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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L

Review Date: Oct 7, 2019 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cost...Small size...Canon L color & contrast

I bought this little gem in spite of many reviews here stating it is not sharp. I can say with confidence that my copy is sharp. Not Zeiss 21 Distagon or Hasselblad XCD 21mm sharp, but quite sharp compared to many other wide angle lenses. For background, I have owned almost every Canon EF/EFS/3rd party EF, Fuji GF wide angle lens and Fuji XF lens there is over the past 40 years. Yes my friend, I have a problem... Smile

I received mine today and ran it through its paces then examined in Lightroom extensively. I found it has nice color, sharpness and overall rendering, just like I would expect a Canon EF L lens to look. I once owned the 24 1.4L, and the Fuji XF 16 1.4 and would say it doesn't look as sharp in the corners as the Fuji, or as magical in dim light as the EFL but it holds its own given it has tilt shift and will cover the image circle of my incoming X1D2. I'll need to update this review once that comes in, I just wanted to come to this little guy's defense as soon as possible. That said I would definitely spring for the mark 2 if I was selling architectural photos on faith that it must be better. I personally would rather have this mark 1 than the Rokinon version though. No offense to Rokinon, they make some great stuff.

In the meantime I would say that it is well worth the $650 I paid for it new in the box. I tested it on a Canon 6D today and forgot that Canon doesnt have focus peaking? Its been awhile since I used the 6D having just sold my GFX 50R. Wow, I cant wait to try on my X1D2 and actually be able to focus accurately. I had to take a lot of DOF shots and use focus confirmation to gauge things. Stay tuned to its performance on medium format...

OK I have to add now after using it on an X1D2...It can be sharpened to look quite nice but the detail isnt really close to native lenses. Also, I'm having challenges with chromatic aberration...Purple fringing can get quite bad... but so far mostly OK in post. Ill probably pick up an XCD 21mm eventually but will keep this for fun.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Jun 30, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Great camera when it works...
Came defective, broke today on the first week on a 3 month shoot in Eastern Europe. Can't get reasonable service... I have always been a Canon fan but am losing faith very quickly.

First no back wheel response in manual mode. I was told to send it in for repair but was on the way to a 3 month shoot so figured I could live without... Today, one week into the vacation the camera locks up with an ERROR 30. I have always been a Canon fan but I have every reason to believe that Canon quality control is severely lacking. If I can't get a replacement immediately in the next few days I will lose all faith in Canon. Search the internet and these types of breakdowns appear to be not uncommon.

Beware of reliability issues...

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: May 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Finds light at 1.4 that cannot be seen, well built
Unsharp in many conditions

I think Darwin and Heisenburg teamed up on this lens...

Maybe I fell victim to Natural Selection when I bought this on EBay... I wonder if many used lenses there are being sold because they are not good copies.

My copy captures exotic light at 1.4 especially in low light where it exhibits apparent sharpness. But when I try to get sharp photos in bright light nothing I do helps. F8 you ask? Nope... Hood and front lighting with a totally staged shot? Nope... After hours of trying, luckily the sun will begin to set and then you can coax out a jaw dropper. The closer you try to replicate its low light performance in daylight the farther you will get from it.

I've heard reports the lens design physically precludes sharpness after 1.4. I havent disproven this. Of course at 1.4 the depth of focus is so shallow its easy to blame things on that, while the background is excused by depth of filed limitations.

Yeah I know I should send it in for calibration but its a professional lens and I am just being stubborn I guess. Besides, my experiences are too similar others to go through the expense and hassle.

So now it is a niche lens for me. I had hoped it would be my "one lens" holy grail but have resigned myself to wander the earth in search of a sharp Canon "wider than 35L" walkaround prime.

Will I buy the 24 1.4L II ? Sharper probably, but come on now Canon... you made your bones by not overcharging like Nikon, dont leave us believers in the dust.

*** Found the Fujui X system and the 16mm f/1.4 - The search is over. Love you Canon but switched years ago and haven't looked back. Smile