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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

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68 286282 Apr 11, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,080.59
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.61
8.35
9.0
ef24mmf_14l_1_

Specifications:
Professional wide-angle lens with an ultra-large maximum aperture of f/1.4. This is the first EF lens to employ both a replicated aspherical lens element to suppress distortion and spherical aberration, and a UD lens element to correct lateral chromatic aberration. Thanks to the floating construction, excellent corner-to-corner delineation is attained from 10 in. (25 cm) to infinity.


 


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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 260
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good value, great for crop sensors, still good on FF depending on what you shoot
Cons:
soft in the corners, less flare resistant than the new one

i actually like this lens. i'd pass up the Mark II if I was shooting a crop camera. for shooting weddings and people it's also a reasonable option on a FF camera because although it's a little soft in the corners, the corners distort people anyway and i don't' like to have my subjects there in the first place. these days, the used price makes it a great deal.

Apr 11, 2012
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lucas lumiere
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Registered: Feb 10, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 244
Review Date: Feb 10, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, contrasty, nice color, relatively compact
Cons:
CA, Inconsistent Performance, Slow AF under certain conditions (low light)

Everything you read about this lens is true. The good and the bad. My experience has been that the good far outweighs the bad. My copy is capable of amazing sharpness even at maximum aperture. However, at 1.4 it seems inconsistent... sometimes it is super sharp, sometimes soft and dreamy, it seems to vary with lighting conditions and subject distance. By f2.0 it is consistently sharp.

I am really not impressed with the amount of CA ... it was nearly a deal breaker for me as I noticed it when testing the lens and initially gave it a pass. However, after choosing to focus on the positive aspects of this lens, I decided to purchase. I'm glad I did! It is now one of my favorite and most used lenses (if not the most used).

I use this on a 5D and a 1DIV and I enjoy it on both. It's a great lens for "getting ready" wedding photos and general indoor / low light situations. I highly recommend it, although if you've got the coin and need the best possible IQ and/or weather sealing ... get the new version it's even better.


Feb 10, 2011
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joker5887
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Registered: Jan 28, 2010
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: - Very wide aperture for taking indoor photos without a flash - Paper thin depth of field at F1.4 provides capability to produce dramatic shots while still capturing much of the background to 'tell the story' - Good quality construction - Price range definitely higher than normal lenses but much more affordable/reasonable than Mk II version
Cons:
- Focusing speed a tad slow (but not enough to affect me on wedding photography)

When I first picked up photography, I have always wondered on the viability of spending large amounts of money for a fixed focal prime lens such as this. However, having cycled through quite a few Canon lenses and 'L' series lenses ranging from zoom lenses and other primes, I have arrived in front of this 24mm.

It is no doubt an expensive lens BUT it can also provide you wish capabilities that other lenses cannot. As stated in my pros list, it has a very thin depth of field when used wide open and that really adds punch to your photos by making your subject 'pop' out more (when focused properly). This will definitely appeal to certain photographers and in my case wedding photos.

In my humble opinion, you need a full frame camera to really appreciate this lens. For wedding event photos, in many instances we would like to include as much of the scene as possible to 'tell the story' and we usually lose the dramatic effects from blurred/out-of-focus backgrounds when using the wide angle zooms with apertures limited to F2.8 and above. With this lens coupled to a full frame body, it allows the photographer to maintain both the coverage of the wide angle and the background blur.

As such, if you are looking for a lens to take photographs at F4.0 and above at 24mm, then I believe you are better off looking at the other canon zoom lenses (e.g. 17-40 F4L, 24-105 F4L, 16-35 f2.8L).

In terms of picture quality, it is very good wide open BUT not earth shaking. At F1.4, there are signs of purple fringing and definitely not as sharp when used a few stops down. However, it is barely noticeable unless you scrutinise under pixel peeping.

All in all, I have no reserves in shooting with this lens wide open and having printouts of A3 or A2 size.

I hope this gives an idea on the usage of this lens and assist anyone who is considering this lens to determine whether it is the right lens for them before making the big jump.

Cheers.





Jan 28, 2010
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primeshot
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp lens. Great IQ, build, focus speed.
Cons:
None

I love the perspective on this lens; and at 1.4 there are many creative possibilities. I contemplated getting the Mark II but I cannot see why I would. This lens delivers every time.

Nov 1, 2009
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Haring
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Registered: Sep 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: cheaper than 35L
Cons:
a 24-70 can produce this image quality



The picture quality is similar to a 24-70mm....:(:(:( It is better to buy the 24 70 because you will have the zoom up to 70mm!

I sold it and bought a Canon 35L. What a big difference!

You can see a few pictures in the portfolio for real estate properties:
www.haringphotography.com
The point is that you won't see a difference between my 28-70L and this lens...:(


Sep 11, 2009
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Uracas
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Registered: Jan 8, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: May 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Finds light at 1.4 that cannot be seen, well built
Cons:
Unsharp in many conditions


I think Darwin and Heisenburg teamed up on this lens...

Maybe I fell victim to Natural Selection when I bought this on EBay... I wonder if many used lenses there are being sold because they are not good copies.

My copy captures exotic light at 1.4 especially in low light where it exhibits apparent sharpness. But when I try to get sharp photos in bright light nothing I do helps. F8 you ask? Nope... Hood and front lighting with a totally staged shot? Nope... After hours of trying, luckily the sun will begin to set and then you can coax out a jaw dropper. The closer you try to replicate its low light performance in daylight the farther you will get from it.

I've heard reports the lens design physically precludes sharpness after 1.4. I havent disproven this. Of course at 1.4 the depth of focus is so shallow its easy to blame things on that, while the background is excused by depth of filed limitations.

Yeah I know I should send it in for calibration but its a professional lens and I am just being stubborn I guess. Besides, my experiences are too similar others to go through the expense and hassle.

So now it is a niche lens for me. I had hoped it would be my "one lens" holy grail but have resigned myself to wander the earth in search of a sharp Canon "wider than 35L" walkaround prime.

Will I buy the 24 1.4L II ? Sharper probably, but come on now Canon... you made your bones by not overcharging like Nikon, dont leave us believers in the dust.


May 15, 2009
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PhotoDude79
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Registered: Jan 28, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1215
Review Date: May 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $890.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, small, awesome, awesome bokeh, DOF is thin and finely feathered.
Cons:
None right now

I got this lens last week from KEH and I must say it's a damn good addition to my gear. I love the DOF, it's sharp wide open. Not as sharp as the 35L but very close. Trust me get this lens and you will not be disappointed. The only thing I had to get use to is the field of view. My 50 1.8 was stuck on my 5D until I got this.

May 14, 2009
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 225
Review Date: Apr 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent build, solid, f//1.4
Cons:
Less sharp than the 35L

A very nice lens. I found that it's not as sharp wide open as my 35L so I may have a less perfect copy but it's got me magazine covers no other lens could have.

I am finding that I'm moving back to my 16-35L more for wide use as it's a little more flexible and more even in sharpness across the frame but the 24L has a 'look' that no other lens can match.


Apr 18, 2009
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Norwin Uy
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Registered: Jul 8, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 364
Review Date: Apr 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even wide open. Great contrast and superb colors. Sturdy build, common 77mm diameter. Silent and accurate focus.
Cons:
Extreme chromatic aberration wide open. i

This is one spectacular lens. This is one of the two L primes I own and have ever tried, the other being the 135mm f/2. The 135mm has the edge in image quality in that there is less chromatic aberration wide open, but this lens gets more use because of the focal length. It really is a wonderful perspective on full frame, but also on the 1.3x sensor. It is a wide angle perspective but has just enough reach to make for interesting portraits/group portraits. Having extensively used the 50mm f/1.4, the biggest difference has to be the contrast and colors, with the 24mm being so much more saturated so that the images straight from camera require very little processing. The L brand really speaks out in this regard.

I believe this lens is way underrated due to the more popular 35mm f/1.4 To be honest, I was looking for the 35mm and hadn't considered the 24mm until a deal came up. Needless to say my desire for the 35 has dissipated; I am completely hooked on this lens.

If you are looking for a fast prime on the wider end, you won't be disappointed with this lens.


Apr 12, 2009
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5233
Review Date: Oct 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, light, fast for low light, great AF speed, L colors/contrast
Cons:
Nothing, bit softer corners at F1.4 is understeandable to me. Nothing to compare yet, mk II not for sale yet as well.

One of the "must have" L primes, my copy is sharp wide open and no complains about. Excellent for travel lens since not as big and heavy. Amazing colors and contrast similar to 35L/85L/135L primes.
Some shots with it I did in Barcelona:

http://www.pbase.com/breitling65/image/94683244
http://www.pbase.com/breitling65/image/94684275
http://www.pbase.com/breitling65/image/94765186


Oct 9, 2008
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Sorensiim
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Registered: May 30, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 403
Review Date: Oct 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, light, FOV, sharp as a razor, most wonderful bokeh I have ever seen.
Cons:
None.

Swapped my 16-35L for this. Glad I did... AMAZING lens!

I am so much in love with it, it's just not natural. SHARP wide open from F/1.4, yet with beautiful bokeh. Rivals my 135L for bokeh quality.

Growing flickr set of images shot with this lens:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_spook/sets/72157607698321986/


Oct 5, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Jul 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,170.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful landscape lens and close-focus wide-angle lens. Build is worth every penny you spend on this lens.
Cons:
None really other than I would recommend keeping this on a full-frame body.

Very very sharp and wonderful colors...1.4 sharpness is incredible and I couldn't notice any distortion.

Here are some sample shots taken with a Canon EOS 5D

-Roy


Jul 22, 2008
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twistedlim
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3127
Review Date: Mar 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colorful, and very fast
Cons:
None within the physical limits of the lens. Pricey, but then again it is f1.4.

I had one of these a while back that was OK but not anywhere near the sharpness and contrast of the 35 1.4 even after calibration. After going through a couple of copies at a local store I found a gem. It is every bit as nice as a 35 1.4.

Mar 18, 2008
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zweigelt
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Registered: Jan 13, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 13, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I feel that there is a very limited lens-choice when photographing natural "situations" - things that happen in every day life. On FF-cameras I switch between 35 and 50, but the 35 is a bit too WA and the 50 is a bit to close - therefore on Canon-FF I prefer the 24-70, which is a pity because of the 2.8 limit.
On crop cameras the 24 L is my dream-lens! It equals about 39 mm. Just the perfect focal length and all the speed one needs.
Contrast and color is wonderful, really outstanding sharpness from 2.2 on. But even wide open this lens has given me images I donīt want to have missed.
To compare image quaity between the 24-70 on FF and the 24 L on crop? Just no comparison - the 24 L has a lot more definition, contrast and some sort of 3D-quality, the zoom can never match. I donīt have the 16-35 II (the Mark I was not so great) to compare - maybe that would be the answer, except for speed and therefore DOV...
On a crop body the 24 L is MY lens - Iīd wish Canon would make a 40mm 1.4 for FF bodies.
With all the fuss about the 35 L (which is a wonderful lens) the merits of the 24 L are not so apparent. In my oppinion and for my use though this lens is a true gem.


Jan 13, 2008
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zweigelt
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Registered: Jan 13, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: perfect Reportage-lens on a crop camera, superb build
Cons:
here in Germany very expensive (1.200,- Euro)

I feel that there is a very limited lens-choice when photographing natural "situations" - things that happen in every day life. On FF-cameras I switch between 35 and 50, but the 35 is a bit too WA and the 50 is a bit to close - therefore on Canon-FF I prefer the 24-70, which is a pity because of the 2.8 limit.
On crop cameras the 24 L is my dream-lens! It equals about 39 mm. Just the perfect focal length and all the speed one needs.
Contrast and color is wonderful, really outstanding sharpness from 2.2 on. But even wide open this lens has given me images I donīt want to have missed.
To compare image quaity between the 24-70 on FF and the 24 L on crop? Just no comparison - the 24 L has a lot more definition, contrast and some sort of 3D-quality, the zoom can never match. I donīt have the 16-35 II (the Mark I was not so great) to compare - maybe that would be the answer, except for speed and therefore DOV...
On a crop body the 24 L is MY lens - Iīd wish Canon would make a 40mm 1.4 for FF bodies.
With all the fuss about the 35 L (which is a wonderful lens) the merits of the 24 L are not so apparent. In my oppinion and for my use though this lens is a true gem.


Jan 13, 2008
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David Baldwin
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Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2840
Review Date: Oct 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderful optical performance, superb build quality
Cons:
At f1.4 lens must be focussed very accurately indeed. Lenshood doesn't fit

I've been using my 24mm for around 6 months on cropped sensor Canon cameras, mainly the 400D.

I need the 24mm for low light landscapes and astronomy work. The 24mm produces remarkable images of stars right across my cropped sensor frame even at f1.4. This lens is a winner in this role, definitely in the same class as the legendary (and now discontinued) Nikkor 28mm f1.4 which I also own.

When I first used the 24mm on my 400D I nearly sent it back. The results were deeply disappointing. Just before I returned the lens just as an experiment I changed the camera focus settings from multi-point auto focus to single point. The improvement was dramatic, at f5.6 the lens produced stunningly sharp photographs. However in low light photography indoors using f1.4 the results with auto focus were still variable. Some images were surprisingly sharp, others soft. I was still disappointed with the 24mm.

Then I bought the Canon 40D, and boy what a difference. Using the new Live View focusing feature my 24mm lens is superb at any aperture. My photographs of stars are satisfyingly sharp even at f1.4, across the 1.6x frame. Superb. This brings me to my conclusion, the Canon 24mm is a world class specialist lens delivering top quality results at full aperture IF it is correctly focussed. In real low light situations this may require considerable care.

By the way, the supplied lenshood doesn't fit, its way too tight.


Oct 13, 2007
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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
68 286282 Apr 11, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,080.59
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.61
8.35
9.0
ef24mmf_14l_1_


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