sharp even at f/2.8) Ultimately though the Canon 28-105 was a close enough second at 105mm in terms of sharpness that not being a macro guy I couldn't really justify keeping the Sigma. (I also was getting weird apeture "00" errors in the LED when using the Sigma.) Returned it.

So I'm left with the kit lens, the Canon 28-105 (which works great with the cheap Tamron 1.4X TC BTW), Canon 50mm 1.8 II and Canon 75-300 USM IS. Glad I ddin't' sell the 28-105. It's a great lens on the XT.