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  Reviews by: bateleur  

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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Review Date: Jan 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Construction, weatherproof, fast, supersharp (stopped down to f4)
Price, needs carefull use for accurate focussing, needs camera with MA

The build of this lens is really impressive! Used stopped down to f4.0 or f 5.6 it is supersharp!
But the downside is that one really needs to know how to use this lens. First of all I discovered that it needs a +10 MA on my EOS 5DmkII.

Don't expect this lens to be sharp from corner to corner at f 1.4 (which wide angle lens is this anyway?)
With your main subject towards the borders of the image it is stil possible to get good results at f1.4 provided that proper focussing techniques are used. Don't expect the rest of the picture to be sharp because as with all fast lenses at f 1.4 the DOF is very thin.
Pay special attention to the background because there is a lot more to "see" in the frame compared to shooting with a tele lens so it can be a real challenge to get a pleasing background.
This lens is meant for creative solutions, people who expect they will get sharp pictures from corner to corner at f 1.4 , shooting common subjects, will be disappointed. In that case I would advice them to crank up the iso and stop down the lens.

I can imagine that some people who paid 1,400.- for this lens will be disappointed if they do not fully understand the "nature" of this lens.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

Review Date: Aug 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superior optics on every type of Canon DSLR, "L"-lens construction far more usable than a fixed focal length fisheye lens.
Maybe the steep price...., constuction of hood/lenscap

Superior optics, very clever design with the extra lock for usage with 1.3x and APS-C cameras to avoid vignetting. The way this lens can be used on every type of Canon DSLR is a real plus! On my 60D it is an ultra-wide to linear fisheye lens, swap it to my 5DmkII gives me the range of linear fisheye to circular fisheye.
Very sharp and contrasty esp. towards the corners.

Used on a IR converted DSLR (in my case an EOS 450D) this lens is hot spot free a real bonus over the old EF 15-2.8 fisheye lens which wasn't suitable for IR shooting

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Review Date: Jul 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open from corner to corner, Stopped down even sharper, lovely bokeh, blurred background, build like a tank, tripod ring included
Weight, price, (no IS...?)

This is a very, very good lens! It is one of the best lenses I ever owned. As a macro lens it produces stunning blurred backgrounds. It is very sharp from corner to corner wide open provided your subject is perfectly flat and parallel to the sensor. Stopped down it is as sharp as one can get, amazing!
It is also a very fine telelens, it is sharper than my 70-200 4.0L IS at 200mm esp. towards the corners.
This copy is the second one I own, I sold the first one a few years ago because it wasn't used that much that time and the AF was terrible slow. Looking back at the pictures I made with this lens I realized it was a mistake to sell the lens.
The new one is produced november 2009 so it is quite new, I don't know what Canon has done with this lens or the latest DSLR's but this copy is focussing as fast as all my other L lenses when used with the AF limiter set at 1.5m to infinity. Setting AF to full range, focussing at short distances, it is focussing a bit slower but AF is dead on (used with 550D and 5DmkII) Still this new copy is much, much faster than the old one.
This is a keeper for me and I will use it as a mediate tele lens as well.