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  Reviews by: furqanfazal  

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Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*

Review Date: Oct 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very versatile! Can be used for portraits, macro, landscapes and general walk-around. Beautiful creamy bokeh and very rich colors.
Not an AF lens (though I actually don't mind).

I confess after using this lens I am now smitten with Zeiss lenses. This lens has spectacular colors rendition, microcontrast and bokeh. I previously thought I would only keep one macro lens - the Canon 100mm f/2.8L - with me but lately I've been using the Zeiss ZE MP more frequently for macro work because of its better microcontrast, and its 3D images under high contrast conditions. I often use the lens in combination with extension tubes to go behind 0.5x magnification.
As others have noted, this lens inspires creativity and is very versatile. Don't be discouraged by the fact that this lens is MF only. I use this lens on my cropped body (T2i) with no problems (I use AF confirmation). Sure I miss focus more often (for non-macro work) than when I use AF lenses but I am not bothered by this as the lens is capable of yielding breathtaking results.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Aug 20, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $866.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Useful focal-length range for a standard zoom, fast (f/2.8), 3 stop image stabilization, sharp wide open, good bokeh and colors

The 17-55mm f/2.8 is a fantastic piece of glass, very sharp wide open with good bokeh (for a zoom), great image stabilization, good color and contrast. Good for general walk-around, low-light and portrait photography.
The build quality is decent though my copy does collect some dust behind the front element (though I obviously see no effect on the pictures). For the price I do wish it had the build quality of an L lens.
My biggest complain with this lens is flaring under bright conditions and direct sunlight. I sometimes switch to my 10-22mm (which is very flare resistant) to capture images when the lighting gets bright.
Otherwise I love this lens. I previously briefly owned a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 but after acquiring this lens I decided to return the Sigma lens as I found the colors, contrast, sharpness and bokeh to be indistinguishable from f/2.8 onwards. I reckon there are subtle differences when viewing images at 100% but I didn't see any obvious ones from cursory viewing.
I wish this lens were slightly longer at the wide and telephoto ends (15-60mm would have been perfect). Also while the bokeh is good, it is inferior to my 100mm f/2.8L and 200mm f/2.8L II that both produce delicious bokeh.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Aug 20, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $777.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very useful focal-length range, fantastic sharpness (especially when stopped down), beautiful contrast and colors
Not fast (f/2.8) or image stabilized, though for my use (landscape photographer) it is perfect

Great ultrawide lens with a very useful focal length range covered. Bought it over the Tokina 11-16mm as I needed the extra range more than the f/2.8 (I almost never shoot wide open anyway).
It's nice this lens takes 77mm filters, which allows me to share filters between this lens and my 17-55mm. Unlike the 17-55mm, this lens is very flare resistant which is a big advantage for landscape photography. I only wish this would go as wide as the Sigma 8-16mm though unlike the Sigma lens this takes filters, which I find indispensible.
I also really like how light and small this lens is, and the build quality is quite good (though not stellar).
Image quality for an ultrawide is fantastic and is as good as the 17-55mm lens at overlapping focal lengths. During the day I prefer shooting with the 10-22mm over the 17-55mm because of it's flare resistance.
Other lenses owned: 17-55mm, 100mm f/2.8L, 200mm f/2.8 II (all used on 550D/T2i)

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Review Date: Aug 19, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: $215.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Useful focal-length range, IS very useful, relatively fast (f/4.0) at 55mm, decent sharpness at 55mm, high maximum magnification (~0.31x).
Poor color reproduction, relatively slow (f/5.6) and not sharp at 250mm.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this lens even though it's quite good for the price.
My main complaint with this lens is not sharpness or bokeh (neither of which are great) but poor color reproduction. Everything I shoot looks dull and lacks much contrast. While it is possible to post-process images to bring back some "life", poor color rendition is still lost information.
My recommendation would be to skip this lens and instead save up for a 70-200mm f/4L or 200mm f/2.8L II. For beginners I do recommend the 18-55mm kit lens and the 50mm f/1.8 II (both of which I previously owned).
I would suggest reading this review of the lens:
Lenses I currently own: 10-22mm, 17-55mm, 100mm f/2.8L, 200mm f/2.8L II (all used on 550D/T2i).

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Aug 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $810.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, delicious BOKEH, fantastic sharpness and great build quality. This lightweight, small (relative to the f/2.8 zooms) and black lens is relatively inconspicious (without the hood on) and can be used for street photography and in crowded places without drawing attention.
Not as versatile as a zoom lens.

This is such a fantastic lens with excellent sharpness and build quality. And the bokeh is just so delicious and creamy. More than 99% of my pictures are taken wide-open (f/2.8) where this lens is capable of producing magical images!
While this lens is not as versatile as an image-stabilized zoom I decided to buy it as it offered the best combination of speed (f/2.8), price and utility (I always end up taking pictures with telephoto zooms at the two focal length extremes).
This lens also has many advantages relative to the f/2.8 zooms such as price, weight and color (black). One day I hope to upgrade to the heavy 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II but until then I intend to keep using this stellar lens.
Other lenses owned: 10-22mm, 17-55mm, 100mm f/2.8L (all used on a T2i/550D).

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Aug 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,034.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely versatile lens that can be used for all kinds of photography (macro, portraits, low-light and distant landscapes). Sharpness and color reproduction are spectacular, bokeh is fantastic and IS is so useful (even at 1:1). In addition it's fast and light.
None (and I really mean it!)

This lens is spectacular. If I could have just one lens, this would be it. Wonderful bokeh, fantastic sharpness and faithful color rendition. IS is so useful, even at 1:1. In addition to macro photography I use it for portrait and low-light photography.
Other lenses I own: 10-22mm, 17-55mm and 200mm f/2.8L II (all on T2i/550D).

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Review Date: Aug 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Decent sharpness and color reproduction. IS very valuable.
Not really useful for low-light and portrait photography.

Purchased as part of T2i/550D kit. This lens is really good for the price with decent sharpness and color reproduction. The IS is also really useful. I have since upgraded to the 17-55mm f/2.8 as I wanted a faster lens with good bokeh (the other lenses I own are 200mm f/2.8L II, 100mm f/2.8L and 10-22mm).
I would definitely recommend this lens and the 50mm f/1.8 II (for low-light and portrait photography) to beginner dSLR users.