Lens review

Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4L II USM

Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4L II USM
21 May 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2010-04-29 on Optyczne.pl

In 1997 Canon launched an EF 24 mm f/1.4L USM lens on the market. With such parameters, that device was a real treat for many professional photographers. A full frame lens with the angle of view of 84 degrees and f/1.4 aperture to boot made an incredible impression on everyone. Especially that it was virtually a class of its own for a very long time. Sigma tried to get close to these parameters, constructing an 1.8/24 model; so did Pentax, presenting a 2/24 instrument. None of reflex cameras producers, though, was able to offer f/1.4 aperture with the focal length of 24 mm.

Such a situation lasted really long, because the 24L, still unrivalled, saw the worldwide launch of its successor in 2008. Only after that launch other companies became encouraged enough to catch up. Nikon reflex cameras’ owners had to wait till 2010 for such a piece of equipment. It is worth adding that, since 2008, the owners of full frame M system rangefinders have had the 1.4/24 parameters at their disposal (or even more extreme 1.4/21) because in September 2008 Leica organized the launch of its new lenses: a SUMMILUX-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH and a SUMMILUX-M 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. In their case, though, we must spend such a huge amount of money that even the new L-series lens seems cheap in comparison…

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You can add here another thing. A 24 mm focal length lens is a journalistic lens on full frame, which can be also used for landscape or architecture photos. On the other hand, though, the same applications are available for the owners of an APS-C format sensor camera in the shape of a wide angle, fast classic device. It will give you an angle of view of 59 degrees and, considering its fastness, it might become a lens you would hate to detach from your camera body.

The lens was lent for the testing purposes by the RTV EURO AGD shop.

Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"

Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4L II USM - Introduction