Top positive review
207 people found this helpful
Simply a superb lens
on 28 February 2007
This lens is so good I've bought 2 of them. I had to sell my first lens due to financial reasons and bought another one at the earliest opportunity afterwards. Those months without it were a pain and I genuinely missed it!!
The lens is well built - a little lighter than I would have thought and it's fairly long but it doesn't feel flimsy.
Auto focus is good and fast in good light. If you're not using the lens for macro flick the switch on the side to limit the focus mechanism to anything greater than 48cm distance and it speeds up a whole lot more.
There's a full time focus ring and a manual/auto focus switch too. Focusing is internal meaning the lens doesn't grow in length as you're focusing which I really like.
Now down to the nitty gritty: image quality - which is really excellent. I personally bought the lens after reading many reviews on the web and I have not been disappointed in the least. Background blur is also very beautiful. Images are incredibly sharp all the way from f/2.8 so I have no reservations using the lens wide open. Stopped down a bit things just get better - the details this thing can resolve are outstanding. Operating at minimum focus distance (31cm) with an aperture of just 2.8 leads to a super narrow depth of field, we're talking probably 1 or 2mm is in sharp focus! However, it will allow you to be very selective about what is in focus.
Another good feature of the lens is that whilst achieving 1:1 reroduction at it's closest focusing distance it still gives you about 15cm from the end of the lens to the subject. I own the 60mm ef-s macro too and the working distance is down to 9cm on that lens which in some instances is a bit close for comfort, especially where bugs are concerned and they tend to fly off for obvious reasons. It's a bit better with this lens as there's more room.
On a camera with the APS-C sized sensor such as the Canon 60D, 7D, 600d etc what this lens works out to is a 160mm medium telephoto lens. This is likely a bit too long for most portrait work. I have found occasional use for the lens on an APS-C camera body for shooting candid head shots of guests at weddings as the focal length generally puts you outside the zone where people are aware a camera being pointed at them. However, It's not like the 85mm lens which converts to the classic 135mm on an APS-C camera but of course that lens doesn't have macro. Just have a little think what you want this for on an APS-C body - the 60mm EF-S macro may be better for you on these cameras as it obviously has macro functionality plus it converts to 100mm; a much more usable length for portraits; it's a bit more versatile overall on APS-C bodies.
Price is very reasonable in my opinion, it's at the top end of what canon charge for their standard range of lenses but given the superb image quality across the aperture range this is fair.
All round though it's still an awesome lens.