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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #1
schmoelzel
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Default Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Greetings from London Ontario, where the hot and humid summer has fallen by the wayside and the beautiful fall colours are out in full-force; and yes, the temperatures are decidedly cooler. Thanks to Drisley (who is now the proud owner of a brand new 70-200F2.8 L), I have now finished my lens quest of attaining Canon's holy trinity of prime lenses (at least for me!!). This includes the EF 35f1.4 L ; EF 85f1.2 L ; and the 135f2.0 L. Yes, you are right in assuming that Drisley has sold his baby (135L) to me. I tried in vain to talk him out of it but he received an excellent deal on the 70-200F2.8 L at Camera Canada and I guess he wants to remain more stationary when he next shoots his BB shows. His loss is my gain and I thank him for the generous deal that he shot my way.

In the next few days I am hoping to do some 'real world' shooting with these three primes (by real world I am talking shots that are NOT of brick walls, printed pages, or odds and ends on a desk!! ) and finding out the strengths and weaknesses of these three great optics. So much is always written about them but I have always valued comparison photos of real things rather than studio perfect. I know that the lenses in question are highly regarded in these forums and elsewhere but I want to know for myself that my journey to primes has been worthwhile.

To start (what will probably become a small series of essays concerning my holy trinity), I thought I would show them side by side to give an idea of their relative size.



SIZE

All three are fairly significant lenses but the king has to be the 85L! This monster is heavy (over 1kg) and has a lot of girth!! While the 135L is 200g heavier than the 35L, they both feel about the same when holding them in your hands.

BUILD QUALITY

Let me say that ALL L lenses that I have tried have impeccable build quality. Each of these lenses just exhudes quality and gives one confidence that they will withstand anything. Both the 85L and the 135L seem to have a more rugged feel to them but the 35L probably has the best 'fit and finish' of the three. One of the most discussed aspects of Canon L lenses is the build quality. Let me just say that these three really do make the non-L lenses look and feel cheap!



HOODS

You should always practice 'safe photography' and always always use a hood. Luckily, when you pay the big bucks for an L lens, Canon graciously includes a piece of plastic (way over-priced) that will attach to the end of the lens and act as protection for the glass but more importantly will reduce the incidence of lens flare. I always use the hoods with all my lenses. It makes them look bigger but the protection is better than the glass being exposed to branches, hands, walls, etc etc. As you can see by the photo above, the hoods for these three babies vary in size and style. The 35L has the typical petal-shaped hood that most wide-angle lenses have.....yes, 35mm is considered wide-angle!! The 85L has a strange hood in that it attaches by pinching two tabs on either side of the hood. I find this one easy and convenient to remove while the other two are the typical Canon twist and turn type. What I really dislike about the hood for the 135L is that it is so deep that you can barely get your fingers around the cap to remove it. I wish that Canon caps were the pinch-type that you find on Tamron lenses.......much better design. The hoods all do their thing and are designed well (I guess, since I am not an expert on plastic). They will get scuffed but that to me is a sign of someone caring for the lens. And the winner for the best lens hood is.........the 85L!!

Well, that's the first part of my mini-essays concerning Canon's holy trinity of primes. Next time around I will try and present some shots taken with the various lenses and my own humble opinions about them. I hope not to get into the 'this lens is sharper than that lens' type of discussion but invariabley I know that people will want to ask those questions. I think I am safe in saying that all three of these optics are currently at the top end of any optics available for DSLR's and SLR's. Thanks for reading this long-winded diatribe (I did study journalism!! ) and I welcome any comments, positive and negative!

Last edited by schmoelzel : 26th of October 2005 (Wed) at 06:58.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #2
Jim G
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Now you just need the 50mm 1.0...
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #3
ddelallata
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim G
Now you just need the 50mm 1.0...
That is more of a collector's item.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

35 1.4 with a tiffen filter?
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #5
kaitanium
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

man i wish i had that much money =P
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmoelzel
I wish that Canon caps were the pinch-type that you find on Tamron lenses.......much better design.
You can buy Tamron caps seperately from the lens.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #7
Maureen Souza
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Congrats.... I LOVE my 135mm lens. Can't wait to see your masterpieces from it.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #8
Carzee
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

I'm guessing the next subject of his essays:

"Prime Pilates" - 60 mins a day to a Stronger Shooter. ..
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

where can one find a 50mm F/1.0?
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #10
PetKal
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Not far from 50 F0.95.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

SCHWING!!!! Man and I was trying to resist getting anything new. Thanks for the info and the droolage. My path is now clear.
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Old 25th of October 2005 (Tue)   #12
Carzee
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

Dante - your 'L-ADD" meds are wearing thin - up the dosage!
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Old 26th of October 2005 (Wed)   #13
drisley
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

MY BABY! HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY BABY!
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Old 26th of October 2005 (Wed)   #14
richardho11
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

WOW! Nice collection there! I want the 85mm 1.2 next!! Hopfully sometime early next year!
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Old 26th of October 2005 (Wed)   #15
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Default Re: Canon Primes - The holy trinity!

L glass, who needs it, I am more than happywith the kit lens.
And if I keep saying it often enough it will be true won't it?
Grrrrr "I wanna 135 mum" "I want it, I want it I want it"
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