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Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM

EF24_14LII
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/