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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: May 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: No superlatives to describe bokeh, great color and contrast, sucks up light
A bit hefty (but not too much so), slow AF (not an action lens), price.

I'd been eying this beast for what seems like forever. I wanted to get a good deal on a used one but grew impatient and ordered one new from Calumet.

I wasted no time and put it to good use during an engagement session and it helped me yield my best results to date; the f/1.2 aperture opened up the night to me and my clients.

In addition to the great light-gathering ability the bokeh is *otherworldly*. Your subject is almost appears 3-D at the maximum aperture if you get any manner of distance between them and the background.

Straight out of the camera the sharpness, even wide open, is staggering. The colors rendered are very pleasing. This lens is very impressive to be sure.

My only lament is the AF is indeed slow as others mention--I shudder to think about how slow the *previous* version was...

Is it worth the money? If you shoot in the lowest of light and want to add some extra dimension to your portraits--yes. If you can afford it (and I waited to purchase it until I could) and find the focal length useful, then get it. One of the finest lenses in the Canon lineup.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Absolutely stunning contrast and color. Legendary bokeh mentioned in reviews is as good as advertised. Wonderfully sharp.
I don't own it yet, weight.

I have a confession. Prior to using this lens I could never really fathom the prices of Canon's L lenses. I had been getting buy with solid primes and a boost in saturation and color balance with photoshop.

Now I know why they are priced they way they are.

I was able to use the lens for an extended period last month at a few jobs (a sometime employer lent it to me for use) and I am simply stunned! For the first time, nailing the exposure was all the work I had to do. The sharpness, contrast, color, bokeh all combined for absolutely wonderful images. I had to do absolutely no work to my images once they made it into Bridge. Couldn't believe the difference.

It really shines for portraits and at F/2.8 it pulls your subject off the background at the longer focal lengths.

Needless to say I will be ordering one with due speed.