LeeBabySimms's reviews

  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality, wide open, at every focal length. Fast & accurate focus in challenging conditions.
    Lens hood breaks after modest professional use. I miss the 'perfect' lens hood design of its predecessor.

    I can't say enough good things about this lens. We own two for wedding photography and they replaced a 24L, 35L and 50L after a critical 2.8 shoot-out reveal this zoom was a better performer wide open then the primes were stopped down. Fast focus in dark wedding receptions with 5Dmk4, 5Dmk3, 7DmkII, 70D and 80D. We owned the original 24-70L but let it go after a wedding season due it's soft images and heavy weight. The mkII feels as if it's from a different manufacturer. Superior in every way, but the lens hood design of it's predecessor was novel and very effective for controlling flair. This mkII lens hood is somewhat ineffective by comparison and both of ours broke pretty quickly into service life. No love lost.

    But it's the images that count and this lens delivers! Scenes are great at 24, details at great at 50, portraits are great at 70. It never disappoints.

    reviewed March 8th, 2017 (purchased for $1,650)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Pleasing image quality from 2.0 on up, ok auto focus.
    Bokeh is a busy, but to be expected at this price.

    It's a great little lens for stills and video. In a shoot out at 2.0 with a 50L, this lens is just a tad softer (hard to see in some scenes) but has dramatically less CA. The bokeh's very busy, but you can't have everything for this price.

    reviewed March 8th, 2017 (purchased for $86)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    Magical images, if you can get a good one. Accurate auto focus, great weight, nice build quality.
    I've tried to purchase this lens four times, and can't get a copy that doesn't have ridiculous purple fringing.

    In 2012 I rented a 50L and fell in love. Everything I read was true. Magical images, great AF, smooth bokeh, great flares. Then I bought one, and returned it. A year later bought another one and returned it. A year later tried a third and it was better than the first two so I kept it. After a couple of years I did a 2.8 shoot out with the 24-70L II and the zoom won (ouch). I sold it. Then saw images from a friend's 50L and wanted the magic again. I bought a 4th copy and at 2.0 the performance compared to a $100 50mm STM was embarrassing. I give up. The problem? Purple fringing in high contrast situations, specifically backlit portraits. Software can remove it, but men wearing dark suits against the sun now have a comical halo around them because you're taking out that much content.

    reviewed March 8th, 2017 (purchased for $1,150)
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality wide open. Fast and accurate AF in decent light. Distinctive bokeh.
    AF hunts in marginal conditions, even on a 5D4. Image stabilization mechanism "rattles" if you don't switch it off before removing from camera. Bokeh might be busy for some.

    I enjoy photographing details and portraits at weddings with this lens. Focus is snappy and images are great. We probably use it 50/50 for indoor portraits, versus non-human subjects. The bokeh is not smooth like an 85L but it's slightly busy look is distinctive. Two negatives. First is the AF hunting that happens in reception lighting, even on a 5DmkIV. This lens replaced a Canon EF-S 60 macro that used to handle our wedding decor duty and that lens would never hunt with any recent vintage body (7D, 7D2, 80D, 70D). Second is the odd rattle noise the lens will make moving it around if you forget to turn off IS before dismounting from the camera body.

    reviewed March 8th, 2017 (purchased for $740)
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Images that sing. Sharp wide open, wonderful bokeh, fast AF in dark conditions.
    Minor purple & green fringing wide open.

    My copy is 12-years-old and still delivers at over 75 weddings a year. Magical images, great AF, great close focusing abilities. Many lenses lose their appeal after time, but not this one. Deserves to be in the camera hall of fame. I shoot it wide open 90% of the time. In the highest contrast situations there's a hint of both purple and green fringing but both are minor and easy to remove with software.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $900)
  • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality from 3.5 on, excellent AF on any body from the 40D on.
    A little soft wide open

    Great combo macro / portrait lens. Stop it down just a little and it's a gem. Several of the images I made with this lens have been made into popular landscape prints, posters, canvases. I'll get a surprise when I'm in a strange place walking down a hallway and see one of my images. I chuckle and mutter to myself "that little 60 macro". We had ours for years and it would hunt a fair amount with the 20D and 30D. From the 40D on, the hunting went away and it would focus well in any light.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $425)
  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Super fun. Sharp at 10mm with little distortion. Fast and accurate AF in bad light. Rugged.
    Soft at 22. Purple fringing visible with higher resolution APS-C cameras.

    My favorite wedding photography lens for 10 years and I used it at over 500 events. I dropped it many times, dumped it in streams, and got the front element gunked with champagne, ice cream, and dog saliva. How I loved thee. This was Canon's finest wide zoom for a long time and I didn't start using a full-frame wide angle until the 16-35 IS was released. I now shoot with the 16-35L III but still love seeing all the magical images I captured with the 10-22. The zoom ring on this lens is the best I've ever used. Zoom with your pinky (I did).

    Now for the negatives. It's soft at 22, which is fine for romantic images (I won an award for one) but lacks snap for photojournalism coverage. More of an issue is the purple fringing in high contrast areas, especially at 10mm on the edges wide open. It wasn't noticeable on earlier bodies (20D ~ 50D) but around about the 70D did you start to see it. And it got worse with every megapixel increase. Lightroom does a good job removing it, but sometimes it can take the joy out of some scenes.

    After great service for over a decade, I sold mine to a travel blog writer.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $800)
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Wonderful lightweight and versatile professional image tool. Shoot it wide open all day. Sharp images full of life on both full frame and APS-C.
    No tripod ring included.

    We use our copy of "Little White" to augment a 135L when a bit more reach is needed. It never disappoints, and with the AF on the 5D4 you can use it indoors after the sun goes down. The images are lovely, the AF snappy, and the IS effective. Probably the best performance vs. weight matrix of any tele zoom ever. A classic.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $1,050)
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Great image quality and AF performance for outdoor sports. Delivers well on both full-frame and APS-C

    Until the Mark II version came out, I rented this lens 2-3 a year for skiing assignments. It's a great outdoor sports zoom. The newer version's sharper with more bite, but I miss the push/pull design.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017
  • Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Awesome "normal" lens for APS-C
    Focus a little slow

    Super images, especially considering the size and price. On an APS-C body, it's a 60mm "normal" lens that's biting sharp wide open, edge to edge. Keep it in your front pocket. On full frame it's a little soft wide open, but still charming. I hope Canon continues to make lenses like this.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $120)
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Super sharp wide open with no noticeable fringing. IS works well. The first great Canon 16-35.
    It's not a 2.8

    The perfect travel ultra-wide. Hard to fault the image quality in any way, except the typical "not as magical" on the long side. The weight/size balance on a 5D is about ideal. We moved on to the epic 16-35L III for stills and kept the F4 model around for video projects.

    reviewed March 9th, 2017 (purchased for $750)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Delightful images, snap-focus, versatility of IS
    Purple fringe is still there. Weight.

    Canon finally offers a professional 85 without any quirks. The legacy 85L (1.2) was slow to focus and had (to my eyes) unacceptable purple fringe in high contrast lines below 2. The 1980's era 85USM (1.8) is a charming lightweight lens with fast AF but image quality below 2.8 isn't up to the demands of modern high resolution sensors (softness and purple fringe).

    On both a 5DmkIV and 7DmkII, the new 85 is sharp, great for low (or no) aperture shooting, and is quick to focus in marginal conditions. There's IS for video production (we leave turned off for stills shooting). Disappointingly, at this price, the purple fringe is still there (but greatly reduced) and the weight gets noticeable during a long day of shooting. Canon shooters get a great 85, as good as any available today.

    reviewed April 20th, 2018 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Arguably the best Canon lens ever. Super sharp wide open, no noticeable purple fringe, lovely bokeh and transition.
    Will spoil you and cause you look down at your other lenses.

    Every photographer should spend some time with this lens to know how good glass can get. It does everything right and nothing wrong. The images have a unique and pleasing appeal.

    reviewed April 20th, 2018 (purchased for $1,450)