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  Reviews by: cjac  

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Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Aug 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,008.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nightshots are perfectly possible - excellent lens for night event photography, if you need wider then 85mm.
Had to wait for the third lens to have an acceptable amount of vignetting ; softness and vignetting in corners below f/2.8

This lens is great for nighttime photography, but beware : at large apertures (between 1.4 and 2.5), the softness in the corners and vignetting can be annoying. On 2 samples, it was actually so bad that I had to return the lens and ask for another one (I never did this before, so it's not like a habit of mine ...). I'd say between f/1.4 and f/2.0, postprocessing to remove the vignetting is pretty common.

From f/2.8 onwards, it's a very good lens - but no need to buy this lens if you only shoot 2.8 and up. My third sample beats both 24-70 f/2.8 and 17-40 f/4 @ 35mm up to f/5.6. This was not true for the first two I got !

I bought it because I need it (for event photography). But whenever I can, I'd rather step back and use my 85 f/1.2 ... But sometimes, there's just no alternative (I tried the 24mm f/1.4, and that's IMO no good on a FF sensor).

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

Review Date: Sep 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quality of pix and 'pro' feel/possibilities - second to none I've tested so far. Build quality. Viewfinder. Weatherproof. High ISO handling. Versatility
Useless software (but I guess all 1Ds2 shooters own CS2 anyway); ergonomics could easily be improved (menus); price; slight shutter delay with remote control (problem with all DSLR's); weight.

A (heavy) dream - great workhorse, build like a tank, delivering superior quality pics, reliable, ... I haven't got the issue of vertical line distortion - I guess that could come from the lens, as this sensor reaches the limit of some lenses, even L series. Just awesome !

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Jun 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning quality : sharpness, bookeh, build quality
Price - but worth every penny as you get what you pay for ; weight (you know it when you buy it) ; relatively slow AF and minimum focusing distance.

A stunning lens, second to none - by far - for portraits and any 85mm work that doesn't require ultra-fast AF.

I don't understand people complaining about price or weight as you know it when you buy it, and quality ALWAYS costs more, and is heavier ... and it's worth every penny.

Some might argue that there is not a huge difference between the 85mm f/1.2 and the f/1.8 when shooting at f/2. Maybe right - but who cares ??? When you own this gem, you'll be using it mostly at f/1.4, giving you the most incredible bookeh, not to mention the speed.

A must have.

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, working distance, color, bokeh, build quality ... excellent
Price (it's worth it !), weight, AF focussing limits

Great macro lens, wonderful when used on butterflies, insects, jewelry, ... Colors are spot-on, great contrast and bokeh, outstanding sharpness, no vigneting, no distortion. Fantastic lens.

Negative aspects : A bit heavy (quality glass weights), slow focus when poor light conditions but macro should be MF anyway so this is only relevant for non-macro shots, the AF limit buttons are 'all distances' and '1.5m to infinity' - it would have been nice to have a third one : 'minimum to 1.5m'.