Quick 'n Dirty on Canon 24-70 L II
Build is top notch. Plastic, yes, but lighter than the old one and the balance is great on a body.
AF and handling is as you would expect from a modern L.
Optically it is jaw dropping. Wide open at 24mm, the corners have no right to be anywhere near this good. There is an improvement as you stop down but it is very minor. I did some basic tests to ensure that the lens is optically 'OK' and saw results that just beggared belief, when inspecting the fine twigs on strips of poplar trees or the leaves on hedges, gravel etc. All done to ensure a flat plane of course.
I bought this 24-70 L II lens for commercial work on digital bodies, but it is going to get used on my Eos 3 and 1n HS bodies too. It is going to get a LOT of use.
The lens is insanely expensive (but not compared to Leica of course) but is without question the best zoom lens I have ever used and far better than most primes.
I will now sell the other mid range zooms which never quite made me happy. On my Eos 3 for general purpose documentary work with B&W film, this lens is going to be incredible to work with.
FWIW I got mine from Hdewcameras in the UK and saved a small fortune over the likes of warehouseexpress. About £500 in fact.
Yes, a lot of people have complained that this lens is much more expensive than the MK I version, but I'm seeing a level of optical quality I have never seen before in a zoom and which would leave me delighted in a premium branded prime. I am quite confident that shots from this lens will stand up quite easily to those from my Zeiss and Leica primes, save for a split hair or two. No, I have not done any direct comparisons, but aside from distortion (where the zoom loses hands down), there just isn't any need. Performance is way beyond anything I am going to see resolved with the films I regularly use.
It's got a bit of that mustache distortion, but it really is an easy lens to use. I've used it shooting weddings on 1Dx's and 5D3's and it was just euphoria compared to the olde 24-70, I'm sure it performs great on film too, uber contrasty.
Check out the 40mm pancake too, I just got a like new Elan 7NE for $25 and i'm planning on using that lens with it since it's about the size of a body cap. So far it seems quite a bit better than the 50mm f/1.8 at equivalent apertures.
I had heard that the 40mm lens suffered badly from distortion (either barrel, or pincushion - I'm not sure).
Originally Posted by F/1.4
The digital shooters aren't bothered much, because the lens "pattern" is included in the photo-editing software and is therefore "automatically" corrected.
I would be very happy to hear that this is wrong.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
'The Canon pancake lens produces only a slight amount of barrel distortion (0.6%) which is basically negligible.' - photozone.de
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.
After more playing around on the 5D III I am even more impressed by this lens. Its just so sharp wide open, with bags of contrast and is so incredibly responsive on the new camera. Testing shows it is a bit weaker at 70mm than shorter focal lengths at f2.8, but I think its not an issue in the real world. This is the SLR zoom I have been waiting for. I spent some time familiarising myself with the lens and the new 5D III at the seaside with my kids. Colour, contrast and sharpness are all absolutely stunning. Focus tracking and speed was incredible. Its quite a new experience to be able to shoot at f2.8 on a zoom and not remotely worry about optical performance, only depth of field. I got frames that really blew me away. I kept checking to see if they were soft, but almost all the time there was the focus: smack on, with loads of bite and contrast.
I don't think the pancake is up my street really, but it does sound a good lens. For that sort of FL, I'd put a 35mm on a 35mm RF. To me, SLRs are for zooms and lenses longer than 50mm.
Next stop: TriX.
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