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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

EF24_14LII
Review Date: Jan 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: F1.4, water-resistant lens, CA well controlled, flare well controlled, solid build, holds sharp detail when wide open (F1.4) to the edges better than the first version, has modern electronics allowing easier and more precise AF calibration than the first version, and anti-reflective SWC (Sub Wavelength Coating) on the outer lens element
Cons:
none really... bigger and heavier (think 35L size) than the first version

This is my first choice for low-light atmospheric scenes. The 24L can be handheld down to 1/8-1/30 sec (depending how stable you are), which in combo with today's high ISO ceilings, can be used as a powerful photographic weapon to master dark environments without flash. I find the 24L can be used handheld in darker places than any other Canon lens made. A must have lens and glued to one of my 1DsIII's on every wedding I shoot.
Canon transformed the weaknesses of the original 24L into the strengths of the 35L in this second edition. Ironically, the 24L II even looks like a 35L as well as performs like one.
Also note that the minimum focusing distance is unchanged from the first version at 0.25 m or 0.82 feet (9.8 inches), and not the distance listed in the specs above, which is the filter size.