9 out of 10 points and recommendedSharpness throughout image, short focus time, high detail, and bright.Crop factor makes it less usable as a portrait lens, heavier then it looks.
This lens is sharp and fast; if I had a full framed DSLR it would be the ultimate portrait lens, but as it stands on my Rebel XT it is good almost exclusively as a short telephoto. It is bright at the cost of some weight, it is good to use in arenas or anywhere they do not allow 'professional' lenses or photographers, or lenses that look like a light grey 'L' lens. I rented this lens before I bought it, there are a number of sites that can help you with that, I would always recommend renting before shelling out this kind of money. This lens is built like a tank like most 'L' lenses. If you are using a crop factored camera and do portraits, dollar for dollar you cannot beat the 50mm primes, this lens yeilds slightly better photos (unless you are looking at edge sharpness at 100% the 85mm is hands-down the better lens at f/1.8 and beyond) at the cost of having to stand across the room instead of being near your model with a 50mm. All in all, if you have the money for this kind of lens rent it first, a lot of people drool over lenses like this, buy it, and then discover that with the crop factor it is not very handy, but on the good side if you buy it and decide to sell it on the second-hand market, it yeilds a high resale value.reviewed December 24th, 2006 (purchased for $1,700)