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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

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46 180801 Oct 5, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,574.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.81
8.31
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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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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HenkvdT
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Registered: Oct 19, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 573
Review Date: Jan 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Unique intimate look; Sharp @f1.4; weather sealed; solid build
Cons:
Price is a bit over the top and it does vignette from f1.4-f1.6 if you find this disturbing.

This is one great lens. It is great for low light and close quarters photography. By isolating the subject in a wide angle perspective this lens gives a unique look which cannot be obtained with a f2.8 zoom.

It has some learning curve to it, but once you get it, it really shines and deliveres beautiful images. To get the most out of it you need to get in close to your object. If this doesn't suit your style than maybe this lens is not for you and you will be better off with a 35 or 50.

Personally I think this really is meant for full frame and is a bit of a waste on 1.6 and even 1.3x bodies. It does vignette wide open but this can contribute to the intimate look it provides.


Jan 17, 2011
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Tamas Varga
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Registered: Mar 18, 2007
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 5, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,570.00

 
Pros: Built like a tank; Weather sealing;
Cons:
Front focus issue

Where is Canon QC? The copy I received front focuses badly which I wouldn't expect from a $1500+ lens. I might order another one or just keep using the 28 f1.8 until I'll have a chance for in-store pickup.

Jan 5, 2011
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EyeBrock
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Registered: Dec 3, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1011
Review Date: Nov 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, sharpness, AF, colours, contrast.
Cons:
The nature-of-the-beast WA bokeh isn't my favourite.

I used to be all zooms but the 24L II is my third prime now. I’ve had the 50L for three years and it took a while to get competent with it because of the very shallow DOF. No such problems with the 24L, it’s a very easy lens to use. It’s also a lot sharper than the 50L at 1.4. I ‘ummed and aahed’ about the 24 over the 35 but the weather sealing was the swaying factor plus the fact that the 24L has been opitimised for digital and the 35L is quite an old model now.
This lens really comes into it’s own for me indoors with available light. I love the sharpness, colours, contrast, speed of AF, build. The bokeh isn’t as nice as the 50L but this is apparently standard for a WA lens. Vignetting hasn’t been a problem for me with DPP but I am getting a bit of CA that seems to be fine after DPP. I did use MA in my 5D2 (-3) to get it where I wanted it.
It’s great to use outside too but I prefer the 50L in that environment. I’ve had the 24L for 10 months now and it was a good purchase, no regrets but when a 35L II comes out I may have to look at that too!
For my preferred subjects, mainly my family and friends, primes are the dogs bollocks. To non-Brits that means they are the best and the 24L II is a very, very good lens.


Nov 17, 2010
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David Baldwin
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Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2848
Review Date: Sep 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness once stopped down a bit. Excellent CA control compared to the Mk1. Superbly built.
Cons:
Sharpness at f1.4 disappointing. For astrophotography at f1.4 corner coma is still a real problem. Expensive.

I bought this lens for lowlight and astro photography as I used the Mk1 but was unhappy with the old lens' extreme chromatic aberrations at wide apertures.

On the Mk2 I should say at once that the CA correction is superb. I use my lens for astronomical imaging, and for this I subjectively find the lens' performance showing stars as round points of light at f1.4 and f1.6 disappointing, there is still a large amount of coma particularly in the corners. This is one weakness of the old Mk1 that I had hoped would have been significantly improved in the new lens.

However there is a large jump in quality at f1.8, and in the range f2-f.2.2 the corners improve dramatically. Once stopped down further the lens is superbly sharp even into the corners on the 5D2.

The lens is large but stunningly well built.

I am glad I upgraded for the CA improvement which I feel is this lens real improvement over its predecessor, but I do feel the price here in the UK is very high.


Sep 23, 2010
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photosbyjay
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Registered: Oct 12, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: solid build, amazing colours and contrast out of camera, very sharp even at 1.4
Cons:
none yet

It's too early to give an overall rating as I've taken only 10 or so frames with this lens. I just thought I'd post up some walk-around photos for those who want some basis for comparison. These are medium jpeg, straight out of camera (zero photoshop/sharpening), standard picture style, daylight white balance, manual. Shot on a 5D Mark II.

Sample high-res images are here: http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/lens/24/ - EXIF data is embedded to get the exposure data.

Looking at these I'm really impressed with the vibrant colours and neutral tones of this lens. Text is sharp and crisp (as you can see on the sign) even at f1.4, which is impressive at such a wide aperture. Bokeh is smooth and pleasing to the eye, though appears little 'nervous' in some instances.

Even at f1.4 a lot of the image is still in focus because of the wide angle, which I'm excited about because I shoot a lot of weddings in low light and will be able to keep a lot of the image in focus at wide apertures (provided I'm not too close to the subject).

In any case this already looks a lot better than my 24-70 2.8L for image clarity, contrast and sharpness - I'm already making plans to sell that lens.


Sep 1, 2010
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alpha_1976
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Registered: Feb 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 751
Review Date: Aug 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: well built, colors, natural saturation, IQ
Cons:
none really!

I never thought I'd fall in love with this lens just after one shoot. I can't find any weakness in this lens. Wonderful colors, well built and heavy so that it sits nicely on any camera. Go for it.

Aug 30, 2010
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defleppard
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Registered: Aug 21, 2010
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: tack sharp, beautiful color rendition, dof control (F1.4!), suitable for low light shooting, superb build, perfect combination for crop camera (38mm equivalent - near to normal human vision)
Cons:
oh well, it's not cheap but you get for what you pay. if you're serious about photography, you need to throw a lot of money. in addition to that, it made me regret purchasing zoom lenses.

I've owned this for 5 months and now this is my walkaround lense with my 7D.

Initially I planned to purchase 35L (equivalent with normal 48mm in crop camera) but after I compared with 24L II, I immediately fell for 24LII. 24LII has better color rendition, sharper, better flare control, and weather sealed than 35L. I've used this lens with my 7D under light rain and they performed very well!

24L has indirectly made my photography better, because it forced me to engage my subjects closer and be more creative (especially with wide aperture). i think that's the best thing about prime lense, other than sharper and better IQ than zoom lenses.

Attached to crop camera, it is 38mm equivalent, near normal human vision thus making composition faster (what you see is what you get) and better (again, it pushes you to be creative). it is also great for low light photography.

in overall, this is a great lense. not sure how they will improve 24LIII in the future but for sure, this lens has been able to put me away from using full frame camera - for the moment Smile


Aug 21, 2010
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joonrhee
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Registered: Aug 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 315
Review Date: Aug 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,574.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, f1.4, minimal CA,
Cons:
None yet

I initially bought the 35L based from all the rave reviews. However, not enoughly consistent sharpness wide open and extreme CA turned me away from keeping it. The only reason I stayed away from 24Lii was the FL. I thought it would be too wide as my main walkaround lens. Boy, was I wrong...

This lens is far more superior than the 35L. I'm consistently hitting the sharp focus dead on wide open, and CA is very minimal. There are still some vignette and very minimal distortion, but none to be mentioned as a negative aspect.

I used to own 24-70L, 50 1.4, and 85 1.8, but replaced all these with 24Lii, 85Lii, and 135L. If you're in the market for either 35L or 24L, please do yourself a favor and try both before purchasing. Don't just buy a lens based on rave reviews. I tried both and highly recommend the 24Lii.


Aug 4, 2010
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KKFung
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Registered: Dec 19, 2008
Location: China
Posts: 927
Review Date: Jun 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: High resolving power, sharp and details from wide open, great boken and color rendering, fast AF
Cons:
If shorter in size that will be perfect

Nearly a perfect lens in this focal length, can't imagine how the version III can make an improvement

Jun 12, 2010
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djpapa
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Registered: Nov 4, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 234
Review Date: May 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f1.4, color contrast, sharp inf1.4 ,
Cons:
price

I had have 35L ,50 1.2L, 85LII ,17-40L ,100L...

The 24LII color and contrast as same as 85L II
Very sharp lens and great bokeh.
The taste are not same as 35L ...35L is a wonderful lens too.
24L II close to the 100L and 85L tone of colors

Love it in my 5DII and 1D3.


May 24, 2010
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Jonathan Huynh
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Registered: Apr 30, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9378
Review Date: Apr 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp wide open, great contrast and colors, fast AF, weather sealed. Very unique combination of wide angle and f/1.4.
Cons:
Price.

This Canon 24mm 1.4 L II is amazing lens. Super sharp wide open, nice colo and contrast. perfect for both landscape and people.

Apr 11, 2010
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pkupcik
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Registered: Jul 27, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 268
Review Date: Apr 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp wide open, great contrast and colors, fast AF, weather sealed. Very unique combination of wide angle and f/1.4.
Cons:
Price

This is certainly a wow lens for me. 24mm of my 5D provides a nice wide angle perspective and the f/1.4 aperture gives it additional unique look. The lens is super sharp at f/1.4 and at 24mm provides more DOF than lets say 50/1.4 or 85/1.4 lens.

The lens vignettes significantly up to f/2.8. It can be a positive as it adds sense of depth.

The lens is fairly large and heavy, but still within reason to be carried around the neck all day. The zoom ring is as good as it gets on L lenses. It's not as smooth and assuring as MF Zeiss lenses, but it's very good for AF lens.

I would imagine that this lens may be an overkill for landscapes as it does not need such a large aperture. For strictly landscapes I would probably opt for Zeiss 21mm instead. If you however also shoot people indoors, this lens really shines as it gives the ability to capture unique f/1.4 wide angle shots, especially at low light.


Apr 1, 2010
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underbjerg
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Registered: Mar 2, 2010
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 3, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very high image quality, great sharpness, great field-of-view (38mm equiv.) on an APS-C crop-camera, amazing bokeh
Cons:
High price, but you get what you pay for

I was looking for the ultimate low-light wide-angle lens for my EOS 50D, and had my eyes on this lens more than a year before I finally bought it.

For me, the main attraction was the combination of a large aperture, and the 38mm equiv. focal length. It's hard to find a good prime lens, that stays wide on a crop-camera, but this lens is it.

I have been amazed with the images I get out of this lens, and it has replaced my EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS as my favorite walk-around lens. It takes a bit more thought (and movement) to compose shots, but you are rewarded with wonderfully saturated colors, sharp images, and of course the possibility of a very narrow depth-of-field, with a distinct look due to the wide angle.

I was hoping to use this lens for low-light dance photography, and this is the only area where my expectations were not met, though not due to any fault of the lens. Even though this lens has a 2-stop advantage over the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, the latter has an image stabilizer which levels the playing field for any stationary objects, and the advantage of faster attainable shutter speeds at f/1.4 compared to f/2.8, is offset by the fact that it's incredibly difficult to focus on anything that moves at f/1.4! This should probably have been obvious to me, but I'm still very happy with this lens, although my use of it has turned out to be different than I expected.

It's great as a walk-around lens, and I've found it amazing for environmental portraits, indoor and other low-light photography. I've put up a small review of the lens on a 50D, with some sample images:

http://www.underbjerg.com/2010/03/01/canon-24mm-f1-4-ii-review-on-a-50d/


Mar 3, 2010
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cauchy
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Registered: Jan 15, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 12, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, sharp wide open, low CA, excellent build quality, pleasing bokeh
Cons:
it costs a lot of money and it is not exactly light weight

This lens is incredible! The image quality is excellent, it delivers high contrast and nice colors and it is sharp wide open. The middle of the frame at f/1.4 is very good even on the 21MP 5D Mark II (very sharp with a little sharpening applied) and even the corners are still very usable, they are a little soft at f/1.4 but nothing to worry about. The lens does show quite some vignetting wide open. Personally, I am not bothered about that at all, I even accept it as a positive aspect for my uses! CAs are very well contained even wide open. Also, the bokeh is surprisingly pleasant!

The build quality and construction are excellent, it feels very solid.

I do not want to comment on AF yet because I only used the lens for some hours now - there were absolutely no problems, however, it was always spot on so far!

Bottom line: this is an excellent lens for low light and "wide-angle bokeh" applications with an excellent image quality!


Dec 12, 2009
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AGeoJO
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Registered: Jul 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 12155
Review Date: Nov 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness at wide aperture settings, great colors, practically no CA, excellent build quality, etc.
Cons:
Price would be it but hey, you got to fork out some serious money for excellence. Well, yes, I noticed vignetting up to f/2.0 but no longer visible at f/2.8 and it can easily be corrected during post processing.

It seems like Canon had paid close attention to the optical design of recently introduced lenses and most importantly, Canon seems to have increased the QC in the manufacturing/assembly process. I am sure they heard foot steps approaching... LOL. These factors have resulted in really top-notch performers. It doesn't come cheap though but at least you know what you are getting if you shell out big bucks for some glasses.

The classic 24L was a lens that I couldn't warm up to. Yes, it had to do with its performance, which again was actually excellent but I preferred my 35mmL over its wider sibling. Yes, the don't have the same FL but somehow the 35L got used way more back then. Now, the role seems to get reversed; the more I use this lens, the more I start liking it more and more. Whether the 24L II is worth upgrading from the classic one will vary on an individual basis. Is the new lens worth $600-$800 more? Only you will know the asnwer. For me, it is a definite "yes".


Nov 25, 2009
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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
46 180801 Oct 5, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,574.50
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.81
8.31
9.6
EF24_14LII


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