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  Reviews by: hatch1921  

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Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Feb 13, 2021 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Small Lightweight Fast focus F/4 Color/contrast are great! Takes teleconverters really well.

This is one you want to have in your camera bag, it's an amazing lens, well worth the money.

Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T*

Review Date: Jun 21, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,822.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything! No negatives! It's the best 135mm (IMO) you can own.
Some people would say the lack of IS and AF is a negative. You know this about the lens well before you buy it. So... I don't think it has any negatives.

I love the Canon 135L... it has served me well over the years. Like many of you, I've read about Zeiss glass and how the Zeiss 135 T* is an amazing lens. It's even been considered "Otus" status without being in an Otus designed body.

Build: All metal construction even the lens hood and cap are metal. It's an engineering work of art.

Focus: The focus throw is so smooth...and precise!

Color/Contrast: Smokes all other 135mm lenses with ease.

Chromatic Aberration: This is where my jaw hit the floor! I've shot several scenes where if I had taken the same images with the Canon 135L... the evil purple fringe would have been in the scene. It just doesn't exist with the Zeiss. Seriously... nothing... it is a sight to be seen.

Sharpness: Well... I'm an avid macro photographer and I can tell you the Zeiss is out resolving and is sharper then my Sigma 150mm macro OS lens. It is sharp @ F/2 and that is across the frame. Stunning!

Bokeh: Topnotch!

Auto Focus... nope... it's a manual focus lens and this really shouldn't deter you from buying the lens. I would not recommend it for fast moving subjects where AF is truly needed. Although... if you look back in the past.. stunning images were being made well before auto focus came on to the scene. Up to you really.

If you shoot portraits.. you owe it to yourself to at the very least, rent the lens and then come back to B&H and buy it.

On the Canon 5Ds this thing is now my reference lens/combo. I'm seeing details I've never experienced before. It's color rendition is spot on.. "true to life" would be the best way to describe it. Super...super sharp! Hire a makeup artist for your clients as it shows every detail ... good and bad.

I'm now a Zeiss convert. Next up is the Zeiss 50mm F/2.

So... if you are looking for the best 135mm on the planet (IMO) then look no further. The Zeiss 135mm T* F/2 is it. Hands down!

Again.. do not let the manual focusing deter you from using this lens. With Live View you can really hit the focus and even hand-held it isn't an issue.

Great lens!

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Dec 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,840.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp all the way to F/1.2. Color/contrast/bokeh all are stellar. Locks focus like mad. Solid build as you would expect. Weight... balance very well with the 5D2+grip
CA but not horrible and mentioned 1 million times already.

No complaints... purchased a 3rd part 85mm and it had erratic focusing issues. Purchased the 85LMK2 instead... dialed it in.. shot 3 clients the next day. It performed so well it's hard to describe. LOL So sharp... versatile focal length... bokeh is great... focus is dead on...

Say the $ and buy this beast... it's worth it and then some IMO.


Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: Jul 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $370.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp! Fast focus! Bokeh isn't bad... nice focal length.
CA in some situations.

For the price to performance ratio... this lens is a winner! Super fast to focus... super sharp!
Looking forward to using this lens more than the first copy I bought and sold.
Well worth the $ IMO.

Nice little prime!


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Jul 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp! Great color and contrast. Hits at F/1.4 and does it well. Love the bokeh!!!

Made use of the Bing cash back and picked the lens up for $1260.

Bokeh is fantastic on this lens! I sold the Canon 24-70 to fund this lens...very pleased I did.

Well worth the money IMO.

Full res samples here.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Jul 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Not heavy, super fast focus, great color/contrast and the bokeh is very pleasing.

Almost the same results as the 135L. Blazing fast focus...bokeh looks great! Super sharp wide open! Sold the 70-200L IS F/2.8 for this lens... no regrets! Sharper than my 70-200 wide open... very nice lens. Best of all it doesn't fell like a tank in my hands.

Well worth the money IMO. Another great prime!


Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Dec 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build | Quick focusing | Super Sharp | Color/contrast are great | super bokeh (better than the Canon F/1.4 or F/1.8 versions IMO)
Known to front focus and mine did... dialed it in using Lens Align Pro. The lens was +13 backwards adjusted on the 5D2 and it now hits.

Solid construction! Not very heavy...shooting with the 5D2 w/grip and it balances really well on the camera. SUPER SHARP! F/1.4 is usable...really shines from F/1.8 on up. FANTASTIC Bokeh! I own the Sigma 180mm macro and it has the same look/feel to the bokeh. Colors are very nice as well.

The only way I can describe the images taken with the camera lens combo... is that they have a very "real" or "true" feeling to them... great lens all around! lots of sample shots on there...

Well worth the money. If by chance you buy and can't get it to adjust... sned it back and keep trying until you get one that hits. It's worth the effort.


Sigma 180mm f3.5 EX APO Macro IF HSM

Review Date: Dec 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP! SHARP! SHARP! BOKEH! BOKEH! BOKEH! Color and contrast are great. I like the look of the Sigma bokeh(this lens only) over the Canon 180L.
A little slow the focus but I knew this going in to the purchase. It does have a focus limit switch which is handy.

I have shot with the Canon 180L and I really enjoyed the lens. I think the color saturation of the Sigma and the bokeh look better on the Sigma. Both were/are very sharp. The Sigma is WICKED sharp... I've even used it in studio settings and it is something else.

I shoot it with the Sigma 1.4TC as well. Images at f/16 are very sharp and the bokeh is insane. It really took my macro photography to another level.

Of course you can use it for all types of photography. The build is solid and the lens performs great IMO.

If you want to save some $ over the Canon 180L... this is the lens for you.

Just my $.02

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: Dec 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $915.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Isn't heavy IMO | Fast focusing | SUPER SHARP! | great color and contrast | truly a wonderful lens!
Slight vignette on the 5d @ f/2.0 which isn't really a negative for me... I add one to most of my shots anyway. But others might think it is a negative.

I knew the moment I tried this lens last month I would have to own one. I've owned or own several L's and this one is exceptional!!!

I like the 85L (rented one a couple of times...shot friends) but I love the reach and compression you get out of the 135L. The bokeh/color/contrast/ sharpness @ f/2.0 and beyond are right there with the 85L. Where I think the 85 excels is being a little faster...of course the F/1.2 if you need it. But the AF on the 135L BLOWS the 85L out of the water.

On the 5D the lens is magic... love everything about it. Even the slight vignette at F/2.0

The bokeh is amazing and the images are very sharp wide open.

Buy this lens...don't look back.


Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty, IS works very well, built like a tank! Very balanced feel on the 5D with battery grip. Weight not an issue.

What can I say about this lens that hasn't been said in the hundreds of post prior to mine...

Wicked sharp
Solid build
Fast AF
IS works great
Beautiful wide open

This has all been covered... but it is true... this lens is wonderful and well worth the money.


Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp!!! Solid build...easy to handle. Best in the focal range in my opinion. Did I mention it is SHARP!

I've owned this lens for about 3 years now and it has been heavly used. I'm a macro nut!

The lens is VERY sharp and shows every little detail. The focal length on a crop camera works very well for macro work. I've shot this lens on the 20D and the 5D. Very pleased with the results on both cameras.

AF works well even when shooting macro. I shoot the majority of my macro manual focus....but..have used the AF at times.
Setting your camera to AI Servo... you can hear the AF working hard to keep your macro subject in focus.

It can double as a portrait lens...although...expect to spend some time in Photoshop softening skin and cleaning up blemishes. This lens truly shows every detail...good and bad.

All macro lenses take a little longer to focus... really only when you are in a situation where you were shooting something up close and then change to a distance shot. There is a lot of glass in this lens and it take a second to travel.

I wouldn't trade this gem in for another 100mm or lower focal length macro lens. It is a solid performer with amazing optics.

Here are some galleries to images shot with the lens.

I have a few shots in there using the MP-E65 as well... but..99% were shot with the 100mm macro.

Well worth the money IMO.


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $984.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid contruction, tack sharp, smooth focus, wonderful color/contrast, very balanced on the 5D with battery grip. Wonderful lens!

Purchased from B&H with a coupon code for $984. Great deal!

I thought the lens might have had a front focus problem. After testing with a focus chart... not the case.

The lens is solid! I'm a big guy and the lens fits well in my hands... not very heavy and a pleasure to shoot with.

Changing the focal length from 24-70 is very smooth.

My raw files need very little sharpening...if any. The lens is tack sharp! Is it as sharp and the 85L II I've rented...very close!

CA is very well controlled...little no issues at all.

Have a look at the test shots... these were taken the day the lens arrived. Look at the lens shots on the table. No adjustments other than a crop. Have a look at the details of the text. You can see a little CA going on but very minor. No additional sharpening other than the default setting in ACR 4.0 Default is set to 25. Shot from f/2.8-f/8.0

I'm very pleased with the lens! So glad I made the purchase.
If you have any questions about the lens... drop me a line on my Flickr account.