So I’ve deviated from my previous plan to wait until the new Canon 17–55mm f/2.8 IS came out before making any lens purchases. Aside from the fact that I would have had to wait until the summer for reviews that may be less than favourable anyway, the main reason is that my two dream lenses, the Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8 L and the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8 L were being sold refurbished and used respectively. I make it a habit to check one particular popular online retailer every morning in case of any such deals, since they update their stock some time around five in the morning and most lenses are gone by nine, L glass especially. Although I had no plan on buying either lens (I had yet to see either up for sale until this month), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It saved me close to $2000 in total.
Now I have my ideal focal range covered with a lens that goes as wide as 16mm for my environmental and landscape shots, and another one that goes as long as 70mm for portraits. Both have ring ultrasonic motor focusing systems, which makes autofocusing beautifully slick, smooth, and quiet, with support for full-time manual focusing as well. They also go as wide f/2.8, which is perfect since I do a lot of low-light, indoor shooting, and the extra aperture blades provide buttery smooth background blur.
The trade-off is that both lenses are heavy, one heavier than the camera body itself. This comes from the fact that the construction is rock-solid and weather-sealed, being made from metal and ground glass. There are stories of people dropping their L lenses onto asphalt or rocks and surviving with only cosmetic scratches.
After all the money I just spent (more than twice as much than on the camera itself), not including the extra hand-strap/bag/filters that went along with it, I’m trying not to think of my next purchase. In the back of my mind I know that I want a macro lens or a full frame body, but I think I’ll be satisfied for the next little while.