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  Reviews by: J. Allen  

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Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Review Date: Mar 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazingly sharp. I thought my 135L was sharp but the 180 is clearly better. Wonderful color rendition, clarity and bokeh.
Focusing can be a wild ride if you don't increase the minimum focus distance with from .48 to 1.5m or there's a large difference between where the lens is initially focused to where you want it to go. Focus on a flower 2 feet away and they try to go to someone 100 feet away with the lens set to .48m and fasten your seat belt to see what happens. Resetting to 1.5m minimum focus distance is key for longer work and improves focusing significantly. Focus is slow but not nearly as slow as I anticipated.

This is the perfect macro lens with a tripod or higher shutter speeds available using MT-24EX macro flash. Handheld using higher shutter speeds to minimize camera shake results in virtually no DoF at wider apertures and minimum focus distance but it's another world of photography. Focus ring is very accurate but remember with this focal length and close work your'e getting a razor thin DoF. At the minimum focus distance even at f/14 you've only got .1 inch of DoF on a 1.3 crop. Back up to 3 feet and you get 1/2 an inch, great for macro. Although it's long it's a great portrait lens with flash from 10 feet away. The lens of the eye and lashes are stunningly clear, just soften the skin and you've got fabulous glamor shots with about 3 inches of DoF at f/5.6. I love this lens and I'd like to have paid less but I don't think it's overpriced considering the build quality, image results and versatility beyond a macro lens.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Review Date: Aug 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Raw image quality is excellent in terms of dynamic range, color rendition and contrast. The files take a lot of post processing for various effects. 2 passes of low radius sharpening at .2 results in very crisp images. AF Servo is amazingly accurate. Extremely long battery life. Price was terrific $3,650 US delivered overnight.
Complex interrelationship between several of the cfn settings and poor quality of documentation in the manual.