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Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

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67 257580 Jul 31, 2014
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93% of reviewers $271.17
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.78
9.08
8.7
ef24mmf_28_1_

Specifications:
24mm lenses are the entry into ultra-wide angle photography. And this lens is the ideal starting point: it's extremely sharp and offers superior correction of linear distortion, and its f/2.8 aperture makes it easy to use with slow, fine-grain films or in low light. It focuses as close as 10 inches (25cm), and for many photograhers gives the ideal combination of a wide-angle "look" without excessive perspective distortion.


 


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Flav
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Registered: Apr 30, 2008
Location: Romania
Posts: 305
Review Date: Jul 31, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpest lens wide open i've ever used.
Cons:
Noisy AF, vignette wide open, some distortion, more than i like for a prime, the coating could be better.

+It might be the sharpest wide angle lens I've ever used. It blows 24-70 I out of the water in this regard.
But of course, for any advantage you have a few disadvantages, otherwise everyone would have this lens.

-For me the most annoying thing is the rudimentary AF and build. It feels cheap, i'm afraid to touch the focus when in AF, because i feel i might break the plastic gears inside. The toy car noise of the AF is very unnerving and front element is somewhat exposed.

+Because of it's plastic construction it's amazingly light, making it superb for traveling (this would be my first lens i'd put in...sharp at 2.8 from close to infinity). I'd pair it with a 50 and a 100/2.8 and you have a cheap, sharp light travel kit. I'd take these 3 over the 24-105 to be honest.

-The coating is mediocre, i felt like shooting with a b/w era lens, with AF and made of plastic. I don't understand why Canon would go from SSC to whatever they put on this lens, it's the same colors as the 50/1.8 and just a little better build quality, but the AF is just as noisy, if not worse.

+with today's post processing that allows for very fine adjustments of color hue and subtle nuances, the mediocre coating isn't a big problem. The alternatives might be much more expensive and not as sharp.


Jul 31, 2014
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bcguy
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Registered: Apr 17, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 391
Review Date: Mar 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fairly sharp, physically small, zippy focus
Cons:
Somewhat soft in the corners, purple fringing in high contrast shots, vignetting wide open (a non-issue for me), distorts a little, loud focus mechanism (I don't really care about this either)

I have owned this lens for quite a few years now. It replaced the wide end of my 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II zoom lens. It's not a perfect lens, but for its cost, there really isn't a better lens available which auto focuses. The biggest problem with it is softness in the corners. From what I've seen, the 24mm f/1.4L II is much better in the corners. But, then again, it really should be for the price difference.

The 24mm f/2.8 does vignette wide open, but that doesn't bother me at all. It can be fixed in post. In fact, I often add more vignette to my photos.

I only notice the distortion when I'm photographing buildings. It's not really too bad. It seems to be about twice as bad as the EF 50mm f/1.4, but being a 24mm lens of a nearly 25 year old design, it's pretty good. Again, this is fixable in post.

It does show a little purple when photographing under high contrast conditions, but again you can easily fix this afterwards. I notice it mostly when photographing trees in winter. The bare branch tips tend to go purple when silhouetted against the sky.

Built quality is decent. I've dropped this baby on the floor a couple times (hardwood) and there have been no ill effects. Try that with a 50mm f/1.8 II! The focus motor is buzzy, but it's quick!

My only real complaint is softness in the corners. That bothers me. It bothers me that I'd have to spend $1700 Canadian to get something substantially better (a 24mm f/1.4L). From what I've seen online, the new 24mm f/2.8 IS is only just marginally better. It doesn't seem worth the upgrade. The EF 24mm f/2.8 looks like it's better than the 16-35 f/2.8L II at 24mm in the corners, so despite my complaints, this lens is certainly not pathetic. I'd just like my corners a little sharper, that's all. Check it out here:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=246&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=4&LensComp=412&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=4

Will I replace it? I might get a second wide angle lens, but I don't think I'll get rid of it. Is it a bad lens? Heck no! I'd say the worst thing about it is having to explain to people what it is. It seems to be a forgotten lens. Overall, it's sharp and wonderfully small and light. I can pocket it as easily as I can pocket my 50mm f/1.4. That's the beauty of it: it's only 9.5 oz. and less than 3" long. It's great for travel! The lens hood that you can buy for it is tiny too.

This lens certainly has its uses, and I think I'll be using it for years to come, especially when I want to travel light. The complaints that I have are minor. The same problems can be found on much more expensive lenses. From what I've seen in lens tests online, this lens is better than the 24-70mm f/2.8L (I), the 24-105mm f/4L IS and the 16-35mm f/2.8L II. If you're looking for a good used lens, I think this lens is a bargain. The 58mm filter size keeps the cost down as well. It may not be up to the standards of todays newest L lenses, but it can be had for $300 or less too. To quote The Who: "I call that a bargain!"


Mar 23, 2013
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Robin Smith
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Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Review Date: Dec 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good image quality even at full aperture. Cheap. Light weight. Handles well with dedicated hood.
Cons:
No USM. Color fringing present at high contrast boundaries. Build quality only adequate. Some distortion.

This lens is an older design and was never particularly expensive. It does not inspire with its build quality which is adequate However this does not matter as it is a surprisingly good performer. Completely useable wide open on a full frame 5DmkII and gets even better stopped down. Some color fringing is noticeable at harsh contrast transitions - this can be removed in post processing. This is not an important issue in practice. AF is accurate but is not USM. I don't care about this since I find AF accurate, so I don't miund switching to MF when I need to focus manually. In performance terms it compares very well with the 24L at about 1/4 to a 1/5 the price. The L is faster and has better central resolution so shows a little more "snap", however the edge resolution is indistinguishable from the more expensive lens. Bokeh is OK but not stellar (few, if any, lenses of this focal length have great bokeh). There is some distortion, but about the same as its competitors. Wouldn't it be nice to get a non-TS 24 lens with negligeable distortion? To sum up: this is a bargain lens but with good-to-excellent performance. I periodically think about replacing it with a nicer 24/25mm lens (TS 24/Zeiss ZE 25/2) , but I have yet to decide that the much more expensive lenses really have much extra to offer for full frame, general use given their extra cost, larger size and greater weight . This is a superior lens to the equally old 28/2.8 and it is certainly staying in my bag.

Dec 19, 2012
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: May 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light and inexpensive
Cons:
None really

I`ve only had the lens for two days, I`ve shot around 300 images on a 5d2. Just of late and getting older I`ve slowed down from using my Contax and Leica lenses in favour of Canon 28 2.8, 35f2, 50 1.8 mk11. I was needing to carry my contax 21 2.8 (old type) for the extra width and saw this lens at the right price with sale or return listed. So, for the cost of return post I decided to give it a try. To say I`m surprised at the lack of distortion and good corner sharpness is an under statement. The colours are better than my Contax out of the camera and it`s such a joy to just put the camera to my eye and shoot. I was getting fed up with trying to see LV in bright sun. I`m not saying for one moment that all round it`s as good as the contax but only at 100% can you see the slight difference in IQ. It`s certainly a keeper and I`ve ordered a proper Canon lens hood as the lens is well worth spending that bit extra on rather than a cheap copy hood. I`ve read a few poor reviews of the lens and am not surprised because we know that all makes turn out good and bad. I`m told that it is prone to flare but I rarely shoot into the sun so that shouldn`t be a bother. I have a contax 25 2.8 that can be good and bad depending on the day and the subject matter but even when good it isn`t far off this cheap Canon. I`m quite happy and will use the lens with confidence and just in case you are wondering!!! I`m quite fussy.

May 27, 2012
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ic2foto
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Registered: Jun 19, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small / Light / Cheap / Sharp. An outstanding value.
Cons:
Plastic - Uninspiring but adequate construction.

My favorite lens for the last 30 years has been my YC Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon - as this is how I see the world. While that lens has served me very well in many, many situations, it has also been the recipient of somewhat severe criticism. Be careful what you believe - I've got 40" prints made with that lens that stop people in their tracks. My guess is that many photographers do not understand how to use WA lenses correctly.

More to the point: My copy of the Canon 24mm f/2.8 is a very good performing lens. Small, plastic and uninspiring - it none the less produces images on par with lenses costing many times more. I donít know how long it will stay in my kit as I generally prefer manual focus to auto focus and this lens really isnít designed that way, but while I do have it I will feel confident in the quality of images it produces. It is sharp across the entire frame on my Canon 5D bodies Ė which is my primary concern.

Iíll give it a 7 for build quality, a 9 for image quality and a 10 for value. I have filters that cost more than this lens.

Cheers


Feb 29, 2012
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SilkyStrings
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Registered: Aug 1, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty, light, very affordable.
Cons:
Nothing major at this price!

I find myself using primes a lot more generally at the moment. Already proud owner of EF 85mm f1.2 II & EF 35mm f1.4, I really fancied a 24mm. Looked at the options, 24mm L would have been nice but house maintenance has swallowed most of available funds. Thought about the Sigma but there was a lot of negative comment generally surrounding focus issues. Then I started to read up on this little 24mm f2.8 from Canon. I so trust my fellow photographers on FM and decided to look out for a fine used example. One came up on ebay and I bought it. Attached it to my 5D mkII body and took a number of shots. Bearing in mind that the full frame is less forgiving on lenses I was ready to make all the allowances necessary. I was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Really sharp, detailed, contrasty images. Focus was bang on. I took more & more with exactly the same conclusions. This is without a doubt a brilliant little lens that can really deliver the goods. Did have the 35mm f2 once. This is in a different league. Thoroughly recommended!

Aug 14, 2010
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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: Jun 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good sharpness wide open and stopped down.
Cons:
Old design. No USM. Cannot use focus ring while in AF mode. Chintzy feel. Prone to flare and low contrast.

This is a good, solid lens. The sharpness wide open is very good, across the frame, and a little sharper than my old 24-70L (which was a very sharp copy for a zoom). The colors are good, but the lens is prone to flare which reduces some of the contrast. That being said, this is the only option at this length for a good price. The sharpness wide open alone makes this lens a good buy.

The major con is the inability to manually focus while in AF mode. This lens also does not have USM and is a little noisy as a result. Lightweight build - not very expensive feeling but appropriate for the price.

This is a good lens that does it's job well. Given it's performance and the huge differential between it and the 24L mkII, this lens is a very good value.


Jun 18, 2010
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dorkus
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Registered: Sep 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 148
Review Date: Oct 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: compact, light and inexpensive; great on FF, even to the corners; sharp and contrasty; surprisingly good wide-open; very pleasant bokeh
Cons:
Lacks USM, not so great flare handling (get the hood), didn't perform as well on APS-C

This lens has turned out to be a big surprise for me.

I originally bought it to use with my 10D on honeymoon, as my usual go-to lens (35/1.4L) was too bulky and a bit too tight (56mm equivalent) on APS-C. The pictures came out ok - good sharpness and contrast - but lacked a certain something that I'm accustomed to from my 35/1.4 or 85/1.8 primes. When I returned from the trip, I re-boxed it and decided to put it up for sale.

About a year and a half later I hadn't gotten around to selling the lens yet, and I had just acquired a used 5D. My dream of full frame was realized and I felt my 35/1.4 was plenty wide enough, so I didn't even think to try the 24/2.8 - how could it even compare? I figured if it wasn't great on the 10D, it would be even worse on the 5D.

Boy was I wrong. A potential buyer asked me to test the lens, and my friend encouraged me to try it on the 5D, so I went out and snapped a couple test shots at lunch. They looked fantastic! I then took the lens home and tried it in low ambient light, and was shocked at how great the pictures looked. It was sharp and contrasty, with good uniformity all the way out to the corners. Stop it down one click to f/3.2 and it gets even sharper, and by f/4 quality is pretty much optimal. In this respect it behaves much more like an L than a cheap lens, many of which need to be stoped down to f/5.6 or so before they look really good.

I've used the majority of Canon primes between 20mm and 135mm, both L and non-L, and while the 24/2.8 doesn't have the trademark warmth and richness of the L's, it is very much in the same league as the better non-L's like the 85/1.8 and 100 macro. The bokeh in particular is a real surprise - not as creamy as the 24L or 35L, but very smooth and pleasant with nothing objectionable going on. But if I were to pick one aspect of the lens that excels, it would have to be the colors, which strike a near perfect balance of vibrance and naturalness. Blues in particular are wonderfully saturated, ideal for shooting landscapes and water - I bought a polarizer, but never really need it.

There are a few cons which are well-explored in the other reviews so I won't dwell on them too much. The lens feels cheap compared to the USM primes, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be durable. It vignettes a bit wide open, but then so does my 35L, and it doesn't bother me - in fact I rather like the effect. The biggest downside I find vs. an L prime, other than the slower aperture, is flare handling. With the 35L I can shoot into a setting sun to get a nice warm effect with well controlled halos, but the 24/2.8 will just wash out and not look particularly good, so shooting into the sun is pretty much out. I'm also not sure why it was so underwhelming on my 10D... it could be the newer sensors with their improved microlenses get more out of wideangles than my old 10D, but it just wasn't as contrasty and interesting as on the 5D. (It could also be that the 38mm-equivalent FOV bored me.)

Some people have complained of not so great sharpness, excessive CA, etc. - my best guess is they are using it on a body that it doesn't work so well (e.g. a crop with small pixel pitch), and/or they got a bad copy. I'm not sure if my copy is especially good but the performance is really outstanding.

In any case, I'm just glad I discovered this lens on my 5D before I sold it! If you don't need the extreme low-light capabilities of the 24/1.4L, definitely check this sleeper out.


Oct 9, 2009
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Fulcrum
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Registered: May 23, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp to corners even on FF. Very nice bokeh. Lightweight. Colour rendition.
Cons:
Prone to flare. Noisy AF motor.

This is the best Canon non-L wideangle prime.

I have had the 20mm/2.8, 28mm/2.8 and 35mm/2.0 prime lenses.

The 35mm was not wide enough for me and produced an ugly bokeh.
The 28mm was not wide enough for me and produced soft corners.
The 20mm was simply crap (softish even at the center, bland colours)

Prior to this I had the pleasure of owning a few zooms as well.

I have had the Canon 17-40mm/4L (excellent colours, fast AF, sharp center BUT ugly corners on 5Dmk2),
Sigma 15-30mm (sharp BUT bland colours AND heavy distortion, AND ugly soft edges on 5dmk2), Sigma 12-24mm (unreliable, very ugly and soft edges on 5dmk2)

This little gem beats them all in corner sharpness, colour rendition and general image quality. A fantastic lens, this one.

This thing comes very close in image quality to the 24mm/1.4L first edition (except that one is even more flare prone and has a few stops, plus it costs too much for what it is).

I could not be happier with the optical qualities of the lens, considering that I bought it at half the current price, almost unused and as new. This one is a keeper.

The only thing that bugs me is the plastic construction. I prefer metal barrel on a lens. Although heavy, it gives a certain feeling about durability. But as far as it lasts I am going to enjoy it.


Sep 17, 2009
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condyk
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Registered: Mar 14, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 300
Review Date: Jan 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very small and light with excellent performance throughout. Very nice pocket sized walkaround with a 50mm on FF or on its own with a crop body. AF is good even though an older design.
Cons:
A bit plastic but not so bad as the 50mm 1.8. Nothing else!



Jan 14, 2009
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borderlight
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1746
Review Date: Dec 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $279.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, sharp @ f2.8, good contrast, 58mm filter
Cons:
Lack of USM.

This lens delivers sharp, contrasty pics in a lightweight, compact body. The small, optional hood is takes up little room in a bag. Overall, it's built solid. The 24 f2.8 handles flare better than the L zooms, and it demonstrates extremely low distortion and little CA. It's fairly sharp @ f2.8, and is the charm by f4. I use the 24 f2.8 on a 5D mostly on RAW.

This conservatively priced EF lens should not be judged against L primes and zooms. In some cases this lens exceeds L lens quality, especially the zooms. Higher expectations, or comparisons shouldn't shave points off for what it is.... a solid performer that can stand on it's own.

http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Reviews/057_Canon_24F2.8/_The_Canon_EF_24_F2.8.html


Dec 30, 2008
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Fr3d
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Registered: Nov 28, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 292
Review Date: Dec 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, Lightweight, Sharpness, Speed, Contrast
Cons:
for the price none

I bought this lens used on eBay for my Canon 5D Mark II as an unobtrusive wide angle lens. The lens is made of high quality plastics and has a metal mount. It feels light but adequately well build. I was skeptikal about the performance wide open (I bought it for shooting stoped down) but was very pleased when I took at few shots with it. The lens is very sharp at f2.8 and super sharp at f4. Beyond f4 I cannot detect any improvement. Rememer I am talking about performance on the 5D Mark II. The color might not be L but it is good. Contrast again is very good. For the price paid its a bargain. I highly recommend this much overlooked lens.

Dec 29, 2008
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mazamabill
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Registered: May 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $329.95 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small
Cons:
Optics not good as "L" zooms; focus is slow and noisy

I bought this lens from B&H because the reviews suggested that it was nearly the equivalent of the f1.4 version in terms of IQ. However, it wasn't even as good as my 24-105 and wasn't much better than the 24-85. I'm surprised, because the even cheaper 35mm f2 has MUCH better IQ and contrast.

Nov 18, 2008
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YLTan
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Registered: Sep 19, 2002
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 14
Review Date: Oct 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, excellent sharpness from f/4 onwards, f2.8 still great in the center and acceptable in the corners on a crop camera
Cons:
Slow f/2.8 maximum aperture, no hood, plasticky

I don't agree it doesn't make sense in these days of pro zoom. It's small, easy to carry around, and give great performance on a crop camera. Your 17-55, etc is at least 4X the size. No doubt it's not a zoom, but it's faster than most consumer level zooms but about 1 stop. I wish it was a f/2.0 but that was not to be. The L version is large and heavy with a big price on it.

You can always bring a 50 f/1.8 for those situation that requires a longer lens. That makes it a very small ( and I dare say cheap ) kit when on the move.


Oct 29, 2008
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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16748
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: pretty sharp in the center, very compact
Cons:
way too much CA, not the worlds sharpest corners, worse than the modern zooms that cover this range and no faster

maybe it was good once upon a time, but seriously, my tamron zooms simply blow it away (as i'm sure does the canon 17-55 IS or 24-105L). just doesn't make sense in this day and age IMO.


Oct 13, 2008
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 10026
Review Date: Aug 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, versatile (24mm on full frame, 31mm on x1.3 crop, 38.4 on x1.6 crop equivalents), good contrast and colour
Cons:
Too expensive in the UK, much cheaper in the US, no full time focusing, bit plasticky. Once again no hood.

Very good lens, better in fact then my 35 f2 which surprised me.

No vignetting on full frame 5D and sharp at all apertures. A very good general purpose lens on a x1.6 crop camera becomes a good wideangle on full frame.

Not wonderfully well built and without full time focusing, but all in all a good, contrasty lens.


Aug 8, 2008
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†††



Canon EF 24mm f/2.8

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
67 257580 Jul 31, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $271.17
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.78
9.08
8.7
ef24mmf_28_1_


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