The 24L is good, in that's it's better than the not very good EF24mmf2.8
Originally Posted by Frank Petronio
I bought a secondhand EF24f2.8 a good wee while ago. It took me a while to warm to 24mm, and part of that was down to the softness of the 24mmf2.8, I kept wondering whether I really did have the focus spot on or not. I even took it to a Canon repair centre to get it checked, they found no problems. So I came to the conclusion that the EF24mmf2.8 was a soft lens, either that or I was asking too much of such a wide lens. Anyway I was falling in love with shooting the 24mm. If you can get really close to stuff it's such a fun lens, and you can fire away like mad without having to check your focus all the time.
So when I took a trip to New York last September I bagged a EF24mmf1.4L, camera gear is much much cheaper in the states than in the UK. I also bought a EF35mmf2 while I was there.
So what of the 24L. Well it's big. It looks impressive, particulary with the lens hood fitted. But that's not always what I want. I'm usually trying to shoot at f8 - f11 for good DOF and focus free operation, so the f1.4 option is wasted on me, though I guess I know it's there if I want it, and perhaps I should try some crazy low DOF wide angle shots for some fun some time.
I find it distorts much less than the 24f2.8, which I have to say is nice, though there is still edge distortion when you get close to things. It's sharper. The sharpness is acceptable, much better than the lousy f2.8 but it's still not sharp enougth, I can get good sharp results with it, but it hasn't blown me away in that respect.
The hyperfocal markings are too small and not detailed enougth, but I've found they are usually workable.
Is it a good lens? Yes. Is it a great lens? No. Is it value for money? No way, but I was desparate for something better than the EF24f2.8 It's the most expensive lens I've ever bought.
That's what got me thinking about rangefinders. I'm a sharpness junkie. I'm still looking for a sharper 24mm, a rangefinder with a 24mm might be the answer. I aslo like the non-threatening, if you like, look of rangefinders.
The cheapie EF35mmf2 is a little gem, even if it does have an annoyingly noisey focus motor (by 35mm I'm back to using auto-focus).