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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

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45 177476 Jul 31, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,574.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.83
8.32
9.6
EF24_14LII

Specifications:
Canon's newest fixed length L-series lens, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, incorporates the newest in Canon lens technology for spectacular sharpness and impressive performance at all settings. It features two high-precision, large-diameter aspherical lenses for sharpness across the sensor, even in peripheral areas of full-frame sensors. Lens elements have a newly-designed anti-reflective SWC (Sub Wavelength Coating) that departs from conventional coatings by using an extremely fine structure that minimizes ghosting and flaring across the lens surface, regardless of the angle with which light enters or exits. It also features two UD lens elements to minimize chromatic aberrations, incorporates rear-focusing, ultrasonic, quiet and high-speed AF with full-time manual override. A circular aperture provides beautiful out-of-focus detail and offers legendary dust- and water-resistant L-series construction using only lead-free glass.

• Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 24mm 1:1.4
• Lens Construction: 13 elements in 10 groups
• Aspherical and UD lens elements for correction of chromatic aberration. (2 UD Lens Elements)
• Circular aperture for pleasing bokeh. (8 blades)
• Lead-free glass
• Diagonal Angle of View: 84°
• Focus Adjustment: Rear focusing system with USM
• Closest Focusing Distance: 3.0 in./77mm
• Maximum magnification: 0.17x
• Filter Size: 77mm
• Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.4 in./86.9mm; 22.9 oz./650g
• Lens hood and pouch supplied
• Weather sealed
• Provides distance information for E-TTL II flash metering


 


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Dpedraza
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Registered: Jan 8, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 742
Review Date: Jul 31, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, bokeh, color rendition, contrasty,
Cons:
hood

I bought this lens for a lot less than other used versions because of a small scrape on the bottom of the filter ring. The lens is very nice the size balances well on the camera. It's sharp and resolves well on the full frame sensor. My only real complaint is the hood.

Jul 31, 2014
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Trevor Sowers
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Registered: Aug 14, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 102
Review Date: May 25, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Resolves well across the frame. Weather sealing. Solid build. Fast Accurate AF. Very good flare resistance. f/1.4
Cons:
Poor hood design. Heavy. Large. Expensive.

I'll start with my negatives. The hood doesn't snap on securely and it can rotate when you are carrying the camera on a strap so that when you go to take a shot you may need to adjust the hood. This is rare but it has happened to me. Also the round shape of the hood means that you can't set the lens down on the hood when changing lenses which I always do with my other lenses. As for the heavy, large and expensive points; well they just come with the territory and are not faults of the lens but they are something to consider as "down sides".

As for the good points……….well It's a long list so I'll just simply say that this is one of my most treasured lenses and I would not want to go without it! When I'm shooting a wedding it is on one of my bodies at all times. It is sharper at f/1.4 than my sigma 50mm and (unlike the sigma 50) it actually focuses accurately in low light when I really need it. It does vignette heavy at 1.4 but otherwise looks quite good for a lens that is wide open! I find I really like how it looks at f/2 and up. If I am in a situation where I need a wide angle lens that I can count on to get the shot this is the one I reach for. I've shot musicians on stage that were jumping around in horrible light as well as dancing at wedding receptions with bad light and lot's of fast dancing so I set up my remote speedlites and with this lens on my 5D MKIII and servo AF it just nails it!!

For Photojournalism and environmental portraits it's a great lens IMHO


May 25, 2014
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rbussmann
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Registered: Apr 11, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Overall sharpness, excellent center sharpness wide open, built and color rendition, bokeh.
Cons:
Price, sensitive AF

One of my most frequently used lenses. Love color rendition and bokeh, not to speak about being built like a tank. gets lots of landscape and interior (interviews) work done under difficult environmental condition. Had one, sold it to try the smaller 24mm IS, but wasn't convinced. Tried also the Zeiss 25mm f2.0, which, although an excellent lens, lacks weather sealing. Just bought a 24 1.4 again.

Mar 27, 2014
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mce_30
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Registered: Dec 19, 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 21, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Stunning image quality right to the edge, wide open in most situations. Minimal distortion.
Cons:
My version has somewhat unreliable AF when focusing more than about 10m away.

Overall

Let me start by saying that, although I have some reservations about the AF system in this lens, I think the lens produces stunning images that really "pop out" and grab the viewer. The performance at F1.4 is extremely impressive on my copy. The only exception to this is when focusing at infinity the corners are a bit soft. Vignetting is quite strong at F1.4 but I quite like this effect and it can be compensated out with the DPP software if I don't want it for a paticular shot. Anway, don't take my word - judge for yourself. Here's a bunch of my photos taken with the 24mm F1.4L Mk II lens on a 5D Mk III camera:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michael_elford/sets/72157635747950975/


Image Quality

The image quality at F1.4 is so impressive on my copy that despite having AF issues, I haven't returned my lens. This is because I'm concerned that I'll get a copy with great AF but with less image quality. The lens is tack sharp corner to corner at F1.4 at the minimum focusing distance. One caveat here is that you need to be aware of the extremely thin depth of field at F1.4 combined with the minimum focusing distance. I quite often using live view and manual focusing with 10x zoom on to nail it. The poorest performance is when shooting at infinity (i.e sky, landscape etc.) at F1.4. Generally the corner sharpness drops a fair bit but I never really find myself needing to do this so it doesn't bother me a great deal.


AF Issues

OK. So many people are going to be thinking that I don't know what I'm doing at F1.4 and that's why I think there are focusing issues. Let me dispell that myth by stating that I also own a 35mm F1.4L and an 85mm F1.2L Mk II, neither of which I consider to have any AF issues whatsoever. Sadly though, with the 24mm I do. The AF on this lens (my copy at least) is very inconsistent when shooting from about 10m to infinity. I tend not to trust the AF at all and find myself using live view a lot. The lens has even misfocused a shot at F8 (focusing in the distance). I live in hope that this problem can one day be solved with a firmware update to the lens. In the meantime I consider it an annoyance but one that I'm willing to live with given the stunning combination of wide and shallow focus that this lens gives me.

Do I recommend this lens? Yes, if you are wanting that combination of wide and shallow then there are not tool many tools that will give you than unique look. Go for it but be aware that you might be having AF issues like so many others that have reported it.





Sep 21, 2013
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scott_scheetz
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Registered: Oct 31, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 9, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, beautiful bokeh, fast and accurate AF, weather-sealing, excellent build, beautiful colors.
Cons:
None, (If I had to pick one, price for a new one)

This lens is incredible. The build quality is amazing. The images from this lens are sharp at every aperture. The colors are great, and the bokeh is wonderful. Very fast, quiet and accurate AF.

Some samples on a 5D:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9711367737/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9681286267/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9558989406/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9512450070/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9484735270/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottscheetz/9489215687/

Exif data is available on each image.

This lens also works quite well on a crop camera (becomes about a 35mm) and works wonderfully for video use as well.

No complaints about this lens.


Sep 9, 2013
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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 27, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast AF, bokehlicous, small, light
Cons:
Noting

Amazing lens. When I compare this with the new 24-70 2.8L II, this lens is almost the same (color and sharpness), but the bokeh is more beautiful of the 24 1.4 II. Almost all the wide-ange pictures of http://www.totaalfotografie.nl are made with the 24 1.4L II

Apr 27, 2013
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user222
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Registered: Sep 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 790
Review Date: Nov 16, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile lens. Excellent for low light. Good results wide open, outstanding landscape lens stopped down. Weather sealed. At home on a crop sensor or full frame.
Cons:
Had some AF issues with 7D at first. I went through 3 copies of the lens. I was about to give up on it, when I tried a 7D "hard boot." Pull both batteries and leave it with power switch "on" for several hours. That fixed it.

This is a phenomenal lens. The pictures that come from this lens are a pleasure to look at. Very usable at f1.4, really shines at f2.0.

Stopped down to landscape apertures. The lens is superb.

Have to say this one of my favorite Canon lenses...and I've tried a bunch of them.

A few of my favorites from this lens:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/craig_coonrad/6003782253/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/craig_coonrad/8191655567/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/craig_coonrad/8191634997/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/craig_coonrad/6225298837/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/craig_coonrad/6225297343/


Nov 16, 2012
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Carles77
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Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 19, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,400.00

 
Pros: sharp at more than f/2, not so heavy, well build
Cons:
soft corners at f/1.4, very ugly bokeh, expensive, vignetting

Very ugly bokeh for me, I buy this lens because i want a wide angle lens with the benefits of low light and bokeh too. But it's unusable at f/1.4 - f/2. Corners are too soft, vignetting extremly.

I sold this lens, I will go for another prime lens like the 50L.

Thanks.


Sep 19, 2012
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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 248
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp corner to corner, beautiful image quality
Cons:
too expensive for what you get

wish this lens was a little cheaper, but at least it's less costly than the nikon version. my 35L was my daily driver for weddings until i got this... kinda got sick of shooting in cramped reception venues and this opened the world up just a little bit more. but that extra 11mm was huge, and i fell in love with the focal length. very flare resistant, pretty quick to focus, super sharp. absolutely beautiful lens.

Apr 11, 2012
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bateleur
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Registered: Nov 25, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 409
Review Date: Jan 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Construction, weatherproof, fast, supersharp (stopped down to f4)
Cons:
Price, needs carefull use for accurate focussing, needs camera with MA

The build of this lens is really impressive! Used stopped down to f4.0 or f 5.6 it is supersharp!
But the downside is that one really needs to know how to use this lens. First of all I discovered that it needs a +10 MA on my EOS 5DmkII.

Don't expect this lens to be sharp from corner to corner at f 1.4 (which wide angle lens is this anyway?)
With your main subject towards the borders of the image it is stil possible to get good results at f1.4 provided that proper focussing techniques are used. Don't expect the rest of the picture to be sharp because as with all fast lenses at f 1.4 the DOF is very thin.
Pay special attention to the background because there is a lot more to "see" in the frame compared to shooting with a tele lens so it can be a real challenge to get a pleasing background.
This lens is meant for creative solutions, people who expect they will get sharp pictures from corner to corner at f 1.4 , shooting common subjects, will be disappointed. In that case I would advice them to crank up the iso and stop down the lens.

I can imagine that some people who paid €1,400.- for this lens will be disappointed if they do not fully understand the "nature" of this lens.


Jan 24, 2012
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KevinA
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Registered: Dec 5, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 3, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Fast aperture
Cons:
very very soft in the corners wide open

I bought it some time ago for it's ability to shoot at f1.4, after all that's why you pay the money.
If you need anything near sharp in the corners at f1.4 it will be a disappointment. I don't expect centre sharpness in the corners but this is way off the mark and so was another one I tried.
If your idea of using f1.4 is to throw the background out of focus and your subject is central, no doubt you will think this lens a great performer. If like me you need the lens speed for low light work, I think Canon should of done much better, It needs about f3.5 to start getting acceptable in the corners.. The 35mm f1.4 is a better bet if 35mm can be made to cover your subject.

Kevin.


Nov 3, 2011
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Fr3d
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Registered: Nov 28, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 292
Review Date: Oct 14, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything (sharpness, bokeh, colors, build, flare control, f/1.4)
Cons:
Needs a filter go be fully weather sealed

There is nothing I could add that hasn't been said before.

Its an amazing lens. Very sharp in the center wide open
almost unreal at smaller apertures throughout the frame.
Not as sharp as the 24mm TS-E II unshifted but very very
close. I don't hesitate to shoot this lens wide open, although
you can get a bit more punch (contrast) by stopping down to f2.

The lens also handles flares gracefully even when shooting
directly into the sun. It feels nice and compact and renders
colors and blurred backgrounds very lovely. Some LoCAs can
be seen in wide open shots but that had to be expected.

Did you ever try to zoom into one of your new lens test shots
not realizing they were already showing at 100% on your screen?

This is one of those lenses...


Oct 14, 2011
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JohnnyMelbourn
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Registered: Aug 25, 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open, neutral colour rendition, excellent build quality, exceptional sharpness @4-5.6
Cons:
AF see review body

Many years ago I bought a 35L for my 20d because I was fed up with soft corners I was getting on the L and consumer zooms.
I loved the 35 but I was finding it just a little long on the 20d.
Reluctantly I sold and purchased a MK1 24L, after a few months I started to realise that there was literally nothin I could do to get critically sharp corners from seemingly any aperture.
Sold it and purchased one of the original 21mm distagons (contax) version.
Needless to say finally sharp corners!
I've een happy with this for several years but i started to miss the use of AF and metering that works properly.

So I have the MKII of the 24L and all I can now say is thankyou distagon you have been amazing but its time for you to try a new home.
I find the sharpness of the 24mm wide open fractionally softer in centre (not extreme corners) than the distagon.
At same aperture the 24mm is unrivalled.

Comparing sharpness to other L lenses I've used I would say from f4-5.6 the 24mm MKII is entirely in it's own category.
The lenses I have had or still have are

17-40mml
24mm MKI
24mm MKII
35mm L
85mm MKI
85mm MKII
180mm L
300mm f4 L IS
300mm f2.8 L IS
400mm f5.6L IS
70-300mm L IS

build quality is v v v good! Not exceptional like the 400mm f5.6 but still excellent.

The colour I find far more neutral and natural than alot of the L's
Kinda like the difference of Fuji provia vs Velvia for those who remember the good old days!

All in all just a perfect lens.

The only problem is the AF
I don't have a 7d (have 40d) so I have no micro AF adjustment.
But to be honest I have to agree with others; this isn't front or back focussing, it's just wildly unpredictable.
The ONLY reason I chose not to let this influence me was because I was here coming from a manual focus zeiss so I'll just use manual when AF starts being naughty.

All in all I recommend this. As a pure optic it's the finest I have ever used from any manufacturer at any focal length.

Can't wait to really start using it!
10/10


Aug 25, 2011
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arildah
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Registered: Mar 20, 2011
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 21, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, colors, "pop", build quality, overall image quality
Cons:
Price

Had to decide between this and the 35L after deciding which FL I used the most on my 24-70L, and ended up with the 24L as it has better build quality, rubber gaskets, and ultimately a more attractive focal length for what I shoot, which is a good mix of people, landscapes, nature vistas, etc.

Contrast/Sharpness: Excellent
Focus speed/accuracy: Excellent, with one caveat - at apertures larger than f/2.8, hitting focus can be difficult with distances longer than 2 metres. Not an issue for me, though, and it can probably be corrected.
Build: As good as it gets. I΄ve had it out in salty spray, no issues.

Great lens, will probably own this forever. Had it for six months or so.


Mar 21, 2011
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edatc
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Registered: Jul 17, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 45
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Awesome lens... use it mostly between f1.4 and f2.8
Cons:
none

Have been using the 24mm focal length for 35 years... it is my walk around favorite, along with 50mm focal and 24-105... I use this mostly at night because it has great low light focusing and aperture. I've had the Canon 24 for just over a year... A real sweet lens.

Feb 19, 2011
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marcus riley
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Registered: Sep 27, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 192
Review Date: Feb 15, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build is awesome, focus is fast, sharp from f 1.4, beautiful pictures.
Cons:
AF, AF, AF, AF, AF, Will not focus consistently/accurately!

I'm on my 3rd copy of the 24mm f1.4L version II. The first two had wild and severe focus issues (even though the 2nd copy was sent back to Canon and adjusted, 4 times).

The 3rd copy has just as many issues as the first two. Sometimes it focuses well, often it will front or back focus for no apparent reason.

All lenses tested on 4-5 bodies, bodies checked out by Canon and in specs (as well as being perfect with other lenses).

I set up on tripod and point at flat subject (to avoid confusing AF system). Every time I hit the AF the lens readjusts and the focus jumps and re-locks. If I push the shutter 4 times, I usually get 1 sharp picture and 3 out of focus (both front and back focused). Tested at multiple subject distances, in various lighting, problem always present.

Besides confirming and reproducing the issues I'm having, 2 Canon techs have now informed me that this lens has a design flaw and that a huge majority of the copies out there have this AF inconsistency problem. In their words, out of 20 lenses, 1-2 will work properly and not act the way mine does. I don't know what to believe, but I've had 3 bad lenses in a row and this is what I've been told.

Check your copy if you buy one. AF mistakes might not be your fault.


Feb 15, 2011
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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
45 177476 Jul 31, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,574.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.83
8.32
9.6
EF24_14LII


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