81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Too good to be true or truly too good?, 28 July 2011
It took a lot of courage for me to drop so much money on this lens and I was back and forth for a while, but the more I read and the more samples I saw the more I wanted it! I even tried Google searches for "focus problems" and "bad copies" etc and other very negative phrases because frankly the hype seemed too good to be true. I figured no-one wanted to admit to spending a ton of cash on a bad lens, sort of a mass denial!
I didn't find anything, so in a fit of courage I picked up one of these bad boys, slapped it on my 7D and headed straight to the new Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow. I figured it's best arena is low light, since the big price comes in part from the big apeture and funky 4-stop stabiliser, so I set about taking some abstracts of vehicles from through the ages, some candid portraits and some close-ups in the muted lighting and busy environment.
Simply different class. My abstracts were punchy and sharp, the vehicles shots looked like something from a car mag and my portraits were moody and intimate, with the clutter and the crowd blurred out of existance and the frame filled with facial expression.
I have a few L lenses in my collection, but I've never used a lens remotely this good before. It isn't the most discreet lens in the world and caught the eye of many passers-by, but what caught my eye was the stunning images I was getting.
The backgrounds are defocussed in the creamiest fashion, the in-focus areas are razor sharp even at the widest apeture (fantastic!) and the colour & contrast are amazing.
Handling of the lens is stellar. It gets heavy on a long day out but I expected that. The autofocus (especially with the 7D) is lightning quick and totally dead on. I had noticed some slight softness issues in outdoor/ high contrast scenes when pixel-peeping, but I figured out it was due to the cheaper Jessops UV filter I had on it, which had a really obvious effect, probably because of how well the lens could render the errors on the sensor! I switched it for a Hoya Pro-1 Digital UV and the results are even sharper rendering with even smoother background blur. In short don't skimp on your filter if using one because this lens will punish you for it!
I've found myself addicted to the look of the images produced and I take the lens everywhere. It's so much fun to use - best fun-to-price ratio of any lens. It is a great inspiration and a joy to use. I've reconnected to photography in a new way thanks to this lens. I can't over-sell it. It really is as good as everyone says.