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  Reviews by: G. Thomas  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

Review Date: Jan 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice colors, saturation, and sharpness. Oh yes... the f/1.0!
Slow AF (like the 85L), bokeh can look weird sometimes

Although relegated to museum status by most, this lens can work wonders if you use it correctly. My copy is pretty sharp in the center wide open, and increases in sharpness until about f/2. After that, I can't really tell a difference. Vignetting is there, but nothing troublesome unless you're taking landscape shots. Of course, why would you with this lens? It's definitely an available light lens meant for portraiture and art. The colors and saturation in available low lighting is very nice which, in addition to the f/1.0 bokeh gives it a distinctive look. For the most part, the bokeh is nice and creamy. Out of focus higlights in the background can have the concentric ring, onion pattern sometimes. It isn't a huge deal for me, but if you're looking for it you'll find it. It's a pretty heavy lens with a slow AF, much like the 85L. It has the focus by wire thing, meaning even manual focus is slightly sluggish (again, like the 85L). Overall, I think it's a fantastic lens to use. So much so, I'm going to buy back the one I sold!

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Jan 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,700.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice screen, excellent high ISO performance, new layout common to the newer Canon bodies is nice (ie My Menu, etc), nice battery life, good video.
Same old AF (while not bad is still a little weak for this camera), shutter lag is kind of annoying for such a new/advanced camera (Nikon's d700 is very satisfying in this area), needs more flash exposure compensation than my old 5D

Anyone using the 5D will find the MarkII pretty familiar despite the recent changes. I love the new LCD screen and LiveView more than I thought I would. The 10x mag in LiveView makes manual focusing very very accurate. Pretty easy to use, I've found. Of course, part of that familiarity comes from the same AF system (acceptable, but not impressive) and the shutter lag. I've noticed that I need to dial in more compensation compared to the original 5D. Almost a whole stop more! While not really a problem, it's just plain weird!

My 5D2 might have to go back since I've been getting some errors from various lenses (Err 01, Err 70, Err 99), although curiously, none of my L's....